China's smog-shrouded, overcrowded, traffic-choked capital has become unlivable.
And that's not the assessment of some tourist or disgruntled cubicle-dweller: That's the mayor talking. [...]
"In establishing a top-tier, internationalized livable and harmonious city, Beijing is currently establishing a system of standards, something that is very important," Wang said in comments reported by state news outlets. "At the present time, however, Beijing is not a livable city." — VICE
"In all modern cultures, cleaning up merely involves moving “dirt” from one place to another. Five decades ago, cleaning up may have been easier. It would have meant restoring the predominantly organic and compostable discards in the waste stream to its rightful place – namely, the soil –...
Indonesia is preparing cloud-seeding operations in an effort to combat a haze of air pollution blanketing neighbouring Singapore. Pollution levels were "moderate" levels on Tuesday morning, according to the pollution standard index, a day after hitting "unhealthy" levels. The worst affected parts of the island are in the west and closest to Indonesia. The haze has become an annual event in this part of Southeast Asia, as farmers illegally burn forest or plantation areas to clear land. — Al Jazeera America
On a breezy summer afternoon here in the newly renovated Sanayeh Garden, children are climbing the monkey bars, pedaling on bikes and kicking a ball by the huge water fountain in the park’s center. [...]
While this would be an ordinary scene in Paris, New York or Singapore, it’s practically a new invention for today’s residents of Beirut. Functional public parks have been virtually nonexistent here for decades. — citiscope.org
State-owned news outlets reported this month that the government would ban the use of coal in Beijing and other urban areas by 2020 in an effort to reduce the noxious air pollution that chokes many cities. [...]
But [President Xi Jinping] and other officials have provided few details — and, indeed, have sent conflicting, even disturbing, signals about their plans. Some measures China is considering could actually exacerbate climate change. — nytimes.com
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
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
In an effort to remediate a large patch of heavily contaminated soil in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou, engineers managed to unleash a smell so pungent that, last week, owners of the site took a new tactic: a giant tent to contain it all. [...]
Though the 20,000-square-meter polyester tent contains an area roughly the size of three football fields and rises 36 meters near downtown, it only covers less than half of the contaminated area. — motherboard.vice.com
Boeri Studio will soon realize the dream of the forest tower with Bosco Verticale, or Vertical Forest -- and they're building two. The thought of a tower "built" out of living greenery has been rendered by architects numerous times, it has reached the point where it's considered a trope of green...
China’s premier, Li Keqiang, announced a “war on pollution“—evidence that the highest levels of government have acknowledged that China’s smog and dirty air have reached a crisis point. And what better way to launch a war on pollution than with a fleet of smog-clearing drones? — qz.com
The latest market opportunity for entrepreneurs in China? Polluted air. For nearly as long as pollution has been a salient, public issue in the country, foreigners and locals have been devising ways to help residents avoid the worst of smog—and in some cases make a little money in the process. Here are some of the most notable ones. — qz.com
In some of the dirtiest places on Earth, author and environmentalist Andrew Blackwell found some beauty. His book, Visit Sunny Chernobyl, tours the deforestation of the Amazon, the oil sand mines in Canada and the world's most polluted city, located in China. — npr.org
“Both L.A. and Mexico City have improved but in Mexico City, the change has been a lot more,” said Luisa Molina, a research scientist with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who has done extensive pollution comparisons. Mexico “is very advanced not just in terms of Latin America, but around the world. When I go to China, they all want to hear the story of Mexico.” — nytimes.com
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