When Thomas Paino, an architect, decided to remodel a rowhouse he had bought in Long Island City, Queens, his ambitions were nothing short of trying to save the world — at least so far as a two-family home could contribute to the cause. [...]
And he came up with a daring design in the hopes that neighbors, passers-by, perhaps even the world would take notice.
He succeeded beyond all expectations. — nytimes.com
The United States is currently engulfed in one of the worst droughts in recent memory. More than 30% of the country experienced at least moderate drought as of last week's data. In seven states drought conditions were so severe that each had more than half of its land area in severe drought. Severe drought is characterized by crop loss, frequent water shortages, and mandatory water use restrictions. — USA Today
California and Oklahoma are both experiencing "exceptional drought" – the most severe category – in 25-30% of the state. Both of these states, particularly California, are major agricultural regions and the effects of the drought will have profound ripples economically. North Texas has been in...
It relates to scale, who's going to be there, what reflects the culture and interests of the community. People's first notion about a park is Central Park — big, grassy, lush. So adjusting expectations about that aesthetic, we have a hard row to hoe in L.A. This is the era for our city to think about parks and the river and the urban forest as all one thing. — latimes.com
Artist and animator Sam Grinberg revisits the fight over the future of the American Folk Art Museum. — ny.curbed.com
London will soon be home to Europe’s largest urban wetland. By 2017, a large chunk of East London’s Upper Lea Valley will be re-wilded, its waters recolonized by reed beds and waterfowl, creating a marshy green chain leading from the built-up inner city out into open fields. By removing drainage from the rims of reservoirs and using fresh stretches of green to patch up a watercourse now truncated by brownfield and private land, the project will create a phenomenal result. — citylab.com
The rainy season coincides with summer in Dakar, which means it’s the power-cut days. The heat goes up, A/Cs kick into gear and the power utility, Senelec, cannot cope. [...]
Enter solar. This potential renewable savior is a latecomer to Dakar because until recently solar power was banned in cities, as it was considered what the French pointedly call “compétition déloyale” – unfair competition.
But under pressure from Dakar’s own citizens, the ban was lifted under the last government [...]. — nextcity.org
From buckling sidewalks to potholed thoroughfares to storm drains that can’t handle a little rain, the infrastructure that holds [Los Angeles] together is suffering from years of deferred maintenance. Bringing pipes that deliver water to 3.9 million people up to snuff could cost $4 billion [...] The bill for repaving streets will be almost that much, according to estimates from a city consultant, and patching or replacing cracked sidewalks will require $640 million. — Bloomberg BusinessWeek
"SolarLeaf" has been described as the world's first bioreactive façade that can help further research into algae as a potential renewable energy source. Designed by ARUP, SSC Strategic Science Consult, and Colt International, the façade was recently selected as one of 15 nominees for the prestigious Zumtobel Group Award 2014 in the award program's newest category, "Applied Innovations". — bustler.net
As residents of Toledo, Ohio, and the surrounding region recover from a weekend without access to usable tap water — the fault of a toxic algae bloom in Lake Erie — the crisis has set off new calls for stricter rules on the use the fertilizers that help contribute to the blooms. The algae bloom set off alarms on Saturday, causing authorities to impose a ban on the use of the city’s tap water, which comes from Lake Erie, affecting more than 400,000 people in Toledo... — Al Jazeera
Today, Uber is announcing UberPool, a new feature that will let you pick up other riders on the way to your destination and split the bill.
While the feature should do a lot to cut costs for passengers, not everyone will want to ride with a stranger in addition to the driver picking them up; Uber notes that the new feature also serves as a kind of “social experiment.” [...]
Starting August 15 a public beta will launch in the San Francisco Bay Area. — techcrunch.com
China has announced plans to ban the use of coal in its smog-plagued capital by the end of 2020, as the country fights deadly levels of pollution, especially in major cities.
Beijing's Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau posted the plan on its website on Monday, saying the city would instead prioritize electricity and natural gas for heating.
The Chinese central government recently listed environmental protection as one of the top criteria by which leaders will be judged. — Al Jazeera
This automated garage is ideal for dense urban areas, says Yoka, vice president of program development at the International Parking Institute, based in Alexandria, Virginia. A Philadelphia-area native and self-described "super parking nerd," her niche is sustainable parking, something that many people, upon first hearing the phrase, assume is a contradiction. But for a building designed to house cars, says Yoka, The Lift at Juniper Street is surprisingly green. — citylab.com
Multiple gas pipeline explosions have killed 24 people and injured 257 others in Taiwan's second city, emergency officials said. Witnesses said Thursday's blast in Kaohsiung sent flames shooting 15 storeys into the air, and entire blocks, packed with shops and apartment buildings, were set ablaze [...] The director of the Central Disaster Emergency Operation Centre, said the leaking gas had been identified as propene, meaning that the resulting fires could not be extinguished by water. — Al Jazeera
Suffering in its third year of drought, more than 58 percent of the state is currently in "exceptional drought" stage [...] Exceptional drought, the most extreme category, indicates widespread crop and pasture losses and shortages of water in reservoirs, streams and wells [...] If the state continues on this path, there may have to be thoughts about moving people out, said Lynn Wilson, academic chair at Kaplan University and who serves on the climate change delegation in the United Nations. — CNBC
Sprinkling city parks with recycled water may create a breeding ground for hard-to-treat microbes [...] Even after the recycled water is treated in a sewage plant, it may carry microbes, drug-resistance genes and antibiotics that had washed down the drain. Sprayed into the environment, that water can spread microbes that could cause difficult-to-treat infections, the researchers say. — Science News
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