Paris bans up to 60% of cars amidst record heat wave

June 28, 2019 by  
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As France suffers through a record heat wave, air pollution rates intensify. The solution? A Parisian car ban for less eco-friendly automobiles — as much as 60 percent of total vehicles in the city — until the hot weather breaks. The car ban has been creeping up on Parisians since 2017, when Paris issued a system of “Crit’Air” colored stickers with numbers ranging from 0 to 5. The worst polluters, diesels made in the year 2000 or earlier, get the 5 ranking and have been banned from central Paris since July 2017. This July, the ban extends to cars with level 4 stickers: diesel cars registered from 2001-2005, pre-2004 motorbikes and trucks from 2006-2009. These vehicles aren’t allowed within Paris’ A86 ring road area weekdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Related: Amsterdam announces plan to ban all polluting cars by 2030 But during this hot weather, level 3 vehicles are temporarily banned from A86. This affects 60 percent of Parisian drivers. Only hydrogen or electric vehicles, petrol cars registered after 2006 and diesels from 2011 or later can legally drive during the heat wave. Hydrogen and electric cars warrant a green sticker with the coveted 0 ranking. Many drivers are upset. Some are risking the fines — €68 for cars and motorbikes and up to €135 for trucks. “You have to face reality, which is the increase in air pollution when there is a heat wave, like the one we are experiencing at the moment,” France’s Minister of Ecological Transition, François de Rugy, told the French press. Other anti-air pollution measures include offering more free residential parking to encourage public transport usage and significantly reducing speed limits on motorways. Christophe Najdovski, deputy transport director for the city of Paris , told the French press, “The quality of the air is improving in Ile-de-France, but we want to speed up the process. It’s a question of public health .” Via Reuters Image via Pedro Szekely

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Paris bans up to 60% of cars amidst record heat wave

Michelin is letting the air out of its tires: Why that matters for sustainable mobility

June 10, 2019 by  
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The 130-year-old French tire company will test the technology first on electric passenger vehicles in collaboration with General Motors.

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Michelin is letting the air out of its tires: Why that matters for sustainable mobility

A conversation with Google’s circularity maven, CSO Kate Brandt

June 10, 2019 by  
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A Q&A with Google’s resident circular economy expert and Circularity 19 advisor on how tech matters to new systems.

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A conversation with Google’s circularity maven, CSO Kate Brandt

Curvaceous algae-covered towers proposed for Hangzhou

May 11, 2018 by  
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Paris-based studio XTU Architects recently unveiled designs for a futuristic high-rise in Hangzhou that blends sustainable technologies into an organic, sculptural design. Cloaked in a “bio facade” of micro algae -covered panels, the curvaceous towers can produce oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide. Dubbed French Dream Towers, the mixed-use complex would also incorporate rainwater harvesting, a greenhouse, and an aquaponics system. Currently under review, French Dream Towers comprises four buildings clustered around a central water body. The towers feature sloped facades that give the project its organic shape and help facilitate rainwater collection . The mixed-use complex includes a French Tech Hub with offices and co-working spaces; an Art Center comprising galleries, artist residences, and market space; a hotel with wellness facilities; and a luxury restaurant with French fusion cuisine and a bar. Related: Incredible Algae Dome absorbs sun and CO2 to produce superfood and oxygen “The culture of micro-algae on the building facade is a process developed by XTU for several years,” said the architects of their patent-pending micro-algae panels. “It allows the symbiosis: the bio facade uses the thermal building to regulate the culture temperature of algae and at the same time these facades allow a much better insulation of buildings.” + XTU Architects Via Dezeen Images via XTU Architects

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Curvaceous algae-covered towers proposed for Hangzhou

France aims to become the first country to ban all fossil fuel production

September 6, 2017 by  
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To meet its carbon neutral goal by 2050, the French government plans to phase out all oil and gas production in the country and its overseas territories by 2040. President Emmanuel Macron is introducing legislation to the French Cabinet with the hope of passing the measure by the end of 2017. If the bill passes, France would be the first country in the world to ban all fossil fuel production. As a result of the bill’s passing, the government would no longer issue any exploration permits for gas and oil, and all present allowances would be phased out over the next twenty-two years. Even though fracking is illegal in the country, the bill would go one step further and prohibit all methods — both current and proposed. “The law will halt the exploitation of hydrocarbons in our territory; existing concessions cannot be renewed beyond 2040,” states the bill draft. France, the same country that banned supermarkets from purposefully wasting food , is in an ideal situation to pass the ban. As Gizmodo reports, France’s dependence on fossil fuels is very low. The country only produces about six million barrels of hydrocarbons per year, ranking it 71st in the world. In contrast, the United States, Russia , Canada and a handful of Middle Eastern Nations rely heavily on fossil fuel extractions. Russia, for example, produces 10.5 million barrels each day. Related: Futuristic tiny homes in France look like they’re from Mars Because France’s present-day consumption of oil and gas represents just one percent of its total consumption, the country will continue to import and refine oil after 2040. France’s leading oil company, Total, has been granted permission to locate oil deposits in overseas territories. It is unclear how the new legislation will affect the company. Other measures adopted by France include plans to stop generating electricity from coal by 2022 and to reduce its share of nuclear in its power generation by approximately 25 percent. The move is largely symbolic, since France only gets 1% of its fuel within the country, but it is a clear indication that the country is taking its carbon goals seriously. Via  New York Times , Gizmodo Images via Pixabay , President of Russia , and Depositphotos

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France aims to become the first country to ban all fossil fuel production

Beautiful wooden lattice bathes the French School of Beijing in natural light

November 16, 2016 by  
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The campus is located on a site named after orchards that used to dominate the area. As of recently, new developments have started to sprout across this piece of land. High-end residential blocks, international schools and low-rise buildings have all introduced a new urban character. Related: Jacques Ferrier Architecture’s Cap d’Agde Hotel is enveloped in a delicate lace-like concrete skin Jacques Ferrier’s new addition, named The French school, is a continuous building of varying heights and several entrances connected by  walkways . Shared spaces occupy the ground floor, while the outdoor spaces open towards the canteen’s orchard; sports facilities are designed as separate pavilions. The classrooms are organized on the upper floors in a way that provides flexibility of use. The project’s most distinctive feature is the wooden lattice, which lets in natural light without sacrificing privacy. + Jacques Ferrier Architecture Via World Architecture News

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Beautiful wooden lattice bathes the French School of Beijing in natural light

Paris to go completely car-free for an entire day this September

August 24, 2016 by  
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For one glorious day in September, the streets of Paris will be without traffic jams , car horns, or the smell of exhaust fumes. On “Journée sans voitures,” or Car Free Day, the city hopes to raise awareness of alternative transportation and the mindfulness that can come from experiencing all the city has to offer at a walking pace. Following in previous years’ footsteps, Car Free Day will take place on September 25 this year. From the hours of 11am to 6pm all motorized vehicles will be banned from the streets, inviting cyclists, skateboarders, and pedestrians to revel in the quiet atmosphere of a carless city. The Conventions and Visitors Bureau states, “People from the Paris region and visitors will be able to enjoy a peaceful and breathable city with 648.15 kilometers of car-free roads, equivalent to 45% of the area of the city.” Related: The streets of Paris will go completely car-free for one day this weekend The event is expanded this year to cover nearly ever neighborhood in the French capital. Car Free Day is the brainchild of non-governmental organization Paris Sans Voitures, Collectif Citoyen , who says the special day “emphasizes mobility issues, the fight against pollution, the reclaiming of public space.” There will be free outdoor activities for the public and a sense of camaraderie that is often missed when people buzz about in cars and buses. Via Forbes Images via Wikimedia ( 1 , 2 )

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Paris to go completely car-free for an entire day this September

Old French barn is converted into modern apartments for the elderly

March 11, 2016 by  
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France becomes world’s first county to ban supermarkets from throwing away food

February 5, 2016 by  
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In an effort to tackle the dual problems of food waste and poverty, France just passed a groundbreaking law that requires supermarkets to donate unsold food to charity, give it away as animal feed, or face fines of up to €75,000 ($82,324) and two years in jail. The law, which was passed unanimously this week by the French senate, is part of a greater drive to halve the 7.1 million tons of food wasted in the nation each year—some of which is intentionally destroyed by retailers to prevent ‘dumpster diving’ by those in need. Read the rest of France becomes world’s first county to ban supermarkets from throwing away food

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France becomes world’s first county to ban supermarkets from throwing away food

The UK will soon house the world’s largest offshore wind farm

February 5, 2016 by  
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A Danish wind energy giant recently announced a plan to build the world’s largest offshore wind farm  near the Yorkshire coast. The Hornsea project, as it’s being called, will take up more than 400 square kilometers about 120 km off the coast, and it should be fully operational sometime in 2020. The company behind this ambitious project is DONG Energy , Denmark’s state-backed energy utility. Read the rest of The UK will soon house the world’s largest offshore wind farm

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The UK will soon house the world’s largest offshore wind farm

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