If there is one thing Britons dislike more than their country’s housing shortage, it is the idea of building more houses. Even as a lack of homes has sent prices through the roof... cities have remained ringed by protected “green belts” of land that are off-limits to developers. Attempts to build on them provoke outcry. But on December 7th the government published a consultation on letting councils allocate “appropriate small-scale sites in the green belt specifically for starter homes”... — the Economist
Jakarta sinks an average of three inches a year, and parts of the coast are going down as much as 11 inches a year [...]
In an attempt to halt the damage, authorities are building a gigantic wall off the coast, measuring 25 miles (40 kilometers) long and 80 feet (24 meters) high, National Geographic reports. To fund the $40 billion and 30-year-long project, the city will also create 17 artificial islands, on which developers can build luxury homes, offices, and shopping malls. — qz.com
A Dutch firm, KuiperCompagnons, is assisting with design. The first phase of the three-part plan is underway, although critics say that the project will encourage more government corruption and actually cause more environmental damage than it would help prevent.
Health warnings have been issued this week as atmospheric pollution is set to rise to dangerously high levels on Thursday and Friday, with levels of breathable toxic particles reaching 100 micrograms per cubic meter.
In a bid to stop pollution reaching dangerous levels, the council is making the city's buses and metro free on Thursday and Friday to reduce the emissions caused by Turin's heavy traffic. — thelocal.it
Other cities coping with mitigating air pollution:Beijing's latest "airpocalypse" is bad enough for city to issue first ever red alertCar-free events significantly improve air qualityDelhi’s air pollution is worse than Beijing's. A new app measures the air quality in real time.Giant bubbles...
Last week, UCLA’s Hammer Museum hosted the final iteration of its 2015 program "Next Wave: Quality, Quantity, and Accessibility of Water in the 21st Century," a robust discussion series that has gathered experts in various fields to explicate and consider the most pressing issues surrounding...
A red alert should go into effect if there is a prediction that the air quality index will stay above 200 for more than 72 hours. The United States government rates above 200 as “very unhealthy,” and 301 to 500 as “hazardous.” At 7 p.m. Monday, the Beijing municipal reading was 253. [...]
At international climate change talks, including the ones now underway in Paris, Chinese officials have promised to curb coal use in order to address both air pollution and carbon dioxide emissions. — nytimes.com
More from Beijing:Beijing's challenges to become the center of Jing-Jin-Ji — a supercity of 130 million peopleThe tiny village library that draws Beijingers in drovesBeijing mayor says air pollution makes his city "unlivable"China considering drastic ban on coal
Many urban planners think abundant parking goes hand in hand with LA's perpetual traffic woes, pollution, and lack of density. The perception that there will always be available parking leads drivers to neglect public transportation options, contributing to traffic, as well as to the increase in pollution caused by circling the block in search of a spot. Additionally, zoning codes obligate real estate developers to build a certain number of spaces with every project — la.curbed.com
More on the problematics of plentiful parking:California to decrease parking requirements for affordable housingUCLA professor and "parking guru" Donald Shoup to retireFlexible Parking Structures as Civic CatalystsTrading Parking Lots for Affordable Housing"Graphing Parking" charts out of whack...
A global shift towards a vegan diet is vital to save the world from hunger, fuel poverty and the worst impacts of climate change, a UN report said today.
As the global population surges towards a predicted 9.1 billion people by 2050, western tastes for diets rich in meat and dairy products are unsustainable, says the report from United Nations Environment Programme's (UNEP) international panel of sustainable resource management. — The Guardian
"Professor Edgar Hertwich, the lead author of the report, said: 'Animal products cause more damage than [producing] construction minerals such as sand or cement, plastics or metals. Biomass and crops for animals are as damaging as [burning] fossil fuels.'"Related coverage:Unchecked climate change...
Our urban centers were not designed with cyclists in mind; we’re a car-centric society. American cities can try piecemeal approaches, but the reality is that sharing the road is only a small part of the solution. Bikes and cars need their own dedicated thoroughfares to keep everyone as safe as possible, and to encourage people to choose clip-in pedals over gas ones... — Wired
San Francisco recently announced plans – under the initiative Vision Zero SF – to aggressively tackle traffic-related deaths in the city. Part of that plan includes incorporating elevated bike lanes, with Market Street as a pilot project. But according to Jordan Crucchiola, who invokes the...
A new study has, for the first time, estimated the total volume of groundwater present on the Earth. The results show that we're using up the water supply quicker than it can be naturally replaced, while future research will seek to determine exactly how long it will be until modern groundwater runs dry.
Groundwater is an extremely precious resource, being a key source of sustenance for humanity and the ecosystems we inhabit. — gizmag.com
(Ground)water-related articles on Archinect:And the winners of Archinect's Dry Futures competition, "Pragmatic" category, are...And the winners of Archinect's Dry Futures competition, "Speculative" category, are...How is water used in California?World Faces Water Crisis in Less Than...
"Do you believe in infrastructure?” asks Norman Foster, with challenge in his voice. He does. Infrastructure, he says, is about “investing not to solve the problems of today but to anticipate the issues of future generations”. [...]
“I have no power as an architect, none whatsoever. I can’t even go on to a building site and tell people what to do.” Advocacy, he says, is the only power an architect ever has. — theguardian.com
Related news on Archinect:Prairie futurism: designs revealed for the new Chicago Apple storeThe In Crowd: review of "Conversations with Architects: In the Age of Celebrity"The selective amnesia of Foster + Partners' Maspero Triangle District Masterplan
So Smith invented the world’s first 3D ocean farm. Not only does his model aim to reduce overfishing, but it also attempts to mitigate the effects of climate change. [...]
With scalability in mind, Smith wanted his model to be simple and replicable. To that end, GreenWave supports other fish farmers to get create their own 3D ocean gardens.
“If you were to take a network of our farms totaling the size of Washington state, technically you could feed the world,” Smith said. — marketplace.org
Learn more about Bren Smith's award-winning GreenWave farming system when Archinect first announced him winning the 2015 Fuller Challenge last month: GreenWave's 3D ocean farm initiative wins the 2015 Buckminster Fuller Challenge
between population gains and the popularity of fully self-driving mobility services, we’ll see the total number of vehicle miles grow by 1 trillion. (Half of the 1 trillion it attributes to population growth.) For perspective, U.S. residents drove 3.1 trillion miles in 2014.
KPMG expects this growth to come from trips taken by the very young and very old, who can be immobile only due to their inability to drive. By having access to a self-driving shuttle, a world of opportunity would open up. — washingtonpost.com
We discuss the implications of autonomous vehicles in the built environment with Geoff Manaugh on our latest podcast episode, "In LiDAR We Trust".For more on self-driving vehicles:Tokyo's 2020 Olympics won't have Zaha, but it's looking like there will be "Robot Taxi"Milton Keynes invests in...
As architects, we are living at a time of shifting paradigms. [...] It’s why I’m so interested in how architects and urban planners engage with other fields – economics, security, the environment and so on. Our challenge must be to go beyond architecture and speak the languages of these other disciplines, before translating our discussions into formal design proposals. [...] Our ultimate focus is still on form, but what informs this has expanded dramatically. — theguardian.com
Just a few key takeaways from Alejandro Aravena's piece for The Guardian:"As curator of Reporting From The Front, I want to reverse the idea that the Biennale only deals with issues that are of interest to other architects. We have begun by identifying problems that every citizen can not only...
The subject of a thousand think pieces and endless dinner table conversations, the considerable changes unleashed on the Bay Area by the tech industry over the past few decades are pretty undeniable. An influx of money – and its attendant culture – has remade San Francisco and the valley to...
In Bangkok, where rents are quickly rising and young professionals often struggle to find places to live, architects created a simple tiny house that can easily pop up in a parking garage or inside one of the city's half-built abandoned buildings. [...]
Instead of solid walls, the structure has a lattice-like design that lets breezes pass through. "With the wall, we need as much ventilation as possible," she says. "It is always too hot, not cold." — fastcoexist.com
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