Winning Mexloop Hyperloop design could connect 42M people in new megalopolis

September 15, 2017 by  
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Traveling between Mexico City and Guadalajara takes over six hours by car today – but imagine making that trip in under 45 minutes. It could be possible in the future with a new Hyperloop system proposed by Mexloop , a Mexican consortium which includes names like Arup and Fernando Romero Enterprise , co-designers of Mexico City’s New International Airport. Their suggested Hyperloop network is a winner of the Hyperloop One Global Challenge. Mexloop’s Hyperloop network could connect four major metropolises in Central Mexico , including the country’s capital and two of its cities with the greatest populations, according to Mexloop. The resulting megalopolis would connect 42 million people – which could be 60 million people by 2050. Mexloop says the proposed Hyperloop corridor would boost the economy and ease traffic in what they described as the most congested city in the world. Related: Hyperloop One conducts first full-scale test of superfast transportation system In addition to Mexico City and Guadalajara, Santiago de Querétaro and León would also be on the Hyperloop route, which would span 330 miles. It would take around 38 minutes to travel the full route. And the project could be cost-effective; according to Mexloop, early estimates hint a Hyperloop system could be two thirds of the cost of a high speed rail project. And Hyperloop tickets would cost around the same amount as a car or bus trip, or the price of a low-cost flight. Mexloop is already looking to the future, saying Phase 2 of the project could involve extending the route to Manzanillo in the west and Veracruz in the east, and north to Monterrey and Nuevo Laredo on the Mexico-United States border. The Hyperloop One Global Challenge drew more than 2,600 entrants, and Mexloop was one of 10 winners . Other winning teams submitted proposals for the United States, India, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Hyperloop One now plans to work with the winning teams to further hone the proposals. + Mexloop + Hyperloop One Images courtesy of Mexloop

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Winning Mexloop Hyperloop design could connect 42M people in new megalopolis

Plastic-degrading fungus found in Pakistan trash dump

September 15, 2017 by  
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We’re filling up the world with plastic , and the material takes up to a millennium to break down in landfills . A group of scientists sought a solution to our plastic problem in nature – and they actually found one: a plastic-devouring soil fungus . Our current solutions for dealing with plastic aren’t working well. Not all of the material is recycled , and it’s polluting landfills and oceans . Sehroon Khan of the World Agroforestry Center said in a statement, “We wanted to identify solutions with already existed in nature, but finding microorganisms which can do the job isn’t easy.” Related: Plastic-eating caterpillar could revolutionize waste treatment Khan, lead author on a study published this year in Environmental Pollution , said they took samples from a dump in Islamabad, Pakistan “to see if anything was feeding on the plastic in the same way that other organisms feed on dead plant or animal matter.” Turns out, there was such an organism: the fungus Aspergillus tubingensis . Laboratory trials revealed the fungus can grow on the surface of plastic, where it secretes enzymes that break chemical bonds between polymers. The researchers even found A. tubingensis utilizes the strength of its mycelia to help break plastic apart. And the fungus does the job rapidly: the scientists said in weeks A. tubingensis can break down plastics that would otherwise linger in an environment for years. Factors like temperature and pH level may impact how well the fungus can degrade plastic, but the researchers say if we could pin down optimal conditions, perhaps we could deploy the fungus in waste treatment plants, for example. Khan said his team plans to determine those factors as their next goal. Khan is also affiliated with the Chinese Academy of Science, and eight other researchers from institutions in China and Pakistan contributed to the study. Via Agroforestry World Images via Alan Levine on Flickr and courtesy of Sehroon Khan

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Plastic-degrading fungus found in Pakistan trash dump

Beautiful co-working space takes over a former industrial factory in Mexico City

July 12, 2017 by  
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An old factory in Mexico City has been gutted and repurposed into a modern co-working space with an industrial chic edge. Mexican architects Estudio Atemporal designed the adaptive reuse project, which takes advantage of the existing sawtooth roof and tall ceilings to create airy, light-filled spaces. Bright pops of color, timber surfaces, and an abundance of greenery go a long way in softening the heavy appearance of concrete columns and cinderblocks. Located in the Anáhuac neighbourhood, the co-working space, called Guateque , spans an entire city block with a 722-square-meter footprint. The building comprises two joined volumes: a two-story volume with a sawtooth roof and a three-story volume with a flat roof. The former comprises a greater diversity of co-working spaces , while the latter houses parking, communal kitchen and dining, and an open workshop-style space. Related: Tom Dixon transforms a 17th-century London church into a chic co-working space Natural light floods the building through clerestory windows. The architects installed glazed divider walls to delineate spaces within the building without obstructing the light. A mezzanine level was installed to create intimate work areas with low ceilings. Ping-pong tables with yellow boards also punctuate the co-working area. + Estudio Atemporal Via Dezeen

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Beautiful co-working space takes over a former industrial factory in Mexico City

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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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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