Even on a dry day, tens of millions of gallons of dirty water dumps into the ocean through the region’s vast storm drain system. The 3,500-mile network was designed and built to empty streets of rainwater, but tons of litter also flow into the ocean through the intricate system of curbside drainages, underground channels, pumps and creeks. Stormwater pollution puts beach swimmers at risk, particularly after it rains. Marine animals and plants can also get sick or die — LA Times
This is a really fascinating piece that attempts to trace how a cigarette butt flicked into a gutter in Bel Air could make its way across LA and end up in the ocean via Marina del Rey. Visualizations like this feel important because, while we may notice signs on the sides of the sidewalk saying...
Residents of the world’s most polluted city—New Delhi, in case you were still wondering—can now find out exactly how toxic the air in their neighbourhood is. [...]
“People are clueless about the air they are breathing. If there is fog, they think it might be pollution,” he said. “People will have this information on their fingertips now.” [...]
While the government figures out a way to bring pollution under control, this app could help people buy time. — qz.com
Russia’s northern cities are a triumph of will; grand settlements in the middle of snow and darkness where people are dwarfed by the outsized factories they’ve built and helpless next to the industrial waste those factories create. Photographer Alexander Gronsky’s images of Norilsk seem both close to reality and something out of a dream. [...] But at the same time it is a place of heart-wrenching almost Arcadian beauty. A place of pale skies and metallic rivers. — calvertjournal.com
For 70 years, Mr. Wu has ridden out the country’s political storms, including one that killed his mentor, to establish himself as the most influential architect, urban planner and éminence grise of China’s cities. But looking out the window of his apartment in this city’s northern suburbs, he can only shake his head at the dim building emerging from the haze.
“Our environment is unfit for daily life, and the responsibility is very heavy on our shoulders,” he said. — nytimes.com
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
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