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The Smart Grid in 2013: Charged for Growth

The Smart Grid in 2013: Charged for Growth | green streets | Scoop.it

In the past year, the grid has seen some remarkable highs, while also being tested to meet the basic needs of society.


On one hand, big advances have flourished, fundamentally changing the way we power our lives. Roof-mounted solar panels have gone from a costly oddity to a competitive selling point for many homes and battery-powered vehicles have gained traction.

On the other hand, the idea of progress has been challenged by a slew of weather woes that have shaken consumer confidence in our energy infrastructure. A series of intense storms, heat waves and drought made 2012 one of the toughest years globally for the grid in many years.

So what will 2013 bring? The growth of the smart grid.

A new stage is opening - where the public was once ambivalent about the smart grid, consumers are now starting to demand these improvements, spurred by the need to improve reliability, participation and the resiliency to recover from large-scale grid events.

Going into the new year, pressure to rebuild the northeast's grid with more resilience will further boost trends that point towards investment in these smart technologies to continue to expand by over 10% over the next five years.
And while efforts to date have focused on improving the grid's heavy-duty backbone, a look ahead suggests that coming smart grid efforts will reach more directly into everyday life.


Here's what's in store for 2013...

Lauren Moss's insight:

An interesting look at the future of the smart grid, renewable energy and the trends that are shaping the development of these technologies in the coming year.

In addition to energy generation, the article examines infrastructure, energy storage, distributed generation, public awareness, and social networks as communication tools...

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Anatomy of a Smart City

Anatomy of a Smart City | green streets | Scoop.it

The 19th century was a century of empires, 20th century was a century of nation states and the 21st century will be a century of cities...


This outstanding infographic (courtesy of postscapes.com) begins with some information about our current state of urbanization.


Did you know that 1.3 million people are moving to cities each week?! It then explains the need for smart cities and delves into what is required to establish these intelligent connected environments, how the smart city may take various forms in the developing worlds and what specific technologies are necessary to achieve such grand goals in practice.

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Christian Allié's comment, August 8, 2013 6:20 AM
"« Le 21ème siècle sera spirituel ou ne sera pas »
"The 21st century will be spiritual or will not"
http://lespoir.jimdo.com/2012/08/31/le-21%C3%A8me-si%C3%A8cle-sera-spirituel-ou-ne-sera-pas/
About cities too........may be !
Margarida Sá Costa's curator insight, August 8, 2013 11:27 AM

cities of the future....future new human political organizations?

Grd Lyon-millenaire3's comment, August 19, 2013 6:06 AM
It supposes an organization at the world level but which and with whom? Doubtless adds us in a transitional period. The best is yet to come.
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Has the time come for floating cities?

Has the time come for floating cities? | green streets | Scoop.it
Could our cities be seaworthy – or are remarkable new proposals for floating urban communities merely utopian sci-fi?


A floating village at London's Royal Docks has the official nod, and Rotterdam has a Rijnhaven waterfront development experiment well under way. Eventually, whole neighbourhoods of water-threatened land could be given over to the seas. After decades of speculation and small-scale applications, the floating solution is finally enjoying political momentum – and serious investment...

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Norm Miller's curator insight, April 15, 1:23 PM

One way to deal with rising seas. :-)

 

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Go-Ahead for Santa Monica Bergamot Transit Village by Gensler

Go-Ahead for Santa Monica Bergamot Transit Village by Gensler | green streets | Scoop.it

The Santa Monica City Council approved Bergamot Transit Village Center, a development put together by Hines and designed by Gensler.

 The project, one of the biggest in the Los Angeles area, planned for a 7-acre plot of land at 26th Street and Olympic Boulevard includes 473 residential units, 26 artist work/live units, over 370,000 square feet of creative office space, 15,500 square feet of restaurant space, and almost 14,000 square feet of retail spread across five buildings.

An expansive public plaza opens at the corner of Olympic and Cloverfield, with a curved building and bridges on three levels connecting to adjacent mixed-use space. The multi-family residential zone includes a neighborhood park and landscaped pedestrian paseo.

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How we will live: More green, more urban, more efficient

How we will live: More green, more urban, more efficient | green streets | Scoop.it
The neighborhoods of 2039 will feel more like cityscapes with environmentally friendly, energy efficient amenities and people living closer to their jobs.

How we live is indicative of who we are, and both are changing. As city planners look to the next quarter century, they must factor in three profound shifts in modern society: information technology, mobility and climate.

As with everything else, technology is changing not just how we live and work, but the cities where we live and work. That technology has already affected social change, making younger generations more mobile and urban. Technology has also offered new solutions to some of the biggest challenges for 21st century urban planners—climate change and how we make our neighborhoods as green as possible.


More at the link...

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Catherine Devin's curator insight, April 7, 9:00 AM

Il y a besoin de réfléchir à comment  intégrer les projets de durabilité en milieu urbain et les projets technologiques. On présente souvent ces derniers comme la solution aux questions posées par les premiers; c'est vrai, comme l'indiquent des observateurs du Green IT mais seulement si elles sont aussi élaborées avec une démarche RSE Au final, la technologie serait plutôt une  des composantes de nos vies futures apportant son lot de solutions et de questions... à nous de pousser à ses côtés aussi d'autres solutions  : nouvelles attitudes, nouveaux usages pour une ville durable... mais aussi désirable et humaine ?

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Successful Rooftop Transformation in Chicago

Successful Rooftop Transformation in Chicago | green streets | Scoop.it
A Chicago roof garden is lush and private, thanks to hardy plants, shoji screens, and well-camouflaged mechanicals.

Roof gardens can cool dense cities, making them more livable. This one, in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood, sits atop a five-story building and is reached by way of a spiral staircase on the penthouse balcony. Not only does the garden connect the owner to nature and a skyline view, it also thrives in a city famous for its strong winds and extreme seasonal temperatures.

The expansive terrace, designed by Hoerr Schaudt Landscape Architects, is a Midwest prairie in microcosm. Two steel and mesh pergolas—a smaller one leading into the garden from the rooftop’s service entrance, and a larger one sheltering the seating area—are connected by slate pathways that wind past ipe planter boxes and a meadow of perennials and ornamental grasses. Structural concerns and exposure to the elements, of course, make rooftop transformations tricky.

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A. Perry Homes's curator insight, April 1, 12:50 AM

Beautiful! Green topped-buildings. 

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Brooklyn Bridge Crossroads: Landscape plan rebuilds a gateway to the iconic bridge

Brooklyn Bridge Crossroads: Landscape plan rebuilds a gateway to the iconic bridge | green streets | Scoop.it

Every day, thousands of cyclists and pedestrians jockey for space on a narrow strip along the center of the Brooklyn Bridge. At the Brooklyn terminus of the bridge, however, the already-chaotic scene devolves into a dangerous confluence of cars, bikes, and pedestrians as the path abruptly ends in the center of a busy intersection at Adams and Tillary streets.

After five years of study, meetings, and schematic designs, however, accessing the Brooklyn Bridge will soon be improved under a plan to revamp the Brooklyn Bridge Gateway Area streetscape, encompassing Tillary Street between Cadman Plaza West and Prince Street and several blocks of Adams Street, with widened sidewalks, improved bike lanes, and increased landscaping.

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The Amazing Things You Can Learn From a Virtual City

The Amazing Things You Can Learn From a Virtual City | green streets | Scoop.it
This new tool can help us understand how people respond to urban spaces before they're built.

When the University of Waterloo in Ontario opened the Research Laboratory for Immersive Virtual Environments in 2006, there was a lot that could be studied about simulated cities that couldn't be observed in real ones.

Technology has since made it easier to make such measurements in people moving through actual cities, but the virtual lab still offers them a critical advantage: control over all the variables in a complex urban environment. The psychologists at RELIVE wield that power to understand just how people respond to cities — which in turn might help planners design better ones.

"Rather than looking at what happens to people in urban settings after they're built, you can propose different kinds of designs and explore their effects on people's behavior before they happen," says lab director Colin Ellard. "We see it as potentially a fantastic toolkit for asking questions about what does or doesn't work in planning."

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New Waterfront of Thessaloniki / Nikiforidis-Cuomo Architects

New Waterfront of Thessaloniki / Nikiforidis-Cuomo Architects | green streets | Scoop.it

 In 2000, the Municipality of Thessaloniki launched an International Architectural Competition for the redevelopment of the New Waterfront, The first part (apps. 75800m2) was completed in 2008 and the second part (appx. 163000m2) was completed in 2014. The total length of the New Waterfront is 3km, with 2.353 new trees, 118.432 new plants, 58,75 acres of green spaces and 11.557m2 of playgrounds.

For the waterfront of the New Waterfront, we distinguished two major characteristic areas, which set the principles for the basic choices of the proposal.

The breakwater: an ideal place for walking, without interruptions, without distractions. The “walker” is exposed to the light, to the open perspective, and has a continuous walk on the charming limit between two opposites: the stability of the massive breakwater – the instability and lucidity of the liquid element.


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Present Architecture Proposes a 'Green Loop' Network to Cllean up Waste Processing

Present Architecture Proposes a 'Green Loop' Network to Cllean up Waste Processing | green streets | Scoop.it

Large cities produce large amounts of trash and create a lot more to transport it to landfills. Looking at New York City as the site, local practice Present Architecture posits the ‘Green Loop’ as a solution to large scale waste management. 

Intended to be used as a network along the city’s waterfront, the floating energy production oasis has a street-level composting facility, elevated park, and barges and railways to efficiently transport the compost to other locations. Trash is then transported only a short distance to the borough’s Green Loop which offers more public space as it responsibly processes waste, tackling two pertinent urban issues simultaneously.

The master plan proposes the construction of 10 hubs around the 520 miles of coast in the city effectively alleviating congestion issues and dramatically lowers unnecessary energy waste while contributing 125 acres of public park land.

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Maquete Eletrônica's curator insight, March 9, 6:31 AM

..."laço verde" como uma solução para a gestão de resíduos em larga escala. destina a ser usado como uma rede ao longo da orla da cidade, o circuito verde é um oásis de produção de energia flutuante com uma facilidade ao nível da rua de compostagem, parque elevado, e barcaças e ferrovias para o transporte"......................

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Bicycle roundabout in the sky in the Netherlands, Hovenring (video)

Bicycle roundabout in the sky in the Netherlands, Hovenring (video) | green streets | Scoop.it

The Netherlands is known for its bicycle-friendly streets and bike paths, but even this bike leader has intersections that are excessively large and centered too much around cars. In the case of one such intersection between Eindhoven and Veldhoven, planners and designers created the Hovenring, a beautiful bicycle and pedestrian roundabout elevated above the roadway.

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A (Thought) Bubble to Help China Tackle Pollution

A (Thought) Bubble to Help China Tackle Pollution | green streets | Scoop.it

We all know about the shocking statistics regarding the Mainland's pollution, as well as some of the drastic measures it has experimented with to battle it. London-based practice Orproject has come up with a temporary solution for this crowd, one that would transport the Bucky Ball and its biosphere into the contemporary situation in China.

The idea behind the “Bubbles” concept is to encapsulate a park or a garden under a transparent shell to provide an urban oasis of clean air for the citizens to enjoy. Made from ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE), the structure would maintain a visual delicacy while providing a secure barrier to allow for the control of heat and humidity within. Mimicking the function of a leaf, the form will be covered with translucent solar cells (for conceptual "photosynthesis") and riddled with a series of veins that would function as the circulatory system of the park.

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Huge Solar Farms On California’s Public Lands Could Power 170,000 Homes

Huge Solar Farms On California’s Public Lands Could Power 170,000 Homes | green streets | Scoop.it

The Obama administration on Wednesday announced that it has given final approval to two sizable solar projects on public lands near the Nevada-California border, which when operational are expected to provide a combined 550 megawatts of renewable energy, or enough to power about 170,000 homes and create 700 jobs.

The announcement represents a milestone for President Obama’s renewable energy efforts. With the approval of both projects, there now are currently 50 utility-scale renewable energy projects either currently generating energy or slated to be generating energy on public lands...

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Monica S Mcfeeters's curator insight, February 25, 7:18 PM

What do you think would you rather have a pipe line on these lands?

CJ Brasiel's curator insight, March 9, 8:54 PM

More Jobs! "The first project approved, the 1,685-acre Stateline Solar Farm in San Bernardino County, CA, is expected to generate up to 300 megawatts of power, create 400 construction jobs and 12 permanent operation jobs."

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Denmark Is About To Set Even More Ambitious Climate Goals Than All Of Europe

Denmark Is About To Set Even More Ambitious Climate Goals Than All Of Europe | green streets | Scoop.it
Agreement in Denmark's parliament cleared the way for a legally binding greenhouse gas emission reduction target of 40 percent below 1990's levels by 2020.


The bill would establish a legally binding requirement that Denmark cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent below 1990′s levels by 2020, and that the government return to the question every five years to set new 10-year targets. The legislation would also establish a Climate Council — modeled on a similar body in Britain — to advise the government on the best ways to continue reducing Denmark’s reliance on fossil fuels.

Denmark’s present and former governments have already committed the country to a goal of 100 percent renewable energy generation by 2050, and the new bill is seen as a concrete step to achieving that goal.

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Stephane Bilodeau's curator insight, February 22, 4:21 AM

Meanwhile, Denmark has already been making substantial progress on the climate front.According to numbers that Responding to Climate Change pulled from the Danish Energy Agency, renewable energy accounted for 43.1 percent of Denmark’s domestic electricity supply in 2012, and for 25.8 percent of all energy consumption in the country that year. The year before that, renewables provided 23.1 percent of Denmark’s electricity consumption.

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What if we could rebuild New York City?

What if we could rebuild New York City? | green streets | Scoop.it
New York has become one of the world’s most populous, densely packed cities. What if you could redraw the city’s map – and build it from scratch?


If we were designing New York today, how different would it look?

The new New York City would balance the relationship between the information networks that the metropolis depends on and Earth’s finite resources.

All vital components of life would be monitored and attuned to the needs of every organism, not just humans. Supplies of food and water, our energy and waste and even our air would be sensibly scrutinised. Thanks to masses of miniaturised low-cost electronic components deployed across the city, communication becomes far easier. New York will grow and adapt to millions of new minds entering it everyday.

The city would make sure every need is provided for within its borders. How we provide nutrients, transports, and shelter would be updated. Dilapidated buildings would be replaced with vertical agriculture and new kinds of housing would join cleaner, greener ways to get around the city. What were once streets become snaking arteries of livable spaces, embedded with renewable energy sources, low-tech, green vehicles for mobility and productive nutrient zones. The former street grid could provide the foundation for new flexible networks. By reengineering the obsolete streets, we can create robust and ecologically active pathways.

While all this may sound optimistic, some of this city of tomorrow is already taking shape...

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Sydney's Version of New York’s High Line to be Completed in 2014

Sydney's Version of New York’s High Line to be Completed in 2014 | green streets | Scoop.it
Work has begun on stage one of The Goods Line Project, a railway-turned-urban park project connecting Sydney’s Central Station to Darling Harbour.

Located in inner Sydney, the project includes a pedestrian and cycle network, creating a new urban hub and connecting more than 80,000 students, residents and visitors to the harbour’s recreational and pedestrian precinct.

The new corridor is being compared to the High Line in New York City, a public park and walkway constructed on a historic freight train line elevated above the streets of Manhattan’s lower west side...

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OMA and BIG present rebuilding projects for Sandy-affected communities

OMA and BIG present rebuilding projects for Sandy-affected communities | green streets | Scoop.it

OMA, BIG and WXY have unveiled proposals to revitalise parts of America devastated by Hurricane Sandy and help protect them against future emergencies.

The Rebuild by Design competition asked ten teams of architects, landscape architects, engineers and urban designers to develop proposals for different sections of America's east coast, which was struck by the hurricane in October 2012.

The competition was initiated last year by US housing and urban development secretary Shaun Donovan. The winning projects will be announced later this year and will be implemented with funding from community grants.

View more concepts at the link.

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Sylvain Rotillon's curator insight, April 5, 4:02 AM

After the disaster, an opportuniyt to evolve toward a more resilient city

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Bright Lights, Big City: urban-lighting projects that dazzle

Bright Lights, Big City: urban-lighting projects that dazzle | green streets | Scoop.it
As well as ensuring that streets and public spaces are safe and attractive, one of the key concerns of city planners today is reducing energy consumption. For this reason, the evolution of energy-efficient lighting technologies such as LEDs has had a huge influence on the latest generation of street lights. The Rama LED from Spanish design brand Santa & Cole illustrates how the introduction of cutting-edge light sources enhances the performance of these products. Originally designed by Gonzalo Milá in 2000, the updated LED version provides a direct light that minimises light pollution and can be controlled accurately. Like other LED street lamps, it also has an impressive longevity of over 60,000 hours, meaning minimal maintenance is required.
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Researchers envision a fully sustainable New York City

Researchers envision a fully sustainable New York City | green streets | Scoop.it
Like former mayor Michael Bloomberg, a group of researchers envision a sustainable New York City -- with bikes, planting new trees, reducing citywide greenhouse gas emissions -- but that's where the similarities end.In a bold new "thought-experiment," the Terreform Center for Advanced Urban Research, a multidisciplinary non-profit organization, tried to envision a fully sustainable New York City, with entire streets and avenues converted into greenways and farms.In a city with nearly 8.3 million residents, 4 million acres of food-producing land -- roughly the size of Connecticut -- is required to feed their appetites annually. Combined with carbon emissions from transporting the food -- these so-called "food miles" -- it's no wonder why some studies list food production as the one of the leading contributors to climate change.
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Stephane Bilodeau's curator insight, March 29, 9:23 AM

"Our study means to have implications for all cities that are seeking to take greater responsibility for their impact on the planet," he told CBS News in an email. "We [also] believe that cities are logical increments of political organization, particularly in an era of indifferent multinationals and incompetent nation states."

 
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Gondolas & Urban Transit: Planners Look to the Sky to Solve for "Last Mile"

Gondolas & Urban Transit: Planners Look to the Sky to Solve for "Last Mile" | green streets | Scoop.it

In a mountainous suburb of La Paz, Bolivia, crews are finishing the first leg of a network of gondolas, which may be the largest mass transit cable-car system in the world.

Cable-car systems are hardly new tech—they are a fixture in ski resorts and mountain villages around the world. But planners are increasingly exploring their use in urban transportation systems—particularly to solve “last mile” issues, where it is difficult to connect neighborhoods to the existing mass transit network...

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A+ Awards Finalists Focus on Transforming Public Transit

A+ Awards Finalists Focus on Transforming Public Transit | green streets | Scoop.it

Thanks to consistently high gas prices, countless hours spent in traffic jams, and the looming threat of climate change, commuters have reversed the decades-long trend of driving personal automobiles by opting for trains, subways, and buses on their daily commute. In fact, according to The New York Times, 2013 saw a record-breaking use of public transit—the highest in any year since 1956. A report released by American Public Transportation Association stated that 10.65 billion trips were taken on public transit last year, surpassing the 10.59 billion trip peak of 2008, when oil prices surged.

As cities continue to experience economic and population growth, money has been invested in infrastructural projects that promote public transit as both a feasible and pleasant commuting option, counteracting the negative view of public transit systems created by the growth of car culture in the mid-20th century.

Projects that espouse a positive attitude towards public transit are part of a larger effort to connect disparate areas of cities and nurture community development; visit the article for links and images.

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Site-Specific Innovation: Çanakkale Antenna Tower by IND and Powerhouse Company

Site-Specific Innovation: Çanakkale Antenna Tower by IND and Powerhouse Company | green streets | Scoop.it

The close collaboration of Rotterdam-based practices IND and Powerhouse Company for the design of a new 100-m-tall observation and telecommunications tower in Çanakkale, a Turkish city and seaport located on the southern Asian coast of the Hellespont,  articulates far-reaching technological and programmatic ambitions.

The tower is planned to operate as a broadcast antenna as well as to engage visitors- taking them on a contemplative journey, allowing them time to ponder as they walk along a raised, looping path that runs through the forest before returning to a hilltop observation deck offering panoramic vistas.
Besides its distinctive and aesthetic significance, the tower was conceived with the intention becoming a dynamic public destination, fostering social interactions. The project is all the more interesting as it integrates technologies to a scrupulously context-specific design, respectful of all of the site’s attributes. The architects also harness technological mediums so as to create a heightened architectural experience, appealing the visual and tactile senses.

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Top 10 States for Green Building

Top 10 States for Green Building | green streets | Scoop.it

Some states have been more proactive in getting LEED-certified buildings built than others. Which has the most sustainable square feet per citizen?

People don't usually think of Illinois as the greenest state in the union, but it happens to have the most green buildings per capita, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Green Building Council. California had the most projects overall. States like Louisiana and Montana? Not so much.


Find a list of the top 10 LEED-certified states (by per capita square footage) at the article link.

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Edible Schoolyard NYC: An Organic Garden in Brooklyn

Edible Schoolyard NYC: An Organic Garden in Brooklyn | green streets | Scoop.it

WORKac and Edible Schoolyard NYC transformed a half-acre of the existing parking lot of the Arturo Toscanini School in Gravesend, Brooklyn, into a thriving organic garden.

To ensure a true four-seasons garden experience for the students, WORKac incorporated a greenhouse together with the indoor kitchen classroom. The building is composed of three major components, each of which is articulated through the use of different materials: the greenhouse is a polycarbonate and aluminum structure; the steel-framed kitchen classroom is clad in a pixilated pattern of colored shingles; and a “Systems Wall” at the rear is articulated as a series of playful volumes covered in a bright blue rubber coating.


More details at the link...

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Arctic Harvester Proposes Large-Scale Hydroponic-Farming Near Greenland

Arctic Harvester Proposes Large-Scale Hydroponic-Farming Near Greenland | green streets | Scoop.it

Arctic Harvester was the first prize winning entry in the “Innovation and Architecture for the Sea” category of the Jacques Rougerie Foundation International Architecture Competition, 2013.  It proposes an itinerant soil-less agricultural infrastructure designed to drift the circulating ocean currents between Greenland and Canada, exploiting the nutrient-rich fresh water released by melting icebergs as the basis for a large-scale hydroponic-farming system. The floating facility is equipped to house a community of 800 people, inspired in its compact urban form by vertically oriented, bayside Greenlandic villages and their social, cultural and economic relationship to the sea.


More details at the link.

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Laura Brown's curator insight, February 27, 8:57 AM

Human beings are crowding out all life on the planet. At what point do we fix the problem of too many people on the planet, taking up more than their share of the resources and sucking everything dry? Are humans really so stupid to starve themselves (and everything else before them)?

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Water-proofing the Future: Floating Cities & Innovative Architecture

Water-proofing the Future: Floating Cities & Innovative Architecture | green streets | Scoop.it

The lure of the sea: Pacific islands perched in glistening aquamarine, softly lapping waves caressing Europe’s beaches. Now, many of these bucket list hotspots are about to be reclaimed by our beloved sea.

Naturally, we know all about rising sea levels. Cities like Venice as well as entire coastal regions, a. o. in The Netherlands, are acutely threatened by this development. But what can we do to stave off the danger?

Climate change and the resulting greenhouse effect are in full swing. Even a truly radical gear change and turnaround in climate politics would leave our planet fighting the repercussions for a century to come. Against this background, scientists and architects join forces to develop protective solutions for people and the ground they stand on.

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Creating An Urban Greenway as a Community Space: the winning ideas for AIANY's QueensWay Connection competition

Creating An Urban Greenway as a Community Space: the winning ideas for AIANY's QueensWay Connection competition | green streets | Scoop.it

Plans for building a new QueensWay are moving forward. The AIANY Emerging New York Architects (ENYA) Committee revealed the winners of QueensWay Connection: Elevating the Public Realm. The biennial competition brought in ideas from around the globe on how to transform an abandoned railway into an urban greenway as a community space for nearby neighborhoods in Queens, New York.


Visit the link to view all the winning proposals...

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Norm Miller's curator insight, February 23, 2:28 PM

Connecting people and transport nodes easily is a great urban planning theme