Massive sinkhole opens up in the middle of a Brazilian farming town

November 22, 2017 by  
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Watch your step! An enormous sinkhole has opened up in the tiny municipality of Coromandel, in the State of Minas Gerais, Brazil. As Forbes  reports, the 65-foot hole appeared overnight in the thick of a local soybean farm swallowing up earth, crops, and putting some 28,000 residents on alert. While some in the area had suspected a meteor was to blame for the cavernous hollow, geologists from the Federal University of Uberlândia have confirmed the sinkhole was in fact caused by the disintegration of the town’s underlying limestone bedrock. In addition to farming soy, coffee, and corn, the region is active in mining pure calcareous limestone, a sedimentary rock that spans much of the area. The town of Coromandel, in fact, sits atop a large stretch of limestone. While the sinkhole is the first to be recorded in the area’s modern history, geologist Trevor Nace is quick to point out that its occurrence is far from abnormal and should not be considered unexpected given the region’s limestone bedrock. Related: Japanese fix massive city sinkhole within 48 hours Nace says rain is slightly acidic. “As it percolates into the ground it can, over time, dissolve calcium carbonate into calcium, carbon dioxide, and water.” He adds, “As the limestone (calcium carbonate) dissolves it leaves voids underneath the ground and eventually the overlying weight of the sediment causes the area to collapse. This collapsed feature is a sinkhole.” Nace also cites “ Poço Verde/Green Well ,” a local tourist destination that professors surmise was once a sinkhole that over time evolved into a lake. Via Forbes Images via Coromandel’s press release and Google Earth

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Massive sinkhole opens up in the middle of a Brazilian farming town

3D-printed pod homes for the homeless could cling to NYC buildings

November 22, 2017 by  
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Creative agency Framlab has proposed a type of parasitic architecture for housing New York City’s growing homeless population. Called Homed , the temporary housing solution comprises partly 3D-printed hexagonal pods that use scaffolding to attach to the sides of unused, windowless building facades. The modular units could be easily customized for different uses and transported from site to site. In an estimate by the Coalition for the Homeless , over 61,000 people are sleeping in New York City’s homeless shelters every night, a growing number that Framlab pins in part to the loss of single-room occupancy (SRO) units. In the face of rising real estate costs, Framlab’s Homed proposal to bring back SROs banks on the city’s abundance of “vertical land,” the blank sidewalls of buildings that appear as developments come and go. Using scaffolding to anchor the homes on the sidewalls, Homed’s hexagon-shaped housing modules could form temporary micro-neighborhoods and a type of private and attractive housing that most shelters are unable to provide. Following Homed’s tagline “Creating a Shelter with Dignity,” the tiny pods aim to create “a warm and friendly environment” in a year-round home. Each aluminum-framed pod features interior modules 3D printed from recyclable bioplastics and clad with wood laminate. PMMA smart glass lets in ample natural light, while the layer of thin film diodes provide privacy and can be used to depict artwork or commercial content on the outside. The flexibility of the modules allows a wide array of uses that include sleeping, showering, and socializing. Related: Parasitic pod homes attach to buildings to provide additional housing Framlab notes that Homed isn’t a “single solution to the situation. Rather, it is intended to be an instrument that plays a part in the solution. The massive extent and complexity of the situation requires work on a broad regulatory and policy-making level. But, it is critical that the design community is part of the process.” + Homed Via Dezeen

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3D-printed pod homes for the homeless could cling to NYC buildings

Episode 100: ‘Retuning’ our mindsets; charging up better storage

November 10, 2017 by  
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In our 100th episode: Why investors are bullish on sustainable infrastructure, what to expect from COP23, and how a diamond company helped build a nation.

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Episode 100: ‘Retuning’ our mindsets; charging up better storage

The seven groups extractives companies must engage

October 17, 2017 by  
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From employees and business partners to small-scale miners, engaging with these groups means the difference between a successful project and failure.

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The seven groups extractives companies must engage

To halt mining, a tribe and a logging community weave together

October 7, 2017 by  
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In the 1980s, a mining company tried to divide a Wisconsin community. Instead, it created “one of the country’s fiercest grass-roots environmental face-offs.”

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To halt mining, a tribe and a logging community weave together

Renewables offer mining a groundbreaking opportunity

August 10, 2017 by  
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With the potential to cut a gigaton of carbon, it’s time to take a hard look at sustainable mining.

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Renewables offer mining a groundbreaking opportunity

3 digital strategies to make your sustainability story pop

August 10, 2017 by  
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Americans increasingly want to hear your company’s sustainability story, a key way to differentiate your brand. Now, make that story stand out.

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3 digital strategies to make your sustainability story pop

5 key areas to jumpstart climate-smart investment

August 10, 2017 by  
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Energy storage is just one hot spot of innovation that IFC recommends watching.

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5 key areas to jumpstart climate-smart investment

Episode 86: Mining’s $16 billion problem; resilient cities rise

July 28, 2017 by  
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In this week’s episode, why mayors are appointing chief resilience officers, cap-and-trade makes a comeback and biomimicry turns 20.

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Episode 86: Mining’s $16 billion problem; resilient cities rise

Doing the math on mining’s $16 billion climate problem

July 21, 2017 by  
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A new CDP report analyzing 12 major mining companies details both pitfalls and potential low-carbon openings for the industry.

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Doing the math on mining’s $16 billion climate problem

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