An urban wetland springs to life among Bogotas high rises

March 12, 2019 by  
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An open plaza in Bogota’s northeastern business district has been radically transformed from a place of pure pavement to a vibrant urban wetland . Colombian architecture firm Obraestudio completed the project in 2016 in the Santa Barbara business center to revitalize the outdoor common space shared by the Torres Unidas Building, Scotia Bank, Samsung, AR and W Hotel towers. Covering an area of over two acres, the architects injected a lush aquatic landscape into the public-facing plaza, creating a striking contrast between wild nature and the sharp geometry of the surrounding high-rises. Winner of an open national design competition sponsored by The Colombian Architects Society, the Usaquén Urban Wetland has become an iconic, privately-owned public space in northeast Bogota . The design draws inspiration from the wetlands of the Bogota Savannah, a rich, biodiverse area located in the southwestern part of the larger Andean plateau, the Altiplano Cundiboyacense. To recreate the wetland appearance, a large recycled rainwater-fed pool was carved out from the heart of the plaza and planted with native aquatic vegetation. “A natural ecosystem — half aquatic, half terrestrial — is recreated by the geometry, colors and textures of the overall design,” Obraestudio explained in a project statement. “Existing buildings and the exterior common areas are a provocative, clear contrast to the wild, free-growing landscape elements. A recycled rainwater garden over the main square creates a native urban wetland that blends harmoniously with the surrounding Andean hills backdrop and preserves the native vegetation in its natural habitat.” Related: Triangular windows bring light and drama to a stunning Bogota bakery Moreover, the parking area was replaced with a linear park that has also been lushly planted and designed to “inspire slow and meditative walks.” Pre-existing green roofs were preserved while the old elevator and stairs structures have been re-engineered so as not to visually detract from the new landscape design. + Obraestudio Via ArchDaily Photography by Daniel Segura and Andres Valbuena via Obraestudio

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An urban wetland springs to life among Bogotas high rises

These 5 animals are being consumed into extinction

March 12, 2019 by  
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Humans have a long history of wiping out animal populations, and we continue to do so even to this day. According to a new study published in the Royal Society Open Science journal, people around the world are eating hundreds of animal species into extinction. If we don’t make some changes, the authors of the study warn that the food security of hundreds of millions of people could be threatened. Currently, we are in the middle of mass extinction that rivals the wiping out of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. But this time, it isn’t a giant meteorite doing all the damage — it’s humans. Over the past century, we have accelerated extinction rates 100 hundred times greater than what would naturally occur without human impact. As we continue to destroy habitats with construction and invade wild areas for hunting, 301 species of land mammals are now critically endangered and have made their way to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List. The list includes 168 primates, 73 hoofed animals, 27 bats, 26 marsupials, 21 rodent species and 12 carnivores. There are also 1,414 species of fish on the Red List. “There are plenty of bad things affecting wildlife around the world, and habitat loss and degradation are clearly at the forefront, but among the other things is the seemingly colossal impact of bushmeat hunting,” said David MacDonald, professor at the University of Oxford and part of the international research team. Bushmeat is a traditional food source for rural people in societies across the globe. That is starting to change because of large-scale commercial hunting and road construction in remote areas. MacDonald said that the number of hunters continues to increase, and the roads are being built in the most remote places, so there is no place left for wildlife to go. Not only does this mass extinction threaten food security, but it also upsets ecosystems. To reverse this problem, the researchers in this new study have a few ideas. They recommend greater legal protection for the endangered species, empowering local communities to prioritize wildlife conservation , providing alternative foods and family planning to reduce the rate of population growth. The list of endangered animals is long, but here are a few highlights. Bluefin tuna One of the fastest fish on Earth, bluefin tuna can hit speeds around 40 miles per hour when they are hunting, can grow up to 15 feet long and weigh as much as 1500 pounds. However, with the growing demand for sushi, overfishing is becoming a huge problem, and the bluefin tuna numbers are dropping. Related: Endangered bluefin tuna sold for $3.1 billion to sushi tycoon Whale shark The largest fish in the sea, the whale shark has been on the critically endangered list for three years, because the population has dropped more than 50 percent in the last 75 years thanks to both legal and illegal fishing. According to National Geographic, fishing for whale sharks is extremely lucrative, because they can be “harvested for their meat, fins and other parts used in traditional medicinal products.” Of course, they are also in great demand for shark fin soup. Pangolin These nocturnal mammals have keratin scales, emit a harmful chemical like skunks and eat ants and termites. In Africa, they are a major source of food and medicine, but in China and Vietnam, they are a delicacy. This has led to the pangolin becoming the most trafficked animal in the world. Related: Zimbabwe hopes to bring attention to trafficking endangered species with the Pangolin Project There is an international trade ban on all pangolin species, but this has only resulted in rising prices as the population declines. Chinese giant salamander As the largest amphibian on Earth, the Chinese giant salamander has been around for more than 170 million years, and it can grow to be 6 feet long and weigh over 100 pounds. The species is currently on the critically endangered list, because it is a Chinese delicacy. It is also used in traditional Chinese medicine. In just three generations, the population has plummeted by 80 percent. Sturgeon With fossil records dating back 200 million years, we know that sturgeon have survived two — maybe three — mass extinctions . This time, the species might not be so lucky. The beluga sturgeon is being overfished, because the eggs are needed for caviar. They take 20 years to reach maturity, but we are killing them to harvest the eggs at massive rates. You can learn more about the IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species on the organization’s website. Images via Danilo Cedrone / UN Food and Agriculture Organization , Aruro de Frias Marques , A.J.T. Johnsingh / WWF-India , Petr Hamerník , USFWS and National Marine  Sanctuary

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These 5 animals are being consumed into extinction

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

PHOTOS: The most amazing Park(ing) Day 2015 parks from around the world

September 18, 2015 by  
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Happy Park(ing) Day everyone! This week we asked you to send in photos of the most amazing pop-up parks taking over parking spots near you – and today we’re publishing them for all the world to see. From San Francisco to Baltimore, Australia, Europe and beyond, click through our gallery to see all the fun ways people transformed bare patches of pavement into green urban oases. If you’d like to join in, there’s still time to contribute – send a photo to editor@inhabitat.com with a short description of the park and who created it and we’ll share it with our readers! You can also tag your Park(ing) Day photos with #Inhabitat on Facebook , Instagram , or Twitter . Read the rest of PHOTOS: The most amazing Park(ing) Day 2015 parks from around the world

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PHOTOS: The most amazing Park(ing) Day 2015 parks from around the world

Amsterdam is out of bicycle parking spaces, so it’s building 40,000 more

March 2, 2015 by  
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You know your bike culture is strong when people are having a hard time finding a place to park their rides – and that’s just what’s happening in Amsterdam right now. The Dutch city is having a hard time finding room for the 880,000 bikes that travel – and park – along its canals. In an effort to deal with the problem, Amsterdam is planning to create 40,000 new bike parking spaces by 2030. Read the rest of Amsterdam is out of bicycle parking spaces, so it’s building 40,000 more Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Amsterdam , Amsterdam bicycle culture , Amsterdam bike commute , bicycle commuting , bicycle culture , bicycle infrastructure , bike commuting , bike commuting in the Netherlands , bike culture , bike riding , Netherlands biking , PARK(ing) , parking spaces , the netherlands

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Amsterdam is out of bicycle parking spaces, so it’s building 40,000 more

SCAD Students Design Tiny Residences with Footprints No Bigger than a Parking Space

January 13, 2014 by  
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SCAD’s School of Building Arts students were challenged to develop a residential prototype that could inhabit the upper levels of the SCAD-Atlanta parking deck. Working with other programs at the institution—including service design, industrial design and design for sustainability—the units will be constructed and students will be given the opportunity to apply to live in the structures for two weeks. These micro homes have all the basic amenities of a typical home, from showers to kitchens to beds, in the footprint of a parking space. Students granted a space will have to participate in SCAD ‘s documentation, evaluation, and promotion of the SCADPad  experience through social media. + SCADPad The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: dorm design , dorm living , SCAD , SCAD Atlant , scad design , SCADPad , tiny apartment , tiny dorm , tiny house        

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SCAD Students Design Tiny Residences with Footprints No Bigger than a Parking Space

Rancher Vows to Protect Hundreds of Fukushima Cows from Government Kill Order

January 13, 2014 by  
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Masami Yoshizawa used to raise cows for slaughter, but since the Fukushima disaster his only aim is to save them. He believes the Japanese government wants to kill the cows in order to erase the past, and lure the country back to its pre-accident nuclear status quo . The “Ranch of Hope” now home to more than 300 cows is guarded by a large bulldozer at its entrance, along with bleached cattle bones and handwritten protest signs designed to scare off agricultural officials. Read the rest of Rancher Vows to Protect Hundreds of Fukushima Cows from Government Kill Order Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: contaminated cow farm , contaminated feed , Fukshima nuclear disaster , Fukushima abandoned cows , fukushima political protester , Japanese beef industry , Masami Yoshizawa , radioactive cows , The Ranch of Hope        

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Rancher Vows to Protect Hundreds of Fukushima Cows from Government Kill Order

Lush Living Wall Breathes Life into an Otherwise Dull Parking Garage in California

August 30, 2013 by  
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Designed by Seasons Natural Engineering , a lush and vibrant green wall breathes life into an otherwise dull parking garage in California. One of the largest living walls in the United States, this 4,000 square-foot green wall impressively weaves over forty different plant varieties into “Aqua Felt,” a specially engineered synthetic fabric that promotes healthier growth in vertical gardens. Read the rest of Lush Living Wall Breathes Life into an Otherwise Dull Parking Garage in California Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “green wall” , “living wall” , aqua felt , edwards lifesciences , irvine , irvine green wall , parking garage , scott hutcheon , seasons natural engineering , vertical gardens        

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Lush Living Wall Breathes Life into an Otherwise Dull Parking Garage in California

The Biomimicry Manual: What Can a Thorny Devil Teach Us About Water Harvesting?

August 30, 2013 by  
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Image © Mark Roy One of Australia’s more bizarre creatures is the thorny devil or dragon, also known as the moloch. The devil is named for the ancient god Moloch, a hideous demon smeared with the blood of child sacrifice, but in reality, she is five inches long and lives entirely on ants. The thorny devil is, of course, covered in fearsome thorns, presumably to warn off would-be predators, but the spiky scales also serve another ingenious function. They form an incredibly efficient water harvesting system. What can we learn about water management in our own increasingly parched world? Find out in today’s entry of The Biomimicry Manual ! Read the rest of The Biomimicry Manual: What Can a Thorny Devil Teach Us About Water Harvesting? Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: bioinspired design , biomimicry , capillary action , green design , moloch , rain water collection system , rainwater catchment , The Biomimicry Manual , thorny devil        

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The Biomimicry Manual: What Can a Thorny Devil Teach Us About Water Harvesting?

Sexy Hybrid Concept Coupé Previews Volvo’s Future

August 30, 2013 by  
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Volvo has unveiled its latest concept car, the Concept Coupé, which is a new hybrid vehicle that takes styling elements from Volvo’s past and at the same time previews the car manufacturer’s future. Volvo is calling the Concept Coupé its next-generation P1800 and it is also the first of three concept cars that reveal the design possibilities of its new Scalable Product Architecture. Read the rest of Sexy Hybrid Concept Coupé Previews Volvo’s Future Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show , electric motor , hybrid concept , volvo , volvo concept , volvo concept coupe , volvo hybrid concept , volvo P1800        

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Sexy Hybrid Concept Coupé Previews Volvo’s Future

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