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
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
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
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
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
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
During the first few weeks of August 2007, the American Midwest was devastated by heavy and repeated flash flooding as a result of Hurricane Dean and Tropical Storm Erin dumping massive amounts of rain on several states. And of the US$549 million or so in property damage that came from it, more than two-thirds was caused by water running off pavements or overflowing from drainage systems. So what's the solution? — Science Alert
The drought in California has gone on so long, and is so severe, that it's beginning to change the way people are designing residential communities — in unexpected ways, and unexpected places. [...]
There will also be a system for treating and sending wastewater back into the aquifer underneath the city. [...]
Not everyone is convinced it will use less water. Phil Desatoff is with a local water district that is suing Reedley over the development's environmental review. — npr.org
These have been boom times for companies that rip out lawns and replace them with drought-tolerant landscaping, but now their business might be drying up.
The Metropolitan Water District said Thursday it would no longer offer rebates to entice homeowners to get rid of their lawns because the agency ran out of money much sooner than it expected.
That is bad news for [...] landscape contractor in Los Angeles. Grass removal has become about 40 percent of his business, driven by the rebates. — scpr.org
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