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New designs to breathe life back into our cities

New designs to breathe life back into our cities | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Urban buildings use up precious materials and cause pollution. We need visionary thinking to create more sustainable designs that respond to their environment.

 

By the middle of this century, our cities are likely to be hotter, experience more dramatic changes in weather, be noisier and have an increasingly tenuous relationship with our natural world.

There’s a problem. Not only are cities responsible for 40% of our total carbon emissions, but they also deal with a limited set of physical conditions, and assume that our weather is going to be constant. Our buildings are designed for dryness and therefore deteriorate in the presence of water. Modern architecture is also designed to just house people, not other life forms, and therefore does not inherently promote biodiversity.

We therefore need to think about architecture very differently. We must search for new models for constructing buildings, as well as searching for improvements to our current industrial processes.


Via Lauren Moss
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Sustainable Futures
Things to do, consider and act on to create a sustainable future for people and planet
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Beyond Treaties: A New Way of Framing Global Climate Action by Fred Pearce: Yale Environment 360

Beyond Treaties: A New Way of Framing Global Climate Action by Fred Pearce: Yale Environment 360 | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
As negotiators look to next year’s UN climate conference in Paris, there is increasing discussion of a new way forward that does not depend on sweeping international agreements. Some analysts are pointing to Plan B — recasting the climate issue as one of national self-interest rather than global treaties.
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Solar power could be world's top electricity source by 2050, says IEA

Solar power could be world's top electricity source by 2050, says IEA | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Falling cost of solar photovoltaic panels could help technology generate up to 16% of world’s electricity by mid-century
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Solar and the New (democratic) Energy Economy - CleanTechies

Solar and the New (democratic) Energy Economy - CleanTechies | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
I spent three days recently with some of the biggest minds behind the “new economy” movement because their core theme – economic democracy – fits like a glove over ILSR’s work on democratic energy. The big takeaway? Solar power is the spark to energize a new energy economy from the bottom up. This new solar-sparkedRead More
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The 4 Transportation Systems You'll Meet in the Future

The 4 Transportation Systems You'll Meet in the Future | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
A new report offers a look at urban mobility circa 2030 that's both intriguing and frightening.
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Earth lost 50% of its wildlife in the past 40 years, says WWF

Earth lost 50% of its wildlife in the past 40 years, says WWF | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Species across land, rivers and seas decimated as humans kill for food in unsustainable numbers and destroy habitats
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One of America's Most Famous Slow-Food Chefs Says Farm-to-Table 'Doesn't Really Work'

One of America's Most Famous Slow-Food Chefs Says Farm-to-Table 'Doesn't Really Work' | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Dan Barber of New York's Blue Hill restaurant hammers on the blind spots of locally sourced eating.
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In Alaska, a Battle to Keep Trees, or an Industry, Standing

In Alaska, a Battle to Keep Trees, or an Industry, Standing | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
A fight continues between preservationists focused on saving ancient forests and wildlife and an agency bound by politics and tradition to loggers, mills and economic development.
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Solar energy: a sunflower solution to electricity shortage

Solar energy: a sunflower solution to electricity shortage | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
A new piece of solar technology from IBM not only provides electricity – it can desalinate water for sanitation and drinking, writes Robin McKie
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Coke machines to serve as Wi-Fi hotspots in South Africa

Coke machines to serve as Wi-Fi hotspots in South Africa | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Coca-Cola South Africa has partnered with bottler Coca-Cola Fortune and communications company BT Global Services to provide underserved South African commu...
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Is Urban Revitalization Without Gentrification Possible?

Is Urban Revitalization Without Gentrification Possible? | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Cities are the place to be these days, which means big changes for the historic communities that have populated urban cores. While much of the urban renewal experiments of the 1940s through the 196...
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Resilient Cities Through Public Spaces and Placemaking in Urbanization

Resilient Cities Through Public Spaces and Placemaking in Urbanization | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Chances are, if you’re reading this, you care about your community.
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Engaging with Nature to unlock our creative potential

Engaging with Nature to unlock our creative potential | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Often we struggle to comprehend how Nature can be imbued with wisdom. After all, we are taught that intelligence and wisdom stem from nowhere else but our human brains. Yet, recent findings in neur...
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The commons as an approach to governance, sustainable resource management and social wellbeing

Countless examples suggest that cooperation and care for others is an important part of human culture and that often self interest and common interests are aligned and not opposed.
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Feed 250 African Families: Sow, Grow, Eat, Repeat

Feed 250 African Families: Sow, Grow, Eat, Repeat | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Summary Our demonstration gardens reduce reliance on chemical pesticides and fertilizers while increasing agricultural productivity and providing bette
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How global warming affected extreme weather events in 2013 – interactive

How global warming affected extreme weather events in 2013 – interactive | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
A report by 92 scientists from 14 countries look at how climate change affected 16 of the biggest weather events of 2013
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Why Local Energy Ownership Matters

Why Local Energy Ownership Matters | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Solar and wind projects can mean big bucks for communities – but only if they keep them local! Why does ownership of renewable energy matter? Because the number of jobs and economic returns for communities are substantially higher when electricity generation from wind and sun can be captured b
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Climate Action: Reduce Risk, Maximize Opportunities | World Resources Institute

Climate Action: Reduce Risk, Maximize Opportunities | World Resources Institute | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
In a blog post originally published for Forbes, Manish Bapna discusses what business leaders can learn from the UN Climate Summit. He also highlights a recent report, which explains how we can improve the economy and tackle climate change at the same time.
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Cellulosic Ethanol Finally Beginning to Reach Scale - CleanTechies

Cellulosic Ethanol Finally Beginning to Reach Scale - CleanTechies | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
There was big news in Emmetsburg, Iowa this month—the opening of a major cellulosic ethanol plant. The plant, which is the first commercial-scale cellulosic facility in the US, is a joint venture between Poet and Royal DSM. Code-named Project Liberty, the plant was christened in a ceremony featuring His Majesty Willem-Alexander, King of the Netherlands,Read More
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Can bioengineers produce plants that absorb more carbon dioxide?

Can bioengineers produce plants that absorb more carbon dioxide? | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
A new bioengineering experiment creates plants that can capture and sequester more carbon dioxide. This opens a new door in the realm of climate science.
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Floods, forest fires, expanding deserts: the future has arrived

Floods, forest fires, expanding deserts: the future has arrived | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Evidence from around the world supports scientists' assertion that global warming is already happening
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10 Big Ideas From CityLab 2014 Attendees

10 Big Ideas From CityLab 2014 Attendees | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Ahead of our event next week in Los Angeles, we asked the global mayors and urban experts who will be joining us to share one great idea that's worked in their city.
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The Fifth Estate | Incorporating biomimicry into building design

The Fifth Estate | Incorporating biomimicry into building design | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

In  the past 20 years there have been number of initiatives across a range of technologies that have demonstrated the potential of biomimicry to significantly improve human designs and challenge conventional thinking. Commercially available products include the StoCoat Lotusan self-cleaning surface coatings and Viridian Renew self-cleaning glass, which mimic the cleaning effect intrinsic to lotus leaves and insect wings.

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Brilliant Idea: The Green Benefits District

Brilliant Idea: The Green Benefits District | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Why hasn't anyone thought of this before? At the EcoDistricts Summit in Washington, D.C., two urban innovators in San Francisco, the home of so many game-changing technologies, have come up with a ...
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Crazy weather traced to Arctic's impact on jet stream - environment - 26 September 2014 - New Scientist

Crazy weather traced to Arctic's impact on jet stream - environment - 26 September 2014 - New Scientist | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Evidence is mounting that melting of Arctic ice is weakening the jet stream, causing weeks of cold, hot or stormy weather in the northern hemisphere
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Rethinking The Relationship Between Civilization And Nature

Rethinking The Relationship Between Civilization And Nature | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
NPR Blogger and astrophysicist Adam Frank takes to the streets of Seattle to tell Audie Cornish why he believes we ought to think of cities and nature in a more holistic way.
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