Cities are hotbeds of sustainability, right? From urban agriculture to social enterprise, you’ll find lots of innovative approaches in urban centers, particularly those on the US coasts. Put a lot of people together in one place, and you generate a lot of ideas.
You also generate a lot of heat, it turns out: a new study in Nature Climate Change argues that urban centers (particularly on coasts) generate a lot of waste heat… and that heat is contributing to the weird weather patterns we’ve been seeing lately. This isn’t climate change (in the way we’ve conventionally considered it), nor is it the “urban heat island” effect. Rather, according to the research team that authored the study...
A proposal imagines 300,000 housing units built into six hyper-energy efficient domes.
This year Istanbul Design Week goes back to the future with a very ambitious project: HavvAda, a cutting-edge net-positive-energy residential island conceptualized by New York-based Studio Dror.
HavvAda, will be built off the shore of Istanbul using excavated soil from a new massive canal planned between the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara.
For the design, Dror has drawn on spatial geometry, as well as Buckminster Fuller’s legacy in structural engineering and Ebenezer Howard’s Garden City. Six months of intensive dialog with a team of experts have allowed Dror to realize an ambitious concept that offers a high quality of life and helps the environment.
The island is envisioned as a landscape of six residential hills, surrounding a circular valley dedicated to parks and recreation, supported by a mega-dome structure, allowing for a “three-dimensional grid” that aims to maximize energy and structural efficiency.
Read the complete post to learn more about the process and design of the integrated renewable energy system, water recycling, as well as efficient heating and cooling (which allow the community to produce more energy than it consumes).
Also, read further to find additional images and diagrams of how these systems and concepts function in the context of this innovative and ambitious project.
Rubbish-bin gardens for the concrete jungle that is New York.
Most folks would not be happy if they walked outside one morning and found a dumpster full of dirt and vegetal matter in front of their home. But then again, most folks don't live in the concrete desert of New York, where any spot of green is a welcome sight.
Michael Bernstein's been pushing for New Yorkers to adopt these rubbish-bin gardens for more than a decade, after having exhibited a prototype in 2001 at Long Island City's Sculpture Center. He developed the idea while living in Dumbo, where he operated a rooftop garden and a sidewalk vegetable stand amid a colorless thicket of buildings and overpasses.
"I was struck by how there are no trees down there," Bernstein says. "I liked the idea that this could be a portable green space that's transported place to place. If you live in an urban place with no trees, you can get one of these delivered to your house. It's like a portable forest."
The designer named his invention the Ten Yards project in reference to the payload capacity of the dumpsters...
Spread across 101 hectares of reclaimed land in Singapore's waterfront, a horticultural feast awaits visitors at the World Architecture Festival 2012.
Landscape architects, Grant Associates, designed three distinct garden bays including 18 supertrees, which range from 25 to 50m, at iconic points in the master plan. Two cooled conservatories designed by Wilkinson Eyre Architects and a stretch of horticultural gardens, which include animals sculpted from shrubbery, are also highlights in this green showcase. ‘At one level, Gardens by the Bay is a dramatic 3D garden experience,' says Keith French, project director. 'At another it is a sophisticated example of integrated environmental design.' Mixing nature, technology and environmental notes, the orchid-inspired master plan facilitates the growth of endangered species and plants from Mediterranean and tropical regions in the two giant biodomes. Over an entire hectare of different flower species are hosted within the Flower Dome, and the Cloud Forest Dome contains 0.8 hectares of tropical plants. The design encourages the public to interact with the project through a suspended, spiraling bridge which is attached to the supertrees for support. Visitors are encouraged to view the giant garden from many levels. At night, the canopies glow with colours and projected media, offering an active landscape for visitors. Sustainable energy and water technologies are integrated into the supertrees and cooling conservatories...
Three finalists present plans for major new bridge in Los Angeles:
The groups—headed by HNTB, AECOM, and Parsons Brinckerhoff— have all been shortlisted to create the city’s new Sixth Street Viaduct. Their vivid public presentations were the first glimpse of what will likely be LA’s next major icon.
The original 3,500-foot-long structure, a famous rounded Art Deco span designed in 1932, has been deemed unsalvageable due to irreversible decay, and in April the city’s Bureau of Engineering called for a competition to design a new, $400 million, cable stayed structure.
Following the city’s lead, all three teams presented plans that not only showcased memorable forms, but embraced people-friendly designs, including pedestrian paths, parks, and connections to the river below. The push reveals Los Angeles’s focus on attracting people and talent through increased livability. Such moves are a welcome, if uphill battle considering that so much of the city has been designed for cars, not people...
Looking to create a unique atmosphere using natural materials for the Prahran Hotel pub near Melbourne, local architect Techné Architects cleverly incorporated a series of concrete drain pipes into the building's main façade.
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and its Committee on the Environment (COTE) have selected the top ten examples of sustainable architecture and green design solutions that protect and enhance the environment.
Mitsubishi has announced that the range for its upcoming all-electric car “i”, formerly known as the MieV, will be EPA-rated at 62 miles in average driving, or 98 miles in the city. The company had originally announced the “i” would...
The huge wall garden at the shopping centre in Rozzano, Milan, which has a total of 44,000 plants covering a surface of 1263 square metres, is the largest vertical garden in the world.
The finished result at The Fiordaliso commercial complex was certified by Guinness Wold Records as being the largest vertical garden in the world in 2010.
The project was designed by architect Francesco Bollani, who led a creative team that included an architecture studio from Montpellier. France. Bollani said: 'It took us a year to grow the plants in a greenhouse and 90 days to build the facade.'
The garden serves in helping to regulate the temperature in the shopping centre in Rozzano. It also absorbs carbon dioxide and reduces ambient noise, creating a sustainable architecture that combines beauty with energy savings, and a respect for the environment...
How can cities be designed for sustainable living?
A new interactive exhibition from the Guardian, 'Our Urban Future', explores the importance of cities in making the world a more sustainable place. The exhibition at The Crystal in London's Docklands seeks to challenge and reinvent the way we think about cities and gives visitors the chance to learn how they can make a contribution to sustainable living.
Scroll through the gallery showcasing snippets from the exhibition, and read responses on how cities can be designed for sustainable living and share what you think urban environments will look like in future...
Visit the link for a slideshow of exhibition highlights, including:
The immersive Forces of Change theatre: a global view of the challenges and opportunities that climate change, demographic change and urbanisation raise. The Creating Cities game: exploring issues around city management and urban planning. The Go Electric Zone: the challenges and solutions to balancing energy supply, demand and storage. The Water is Life Zone: harvested rainwater is used to shed light on desalination, purity and resources. The ‘Future Life’ film gallery: how London, New York and Copenhagen look forward to 2050, and envisioning how our cities could develop if sustainable solutions are embraced.
Via Lauren Moss