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Chicago Lakeside shortlisted for the Sustainia Award | Building Design + Construction

Chicago Lakeside shortlisted for the Sustainia Award | Building Design + Construction | Greener World | Scoop.it
The McCaffery Interests and U.S. Steel Corp.’s master plan for Chicago Lakeside, designed by Skidmore Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM), has been named one of 10 finalists for the first Sustainia Award.
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Visions of Sixth Street - plans for a new, pedestrian-friendly bridge in Los Angeles

Visions of Sixth Street - plans for a new, pedestrian-friendly bridge in Los Angeles | Greener World | Scoop.it

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...


Via Lauren Moss
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Riding Sunlight: Solar Power for Public Transportation

Riding Sunlight: Solar Power for Public Transportation | Greener World | Scoop.it
For those concerned about the environmental impact of their daily commute, taking public transportation may be a way to be nicer to the planet. According to statistics highlighted by the Sustainable Cities Collective, taking public transportation over driving can save 340 million gallons of fuel from being used, preventing the release of 37 million metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Now, public transportation is becoming even better for the environment thanks to the benefits of solar power. From California to Massachusetts, public transportation agencies are increasingly turning to photovoltaic energy to keep their operations running smoothly.

While trains are not (yet) propelled by photovoltaic energy, some public transportation agencies do use solar panels to help power their rail fleets. For example, the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority announced in September that it would be putting up solar modules on an 18-acre rail yard and on a garage. The installations, paid for through a power purchase agreement, are expected to save the MBTA close to $49,000 a year by providing an estimated 1.7 million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, Boston.com reported.

On the other side of the country, L.A. Metro has announced its intentions to install a combined 2 megawatts of PV energy capacity on all of its bus and rail facilities in Los Angeles County, according to Clean Fleet Report...


Via Lauren Moss
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NASA Video: Watch 131 Years of Global Warming in 26 Seconds

NASA Video: Watch 131 Years of Global Warming in 26 Seconds | Greener World | Scoop.it

An amazing 26-second video depicting how temperatures around the globe have warmed since 1880.

 

While temperatures have been blistering this summer, this video takes the longer historical view. It comes to us from our friends at NASA and is an amazing 26-second animation depicting how temperatures around the globe have warmed since 1880. That year is what scientists call the beginning of the “modern record.” You’ll note an acceleration of those temperatures in the late 1970s as greenhouse gas emissions from energy production increased worldwide and clean air laws reduced emissions of pollutants that had a cooling effect on the climate, and thus were masking some of the global warming signal. The data come from NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, which monitors global surface temperatures. As NASA notes, “in this animation, reds indicate temperatures higher than the average during a baseline period of 1951-1980, while blues indicate lower temperatures than the baseline average.”


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Green Tires: Where the Rubber Meets the Road

Green Tires: Where the Rubber Meets the Road | Greener World | Scoop.it
Bridgestone makes fuel-efficient, low-rolling-resistance tires and leads the industry in environmental innovations. And thanks to burgeoning demand, it also makes huge truck tires for tar sands oil production and mountaintop removal mining.
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Green Skills Needed to Become An Energy Contractor

Green Skills Needed to Become An Energy Contractor | Greener World | Scoop.it
Since 2005, the nonresidential green construction market has grown from two percent to 41 percent -- or $48 billion -- of market revenues.
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Climate-Proofing Urban Areas with Floating Housing

Climate-Proofing Urban Areas with Floating Housing | Greener World | Scoop.it

The wave of floods that hit Britain in April focused attention, once again, on the vulnerability of homes in low-lying areas...

But what if a house could simply rise and fall with the waters? That’s the vision of Baca Architects, designers of the UK’s first ‘amphibious house’, which has just received planning permission for a site near Marlow, in Buckinghamshire, on the banks of the Thames.

The lightweight, timber-framed structure sits on a floating concrete base that is built within a fixed ‘wet dock’ foundation. In the event of a flood, the concrete base rises up as the dock fills with water, ensuring the house floats safely above the waves. The base effectively acts as a free-floating pontoon, and should have a lifetime of around 100 years before needing renewal or replacement.

Climate proofing’ urban areas is a growing area of focus for architects and planners. Amphibious architecture looks set to join rain gardens, green roofs and permeable paving in the array of techniques available...


Via Lauren Moss
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Hans De Keulenaer's comment, September 14, 2012 1:39 PM
Creative concept. I wonder how they plan to ensure grounding / earthing the electrical system.
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Top ten most EV-ready cities in the U.S.

Top ten most EV-ready cities in the U.S. | Greener World | Scoop.it
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.


Via Lauren Moss
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Sustainable Roof Replacement Options | CleanTechies Blog - CleanTechies.com

Sustainable Roof Replacement Options | CleanTechies Blog - CleanTechies.com | Greener World | Scoop.it

Since they get the brunt of the sun, snow and rain, roofs will need to be changed after a number of years. While there are plenty of materials out there for a new roof, most of them are not sustainable. However, since the green and sustainable movement has increased in popularity, there have been a number of sustainable options popping up. Some use normal materials, like shingles, while others use unconventional materials like vines and roots.


Via Adela Ciurea
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The future of solar energy

Nobel-prize winning scientist and Shamengo pioneer Alan Heeger has developed flexible solar panels, opening up a world of possibilities for solar energy.


Via Adela Ciurea
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Supply Side Efficiency - Energy at Our Fingertips

With the current European economic situation, making more efficient use of resources has become increasingly important in regions across the continent-perhaps more important than ever...

 

Supply side energy efficiency simply means using less energy input to produce the same amount of electricity, so that a higher percentage of the energy consumed to produce electricity is actually converted to electricity or usable heat. There is potential for substantial improvement on the supply side, and the good news is that many of the options currently available to increase supply side energy efficiency are proven, cost-effective, and reliable technologies that are already commercially deployed.


Via J. Campbell
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New technology produces up to 50 fold more electricity from wastewater using microbial fuel cells

New technology produces up to 50 fold more electricity from wastewater using microbial fuel cells | Greener World | Scoop.it

Engineers at Oregon State University have made a breakthrough in the performance of microbial fuel cells that can produce electricity directly from wastewater, opening the door to a future in which waste treatment plants not only will power themselves, but will sell excess electricity. The new technology developed at OSU can now produce 10 to 50 more times the electricity, per volume, than most other approaches using microbial fuel cells, and 100 times more electricity than some.

 

Researchers say this could eventually change the way that wastewater is treated all over the world, replacing the widely used “activated sludge” process that has been in use for almost a century. The new approach would produce significant amounts of electricity while effectively cleaning the wastewater.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Bill Gates wants to reinvent the toilet: Solar-powered, hydrogen and electricity producing

Bill Gates wants to reinvent the toilet: Solar-powered, hydrogen and electricity producing | Greener World | Scoop.it

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has launched a search for a new toilet better suited to developing countries to help prevent disease and death. "Toilets are extremely important for public health, and the flush toilets we use in the wealthy world are irrelevant, impractical and impossible for 40 per cent of the global population, because they often don't have access to water, and sewers, electricity, and sewage treatment systems", Gates said.

 

The recently organized Toilet Fair was described as a swirl of about 200 inventors, designers, investors, partners and others passionate about creating safe, effective, and inexpensive waste management systems.

 

Universities from Britain, Canada, and the United States were awarded prizes in a competition launched a year ago challenging inventors to come up with a better toilet.

 

First place went to the California Institute of Technology for designing a solar-powered toilet that generates hydrogen gas and electricity.

 

Loughborough University came in second for a toilet that transforms waste into biological charcoal, minerals, and clean water.

Third place went to the University of Toronto for a toilet that sanitises human waste and recovers minerals and water.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Minimizing the Urban Heat Island Effect Could Reduce Rainfall

Minimizing the Urban Heat Island Effect Could Reduce Rainfall | Greener World | Scoop.it
White roofs help bring down the heat, but researchers worry they could also stop the rain.
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Anatomy of a Smart City

Anatomy of a Smart City | Greener World | 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.


Via Lauren Moss
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Eli Levine's curator insight, December 18, 2014 10:45 AM

There is an evolution taking place where politics, policy, technology, the environment, and the economy all intersect. This movement towards technical, empirically driven local policy making could be our saving grace.This could be the future of government.

Russell R. Roberts, Jr.'s curator insight, December 19, 2014 2:10 AM

A stunning infographic which predicts how urban living will change in this century.  Our age is truly becoming "a century of smart cities."  Exciting times lie ahead.  Aloha, Russ.

Paul Aneja - eTrends's curator insight, December 22, 2014 6:51 PM

What do you think makes a smarter city?

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Future Humans Will All Look Like Brazilians, Researcher Says

Future Humans Will All Look Like Brazilians, Researcher Says | Greener World | Scoop.it
In the future, globalization will destroy local races and lower rates of rare traits like blue eyes.

 

According to Stephen Stearns, a Yaleprofessor of ecology and evolutionary biology, before the invention of the bicycle, the average distance between the birthplaces of spouses in England was 1 mile (1.6 kilometers). During the latter half of the 19th century, bikes upped the distance men went courting to 30 miles (48 km), on average. Scholars have identified similar patterns in other European countries. Widespread use of bicycles stimulated the grading and paving of roads, lending credence to the Fugate clan's excuse and making way for the introduction of automobiles. Love's horizons have kept expanding ever since.

 

Stearns says globalization, immigration, cultural diffusion and the ease of modern travel will gradually homogenize the human population, averaging out more and more people's traits. Because recessive traits dependontwo copies of the same gene pairing up in order to get expressed, these traits will express themselves more rarely, and dominant traits will become the norm. In short, blue eyes and pale skin is out, brown eyes and dark skin is in. Already in the United States, another recessive trait, blue eyes, has grown far less common. A 2002 study by the epidemiologists Mark Grant and Diane Lauderdale found that only 1 in 6 non-Hispanic white Americans has blue eyes, down from more than half of the U.S. white population being blue-eyed just 100 years ago.

 

The genetic mixing under way in the United States is also happening to a greater or lesser degree in other parts of the world, the researchers said. In some places, unique physical traits tailored to the habitat still confer an evolutionary advantage and thus might not bow out so easily; in other places, immigration happens much more slowly than it does elsewhere. According to Stearns, perfect homogenization of the human race will probably never occur, but in general, Earth is becoming more and more of a melting pot. A population forged from the long-term mixing of Africans, Native Americans and Europeans serves as an archetype for the future of humanity, Stearns said: A few centuries from now, we're all going to look like Brazilians.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Leonardo Martins's comment, September 20, 2012 12:40 AM
Really?
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Geological Survey: An Overview of the Earth's Magnetic Field

Geological Survey: An Overview of the Earth's Magnetic Field | Greener World | Scoop.it

The Earth's magnetic field is generated in the fluid outer core by a self-exciting dynamo process. Electrical currents flowing in the slowly moving molten iron generate the magnetic field. In addition to sources in the Earth's core the magnetic field observable at the Earth's surface has sources in the crust and in the ionosphere and magnetosphere. The geomagnetic field varies on a range of scales and a description of these variations is now made, in the order low frequency to high frequency variations, in both the space and time domains. The final section describes how the Earth's magnetic field can be both a tool and a hazard to the modern world.

 

When a rock is formed it usually acquires a magnetisation parallel to the ambient magnetic field, i.e. the core-generated field. From careful analyses of directions and intensities of rock magnetisation from many sites around the world it has been established that the polarity of the axial dipole has changed many times in the past, with each polarity interval lasting several thousand years. These reversals occur slowly and irregularly, and for a period of about 30 million years around about 100 million years before present, there were no reversals at all. In addition to full reversals there have been many aborted reversals when the magnetic poles are observed to move equatorwards for a while but then move back and align closely with the Earth's spin axis. The solid inner metal core is thought to play an important role in inhibiting reversals. At the present time we are seeing a 6% decline in the dipole moment per century. Whether this is a sign of an imminent reversal is difficult to say.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Amazon gets colorful -- and green -- with new downtown towers

The new skyscrapers that Amazon.com is building for its new Seattle
headquarters will be the greenest buildings in town - literally.
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Apple's dock connector change is awful, don't kid yourselves

Apple's dock connector change is awful, don't kid yourselves | Greener World | Scoop.it
Apple's decision to use a smaller dock connector instead of Micro-USB is consumer-unfriendly, bad for the environment, and offers few, if any, obvious tech benefits. Read this blog post by Molly Wood on Molly Rants.
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Obama’s Green Revolution: Tax Credits for Wind, Solar Power | TIME.com

Obama’s Green Revolution: Tax Credits for Wind, Solar Power | TIME.com | Greener World | Scoop.it

Before President Obama took office, the U.S. had 25 gigawatts of wind power, and the government’s “base case” energy forecast expected 40 GW by 2030. Well, it’s not quite 2030 yet, but we’ve already got 50 GW of wind...


Via J. Campbell
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Living Grass Walls Completely Cover the Interior of London’s Dilston Grove Gallery

Living Grass Walls Completely Cover the Interior of London’s Dilston Grove Gallery | Greener World | Scoop.it

Acclaimed British artists Heather Ackroyd & Dan Harvey recently transformed a landmark church in South East London by completely covering its interior in a layer of living grass! Known as Dilston Grove, the church-cum-art-gallery in Southwark Park, now features a lush green interior that will continue to grow as time goes on.


Via Adela Ciurea
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A microalgae lamp that absorbs CO2

Shamengo pioneer Pierre Calleja has invented something truly remarkable--a light powered by algae that absorbs CO2 in the air--at the rate of 1 ton PER YEAR, or what a tree absorbs over its entire lifetime! The microalgae streetlamp has the potential to provide significantly cleaner air in urban areas and revolutionize the cityscape.


Via Adela Ciurea
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Three Sustainable Cities on the Rise

Three Sustainable Cities on the Rise | Greener World | Scoop.it
The green living lifestyle skyrocketed in the last decade and became a social injection of epic proportions. In no time shoes were being made from bamboo, college towns were turned into tiny Vespa cities, and the canvas bag market boomed like it was being shot from a cannon. Suddenly, shrinking America’s Shaq-sized carbon footprint seemed possible, and everything from water bottles to t-shirts changed their ingredients.

There are plenty of ways to go green and promote sustainable living in your home and community. Beyond simply rolling out the recycle bin to the curb and making eco-chic clutches out of Capri Sun pouches, you can get innovative with your recycling through local waste services like Republic Services in the US and other international equivalents who, by changing the way they take care of trash and recyclables, are making money from your waste. Earth consciousness is perpetually rising, and waste management is following suit. Here’s a quick trip around the globe, looking at three sustainable cities on the rise and what they’re doing to be friendly to the earth...


Via Lauren Moss
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10 High-Tech, Green City Solutions for Beating the Heat

10 High-Tech, Green City Solutions for Beating the Heat | Greener World | Scoop.it
From a solar mansion in China to a floating farm in New York, green buildings are sprouting up in cities around the world. Among their many benefits are curbing fossil-fuel use and reducing the urban heat island effect.

Via Lauren Moss
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