Chile creates five new national parks from 10 million acres of land in historic act

January 30, 2018 by  
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In a landmark act of conservation, Chile has created five new national parks out of over 10 million acres of land in Patagonia . One million of these acres was donated to the Chilean government by American philanthropists Kristine McDivitt Tompkins, the former CEO of Patagonia Inc., and the late Doug Tompkins, who founded North Face and Esprit. Chilean president Michelle Bachelet signed the law creating these parks, forging a vast 17-park route through the beautiful, sparsely populated region. The one million acre donation from the Tompkins represents the culmination of decades of land conservation work in Chile, and what is being called be the largest donation of privately held land in history. A beloved place in life, Patagonia is where Doug Tompkins passed away in 2015 in a kayaking accident. The Tompkins are one of several foreign landowners of Patagonia, a role not without controversy or dissent from locals. Still, their land donation marks a major milestone in Chilean conservation . Related: Scientists discover 52-million-year-old tomatillo fossil in Patagonia “This is not just an unprecedented act of preservation,” Bachelet said in a speech in Patagonia, according to The Guardian . “It is an invitation to imagine other forms to use our land. To use natural resources in a way that does not destroy them. To have sustainable development – the only profitable economic development in the long term.” Bachelet’s environmental legacy is not limited to Patagonia. Now at the end of her term, Bachelet has also recently created one of the largest Marine Protected Areas near Easter Island, preserving 720,000 square kilometers in the Pacific Ocean . “President Bachelet is leaving behind a bold legacy of environmental protection,” Maximiliano Bello, an advisor to the Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy program, told The Guardian . “This is more impressive because Chile is still a developing country, with a long history of development and exploitation of resources – in most cases over-exploitation. If Chile can take these huge environmental steps, there are few reasons why developed nations can’t act as well.” Via The Guardian Images via Deposit Photos ,  Carolina Del Campo/Flickr and payayita/Flickr

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Chile creates five new national parks from 10 million acres of land in historic act

Sail away from it all in this gorgeous floating tiny home

January 30, 2018 by  
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The tiny home trend is now taking to the open ocean with this beautiful tiny houseboat. The Nautilus Hausboote is a sophisticated floating home with a stunning interior. The compact houseboat is outfitted with numerous space-saving features and enough room for a family of six. The Berlin-based company that makes the boats, Hausboot Kaufen, is leading the way into a new generation of floating tiny homes that offer just as much comfort as their land-based counterparts. Although the Nautilus design comes in a few versions, the standard houseboat offers just under 500 square feet of living space. The boat has two stories, with the living space on the first floor and an open-air deck on the roof. A LED lighting system is installed throughout. Related: Solar-powered floating home in Portugal generates a year’s worth of energy in just six months The entrance is through a serene outdoor deck that leads to the interior living room – a light-filled space with a comfy seating area and kitchen. A contemporary suspended fireplace and underfloor heating warms up the space on chilly nights at sea. Floor-to-ceiling glass walls add to the feeling of openness on the interior as well as an abundance of natural light. The adjacent kitchen has plenty of counter space and storage cupboards. There are two bedrooms and an office space that can double as a guest room at the back of the boat. All in all the houseboat can accommodate a family of six. + Nautilus Houseboats

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Sail away from it all in this gorgeous floating tiny home

Italy wants to roll out Smart Highways with first aid drones

January 30, 2018 by  
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Self-driving cars and drones are transforming the world we live in – and designers are harnessing these new technologies to make transportation safer, faster and more efficient. Carlo Ratti Associati teamed up with highway agency ANAS to design a new Smart Highway where drones deliver first aid and warn of hazardous road conditions up ahead. The Smart Highway program could be be implemented on more than 2,500 kilometers of roads and highways in Italy. The pioneering infrastructure system comprises a series of “flying poles” equipped with multiple sensors and Wi-Fi connections. On the top of each pole there is a recharging station from which drones can take off and start monitoring the road. Drones can serve several purposes–from maintenance to delivering first aid equipment, and detecting accidents, fires and floods . Related: Self-driving cars are hitting Atlanta this September Data collected by the poles can inform drivers, in real time, of road conditions ahead. Direct, customized messages can be sent to each driver’s mobile phone or to each vehicle’s on-board navigation system , which in turn can give feedback back to the system. Related: Dubai plans to launch autonomous flying drone taxis by mid-2017 “With this project, we aim to superimpose a digital layer over the existing physical infrastructure of our road network, to gather better data about our highways,” said Carlo Ratti, founding partner at CRA and professor of the practice of urban technologies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). “The next step will be to pool this data with information already collected by individual cars, in an “Internet-of- Roads” scenario that will make us ready for the other revolutionary breakthrough that is likely to happen in the next decade: the arrival of self-driving vehicles,” he added. + Carlo Ratti Associati

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Italy wants to roll out Smart Highways with first aid drones

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