It would be helpful if there were another word for “infrastructure”: it’s such an earnest and passive word for the blood vessels of this country, the crucial conveyors and connections that get us from here to there (or not) and the ports that facilitate our trade (or don’t), as well as the carriers of information, in particular broadband...
The word “crisis” is also overused, applied to the unimportant as well as the crucial.
But this country has an infrastructure crisis. — the New York Review of Books
Elizabeth Drew considers several recent books on American infrastructure, with an eye to both the material reality and the political system producing it. She concludes that fixing our infrastructural systems "may require even more widespread paralyzed traffic, the collapse of numerous bridges, and...
...centralized urban water systems throughout the world are now under significant stress from increasing population density, water-resource competition, changing precipitation patterns, and new sources of pollutants, such as endocrine-disrupting chemicals. Even without these pressures, centralized water is, by design, a fracture-critical system—one that is susceptible “to complete and sudden collapse should any part of it fail,” writes Thomas Fisher, Assoc. AIA... — Architect Magazine
"Faced with an excessive price tag, municipalities may welcome decentralized water as the only feasible choice for future water delivery. Architects should therefore develop more expertise related to these net-zero water systems, as they will have direct implications for building design...
Tens of thousands of hard-working families will be forced to leave their council homes and find themselves unable to afford a local alternative as a result of government plans to restrict social housing to the poorest, according to research obtained by the Observer.
The devastating figures...show that almost 60,000 households in England will be unable to afford to remain in their council properties from April next year, as a result of George Osborne’s reform, called “pay to stay”. — the Guardian
The economy, coupled with concerted political efforts to dismantle what's left of the welfare state, has birthed a veritable housing crisis in London and the rest of the UK. According to new figures, "pay to stay", a plan crafted by George Osborne, the Conservative MP for Tatton, will leave an...
The inequity built into The Lyric Theatre's very architecture is a painful reminder of [Birmingham's] ugly past as one of the most segregated places in America. But it also serves as a living history lesson [...]
Across the South, people are struggling with similar questions: What does a changing region do with the vestiges of back-alley service windows, segregated waiting rooms, dual water fountains and abandoned schools that once formed the skeleton of a society built on oppression? — abcnews.go.com
Wait long enough, and anywhere can become a dark tourism site. More from the tricky territory of architectural preservation:"Too old to be hip but too young to be venerated" – say good-bye to the brutalist Fogarty building in downtown ProvidencePreserving a Home in All Its Marred Glory"Never the...
...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
SUBMIT NEWS: submit in 60 seconds!