The bicycle makes sense in cities. With rising urbanization, our cities need modern mobility solutions, and moving around on two wheels proves time and again that it can offer results [...]
With each edition, the Copenhagenize Design Company’s Index of the most bike-friendly cities in the world evolves...This year, we considered cities with a regional population over 600,000 (with a few exceptions because of their political and regional importance, and to keep things interesting). — Wired Magazine
Copenhagenize is a design consultancy based in Copenhagen, Zurich, Brussels and Amsterdam that advises cities on how to become more bike-friendly, often through implementing strategies developed in the Danish capital (which consistently tops the list). These strategies are both infrastructural...
A new law recently passed in France mandates that all new buildings that are built in commercial zones in France must be partially covered in either plants or solar panels.
Green roofs, as they are called, have an isolating effect which helps to reduce the amount of energy needed to heat a building during the winter or cool it in the summer. They are capable of retaining rainwater and reducing problems with runoff, and also offer birds a place to call home in the urban jungle. — CS Globe
A sinkhole more than 317 yards deep in Xuanen has become home for various plants and animals — Wall Street Journal
The downside of giant banks of windows or glass walls, though, becomes obvious when the relentless afternoon sun makes the heat and stuffiness inside intolerable [...].
The makers of “smart glass” say they can address this problem. Smart-glass windows transform from transparent to opaque, and every shade in between, in seconds. They often rely on electrochromic thin films embedded in the glass.
The upshot: Less energy is needed to heat or cool a building. Shades and blinds become optional. — qz.com
The daughter of the man who was awarded what is considered the most prestigious prize in architecture said her late father was increasingly concerned society was not adequately confronting the looming ecological challenges.
Frei Otto, a German, was named as the winner of the 2015 Pritzker Architecture Prize earlier this year, just days before his death...
The award was received by...the architect’s daughter who...said he had been worried that the concerns he tried to voice were not heard. — independent.co.uk
“Our work creates actionable strategies, integrating healthy building protocols, healthy products and green science with design research to directly impact the health of our building materials,” said Alison Mears, dean of the School of Design Strategies at Parsons and director of the [Healthy Materials Lab]. — The New School’s Parsons School of Design
Co-founded by The New School's Parsons School of Design, Healthy Building Network, Green Science Policy Institute and Health Product Declaration Collaborative, the Healthy Materials Lab (HML) is focused on reducing the amount of toxic substances found in building materials, while also encouraging...
The people of Nijmegen aren’t taking their good luck for granted. With climate change expected to bring more intense storms like the one in 1995 (and a previous one in 1993), the city is embarking on a massive flood-control project. That may be expected in the Netherlands, a low-lying country where most homes are built behind protective dikes [...]. But even here, the approach underway in Nijmegen is unusual, and filled with ideas that river cities anywhere can learn from. — citiscope.org
We have new technologies in architecture those makes us feel excited when we see them applied on a facade, a roof etc. or simply used for designing. That gives us ideas about what we can design with which technologies. And we honestly believe that designing a building with high ecologic qualities...
The High Line is...a perfect example of “environmental gentrification” – the growing phenomenon of rising property values in the wake of a large-scale urban greening project... While intended to serve existing residents, in reality it tends to increase land values to the point that those who live there are forced to leave. This exodus in turn transforms the sociological contours of the area and, by extension, the spatial segregation of the entire city. — the Guardian
Recently, the Indian cabinet green-lit a £10 billion scheme that will be divided equally between building 100 smart cities, and rejuvenating another 500 cities and towns over the next five years. Yet many experts and planners fear that such “insta-cities”, if they are made, will prove dystopic and inequitable. Some even hint that smart cities may turn into social apartheid cities, governed by powerful corporate entities that could override local laws and governments to “keep out” the poor. — The Guardian
Pritzker Prize Laureate Shigeru Ban has announced plans to contribute to emergency relief efforts in Nepal after the April 25 earthquake reduced cities to rubble, killed more than 7,000, and left thousands homeless. In the short term, Ban’s firm and his relief organization Voluntary Architects’ Network (VAN) will distribute simple tents—supplemented with plastic sheets donated by contractors to serve as wall partitions—and assemble them onsite as temporary shelter and medical aid stations. — archrecord.construction.com
According to the report, VAN aims to partner with local universities, students and architects in the coming months to work towards create stable housing once conditions have stabilized. This is not the first time that Shigeru Ban, who won the 2014 Pritzker prize, has deployed his architectural...
municipal infrastructure is being expanded to include living creatures. In many ways, of course, this is simply the contemporary urbanization of a practice that goes back millennia. However, the ensuing juxtapositions – of 21st-century landscapes and cities being maintained not by high-tech machines or by specialty equipment but by neo-medieval groups of trained animals – can be quite jarring. Animal labour is once more becoming an explicit component of the modern metropolis — newscientist.com
The absolute premise, and conclusion, here is that human urbanism is ineluctably woven within all animal ecologies, and that harnessing inter-species relationships within urban systems can be advantageous for every bit of the food web. A few instances from the piece are:landscaping llamas for...
Since breaking ground last summer, the U.S. Pavilion -- titled “American Food 2.0: United to Feed the Planet" -- has opened to the public at the Milan Expo 2015, which is now in its first week. The U.S. joins the more than 140 participating countries that prepared exhibitions and pavilions that...
[Mark Herrema] and Kenton Kimmel, a high school classmate, founded the Irvine, California-based company Newlight Technologies in 2003. After years of research, the team unveiled a way to produce plastic from carbon emissions that is actually more affordably priced than oil-based plastics.
The "secret sauce" is a biocatalyst that combines air and methane, and reassembles all of the carbon, hydrogen and oxygen molecules into a thermoplastic the makers call AirCarbon. — Smithsonian
Newlight's work appears really interesting, addressing two separate but related issues: "first, oil dependency, by replacing oil with captured carbon emissions, and second, climate change, by creating a market-driven carbon capture platform." Basically, the technology comprises using a biocatalyst...
Created from low-cost, low-energy, shipping containers, the refreshing design has a focus on sustainability and efficiency. The converted units will create a mini-city, providing much needed flexible studio, retail, office and workshop space in one of London’s most vibrant communities. — POP Brixton
For those of you that miss the Dekalb Market in Brooklyn, a new shipping container campus will be opening later this month in London. Designed by Carl Turner Architects, POP Brixton promises to be an incubator space for start-ups and small business, as well hosting private parties, community...
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