MVRDV to upgrade historic French city with modern, ecological design

June 15, 2017 by  
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France’s historic Bordeaux World Heritage Site is getting a modern ecological refresh thanks to prolific Rotterdam-based firm MVRDV . Working together with local architecture studio Flint , the architects unveiled Ilot Queyries, a pilot project for a new neighborhood that combines the European city’s historic qualities with eco-friendly and contemporary features. The dense and mixed-use masterplan not only calls for modern architecture and green space, but will also include solar panels, an integrated water system, and optimization of natural lighting in all buildings. Located east of the River Garonne, the 2.5-hectare Ilot Queyries neighborhood occupies a coveted riverside site with views towards the water and the historic city. The mixed-use masterplan comprises over 300 apartments, commercial units, a glass-fronted rooftop restaurant, and a large public park located at the heart of the development with a garden of alder, birch, and high grasses. To optimize views, natural ventilation , and access to daylight , the architects designed the building facades with 45-degree angles. These angular buildings give the development a modern sculptural aesthetic. A large landmark building at the riverfront will feature a unique angled facade covered with varying gold shades of ceramic tiles for a beautifully textured effect. Related: MVRDV transforms an abandoned highway into a “plant village” in the sky “For the Bastide Niel master plan we make an update of the European city: based on the values of the historic city that is intimate, dense and mixed, whilst at the same time proposing new objectives like sunlight for all, even on the ground floor, new energy supplies with solar panels , integrated water system and more green spaces,” said MVRDV co-founder Winy Maas. “The concept of the cuts of the volumes is introduced here at Ilot Queyries which can be interpreted as a pilot project of the master plan Bastide Niel. Cuts in the volume allow the new qualities and allow adapting to the neighbours and mimic the height of nearby buildings. The result is ‘a true Grande Dame’ which stretches from very low pavilion-like housing towards the neighbourhoods at the back and more ambitious and monumental where the scale permits to do so, for example at the Garonne riverside facing the historic left bank.” Ilot Queyries is located next to and is a part of the larger ZAC Bastide-Niel masterplan, also designed by MVRDV, that aims to create an inviting, attractive, and greener extension to Bourdeaux’s city center. Ilot Queyries will be completed in mid-2019. + MVRDV Images via MVRDV

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MVRDV to upgrade historic French city with modern, ecological design

1,700 Flint residents sue the EPA over tainted water

February 1, 2017 by  
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More than 1,700 residents of Flint, Michigan are seeking class action status for a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency, claiming it mismanaged the water crisis in the city. The suit was filed in a U.S. District court in Michigan on Monday, and alleges that the agency failed to warn them of the dangers of the tainted water , and did nothing to pressure state or local authorities to address the issue. The plaintiffs are seeking a collective $722 million in damages. According to Reuters , part of the 30-page lawsuit reads, “This case involves a major failure on all levels of government to protect the health and safety of the public. Local, state and federal agencies and employees, working individually and at times in concert with each other, mismanaged this environmental catastrophe.” The EPA had not yet issued a comment on the court action at the time of publication. The water crisis resulted in thousands of children being exposed to water laced with lead , which is known to stunt cognitive development and cause a number of chronic health issues. Researchers believe there is no safe lower limit for lead exposure. Related: EPA regional head steps down after agency rules response to Flint water crisis “inadequate” While the city has switched back to a safe water source as of October 2015, it’s been a struggle for residents to access clean water in the meantime. The previous water system caused irreparable damage to the city’s pipes, and replacing them has been a very slow and expensive process. Though filters are available for residential taps, many are still limiting themselves to bottled water out of fear that contamination may still seep through. Via Reuters Images via Steve Johnson and Wikipedia

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1,700 Flint residents sue the EPA over tainted water

6 Michigan state workers charged with misconduct over the Flint Water Crisis

July 29, 2016 by  
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Residents of Flint, Michigan are one step closer to justice in the aftermath of the Flint Water Crisis . Today Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette filed misconduct charges against six state workers. Three employees are from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services , and three employees are from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality . The workers (including one former employee) are charged with misconduct for a variety of reasons, including allegedly misinterpreting federal regulations, manipulating reports, and conspiring to misconduct. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services employees charged are Nancy Peeler, Robert Scott, and Corrine Miller. In addition to misconduct, their charges include ” willful neglect of duty related to allegedly concealing or disregarding test results ” after tests revealed high levels of lead in the blood of Flint residents. Peeler and Scott both work in a “childhood lead poisoning prevention program” for Michigan. Miller is the Michigan Director and State Epidemiologist. Related: 33 other U.S. cities have cheated water tests that detect lead The sole state employee fired so far over the Flint Water Crisis has been Liane Shekter Smith, who was the chief of Michigan’s Office of Drinking Water and Municipal Assistance. She is among the charged employees. The other two employees to receive charges are water regulators Adam Rosenthal and Patrick Cook of the Department of Environmental Quality. Emails show Rosenthal manipulated reports about the lead levels in Flint water, and other emails show Cook wanted to quiet EPA expert Miguel Del Toral who asked about the corrosion control chemicals Flint lacked. According to The Detroit News , it is still considered unsafe to drink Flint water. In a statement, Schuette said “The families of Flint will not be forgotten. We will provide the justice they deserve. And in Michigan, the justice system is not rigged. There is one system of justice. The laws apply to everyone, equally, no matter who you are. Period.” Via The Detroit News Images via screenshot and Wikimedia Commons

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6 Michigan state workers charged with misconduct over the Flint Water Crisis

Our water systems are a disaster — how can we change that?

May 5, 2016 by  
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In the wake of the Flint crisis, communities turn to innovative technology and financing to prevent the next crisis.

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Our water systems are a disaster — how can we change that?

A changing China for a changing climate

May 5, 2016 by  
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The country may be the world’s largest carbon emitter, but China has the potential to become a clean energy leader.

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A changing China for a changing climate

CH2M and IBM have a fix for our water systems disaster

April 15, 2016 by  
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In the wake of the Flint crisis, communities turn to innovative technology and financing to prevent the next crisis.

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CH2M and IBM have a fix for our water systems disaster

As Masters wins are tallied, how about the environment?

April 15, 2016 by  
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Golf has some opportunity to push for environmental stewardship. Why hasn’t it done much?

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As Masters wins are tallied, how about the environment?

What’s the deal with lead and the White House moonshot on water?

March 23, 2016 by  
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With the nation reeling from the latest example of ill-fated water infrastructure in Flint, a new initiative in Washington could offer a path forward.

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What’s the deal with lead and the White House moonshot on water?

Machine purifies Flint river water on the spot for residents hit by crisis

February 22, 2016 by  
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A company from Florida traveled all the way to Michigan to provide clean drinking water to residents of Flint , who are still unable to use water from their taps due to high levels of lead and other contaminants stemming from corroded pipes. They didn’t bring trucks filled with water, though. Instead, ANSA Technologies  is sourcing water from the Flint River – the very same source that led to the water crisis in the first place – and purifying it on the spot. Read the rest of Machine purifies Flint river water on the spot for residents hit by crisis

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Machine purifies Flint river water on the spot for residents hit by crisis

Flint counsel says that manslaughter charges may be possible

February 11, 2016 by  
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Investigators looking into the lead contamination of Flint, Michigan’s water supply says those leaders involved in the crisis may face charges as severe as manslaughter . The city’s corrosive tap water, in the aftermath of switching water sources in April 2014, has been the center of a public health emergency for many months, and the role played by government leaders is still being determined. Sky-high levels of lead in the water have caused thousands of children to suffer from lead poisoning , while other contaminants in the water may be linked to deaths from Legionnaires’ disease. Read the rest of Flint counsel says that manslaughter charges may be possible

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Flint counsel says that manslaughter charges may be possible

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