Mexico City is sinking – and it’s going to cause some real problems

February 20, 2017 by  
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Mexico City , a scant mile and a half above sea level, is sinking. It’s a turn of events that shouldn’t surprise anyone with a rudimentary grasp of history. Established by the Aztecs in 1325, the city formerly known as Tenochtitlán occupies what was once a plexus of interconnected lakes that were first drained by the Spaniards, then paved over with concrete and steel by modern engineers. As a result, Mexico City has to dig deep—literally—to obtain fresh water for its 21 million residents. But the drilling weakens the brittle clay beds that serve as the city’s foundation, according to the New York Times , hastening the collapse even further. For Mexico City, climate change isn’t a game of partisan ping-pong. Per the Times : More heat and drought mean more evaporation and yet more demand for water, adding pressure to tap distant reservoirs at staggering costs or further drain underground aquifers and hasten the city’s collapse. In the immense neighborhood of Iztapalapa — where nearly two million people live, many of them unable to count on water from their taps — a teenager was swallowed up where a crack in the brittle ground split open a street. Sidewalks resemble broken china, and 15 elementary schools have crumbled or caved in. Related: Xomali House in Mexico City makes clever use of a tiny 115 square foot lot Rising temperatures and the increased incidence of droughts and floods could send millions of Mexicans fleeing north and “heightening already extreme political tensions over immigration.” At the same time, Mexico City is facing a water crisis that prevents nearly 20 percent of its residents from getting water from their faucets each day. People have had to resort to hiring trucks to deliver drinking water, sometimes at prices 10 times higher than what richer neighborhoods with more reliable plumbing have to pay. “Climate change is expected to have two effects,” Ramón Aguirre Díaz, director of the Water System of Mexico City, told the Times . “We expect heavier, more intense rains, which means more floods, but also more and longer droughts.” If rain stops filling the reservoirs, “there is no way we can provide enough trucks of water to deal with that scenario,” he added. Mexico City could still rally some long-term solutions, but like most places, the city is roiled by political infighting. “There has to be a consensus—of scientists, politicians, engineers and society—when it comes to pollution, water, climate,” said Claudia Sheinbaum, a former environment minister. “We have the resources, but lack the political will.” Via New York Times

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Mexico City is sinking – and it’s going to cause some real problems

Green-roofed timber cabin floats above the ground in Mexico City

November 18, 2016 by  
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Set within a grove of trees, the Black Cabin is protected from acoustic disturbance and visual pollution. In a nod to the environment, the contemporary cabin is clad in black-stained black pine planks and punctuated by large glazed panels that frame views of the landscape and promote passive ventilation and natural light. The building’s green roof doubles as a thermal filter and is accessible as a secondary garden space and outdoor dining area. Related: Green-roofed home with rusting walls appears to grow out of a Finnish forest The 106-square-meter cabin comprises three modules: a private module containing the bedroom and bathroom; a semi-public module with the kitchen, guest bathroom, and laundry room; and the public module housing the living room and outdoor terrace. The building frame is made from recyclable metal and is elevated 60 centimeters above the ground to protect the house from water, humidity, and cold. The airy interior is made warm and welcoming with natural timber surfaces and white-painted gypsum-paneled walls. + Revolution Architects Via ArchDaily Images via Revolution Architects , by Black Rabbit

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Green-roofed timber cabin floats above the ground in Mexico City

10 brilliant communal designs helping people work and live together

August 29, 2016 by  
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1. WeWork and WeLive WeWork is an internationally recognized concept with luxury communal working spaces situated across the globe. Their membership plans allow freelancers and entrepreneurs to work at any WeWork space in the world. They’ve recently expanded their successful brand to include WeLive , a line of fully-furnished apartment complexes that boast communal workspaces, kitchens, roof decks, and even hot tubs. 2. Neuehouse Neuehouse is another urban co-working space that caters itself to creatives. Based in New York, Los Angeles, and London, Neuehouse transforms vacated and industrial buildings into multi-level communal workspaces that include screening rooms, broadcast studios, dining spaces and conference rooms, all centered around a modernist and artistic aesthetic. 3. 17th century London church by Tom Dixon Designer Tom Dixon transformed a 17th century London church into a contemplative co-working space for Clerkenwell Design Week . He installed some of his own lighting and furniture designs, including a chandelier made of CURVE lights and geometric tables and chairs. The project was inspired by vicar Andrew Baughen, who hoped to make the church more accessible to local creatives. 4. Coworkrs Brooklyn Leeser Architects transformed an old Brooklyn factory into this vibrant co-working space near the Gowanus Canal. The converted warehouse combines striking pops of color with the raw, industrial edge of the original building. The forward-thinking design features suspended LED lighting, glass conference room alcoves, and angular staircases. 5. Hoffice Some freelancers are drawn to majestic spaces; others wish for more down-to-earth offices . Swedish project Hoffice is perfect for those who want a home atmosphere but have trouble being productive alone. Hoffice helps freelancers turn their own apartments and homes into shared co-working spaces where others can come work – for free. Many have been drawn to the Hoffice idea; people in Southeast Asia, Australia, and North America have hosted events so far. 6. B:Hive Six friends outfitted a unique co-working space in Connecticut with the goal to ” create something that couldn’t be replicated .” They scoured thrift stores to find furniture and furnishings to upcycle into a funky “anti-office,” B:Hive Bridgeport . Complete with decorations from a Ping Pong table to a bicycle desk and barn wood tables, their hive offers a vibrant space for creatives looking to connect with the community. 7. 1975 ferry transformed as a buoyant work/live space Architect Olle Lundberg often works with salvaged materials . He found a 1975 ferry in Iceland, the Maritol, and brought it to San Francisco , where he worked his magic. Lundberg converted the ferry into a space where he lived and worked with his wife before selling it to Kahle and Creon Levit, who turned the old ship into a co-working space affectionately called the ” Icebreaker .” 8. Solar-powered Coboat catamaran Coboat offers the opportunity for digital nomads to take to the seas and live and work aboard a wind – and solar -powered catamaran . Desalination provides water for the boat dwellers as they live a ” zero carbon footprint ” lifestyle on the ocean . Seating outdoors and indoors allows freelancers to take full advantage of the experience. 9. Mexico City helipad converted into a co-working space and garden Coca-Cola decided it no longer needed its rooftop helipad in a Mexico City office. So they asked Rojkind Arquitectos and AGENT to renovate the helipad into a garden and co-working space. Called Foro Ciel , the space features a green roof sprouting native plants that includes an ” integrated solar system “. Walkways through the garden offer inspiring panoramic views of the city. 10. 19th century factory in Madrid inspired by Picasso Google tasked Jump Studios with converting a 19th century Madrid factory into a campus that can house ” 7,000 workers and 50 resident start-ups .” The architecture and design firm created a bold space that incorporates the building’s brick walls. For the colors decorating the factory , Jump Studios drew inspiration from painters Joaquín Sorolla and Picasso. Images via WeWork , Neuehouse , Tom Dixon , Leeser Architecture , Hoffice by David Wild and Amrit Daniel Forss, Peter DaSilva at The New York Times , B:Hive Bridgeport Facebook , Coboat , ©Jaime Navarro courtesy of Rojkind Arquitectos, and Jump Studios

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10 brilliant communal designs helping people work and live together

Mexico City bans over one million cars as air pollution skyrockets

March 17, 2016 by  
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In the midst of an air pollution crisis, Mexico City just banned over one million cars. Ozone levels rocketed to almost double the standard parameters, so to incentivize people to stop driving, the authorities offered free subway or bus rides. Read the rest of Mexico City bans over one million cars as air pollution skyrockets

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Mexico City bans over one million cars as air pollution skyrockets

Automated Tepozcuautla House in Mexico features daylit glass-bottomed steel bridges

February 4, 2016 by  
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Uganda to launch its first solar-powered bus this month

February 4, 2016 by  
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What better place to harness the sun’s power than right at the equator? After a successful test drive, the east African nation of Uganda will launch its first completely solar-powered bus , the Kayoola, later this month. The move marks a powerful first step in the pursuit of cleaner public transit. Read the rest of Uganda to launch its first solar-powered bus this month

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Green-roofed LEED Platinum CENTRO University offers an idyllic study oasis in Mexico City

October 9, 2015 by  
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California adopts ambitious new climate change policy

October 9, 2015 by  
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For better and for worse, California stands on the front lines of climate change . As the Golden State struggles with an historic and devastating drought , Governor Jerry Brown recently signed SB350 into law, setting a high bar in climate change policy to which other states should aspire. With this new legislation, the California state government aims to increase the use of renewable energy as well as improve energy efficiency in new and existing buildings. Read the rest of California adopts ambitious new climate change policy

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11 Zimbabwe elephants found dead from cyanide poisoning in Cecil’s park

October 9, 2015 by  
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Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe has been the scene of another unnecessary killing, as park officials have confirmed they found 11 elephants poisoned to death with cyanide. Just months after Cecil the Lion was killed by American dentist Dr. Walter James Palmer in the same park, park rangers found the deceased elephants next to a cyanide-laced salt lick, several with their tusks removed. Authorities have also said three additional elephants were found dead in Matusadona Park, also from cyanide poisoning. Read the rest of 11 Zimbabwe elephants found dead from cyanide poisoning in Cecil’s park

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Mexico City’s busiest avenue returning to residents as a stunning elevated public park

August 24, 2015 by  
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