When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Switzerland

Swarovski Luxury Crystal Maker Moonlights In Road Safety Reflector Business

After four people were killed recently while crossing the street in Bern, the Swiss city looked to the Austrian luxury crystal maker's affiliate that mixes Swarovski glass beads into road surfacing to increase visibility. It's a top-end

Swarovski's glass beads will be slightly more subtle than these (Mr. T in DC)
Swarovski's glass beads will be slightly more subtle than these (Mr. T in DC)
BERN - The world-renowned Austrian firm Swarovski doesn't only produce jewelry and small crystal figures. For more than 40 years, it has made micro glass beads for street markings. In 1969 Manfred Swarovski founded M. Swarovski GmbH in Amstetten, Austria, to make the beads. Today, the group known as Swarco AG has more than 80 companies in 20 countries and employs 2,600 people.

In Bern, Switzerland, where four people have died in recent weeks as they crossed in pedestrian crossings, there has been an outcry to improve the safety of crossings – something the city had already started planning for this past summer. Crossings are now being repainted a different yellow, and next spring they will be resurfaced.

The city is planning to mix Swarovski glass beads into the surfacing. "They reflect car lights so crossings are more visible at night and when it's raining or foggy," said Stephan Meyer, who heads the road markings department at the city's depart of civil engineering.

Using glass beads is quite commonplace, says Meyer, but what is particular about the Swarco beads is that they are both very resistant and very reflective. He called them "sensational beads."

But they come at a price, and according to Meyer the cost of road markings in the city of Bern will rise by 5%. In 2011, the city shelled out 500,000 Swiss francs for marking maintenance.

In a few years, all the city's pedestrian crossing are expected to be aglitter with Swarovski beads.

Read the full story in German by Lisa Stalder

Photo - Mr. T in DC

*Newsbites are digest items, not direct translations

You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
Ideas

A Brief History Of Patriarchy — And How To Topple It

Many people assume the patriarchy has always been there, but how did it really originate? History shows us that there can be another way.

Women protest on International Women's Day in London in 2022

Ruth Mace*

The patriarchy, having been somewhat in retreat in parts of the world, is back in our faces. In Afghanistan, the Taliban once again prowl the streets more concerned with keeping women at home and in strict dress code than with the impending collapse of the country into famine.

And on another continent, parts of the U.S. are legislating to ensure that women can no longer have a legal abortion. In both cases, lurking patriarchal beliefs were allowed to reemerge when political leadership failed. We have an eerie feeling of travelling back through time. But how long has patriarchy dominated our societies?

Keep reading...Show less

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in
Writing contest - My pandemic story
THE LATEST
FOCUS
TRENDING TOPICS

Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

Watch VideoShow less
MOST READ