Worlds largest bike parking garage opens in the Netherlands

August 11, 2017 by  
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Good news for cyclists in the Netherlands — which, to be honest, is pretty much everyone. The country just unveiled the world’s largest bike parking garage ! By the end of 2018 the 184,000-square-foot facility beneath Utrecht’s central train station will be able to hold 12,500 parked bikes. For years, bicycle enthusiasts have been urging the government to update its parking infrastructure . Martijn van Es, the spokesman for the Dutch cycling organization Fietsersbond, says the country could do much more to accommodate the growing volume of cyclists . He said, “They have been talking about updating the city since 1989. The infrastructure hasn’t changed enough. And there are a lot more cyclists today than there were, [and much of the infrastructure] was built in the 1980s.” Van Es has a point. Bicycles outnumber people in the Netherlands , and the average citizen cycles more than 600 miles a year. Additionally, over one-fourth of the population bikes to work. It’s because of this that parking garages such as the one in development are in high demand. Related: The Netherlands is converting prisons into homes for refugees The Guardian reports that the Utrecht train station is an ideal location for the parking garage, as 40 percent of commuters who arrive there do so by riding a bike. And, according to Tatjana Stenfert, the project manager at Utrecht station’s square, even more bike parking will be added to the area in the future. She said, “We will have 12,500 places by the end of 2018. But then we will have to do some research and find more places for the bikes . It never stops. I look around and everyone is trying hard to find spaces – trying hard and fast.” + CU2030 Via The Guardian , Curbed Images via CU2030

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Worlds largest bike parking garage opens in the Netherlands

The UK will require electric car chargers at all major gas stations

August 10, 2017 by  
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Electric cars are expected to reach cost parity with gas-powered vehicles as soon as 2018 – and governments around the world are introducing new legislation and incentives to keep up with increasing demand. The UK just announced a new law that requires all major petrol (gas) stations and motorway services to install electric car chargers. The Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill, which was revealed during the Queen’s parliamentary speech, commits the government to improving the country’s electric charging infrastructure. It also requires that charging points be easy to access, work seamlessly across the UK and fall in line with the same set of technical and operational standards. As Auto Express reports, the UK’s public charging infrastructure is having a tough time keeping pace with EV uptake. In fact, a recent investigation reveals that electric and plug-in car ownership increased from 2,254 vehicles in 2012 to 85,983 at the end of 2016. At the same time, the number of charging points in the UK only grew to 11,736 in 4,243 locations (from 2,883 in 1,287 locations) during the same period. Previously, the European Parliament said there has to be at least one charger for every 10 electric cars on the road for EVs to become commercially viable. However, data obtained by charge point database Zap-Map shows that the ratio of EVs to chargers has grown from 0.78 to 7.32 in four years. Requiring all major petrol stations to install EV charging points is sure to further improve the car-per-charger-ratio. Related: GM is selling an electric car in China that costs just $5,300 Of course, it’s important to remember that it’s not just up to the government to install charging infrastructure. Says Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, “Ultimately, public investment in charging infrastructure will need to be matched by the private sector.” Via Auto Express Images via Pixabay

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The UK will require electric car chargers at all major gas stations

Worlds longest pedestrian bridge opens in the Swiss Alps

August 1, 2017 by  
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If you’re afraid of heights, look away. The world’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge has finally been completed in Switzerland , and it’s a whopping 1,620 feet long. 300 feet above an Alpine ravine, the Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge forms part of the Europaweg — a two-day mountain trail which connects the towns of Grächen and Zermatt. The new installation saves hikers a long detour after a previous bridge was damaged by falling rocks. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8iuwWHduKQ CNN reports that the bridge is comprised of steel yet is only 25 inches wide. Because the footstep surface is grated, it is possible to look below and view the Grabengufer ravine as one walks. The bridge, which opened Saturday, is specifically “for hikers with no fear of heights,” according to a news release by local travel agency Zermatt Tourism. “The thrill of traversing the precipice is indescribable,” the agency wrote. Though it might be scary walking across the world’s longest bridge, captivating views of the 14,783-foot Weisshorn Mountain and the Bernese Alps are sure to make the crossing a worthwhile one. And, considering the passing saves hikers three to four hours of walking, it’s a shortcut most people will be more than happy to take advantage of. + Zermatt Tourism Via CNN Images via Valentin Flauraud

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PAU’s inclusive Penn Station revamp is a sustainable alternative to the current plan

August 1, 2017 by  
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Practice for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU)’s  revamped Pennsylvania Station plan represents a more inclusive alternative to the government’s current concept for a new Amtrak station in the Farley Complex. PAU decided to reuse the superstructure and foundations of Madison Square Garden and create a civic space that reflects the historical complexity of the site and enhances capacity, safety, and user experience for all of Penn’s users, regardless of income or social status. Passively heated and cooled, the transport hub  aims to create a grand commuter pavilion at minimal public cost and disruption, at the same time complementing the Amtrak station in the east end of the Farley Complex, entrances and concourses to the north and west, and the tracks and platforms planned to become part of the Gateway tunnel project. Related: Governor Cuomo reveals updated renovation plans for NYC’s Penn Station Inspired by Philip Johnson’s circular New York State World’s Fair pavilion and Pan Am’s “Worldport” building at JFK, the architects proposed to reclad the structure of the Madison Square Garden– which will find its new home 800 feet away in the west end of the Farley building– in a double-skin glass wall which allows natural light to penetrate into the interior, but regulates solar gain for maximum comfort. A sawtooth pattern in the glass picks up changes in light through the day, acting as a sundial for travelers as they ascend from the platforms. The entire concept has not only environmental control in mind, but safety as well. The suggested oculus at the center of the circular building quickly purges smoke in the event of a fire and all of the glass is blast-proof. + Practice for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU) Via Architizer

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PAU’s inclusive Penn Station revamp is a sustainable alternative to the current plan

Coming Total Solar Eclipse to be an ‘event of the century’, scientists say

August 1, 2017 by  
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In just three weeks, one of the “events of the century” will makes its way across the United States, inspiring awe, excitement and even fear. On August 21, there will be a total solar eclipse , and scientists are saying that it will be a once-in-a-lifetime event that is not to be missed. Educator at the American Museum of Natural History Joe Rao has been speaking to audiences about the coming eclipse. He told them a total eclipse is something you never forget and defies words. As the moon begins to block out the sun, the temperatures drops, the light changes and the birds begin to quiet. Related: Alaska Airlines is intentionally delaying a flight for the coolest reason Rao warned people not to look at the sun under any circumstances, even while it is covered by the moon. You can purchase eclipse glasses, though be sure to purchase them from a reputable company, since faulty eclipse glasses have been hitting the market. If you don’t have glasses, you can look at the trees, since leaves will show a crescent shadow.  You can also try one of the DIY methods . Viewers can check out NASA’s eclipse website for the 100-mile wide  path of totality , which will carve through South Carolina starting around 1:15 pm, up to Nebraska and will exit the US through Oregon at 9 am (local time). Hotel rooms in the path are already selling out and experts warn travelers to be aware that traffic will be difficult. Some airlines are selling tickets for eclipse-viewing flights. For those not lucky enough to be in the path, viewers will be able to see a partial eclipse as far away as South America and parts of Africa. Via Fox News Science Images via Deposit Photos and Pixabay

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Coming Total Solar Eclipse to be an ‘event of the century’, scientists say

Tiny futuristic plastic homes in France look like they’re from Mars

August 1, 2017 by  
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The tiny house movement is on the rise today, but architects have been crafting tiny mobile homes long before the trend was given a name. In a throwback to the retro tiny houses of the 1960s and early ‘70s, the sculpture park Friche de l’Escalette curated Utopie Plastic, an exhibition of stunning and sci fi-esque homes made of molded colorful plastics. Set against a stark post-industrial landscape south of Marseille, these prefabricated buildings set the groundwork for futuristic transportable homes from the UFO-like Futuro House to the “Bubble House” Bulle homes. Plastics revolutionized design, particularly in the 1960s and ‘70s when designers explored new possibilities offered by injection-molded plastics. Until the 1973 oil crisis pulled the brakes on the plastics boom, architects also took advantage of the malleability of plastics to craft modular housing with unusual shapes in bright, eye-catching colors. The season-long Utopie Plastic exhibition celebrates these organically shaped homes of a bygone era in an open-air gallery where visitors can sit and dine among the prefabricated structures. Perhaps the exhibition’s biggest draw is the Futuro House , a UFO-shaped house designed by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen, of which fewer than 100 were built during the ‘60s and ‘70s. The prefabricated home is elevated on steel legs and accessible via a folding staircase and hatch door. Two versions of Jean-Benjamin Maneval’s Bulle a Six Coques (“Bubble House”) are on display as well, one with its original interior fit-out and the other as an empty shell. Related: UFO-shaped Futuro prefab pod lands in London The low-lying orange boxy house is the Hexacube, designed by Georges Candilis as a mobile holiday home . Other futuristic and unusually shaped plastic furnishings, from Maurice Calka’s Boomerang Desk to Wendell Castle’s Baby Molar Chair, dot the landscape with bright pops of colors. The Utopie Plastic exhibition is on view by appointment from July 1 to October 1, 2017. + Friche de l’Escalette Via Architectural Digest Images via Galerie 54

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Taipei transforms subway cars into ultra-realistic swimming pools and sports fields

July 19, 2017 by  
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No diving, please! Taipei is getting into the sporting spirit by transforming the interiors of its subway trains into mini sports arenas to celebrate the 29th Summer Universiade Games . The fun artwork, which is shockingly realistic, was inspired by the major sporting events that will take place during the event such as swimming, track and field, soccer, baseball and basketball. Photo by huei_0804 The 29th Summer Universiade Games will be held in Taipei from August 19th to August 30th. To celebrate the event, the city has transformed the interior of the city’s MRT trains to resemble sporting arenas . The city really went all-out to create lifelike settings – the swimming train, covered in what looks like inches of flowing water, is shockingly realistic. Related: Beijing’s futuristic new subway stations are straight out of Blade Runner Each of the subway trains has also been equipped with a FAQ box that will provide information about the scheduled events as well as rules and interesting facts related to the sport portrayed in each carriage. The fun campaign, which is sponsored by The Department of Information and Tourism and EasyCard Corporation, encourages subway riders to take selfies to post on Instagram to generate awareness of the sporting event. + Taipei Tourism Via This is Colossal Images via Taipei Tourism and Instagram

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Hyperloop One conducts first full-scale test of superfast transportation system

July 12, 2017 by  
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Before long, passengers will be able to travel at airline speeds for the price of a bus ticket to destinations around the world. How so? By boarding the Hyperloop One, which uses magnetic levitation technology to transport objects in a vacuum. The concept, which was first proposed by Elon Musk in 2013, is finally becoming a reality – today Hyperloop One announced that it has completed its first full-scale test. The company’s hyperloop vehicle reached 70 mph while pulling 2Gs on the test track. The Verge reports that the aerodynamic pod is 28 feet long and is made of structural aluminum and carbon fiber. It relies on electromagnetic propulsion and mag-lev technology to carry both human and cargo passengers at near supersonic speeds. The company wrote on its website , “The world is ready for a new mode of transportation that will change the way we live. We’re in the business of selling time, the most precious resource there is.” After Hyperloop One’s first full system test, co-founder Shervin Pishevar and chief engineer Josh Giegel appeared on CBS This Morning. A video of the low-speed test was also released to the public (above). Pishever described the test as the company’s “Kitty Hawk Moment” and said it is their “first in flight ” milestone. Related: Hyperloop One exhibits exciting first images of full-scale test track Hyperloop One is now entering its next phase of testing with a goal of reaching 250 mph. Eventually, it hopes to reach speeds up to 750 mph. The founders wrote, “We’re developing routes in five countries . The goal is to be moving cargo by 2020 and passengers by 2021.” + Hyperloop One Via Verge Images via Hyperloop One

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Pavegen unveils world’s first energy-harvesting smart street in London

June 30, 2017 by  
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An underutilized street in London’s West End has been transformed into a colorful outdoor space exhibiting sustainable technologies , and right down the center runs Pavegen’s energy-generating pavement . The company, which has been around since 2009, has seen their pavement that harvests power from footsteps installed in 150 projects, but now their product is part of what they describe as the world’s first smart street. Walkers traversing the pavement can connect to an app and see how their footsteps in Bird Street have generated electricity . Pavegen installed a 107-square-foot array in Bird Street to harness and convert the power of footsteps into electricity, which will supply energy for lights and bird sounds in the area. Bluetooth Low-Energy transmitters are also part of this array, so that users can interact with the array via apps. People can see their steps on the energy-harvesting pavement translate into discounts, vouchers, and clean electricity. Related: Pavegen’s kinetic walkway in South African mall will power rural villages Pavegen CEO Laurence Kemball-Cook said in a statement, “With installations in Washington, D.C. and at vital transport hubs including Heathrow, being able to demonstrate how our technology can bring to life the retail shopping experience is a vital step for us. As retailers compete with online, technologies like ours make being in the busy high street more exciting and rewarding for people and brands alike.” Other sustainable technologies on Bird Street include Airlabs’ CleanAir bench, which sucks nitrogen dioxide from the air to create a clean air bubble. Airlite air-purifying paint was also used in Bird Street. Pop-up shops offering shopping or dining beckon visitors. The outdoor space is meant to offer a vision for healthier urban areas. Transport for London Director of City Planning Alex Williams said the innovative Bird Street concepts could be brought to other areas of London, bringing 21st century thinking to improve urban streets. + Pavegen Images courtesy of Pavegen

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Pavegen unveils world’s first energy-harvesting smart street in London

Elon Musk says first segment of LA tunnel complete

June 30, 2017 by  
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If you ever want to take on a crazy project and see results in under a year, call Elon Musk . He’s already making progress on his stuck-in-traffic daydream of tunnels beneath Los Angeles . This week he tweeted The Boring Company’s tunnel boring machine, cheekily named Godot, completed the first tunnel portion. According to Musk, we’re “no longer waiting for Godot.” Musk seems to be having a lot of fun with his side project he somehow fits into his free time. And he’s making strides towards the dream of clearing out Los Angeles’ notorious congestion by moving vehicles underground. The Boring Company’s new machine has started operating and already finished the first segment of a tunnel. Related: Elon Musk says LA mayor is open to The Boring Company’s traffic tunnels No longer waiting for Godot. It has begun boring and just completed the first segment of tunnel in LA. — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 28, 2017 Godot is around 400 feet long, with a diameter of 26 feet, and weighs 1,200 tons. Musk hinted on Twitter they still hope the machine will bore faster in the future. He said they have a long way to go before they beat Gary, a snail from SpongeBob SquarePants whom Musk referenced in April in a TED talk , saying “Victory is beating the snail.” The project started near the SpaceX parking lot in Hawthorne. And according to Electrek, it appears this first segment simply connects the parking lot to the company’s buildings. But Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti has indicated his interest in Musk’s venture – he name-dropped the tech entrepreneur in an ABC7 interview and Musk said they’d had promising conversations. Electrek also quoted Musk as saying the full length of the first tunnel “will run from LAX to Culver City, Santa Monica, Westwood, and Sherman Oaks. Future tunnels will cover all of greater LA.” It seems this pipe dream might become reality after all. + The Boring Company Via The Verge and Electrek Images via The Boring Company

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