Our society needs a new story to belong to. The old story of empire and dominion over the earth has to be looked at in the full light of day - all of our ambient cultural stories and values that we take for granted and which remain invisible must become visible.
But most of all, we need to see the promise of the alternatives - we need to be able to imagine new exciting ways that people could live, better than anything that the old paradigm could ever dream of providing.
Light Park is a skyscraper that hovers over the streets of Beijing like a giant airship. Architects Ting Xu and Yiming Chen have conceived the future of high-rises to be a conglomerate of mega-structures that make up for the shortage of urban open spaces on the ground by lifting them up in the air.
The Light Park skyscraper is lifted off the ground with a helium-filled balloon, and it uses solar energy for propulsion, enabling it to function as a non-polluting transportation deck as well as a floating urban park. The technology is based on existing helium balloon designs, using solar-powered propellers, airbags and atmospheric pressure for takeoff and cruise flight. Solar power is utilized to power the uses below, with translucent solar panels located on the top of the aircraft. In order to avoid additional weight and decrease wind resistance, the skyscraper uses a cable-suspended structure to attach the slabs to the mushroom-like cap. The planting slabs are irrigated with rainwater collected on the large cap surface and are distributed in a way which allows maximum exposure to sunlight on each level...
Taisei Corporation is using its Ecological Reproduction System (Tecorep) to gradually lower the Grand Prince Hotel Akasaka, and bemused passersby have already witnessed the 140m-high (about 460 feet) tower quietly shrink to 110m (about 360 feet). It’s a far more elegant method when compared with the much-unchanged tack of getting something big and heavy and smashing it into a building, or the presumably fun but incredibly messy process of blowing it up. Buildings are of course dismantled using cranes already, but only from the exterior and for towers under 100m — and they’re far from green. Having investigated new methods since 2008, Taisei is suggesting that for buildings over 100m we need to adopt a new approach.
Taipei just broke ground on a twisting skyscraper that is wrapped with a jungle of vertical gardens...
Designed by Vincent Callebaut Architecture, the 455,000-square-foot Agora Tower will have an orchard, a vegetable garden, space for aromatic and medicinal plants, and a compost and rainwater capture system.
Designed to mimic two encircling hands and the helical structure of DNA, the towers are organized a central core that allows for a “hyper-abundance of suspended gardens.” These will spill over with edible and decorative plants, enabling residents of 40 luxury apartments to harvest a great deal of their own food (except for protein.) Plus, the rainwater capture system alleviates pressure on the municipal water supply and gives the complex even greater independence.
Each 540 square meter apartment will have an interior green wall as well, ensuring optimum air quality and a great green aesthetics. A circular light funnel will push daylighting right down to the basement of the building, a solar roof will provide energy, and low E glass will mitigate excess solar gain and prevent thermal loss.
Complete with nanotechnology and a host of other high-tech features, this one-of-a-kind tower may well be the greenest of its kind when it is completed circa 2016....
Suppose you could replace "Made in China" with "Made in my garage." Suppose also that every time you polished off a jug of two percent, you would be stocking up on raw material to make anything from a cell phone case and golf tees to a toy castle...
WATER POLLUTION - CANADA TAKES CRAP FOR FLUSHING RAW SEWAGE INTO THE OCEAN - According to Macleans, Canada’s leading news magazine, the sewage is a mixture of water, human waste, microorganisms, toxic chemicals, heavy metals, EXCRETED PHARMACEUTICALS and, potentially, pathogens such as cholera, typhoid and hepatitis B. http://environment.about.com/od/waterpollution/a/canadasewage.htm
In an amazing sustainability quadruple play, researchers at the University of Colorado Denver are working on a fuel cell that can desalinate water, treat wastewater and generate electricity in a single process, while producing hydrogen gas that is re-used to make the treatment process run efficiently. What’s amazing about it is that the operation is run by microscopic living organisms that exist all around us and even inside of us, otherwise known as microbes – yes, microbes
Discarded or used shipping containers with their unique configuration offer a great scope for designers to let loose their creativity and produce some innovative structures, which not only presents unique formation to meet individual needs but also...
A new smart material called a MOF (metal organic framework) has the ability to adsorb carbon dioxide and release it when exposed to sunlight thus creating a new breakthrough in a way to recycle CO2 emissions using renewable energy.
New research says that black carbon, or soot, is making a much larger contribution to global warming than previously recognised.
This new study concludes the dark particles are having a warming effect approximately two thirds that of carbon dioxide, and greater than methane.
"The large conclusion is that forcing due to black carbon in the atmosphere is larger," lead author Sarah Doherty told BBC News. ....
The researchers say black carbon emissions in Europe and North America have been declining due to restrictions on emissions from diesel engines. But they have been growing steadily in the developing world. However as these type of particles don't last very long in the atmosphere, cutting their number would have an immediate impact on temperatures.
Cutting emissions from diesel engines could have a big effect
"Reducing emissions from diesel engines and domestic wood and coal fires is a no-brainer as there are tandem health and climate benefits," said Professor Piers Forster from the University of Leeds.