Nissan to debut its self-driving taxis in Japan

February 23, 2018 by  
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Nissan will begin testing its Easy Ride self-driving taxi service in Yokohama , Japan on March 5, 2018, with plans to launch the full service by the start of the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. In collaboration with Tokyo-based mobile app developer DeNA, Nissan will run the trial service on a 2.8 mile-route running from their headquarters to the Yokohama World Porters shopping center. While limited to start, the opening of Nissan’s Easy Ride service marks an significant step forward into the future of autonomous vehicles and urban transportation. The Easy Ride system is designed to incorporate user interests into its presentation, offering helpful information on points of interest, events, and shops. To build further ties between the self-driving taxi and local business, Easy Ride will offer coupons for recommended restaurants and businesses for users to exchange after they’ve departed their self-driving taxi. Easy Ride will also record feedback from users regarding their ride experience and their opinion on what a fair fare should be. Related: Dubai tests the world’s first autonomous mobility pods Nissan’s initial trial is planned to run for only a few weeks. However, the company plans to conduct further, more extensive tests. Recognizing the need to serve an Olympic -sized constituency as well as Japan’s aging population, the automaker plans to add more routes, implement a multi-lingual interface, and refine arrival and departure procedures over the next two years. To assuage any concerns regarding the safety of the self-driving taxis, Nissan will link each taxi to a remote monitoring center, where workers observe each ride and could take the wheel from afar if necessary. Via Engadget Images via Nissan and aotaro/Flickr

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Nissan to debut its self-driving taxis in Japan

Rios $800 million Olympic Park sits nearly abandoned after 2016 games

February 23, 2017 by  
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Last year, during the 2016 Summer Games , it would have been hard to imagine the Olympic Park in Rio de Janeiro sitting empty in the hot Brazilian sun. Sadly, this is what has become of the space today. Despite having been officially reopened in January as a public recreation area, the park is treated to only a few visitors and a longstanding bad reputation. The $800 million Olympic Park was constructed in the months prior to last year’s Summer Games in a process that displaced residents and enraged others. Clare Richardson of Vice visited residents of the old Vila Autódromo favela, a community that was forced to move, later granted new public housing in the area. The city’s promises have fallen short of the agreed upon vision of building playgrounds, a court for sports, and a community center, leaving people with plain housing in an asphalt jungle. Residents have even resorted to creating their own speed bumps out of stones and trash cans to keep nearby roads safe. Related: Japan wants to make 2020 Olympic medals from recycled smartphones Visitors to the area feel shortchanged, as well. Vital services that were available during the park’s grand opening event, such as running water and electricity, are no longer available. The typical two-hour journey from the center of the city greets commuters with a sad skatepark , playground, and the ghostly spectacles of towering arenas. Bigger events, like the Rock in Rio music festival, are planned, but the park has become an inconvenient eyesore for the rest of the year. “I’ve seen about 12 people here since I arrived five hours ago,” Vinicius Martini, a beer vendor at the park, told Vice. “And I haven’t sold any beer.” Via Vice Images via Clare Robinson

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Rios $800 million Olympic Park sits nearly abandoned after 2016 games

Why Paris 2024 promises record sustainability wins

February 17, 2017 by  
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First, the city must win the 2024 Olympics sweepstakes against Budapest and Los Angeles.

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Why Paris 2024 promises record sustainability wins

10 storylines that shaped the urban debate in 2016

January 6, 2017 by  
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From the perspective of city leaders and urban activists around the world, it’s safe to say 2016 was a year of contrasts. The year saw the Olympics of urbanism take place in Quito, Ecuador, where the United Nations held Habitat III, its once-every-20-years summit on cities. We also saw a big-city backlash in elections in the United States and United Kingdom, a rural revolt whose repercussions are still unknown.

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10 storylines that shaped the urban debate in 2016

Artificial surfing parks expected to flood the world ahead of 2020 Olympic Games

September 6, 2016 by  
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Since the announcement of surfing being added to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games , surf parks are expected to become a growing attraction , riding the sport’s rising wave of popularity. Encouraging newbies to learn how to surf on artificial waves is similar to using manmade or maintained snowboarding and skiing slopes. And the technology just keeps getting better. Surfing is a skill which takes years to master. And not everyone has access to the ocean to practice their craft. Fernando Aguerre, president of the International Surfing Association , told The New York Times , “If you’re in the ocean for an hour, and you get six, seven waves, you’re very lucky. Learning to surf is like learning to play the guitar when you can only strum once every 30 seconds.” Related: $8M artificial floating surf park proposed for Melbourne’s waterfront Surf parks are not a new invention, but the technology behind creating the perfect waves continues to improve. Doug Coors, developer of the NLand Surf Park in Austin, Texas, told the New York Times his park utilizes a hydrofoil to make waves, a large blade that cuts through the water. He calls it “a chairlift motor with a snowplow on it.” The water is sourced from a rain catchment and filtration system, and the system overall is less energy-intensive than previous generations of wave-makers. As technology improves, companies are finding ways to fit attractions into smaller spaces in cities all over the world, increasing accessibility and ramping up interest in the sport. Coors acknowledges some surfers may be excited about the expanding attractions, but others worry it will diminish the beauty of the sport. He says, “Surfing the way it is today is fantastic and I really don’t want to get in the way of that. The idea is to introduce more people and grow the sport, but do it in a responsible manner.” Head over to The New York Times for the full story. Images via Pixabay , Wikimedia

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Artificial surfing parks expected to flood the world ahead of 2020 Olympic Games

Why did this Olympic diving pool suddenly turn bright green?

August 10, 2016 by  
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After concerns over the water quality near Rio de Janeiro beaches before the Rio 2016 Olympic Games , now a supposedly clean Olympic pool has inexplicably turned green. At the Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre, startling pictures showed a blue pool and a green pool next to one another. Officials allowed Olympians to continue diving in the green pool as they seek the cause of the weird color change. The change occurred overnight. One day the pool was blue and the next day it was green. Olympic officials tested the water quality and said there were “no risks for the athletes” in a tweet . They also said they’d be “investigating the cause.” Related: Experts to Rio Olympic athletes: Don’t put your head underwater While some speculated urine produced the color, Jim’s Pool Care national manager Brett Blair told The Guardian the Olympic pool was too large to have turned green from urine. Blair speculated poor filtration could be a cause. He told The Guardian, “…the main reason a pool normally goes green is lack of sanitation…The scary part is how at a world event, a pool could go green. It’s unbelievable.” Another leading theory is that algae caused the change , because the water is so cloudy. Some Olympic divers said they couldn’t see their partners when they dove into the green water. Algae blooms can also happen when chlorine levels in a pool change, and if that’s the case at the Rio pool, it might mean some worker wasn’t doing their job. Chlorine can probably solve the pool problem; Blair said the issue could be resolved in 24 to 48 hours. While the AP reported Rio spokesperson Mario Andrada saying that algae proliferated “because of heat and a lack of wind,” we’re still waiting for the official word from the Olympic committee on why the issue happened. Via The Guardian and Gizmodo Images via Tom Daley on Twitter and screenshot

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Why did this Olympic diving pool suddenly turn bright green?

BLESS turned a hand-knotted rug into a cozy hammock for the workplace

August 10, 2016 by  
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Get ready to kiss another day of slouching in front of your computer screen good-bye. The designers behind the BLESS N° 56 WORKER’S DELIGHT installation at the Vitra Design Museum in Germany are looking to provide ergonomic solutions that improve workers’ health and well-being while getting them to step away from the screen. But they aren’t just creating another standing desk or balance ball chair. Instead, they’ve created an ingenious hammock  made out of a hand-knotted rug. Photo by Ludger Paffrath Design label Reuber Henning turned a hand-knotted rug into a cozy hammock for the BLESS N° 56 WORKER’S DELIGHT installation, demonstrating the versatility of everyday objects. The rug label teamed up with two BLESS designers and redefined their product as a suspended, moving piece of furniture in line with the concept of an experimental workspace . Four-meter fringes were used as ropes to suspend the carpet, transforming it into a large relaxing piece of furniture. Photo by Ludger Paffrath Related: Vitra’s new museum will house a permanent exhibition of iconic furniture designs The new installation BLESS N° 56 WORKER’S DELIGHT combines different materials, everyday objects , patterns and purposes to redefine the modern workspace, turning the Vitra Design Museum Gallery into a playful environment filled with experimental ergonomic and quirky design prototypes of new types of office furniture. The exhibition will be on show from 10 June until 9 October 2016. + Reuber Henning + BLESS Lead photo by Bettina Matthiessen © Vitra Design Museum

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BLESS turned a hand-knotted rug into a cozy hammock for the workplace

Yacht-inspired Olympic pavilion by Henning Larsen brings Danish culture to Rio

August 10, 2016 by  
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Located on the famous Ipanema Beach, the 3229-square-foot pavilion hosts a bar, press room, and an exhibition area where visitors can learn about Danish companies and products. A white sail cloth is stretch over aluminium masts that form a large interior space. The upper corners of the structure point upwards to reference Rio’s mountaintops, as well as the iconic project of Brazil’s most famous architect, Oscar Niemeyer . Related: Renovated Siemens Headquarters in Munich now consumes 90% less energy and 75% less water At night, the structure is lit by red-colored LEDs , which, when viewed from above, reveal the outline of the Danish flag in the cross-shaped piece of clear acrylic set into the faceted roof. Denmark is the only country to feature a dedicated pavilion space at the Games. The pavilion will stay open to the public until 21 August 2016, the final day of the Rio Olympics. + Henning Larsen Architects Via Dezeen Photos by Pedro Kok

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Yacht-inspired Olympic pavilion by Henning Larsen brings Danish culture to Rio

Rio Olympics Goes For Gold In Sustainability

August 8, 2016 by  
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The Olympics are officially upon us. The medal race is on. No matter the location, putting this mega-event on is an exercise in logistics and resources.  As such, many question the general sustainability of the Olympics. You don’t think that the…

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Rio Olympics Goes For Gold In Sustainability

Winning Montreal Biodme renovation deepens visitor connection to fauna and flora

August 3, 2016 by  
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The Biodôme is part of a series of museum pavilions collectively named ‘Space for Life’ located within the Olympic Park in the East side of Montreal . Its redesign, initiated as part of a city-wide renewal plan to celebrate Montreal’s 375th birthday, is based on the idea of deepening visitor experience of the animal and plant species clustered in four ecosystems : Tropical Rainforest, the Laurentian Maple Forest, the Gulf of St Lawrence, and the Sub-Polar Regions (Arctic and Antarctic). Related: Extraordinary butterfly pavilion shelters its own artificial rainforest ecosystem The new revitalization strategy will result in reorganized spaces that make better use of the structure’s height and better focus visitor’s educational experience. A skin-like envelope will wrap around the existing building, utilizing residual spaces and offering a high level of flexibility, while new rest areas and amenities will further enhance time spent there. The Biodôme will close in September, 2016 for the construction process. + KANVA + NEUF architect(e)s Via v2com Images by KANVA

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Winning Montreal Biodme renovation deepens visitor connection to fauna and flora

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