Barcelona set to double tree population in major urban greening push

May 18, 2017 by  
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You may think there isn’t much space for a centuries-old, built-out city like Barcelona to radically greenify itself with double the amount of trees and expanded green space. But that’s exactly what the city aims to do. They recently rolled out a Plan of the Green and Biodiversity Barcelona 2020 , including ambitious goals that could offer ideas to other dense cities needing greenery too. Air pollution , heat, and climate change are among the reasons Barcelona needs to become a greener city. But they have a plan – their 2020 goals could see twice the number of trees flourishing in the city, alongside park space increased by two thirds. Overall each citizen could receive nearly 11 square feet of extra green spaces . The plan aims to provide Barcelona with 108 acres of new green areas by 2019 and more than 400 acres by 2020. Related: Paris allows anyone to plant an urban garden How will the city accomplish this feat? First, they’ll plant five new gardens , which will later be connected to open spaces already in place to form thriving plant-filled corridors. Green roofs will also help keep the city cool. Creepers will snake across bare walls. And in spaces waiting for construction, the city will plant temporary gardens. CityLab reports some of the new gardens are already being built, and their designs reveal how to find space in a city where one might think space would be lacking. For example, the largest garden will be planted around a city square once filled with cars. That traffic will now be diverted to tunnels. Another garden is more controversial – the city will clear out a courtyard block filled with squatted 1920’s workshops to make way for greenery. One garden will green up a scrap of ex-industrial semi-wasteland. Slowly the city is filling up with new flora and fauna – local architecture firm JORNETLLOPPASTOR drew up many of these images around five years ago. Green corridors planted in the past have been successful; a 2000 one restored life to a stream formerly dirty. As climate change raises temperatures, a city that already reaches around 90 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer stands to benefit greatly from the air-cleaning, cooling plants. Via CityLab Images via Ajuntament de Barcelona

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Architects envision a bright new future for Milan’s abandoned railways

May 4, 2017 by  
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Five international studios recently unveiled exciting plans to revitalize seven disused rail yards in Milan, Italy. MAD Architects , EMBT , Stefano Boeri Architects , Cino Zucchi Architetti and Mecanoo reimagined the brownfield sites as beautiful green spaces with social housing and green transportation systems. MAD Architects focused on incorporating sustainable mobility in their design. The team envisioned an entire ecosystem of cycle lanes, footpaths, and pedestrian-friendly spaces that connect different spatial concepts dedicated to different functions. Related: MAD offers up two design proposals for Lucas Museum: one for SF, one for LA Miralles Tagliabue EMBT designed a project named Miracoli a Milano (Miracles in Milan) that includes an area devoted to creativity, one that focuses on education, one dedicated to leisure and entertainment, and a zone for emerging, innovative start-up companies . Stefano Boeri Architects proposed an urban reforestation project for the city. The proposal would transform 90% of the site area into public lawns, woods, green spaces, and orchards interconnected by a sustainable mobility network. Related: UNESCO announces winning design for the Bamiyan Cultural Center in Afghanistan Dutch firm Mecanoo designed seven mobility hubs where trains, subway lines, trams and busses would meet and link to other local and regional hubs. Cino Zucchi Architetti designed a proposal that references the traditional Brolo wooded garden. They replicated the flexibility of this space and envisioned different sites as distinctive environments dominated by greenery. + MAD Architects + Miralles Tagliabue EMBT + Stefano Boeri Architects + Cino Zucchi Architetti + Mecanoo Via Dezeen

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Architects envision a bright new future for Milan’s abandoned railways

Indian ‘fruit of the gods’ could lower cost of solar cells by 40%

May 4, 2017 by  
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Could India’s ‘fruit of the gods’ help lower the price of solar cells ? Scientists at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee discovered jamun, a black plum, contains a pigment able to absorb sunlight. They think utilizing the fruit in mass production of solar panels could slash costs. Jamun, Syzygium cumini , is indigenous to south Asia and is sold on the street for cheap prices. Jamun trees can grow to be nearly 100 feet tall and live for 100 years, and the black plums from those trees are lauded for medicinal and nutritional value. But now they may play a role in generating clean energy as well, thanks to their pigment anthocyanin. Related: India doubles down on solar power with huge park capacity increase IIT-Roorkee assistant professor Soumitra Satapathi told Quartz India, “We were looking at why the jamuns are black. We extracted the pigment using ethanol and found that anthocyanin was a great absorber of sunlight.” Satapathi and two other researchers from the institute used that anthocyanin as a sensitizer in dye sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). They think utilizing naturally occurring dyes, like the jamun pigment, could lower solar panel costs by 40 percent. Anthocyanin is also found in blueberries, raspberries, cherries, and cranberries. DSSCs aren’t as efficient as traditional silicon-based solar cells yet, but could offer a low cost alternative – beneficial especially for India as the country aims to gain 40 percent of energy from renewables by 2030. But the IIT scientists aren’t quite there yet; their DSSCs only have an efficiency of 0.5 percent, contrasted with traditional solar cells’ efficiency of over 15 percent. Nevertheless, the scientists pointed out jamun is widely available, and could offer a biodegradable , non-toxic alternative to synthetic dyes that have been used in DSSCs. The IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics published the research online recently. Via EcoWatch and Quartz India Images via Dinesh Valke on Flickr and Wikimedia Commons

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Indian ‘fruit of the gods’ could lower cost of solar cells by 40%

This 18th-century London townhouse hides a swimming pool under a glass floor

May 4, 2017 by  
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This 18th-century London townhouse hides a swimming pool under a glass floor

State-of-the-art Dineen Hall at Syracuse University digs for LEED Gold

November 16, 2015 by  
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DELVA Landscape Architects created a community oasis for the city of Utrecht

July 1, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of DELVA Landscape Architects created a community oasis for the city of Utrecht Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “dutch architecture” , brick architecture , city park , delva landscape architects , green architecture , green spaces , public garden , public spaces , shared garden , storm water collection

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DELVA Landscape Architects created a community oasis for the city of Utrecht

10 enchanting gardens around the world will inspire and amaze you

May 19, 2015 by  
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It’s no secret around here at Inhabitat that we love gardens. We love them all: big ones, tiny ones , urban ones, vertical ones , and especially the ones that make you go, “Wow!” We also love how the interpretation of a garden can be vastly different from one spot on the globe to another. Since inspiration can be found in so many forms, we’ve scoured the globe and rounded up 10 of the most enchanting gardens around the world for you to pay a virtual visit to. Bring your friends and children along, because there truly is something for everyone in this list. READ MORE > Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: beautiful gardens of the world , destination gardens , garden tourism , gardens of the world , green spaces , inspiring gardens , inspiring green spaces , most enchanting gardens

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The Parkolation Project helps special-education kids and brings green spaces to Boston

March 25, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of The Parkolation Project helps special-education kids and brings green spaces to Boston Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: boston , green innitiative , green spaces , Parklet , public spaces , small parks , student work , temporary park , The Parkolation Project , Urban design , Wilhelmina Peragine

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The Parkolation Project helps special-education kids and brings green spaces to Boston

Project Meganom to reconnect Moscow and its riverfront with gorgeous communal green spaces

December 15, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of Project Meganom to reconnect Moscow and its riverfront with gorgeous communal green spaces Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: city parks , green spaces , green urbanism. green masterplan , Moscow , Project Meganom , riverfront , Russian architects , water purification , waterfront

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Project Meganom to reconnect Moscow and its riverfront with gorgeous communal green spaces

Squirrels Were Introduced to U.S. Parks to “Maintain People’s Health and Sanity”

December 16, 2013 by  
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“ SQUIRREL! ” Have you ever wondered why parks and other urban green spaces are filled with squirrels? Well, Etienne Benson , an assistant professor in Penn ’s Department of History and Sociology of Science , believes that their intentional introduction to America’s green spaces was “essential to maintaining people’s health and sanity”. In his latest paper, “The Urbanization of the Eastern Gray Squirrel in the United States,” Benson explains how squirrels were intentionally introduced in order to alter people’s conceptions of nature and community. Read the rest of Squirrels Were Introduced to U.S. Parks to “Maintain People’s Health and Sanity” Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: boston , central park , etienne benson , squirrels , University of Pennsylvania , US green spaces , us parks , us squirrels        

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