Masdar City, when it was first conceived a decade ago, was intended to revolutionise thinking about cities and the built environment.
Now the world’s first planned sustainable city – the marquee project of the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) plan to diversify the economy from fossil fuels - could well be the world’s first green ghost town.
As of this year [...] managers have given up on the original goal of building the world’s first planned zero-carbon city. — theguardian.com
A handful of scientists and policy makers are...grappling with the long-term environmental effect of an economy that runs increasingly on gotta-have-it-now gratification [...]
The environmental cost can include the additional cardboard — 35.4 million tons of containerboard were produced in 2014 in the United States, with e-commerce companies among the fastest-growing users — and the emissions from increasingly personalized freight services. — NY Times
As internet retailers compete to provide as-close-to-instant services to satiate our increasing desire for rapid gratification, our collective ecological footprint grows. The problem isn't just the cardboard boxes piling up on your doorstep, but also the carbon emissions required to get that...
The appetite of western consumers for home furnishings has reached its peak – according to Ikea, the world’s largest furniture retailer.
The Swedish company’s head of sustainability told a Guardian conference that consumption of many familiar goods was at its limit.
“If we look on a global basis, in the west we have probably hit peak stuff. We talk about peak oil. I’d say we’ve hit peak red meat, peak sugar, peak stuff … peak home furnishings,” Steve Howard said [...] — the Guardian
Related:Ikea and Airbnb: a match made in globalized heaven?Get a glimpse of these hacked IKEA kitchens by BIG, Henning Larsen, and NORM ArchitectsUN Refugee Agency Commissions 10k Ikea-designed Better SheltersWhy is Ikea a Non-profit?
Congratulations are due to Olafur Eliasson who's just been given a Crystal Award for his "exemplary commitment to improving the state of the world".
Ahead of the World Economic Forum, which takes place later this week in Davos, Eliasson was singled out for particular praise major works including The New York City Waterfalls, Ice Watch, The Weather Project, and Riverbed. — phaidon.com
"Eliasson who joins fellow winners Leonardo DiCaprio (for his work publicising climate change) actress Yao Chen (for her work raising awareness of the refugee crisis) and will.i.am (for his leadership in creating educational opportunities for the underserved)."More of Eliasson in the Archinect...
In this rush to urbanize, China also has an enormous opportunity to move toward a “new pattern of urbanization.” Chinese cities could fulfill their potential to be the most energy-efficient human habitat rather than stoking energy consumption. — NextCity.org
With a projected urban population of one billion by 2030, China needs a few more cities—but it needs them to be sustainable, a challenge that could be met if smart growth and planning is instituted now. According to this article, no perfect eco-city model exists yet, but certain practices could...
It is well established that white roofs can mitigate the urban heat island effect, reflecting the sun's energy back into space and reducing a city's temperature. In a new study of Guangzhou, China, researchers found that during a heat wave, the effect is significantly more pronounced. Reflective roofs, also called cool roofs, save energy by keeping buildings cooler, thus reducing the need for air conditioning. — Science Daily
According to a new study by Berkeley lab researchers Dev Millstein, Ronnen Levinson, and Pablo Rosado, alongside Meichun Cao and Zhaohui Lin of the Institute of Atmospheric Physic in Beijing, so-called "cool roofs," or roofs painted white, substantially reduce the urban heat island effect during...
The last deep-pit coal mine in the U.K. plans to shut its doors here next week, heralding the end of a centuries-old industry that helped fuel the industrial revolution and build the British Empire.
The shutdown [...] represents a victory for advocates of reducing carbon emissions after world leaders gathered in Paris to discuss how to combat global warming, with coal in the cross hairs. It also reflects a glut of energy on world markets, from crude oil to natural gas and coal itself. — wsj.com
"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
The sun beat down onto the asphalt grounds of the Orange County Great Park in Irvine, California, where a village of 14 solar-powered houses popped up for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon. Multi-disciplinary teams of college students worldwide dedicate two years to designing and...
Instead of belching oppressive fumes over Moscow's recently pedestrianized Red October District, the iconic smokestacks of the century-old GES2 power station will be transformed into conduits for ventilation as part of the Renzo Piano Building Workshop's sustainable redesign of the facility into...
A research team from Oak Ridge National Laboratory's (ORNL) Department of Energy has created a new model for how we can connect the way we power our homes and vehicles. Dubbed AMIE... the platform features special technology that allows a bi-directional flow of energy between a dwelling and a vehicle. In other words, the house can fuel the car and the car can fuel the house. What's more, ORNL used 3D printing technology to build the dwelling and the vehicle... — Gizmag
AMIE, or Additive Manufacturing Integrated Energy, is a hybrid of different futuristic technologies, mashed together into a single platform. First, both the house and the vehicle were 3D printed.The former, a single-room structure, was designed in collaboration with Skidmore, Owings and Merril and...
This is important for Africa, where despite high urbanisation rates the development focus has been primarily rural. Consider Ghana. The country’s urban population has grown from four million in 1984 to more than 14 million today. Fifty one percent of Ghanaians now live in cities. While urbanisation rates vary across Africa, Ghana reflects an overall global trend towards a predominantly urban future.
Ghana demonstrates how cities can be highly productive in Africa. — qz.com
This post is brought to you by GKD Metal Fabrics. In the ever-growing multitude of green building products available in today’s market, one material that doesn’t always come straight to mind is stainless steel. But this often overlooked material holds a wealth of sustainability benefits that...
After building 2014's Aktivhaus B10, a house that generates twice as much energy as it uses for its own needs via renewable sources, architect Werner Sobek believes that we have all the technology we need to live in entirely emissions-free cities in only five years. He also understands that to...
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