Winding boulevard in the sky to snake through Shenzhen

April 3, 2018 by  
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An elevated mile-long park has been unveiled for Shenzhen , China. Envisioned as a “meandering skydeck,” this “boulevard in the sky” is part of HASSELL’s competition-winning masterplan for a mixed-use precinct within the new Qianhai business district. Flanked by greenery and overlooking views of the city, this elevated walkway will serve as an uninterrupted cycling and jogging path linking together cultural destinations across a new lushly planted greenway. Building on the success of elevated park projects and greenways around the world, the Qianhai Mawan Mile will be a multifunctional public space promoting the arts, retail, and public health. “This project is designed to engage people – particularly the young, mobile residents of this fast-changing area – and promote better health and social connections,” wrote HASSELL. “The masterplan consists of four integrated layers: above and below ground neighbourhood zones, a continuous park, a series of pavilion buildings and a skydeck weaving through it all.” Related: Breathable skin to wrap around stunning light-filled Book City in Shenzhen The Qianhai Mawan Mile comprises three main layers in 3.36 hectares of green space with over a hundred programmatic features. Whereas the skydeck above serves primarily as a circulation route and exercise area, the ground level greenway will be split into a variety of passive and active zones with gardens, children’s play areas, group exercise spaces, and piazzas with cafes as well as performance venues and art installations. A major entertainment precinct will be placed below ground with direct access to multiple metro concourses. A new cultural district with three pavilions will anchor the Qianhai Mawan Mile’s south end. + HASSELL Studio Via ArchDaily Images via HASSELL Studio

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Winding boulevard in the sky to snake through Shenzhen

China’s new rain-making system could increase rainfall by billions of cubic feet

April 2, 2018 by  
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China needs water — and their answer to the issue is a massive weather modification system being developed by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC). South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported the country is testing technology that could increase rainfall in the Tibetan Plateau by as much as 10 billion cubic meters, or around 353 billion cubic feet, every year. Will a huge rain-making system help China with water issues ? SCMP said they plan to build tens of thousands of chambers across the Tibetan mountains to generate rain over an area of around 620,000 square miles, or “three times the size of Spain.” The chambers will burn solid fuel to create silver iodide, which SCMP described as a “ cloud-seeding agent with a crystalline structure much like ice.” They said the chambers will be located on steep ridges facing the south Asia monsoon . Wind striking the mountain will produce an upward draft, carrying particles into clouds to bring about rain. Related: World’s largest fog harvester produces water from thin air in the Moroccan desert Real-time data from 30 weather satellites , each one watching monsoon weather above the Indian Ocean, will guide daily operation of the chambers. The ground-based network will also draw on cloud-seeding methods with drones , planes, and artillery to maximize the impact of the system, according to SCMP. A researcher on the project told SCMP, “[So far,] more than 500 burners have been deployed on alpine slopes in Tibet, Xinjiang, and other areas for experimental use. The data we have collected show very promising results.” The publication said although the idea isn’t a new one, China is the first country to try “such a large-scale application,” and  space scientists designed and built the chambers with “cutting edge military rocket engine technology.” Via South China Morning Post Images via Depositphotos and Eutah Mizushima on Unsplash

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China’s new rain-making system could increase rainfall by billions of cubic feet

Huge graveyards of abandoned bikes are piling up in China after sharing craze reaches peak

April 2, 2018 by  
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Bike-sharing took off in China , where many city dwellers battle smog and bikes offered a potential clean alternative. Now, without the infrastructure to support them, and an over-saturation in the sharing market, abandoned bikes have piled into massive graveyards in cities like Shanghai and Beijing  – forcing us to ask: are bicycles polluting metropolises they were intended to aid? The Atlantic reported  bike sharing growth surpassed demand and  Deutsche Welle (DW) said  that bikes are piling up into massive graveyards. 16 to 18 million bikes hit streets in China from around 60 companies, TIME said , and most cities weren’t prepared to handle the influx. There aren’t any set docking stations or bike stands, so most bikes are just parked on the side of the road, according to the publication. Back in December, Fortune reported the co-founder of bike-share startup Ofo , Zhang Siding, said, “The bike-sharing phenomenon has grown very quickly in the last few years, but the layout and infrastructure [of] cities in China aren’t something that can be changed as quickly to accommodate this new trend.” Related: China’s largest bike share launches air-purifying bicycles for 20 million citizens Bike graveyards have grown as some bike-sharing companies fold, and their surplus bicycles sprawl in vacant lots. DW said police now have to gather unwanted vehicles from roads and parks, and pile them in fields out of city centers. According to Fortune, last year Ofo launched a credit score system: users would be penalized for antisocial behavior like traffic violations or bike dumping, and rewarded for positive behavior, like reporting damaged or lost bikes. If users’ points were all deducted, they’d be barred from the service. They were also reportedly working with interest groups in cities to come up with new strategies — for example, in Guangzhou, traffic wardens or local groups can send feedback to the company if bikes are accumulating and Zhang said, “we’ll send people down to deal with it.” Health and air quality benefits are still present with bike-sharing, and The Atlantic said the trend is still popular, and bike-sharing will likely keep growing — just maybe at a slightly more sustainable rate. Via The Atlantic , TIME , Deutsche Welle , and Fortune Images via Philip Cohen on Flickr , Chris on Flickr and Wikimedia Commons ( 1 , 2 )

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Huge graveyards of abandoned bikes are piling up in China after sharing craze reaches peak

What’s behind the California bill to ban internal combustion car sales by 2040

March 29, 2018 by  
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A bold bill follows in the footsteps of England, France, China and others.

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China reports meeting its 2020 carbon intensity goals three years early

March 28, 2018 by  
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Xie Zhenhua, China ‘s top climate official, has reported that the country has met its 2020 carbon intensity target three years earlier than expected. China’s carbon intensity, as measured by the amount of carbon dioxide produced per unit of economic growth, has decreased by 46 percent since 2005. Such changes in China’s energy economy bode well for a global community that is struggling to meet its obligations under the Paris Agreement . If China, the world’s largest consumer of fossil fuels, can continue its progress towards a carbon-free economy, the nation of nearly 1.5 billion may be well-positioned to support other countries in their efforts to stop catastrophic climate change. In 2009, China set its goal of reducing its carbon intensity by 40 to 45 percent of its 2005 carbon levels. This initial concession towards a less carbon -intense economy helped to set the stage for the successful negotiations of the Paris Agreement. At the time, China also made a commitment to set up a national cap-and-trade system by which emissions would be reduced through market forces. Thus far, it has been unable to establish a functional emissions market. Related: Less fertilizer, greater crop yields, and more money: China’s agricultural breakthrough The cap-and-trade system has also been hindered by technical difficulties and a lack of reliable emissions data. The current scheme, which launched in late 2017, involves only the power sector. As the country attempts to develop its cap-and-trade regime, it also must confront challenges created by a major bureaucratic change that transferred the responsibility for climate change from the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) to the Ministry of Ecology and Environment. “It is questionable whether in the short term [the new ministry] can be elevated in status and power to the extent that it will be able quickly to assume the influential role that the NDRC occupied in the area of climate change ,” Peter Corne, a managing partner at the Shanghai legal firm Dorsey & Whitney, told Reuters . Nonetheless, China is making progress and that is good news for all of us. Via Reuters Images via Depositphotos (1)

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China reports meeting its 2020 carbon intensity goals three years early

Less fertilizer, greater crop yields, and more money: China’s agricultural breakthrough

March 16, 2018 by  
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Nearly 21 million farmers in 452 counties across China have adopted recommendations from scientists in a 10-year agriculture sustainability study to reduce fertilizer use. According to a Nature news article , their efforts are paying off: all told, the farmers are now around $12.2 billion better off than they were before. 46 scientists, led by Cui Zhenling of China Agricultural University , were part of the landmark study aiming to cut fertilizer use. Chinese farmers use around four times the global average of nitrogen without lowering yields, which has myriad environmental consequences. The researchers conducted 13,123 field studies between 2005 and 2015 all across China at wheat, rice, and corn farms, testing “how yields varied with different crop varieties, planing times, planing densities, fertilizer, and water use. They also measured sunlight and the effect of the climate on farm production,” according to Nature . Related: China subverts pollution with contained vertical farms — and boosts yield The scientists came up with tailored advice for farmers depending on conditions in their location. Nature gave northeast China rice farms as an example: there the researchers suggested farmers cut overall nitrogen use by around 20 percent. They said farmers could plant seeds closer together and increase nitrogen applied late in a growing season. Between 2006 and 2015, millions of farmers adopted the suggestions, and the scientists held around 14,000 workshops and outreach programs. Cui said, “The [farmers] were skeptical, but we gained their trust, and then they depended on us — that was our greatest reward.” That trust seemed to pay off: according to the China Agricultural University’s press release , the practices “increased grain production by 33 million tons, reduced nitrogen fertilizer use by 1.2 million tons, and increased income by 79.3 billion yuan.” Some researchers think the lessons learned in the $54 million project may not translate easily in other countries. University of Leeds scientist Leslie Firbank told Nature , “It would clearly have benefits across sub-Saharan Africa, but an approach is needed that crosses borders, organizations, and funders.” Nature published the study online earlier in March. + Nature + China Agricultural University Via Nature News Images via Depositphotos and Wikimedia Commons

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China’s Recycling Ban: What Do We Do with Our Plastics Now?

March 15, 2018 by  
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Thanks to curbside recycling programs, most Americans have developed an … The post China’s Recycling Ban: What Do We Do with Our Plastics Now? appeared first on Earth911.com.

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China’s Recycling Ban: What Do We Do with Our Plastics Now?

China is winning the war on air pollution

March 14, 2018 by  
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China is notorious for having some of the worst air pollution on the planet. In 2014 the country declared war on smog, and the results are in: China is killing it. In just four years, pollution is down 32 percent on average. Now, it’s fair to say that the country is leading the way in proving to the world that meaningful change is possible. Getting to this point wasn’t easy. The Chinese government has been very aggressive in controlling pollution by prohibiting new coal plants and forcing existing ones to reduce emissions, closing some steel and coal mines, and reducing automobile traffic. It has also invested heavily in renewable energy. And it’s working; Beijing has seen air pollution fall by 35 percent and Shijiazhuang has realized a drop of 39 percent. China’s most polluted city of Baoding had a reduction of 38 percent. Related: China calls America selfish amid Trump attempt to revive coal Almost every region in China has beat its targets, and the results go beyond allowing people to breathe easier – experts believe that Chinese citizens could live 2.4 years longer on average if these declines persist. Via Popular Mechanics and The New York Times Images via Deposit Photos ( 1 , 2 )

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China is winning the war on air pollution

China is creating a giant panda park three times the size of Yellowstone

March 8, 2018 by  
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China just announced that it has secured over $1.6 billion in funding for a massive panda reserve that will help the animals recover their numbers in the wild. The Giant Panda National Park will cover 10,000 square miles – twice as big as Yosemite Park and three times as big as Yellowstone – of mountainous wilderness where pandas can breed and live without human encroachment. The park will be constructed in the Sichuan , Gansu and Shaanxi provinces. All of the 2,000 wild pandas in the world live in these three provinces, with 80% in Sichuan. Pandas in the different provinces are currently isolated, but creating a park will allow them to join together and, hopefully, reproduce. Related: Giant pandas removed from the endangered species list in huge conservation win China announced plans for the park last year, but the project didn’t have the funding to make it a reality. The Bank of China and the Sichuan Department of Forestry joined together to make the park happen over the next five years. Via Phys.org Images via Flickr and Deposit Photos

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China is creating a giant panda park three times the size of Yellowstone

New hybrid solar panel harvests energy from raindrops

March 8, 2018 by  
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A team of Chinese engineers have created a new hybrid solar panel that can also harvest energy from raindrops. This new technology takes advantage of the triboelectric effect, the electrical charge of certain materials after coming into contact with a different material. Triboelectric nanogenerators (TENGs) deliberately create this charge through friction and may someday be used to capture static electricity as energy from a variety of materials, including clothing, car wheels, or touch screens. For the moment, TENGs are successfully being used to capture the latent energy of raindrops. To create a TENG, the team added two transparent polymer layers on top of their solar panel. The upper layer polymer is made from polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) while the lower layer is composed of poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):poly(styrenesulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS). To increase the TENG’s efficiency, the polymer layers were imprinted with grooves modeled on the data side pattern of DVDs. When raindrops fall, they push the top layer into contact with the lower layer, which then acts as an electrode between the TENG and the solar panel . Related: The cost of high-efficiency solar panels fell 37% in 2017 Although the resulting electricity produced by the TENG-enhanced panel is relatively small, it nonetheless proves that such a device works and could be scaled up with further research. While this is not the first instance in which a TENG has been incorporated into a solar panel, the team describes their device as simpler, more streamlined and easier to manufacture than previous models. Theirs emphasizes the abundance of energy that exists all around us, which only needs to be harnessed to step closer towards a true clean energy economy. Via New Atlas Images via Depositphotos and ACS Nano

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