Eco-city 2020 is a proposal for the rehabilitation of the Mirniy industrial zone in Eastern Siberia, Russia designed by the innovative architectural studio AB Elis Ltd.
The project would be located inside a giant man-made crater of more than one kilometer in diameter and 550 meters deep that used to be one of the world’s largest quarries. The idea is to create a new garden city shielded from the harsh Siberian environmental conditions and instead, attract tourists and residents to Eastern Siberia, with the ability to accommodate more than 100,000 people. The new city is planned to be divided in 3 main levels with a vertical farm, forests, residences, and recreational areas.
One of the most interesting aspects of the proposal is the glass dome that will protect the city and would be covered by photovoltaic cells that will harvest enough solar energy for the new development. A central core houses the majority of the vertical circulations and infrastructure along with a multi-level research center. The housing area is located in the first level with outdoor terraces overlooking a forest in the center of the city, in order to create a new type of highly dense urbanism in harmony with nature.
View diagrams & renderings, and learn more about this interesting approach to urban design, sustainability and renewal at the complete article link...
Neuf industriels s’associent sous la direction de Panasonic pour construire 1 000 foyers qui redéfiniront l’urbanisme écologique. Construit sur un ancien site industriel japonais, ce projet ambitieux s’appuiera sur un florilège de technologies propres. Cette ville côtière nommée Fugisawa est située à 50 km à l’ouest de Tokyo.
PlugShare’s user data points to encouraging signs for EV charging infrastructure around the country.
The makers of an app that helps users locate electric vehicle charging stations nearby have tapped the user base for some interesting EV trends. Based on the incidence of charging stations per 100,000 residents, (taken from PlugShare’s data as well as the 2012 U.S. Census) PlugShare developer Xatori Inc. has ranked the top ten most EV-ready cities in the country.
Leading the pack is Portland, Ore., with 11.0 charging locations per 100,000 residents, followed by Dallas (10.6), Nashville (8.2), San Francisco Bay Area (6.6), Seattle (6.5), Orlando (6.3), Austin (5.3), Tucson (5.3), Honolulu (5.1), and the Washington, D.C. area (4.7).
While several of these cities may seem like unlikely hotspots for electric vehicle adoption, most of these areas do have a connection to EVs. Dallas is one of the focus areas for a Texas-based electric vehicle infrastructure company; Nashville is home to a factory that builds Nissan Leafs; Orlando is a focus area for charging station distributor CarCharging; Tucson is a focus area for Arizona-based EV infrastructure company Blink, and Honolulu, an early testing location for Israeli EV infrastructure company Better Place.
Resilient cities need infrastructure that lasts and planning teams that are willing to step up to the plate. Designing structures that can sustain decades of use requires forethought beyond the basic combination of blocks, steel and glass. Just like sidewalks and street corners, city buildings have the power to connect people to one another. Buildings are shelters from unpredictable weather, places where people can have a good time or sit quietly and think. Buildings can also serve as checkpoints or another step in someone’s journey from point A to B. Developing cities that thrive through the ebb and flow of time are not simply about creating infrastructure that can persist, but about designing buildings that evolve as cities evolve. Sustainable design transforms as cities develop visions for furthering connections among neighborhoods and city sectors. Design features such as energy efficiency, water conservation, and heat reduction that better regulates a building’s temperature are significant elements that replenish a city’s vitality through buildings that are capable of adapting to a city’s needs. Infrastructure that is greater than the sum of its parts also requires infrastructure that functions according to the changing needs of residents...
Cities, especially in the developing world, must find a way to provide essential services to their ever-increasing populations. When cities fail to meet these essential needs on a large scale, they create slums where households typically lack safe drinking water, safe sanitation, a durable living space, or security of a lease.
According to UN HABITAT, 828 million people in developing-world cities are considered slum dwellers—one in every three residents. Slum populations are expected to grow significantly in the future, and UN HABITAT projects that 6 million more people live in slums every year.
The key finding – what JAPA calls the key “takeaway for practice” – is:
Urban form policies can have important impacts on local environmental quality, economy, crowding, and social equity, but their influence on energy consumption and land use is very modest; compact development should not automatically be associated with the preferred spatial growth strategy.
Cities that invest in smart-grid technology and infrastructure, called “connected cities,” experience an annual GDP growth rate that is 0.7 percent higher, an unemployment rate that is a full percentage point lower, and office occupancy rates 2.5 percent higher than less advanced cities, according to a study by Jones Lang LaSalle.
To realize the full potential of smart grid technology, a new approach to building automation and integrated facilities management has emerged, where data is aggregated across an entire portfolio, Jones Lang LaSalle says.
Chicago has a great new program to help residents join the city in reducing stormwater pollution cleaning the air, cooling “heat islands,” and improving public health. It’s called Sustainable Backyards, and the genius of it is that it’s educational, participatory, and effective at the same time. Basically, the city provides financial assistance in the form of rebates that reimburse citizens for up to 50 percent of the cost of installing trees, native plants, compost bins, and/or rain barrels. There are reasonable limits based on the value of the ecosystem services provided by each product: you can get a rebate for up to $100 for planting a tree, for example, or up to $40 for installing a rain barrel.
– Head of the Sustainable Cities unit at the Danish Architecture Centre Søren Smidt-Jensen reveals: "To me, a sustainable city is the existing city.The future city is the existing city. The whole idea of retrofitting is the most crucial challenge of all."
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