...the Nu [River is] the last remaining major watershed in China without a dam. For years, though, the local government has planned to build a series dams along the Nu, too. Entire villages have already been relocated to make way. If the dams are built, China’s last free-flowing river will turn into a series of cascading lakes. — Marketplace
“It’s a uniquely Chinese phenomenon,” smiled Fan. “A local government sets up an investment company, attracts investors, approves and builds its own projects with developers. All of them make enormous profits. They claim this helps alleviate poverty, but it only causes common people more...
Constructed in an area which experiences frequent flooding, the Greenhouse That Grows Legs incorporates a novel approach to flood protection. The building is fabricated on a bespoke steel frame with four hydraulic legs, capable of lifting the building 800mm from the ground on command. — Bat Studio
According to the designer, Bat Studio, the greenhouse stands on hydraulic legs that can lift it up in case of flooding – a common occurrence in the area. Built in glue-laminated timber sections, the greenhouse is meant to be both visually-pleasing and functional. The most prominent façade...
The number of premature deaths attributed to particulate pollution has risen, government figures show.
According to Public Health England, the percentage of premature deaths attributable to minute particles known as PM2.5s rose to 5.3% in 2013 in England from 5.1% in 2012. The death rate in London rose to 6.7% from 6.6%. The figures follow significant improvements in air quality across England in 2010 and 2011. — the Guardian
Related:New Delhi mandates odd-even car rationing to fight world's worst air pollutionReducing Turin's smog with free public transitBeijing's latest "airpocalypse" is bad enough for city to issue first ever red alertCar-free events significantly improve air quality
Bed bugs have developed a resistance to neonicotinoids, a group of the most widely used insecticides, according to a new study published in the Journal of Medical Entomology.
The newly found resistance to neonics has real implications for people who need to control the pest... Neonics are the most commonly used insecticide to fight the already elusive and resilient bed bugs, and if they no longer work, bed bugs will continue to thrive despite exterminators’ efforts. — the Guardian
Nature is poised to reconquer Madrid. Faced with rising summer temperatures, Spain’s capital has announced plans, reported in today’s El Pais, to seam the city so thoroughly with new green patches that its face could be quite transformed.
City parks will be expanded and restored, and 22 new urban gardens created. Vacant public land will be freed up to create community gardens while the banks of the city’s scrappy Manzanares River will be thickly planted with trees... — City Lab
According to the report, other components of the initiative include funding and encouragement for green roofs and façades. Plants beds would be added to paved squares and ponds may be created to catch excess stormwater like in Copenhagen. Madrid's location – perched high on a plateau that...
The biggest names impacting New York’s skyline come together to discuss the projects that now epitomize the city, the ever-evolving real estate market and what’s next for New York’s neighborhoods. — 92Y
Eventually, Saint Kjelds will be able to withstand — and even welcome — heavy rainfall and flooding. [...]
More parks like it are being built to purposefully turn into small ponds during heavy rains, allowing them to capture and retain water on site until the drainage system has capacity to handle it. — citiscope.org
More news on cities' response to climate change:"King tides" give a glimpse of what the (near) future's rising seas will look likeJakarta, already 40% below sea level, is building one of the biggest sea walls on EarthUnchecked climate change will make the Gulf uninhabitable, claims new studyMajor...
Researchers at University College London (UCL) claim that a “revolutionary” new type of window could cut cleaning costs in tall buildings and reduce heating bills by up to 40% thanks to a new combination of nano-scale engineering inspired by the eyes of moths, and thermochromic coating.
The prototype, revealed today, has conical nanostructures engraved on its surface that trap air and prevent all but a tiny amount of water coming into actual contact with the glass. — globalconstructionreview.com
"The lead UCL researcher said this would be a big draw for high-rise building owners, since the cost of cleaning the windows surpasses the cost of installing them after the first five years."Related news stories on Archinect:MIT researchers have created a new material that stores and releases...
King tides—a type of perigean spring tide (there’s your science jargon)—occur when extra-high tides line up with some other meteorological anomalies. They’re not a huge deal: The water flowing over the seawall is part novelty, part nuisance. But these rare days hint at a new normal, when sea level rise will render current coastlines obsolete [...]
On January 21 and 22, the king tide will bring San Francisco’s shoreline about a foot higher than average high tide. — Wired
Related:Can Silicon Valley save the Bay Area?The GSD vs. the sea: school's new Office for Urbanization tackles climate change in Miami BeachClimate change is increasing the risk of severe flooding in New YorkSea level rise accelerating, according to new data from NASA
Last year was the Earth's warmest since record-keeping began in 1880, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA said Wednesday.
It's been clear for quite some time that 2015 would steal the distinction of the hottest year from 2014, with 10 out of the 12 months last year being the warmest respective months on record -- and those records go back 136 years. — CNN
The news that 2015 was the warmest year on record didn't exactly take climate scientist by surprise. But what is startling is by just how much: the average global temperature was 1.62˚F above the 20th century average.December, in particular, reached new heights of heat, becoming the first month...
...this week's higher temperatures and sunny skies serve as a reminder that one watery week doesn't erase the years of hardcore drought that have dragged on in SoCal and all of California.
The record-breaking rains are a reason to be excited, certainly, but "Although this is a favorable start to the year, there are still 3-4 more critical months that will determine how much rain/snow will fall and accumulate during the wet season," [says] David Miskus, a meteorologist ... — Curbed
Relevant:Drought reveals 16th century church beneath Mexican reservoirIn face of drought, San Diego's desalination efforts won't stop thereThirst-quenching as Los Angeles heats up: Next Wave @ UCLAFatal shores? Sea snakes wash up on Southern California beaches
The appetite of western consumers for home furnishings has reached its peak – according to Ikea, the world’s largest furniture retailer.
The Swedish company’s head of sustainability told a Guardian conference that consumption of many familiar goods was at its limit.
“If we look on a global basis, in the west we have probably hit peak stuff. We talk about peak oil. I’d say we’ve hit peak red meat, peak sugar, peak stuff … peak home furnishings,” Steve Howard said [...] — the Guardian
Related:Ikea and Airbnb: a match made in globalized heaven?Get a glimpse of these hacked IKEA kitchens by BIG, Henning Larsen, and NORM ArchitectsUN Refugee Agency Commissions 10k Ikea-designed Better SheltersWhy is Ikea a Non-profit?
Tiny homes aren’t a solution. Small living is another superficial fix, brandishing clever design and appeals to nostalgia while ignoring the underlying social relations which cause homelessness, housing insecurity, and environmental degradation. — JACOBIN
Arielle Milkman pens an article for JACOBIN. The article takes a historical account of tiny homes and gives a current critique to everyone's darling (everyone = young, white, nonprofit or government worker.) At the end, "Tiny Houses" are superficial housing solutions for the poor. "As spaces...
Using drones for aerial photography has been a source of controversy for several years now. But amid increasing concerns over privacy and safety, some conservation scientists are hoping drone owners will help them to document sea level rise.
With an expected increase in storm activity in the Pacific Ocean this winter, scientists believe they are getting a glimpse of the impacts of climate change on coastlines. — scpr.org
To see an interactive example of a DroneDeploy-stitched high-resolution map, click here.Related stories in the Archinect news:The Ehang passenger drone might be another way people will get around town somedayLicense and registration, please: new FAA regulations mandate drone...
Congratulations are due to Olafur Eliasson who's just been given a Crystal Award for his "exemplary commitment to improving the state of the world".
Ahead of the World Economic Forum, which takes place later this week in Davos, Eliasson was singled out for particular praise major works including The New York City Waterfalls, Ice Watch, The Weather Project, and Riverbed. — phaidon.com
"Eliasson who joins fellow winners Leonardo DiCaprio (for his work publicising climate change) actress Yao Chen (for her work raising awareness of the refugee crisis) and will.i.am (for his leadership in creating educational opportunities for the underserved)."More of Eliasson in the Archinect...
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