Reversible weatherHYDE tent saves lives in extreme weather

December 6, 2017 by  
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Riots in India left nearly 9,000 families homeless in 2013. Winter hit, and around 30 children perished because of the cold. Prasoon Kumar had recently quit his job as an architect to start billionBricks , a design studio dedicated to solving homelessness, and decided to create the reversible weatherHYDE shelter to protect people from harsh weather . Inhabitat spoke with Kumar about how the tent empowers people – read on to hear what he had to say. As an architect, Kumar noticed homes for the poor were often designed and constructed so poorly no one wanted to live in them. He co-founded billionBricks to pursue quality design that would actually help people climb out of poverty , and came up with weatherHYDE, an all-weather shelter one person can set up in around 15 minutes without tools. Five people can sleep inside. The tent is reversible: one side reflects sun to cool inhabitants in summer; the other traps body heat to keep them warm in winter. There’s even a locking mechanism to afford some safety. Related: 3D-printed pod homes for the homeless could hang from NYC buildings Four principles guided the design of weatherHYDE, targeted for people in southeast Asia . First, Kumar said they viewed the homeless not as beneficiaries, but as consumers. “We were not designing something to give to them but something they would want. Then this whole idea of us being superior and them being inferior who need to be helped is not there,” he told Inhabitat. Second, billionBricks had to provide a product not simply for individuals but entire families. Women with young children often have to shower, change clothes, and sleep on the streets, and blankets just don’t cut it. Third, the tent had to offer heat inexpensively. And finally, the team wanted the recipients to pay for the product somehow, granting a sense of ownership. 15 families received the weatherHYDE in a successful New Delhi pilot project. Kumar told Inhabitat, “I went back after a month to the first family we gave to and they had set it up as their home, including a small bed inside and a few paintings. I had never imagined that a weatherHYDE would be a home. And this lady came to me and said, ‘This is my first home ever. I was born on the streets, I got married on the streets, my one-year-old kid was born on the streets too, and we’ve never had a home.’” In India, billionBricks offers donor matching because many people there generally can’t afford the full price of the tent, allowing the organization to sell them for $35 to $40. They don’t do donor matching in the United States and Canada, but if a homeless person can’t afford the full price of the tent, $199, billionBricks helps with fundraising, although a person must raise the money themselves. People interested in helping can purchase a tent right on the weatherHYDE website without waiting for a NGO or government to take action. “We have decentralized the whole system of helping the homeless and empower everybody in the world to take action.” Not just the homeless, but campers have been interested too, and can purchase a tent for recreational use for $299 here . Kumar said, “It kind of proves the point that if you don’t design something poorly for the poor, everybody would want it.” billionBricks isn’t stopping with the weatherHYDE. They’re working on a larger version to meet United Nations regulations for refugee housing , along with a showerHYDE to provide refugees with privacy while showering or changing clothes. They’re also working on versions better suited to other climates — like in Africa. They’re also developing the powerHYDE, solar homes that generate more than enough energy to power the dwelling, enabling residents to sell the excess. weatherHYDE is holding a design competition right now until January 7,2018 to personalize a tent. An artist will paint the winning design on one tent for the designer and one for the homeless. It costs $25 to enter; you can do so here . + weatherHYDE + weatherHYDE Design Competition + billionBricks Images copyright billionBricks

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Reversible weatherHYDE tent saves lives in extreme weather

VW unveils fully electric six-seater specifically for ridesharing

December 4, 2017 by  
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Uber , get ready for more competition. Volkswagen’s mobility startup Moia just introduced a fully electric vehicle optimized for ridesharing . Unveiled at TechCrunch in Berlin, the concept also includes an app so customers can book and pay for rides easily. The startup plans to roll out the six-seaterout on the streets of Hamburg, Germany next year, with an overall goal of removing one million cars from roads. Moia could offer travelers an easy, eco-friendly new way to get around cities. The startup, which began just a year ago at TechCrunch in London, aims to get cars off the streets to ensure cleaner air and reduced traffic . Six people can ride inside the vehicle, which features standalone seats with USB ports and dimmable reading lights so everyone’s comfortable. Passengers can check their emails or surf the Internet with WiFi. There’s also a storage area next to the driver for luggage or bags. Moia’s range is 300 kilometers, or over 186 miles, and can be charged to 80 percent in around 30 minutes. Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and Volkswagen Osnabrück designed and built it in a record 10 months. Related: Volkswagen confirms when the Microbus is coming back as an EV With the app, users can see available cars and ride costs before booking. The startup said they’ll employ a pooling algorithm to put riders with similar destinations in the same car to avoid detours and have as many people riding in one car as possible. Since October of this year, Moia has been testing their service in Hannover. They’ll debut the concept in Hamburg, with more locations to follow. CEO Ole Harms said in a statement, “In 2018, we’ll be ready to launch our ride pooling concept internationally and take the first steps toward our goal of reducing the number of cars in major cities by one million in Europe and the USA by 2025.” + Moia Via Moia Images via Moia

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VW unveils fully electric six-seater specifically for ridesharing

A river made of 10,000 glowing books flows through Toronto

October 26, 2016 by  
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This large, interactive  art installation is created by group of anonymous artists/activists who “want literature to take over the streets and conquer public spaces, freely offering those passersby a traffic-free place which, for some hours, will succumb to the humble power of the written word.” Related: Alicia Martin’s Amazing Book Sculptures Pour out of Windows and Into the Streets The team has previously carried out the installation illegally in New York and Madrid, received official permission to appear in Melbourne, and has recently visited Toronto during Nuit Blanche Toronto, an annual, city-wide celebration of contemporary art. For this occasion, the group has used 10,000 books donated by the Salvation Army and worked for 12 days alongside 50 volunteers to replace cars with books on Hagerman Street, downtown Toronto . Related: Guy Laramée Carves a Majestic Lifelike Mountain Range Out of an Encyclopedia Britannica Set The artwork was open to the public for one night, during which visitors could immerse themselves in a literal flow of words and paper illuminated by soft lighting coming from the pages. They would sit down to read, take photos and eventually take pieces of the installation home. It took 10 hours for the installation to self-dismantle. + Luzinterruptus + Nuit Blanche Toronto

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A river made of 10,000 glowing books flows through Toronto

Honda’s Clarity Fuel Cell Vehicle to hit the streets of California next year

November 17, 2015 by  
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Green transportation fans rejoice – the age of the hydrogen car is upon us. Honda just unveiled its Clarity Fuel Cell Vehicle for the first time in the United States – and it’s set to hit the streets of California in 2016. The zero-emissions sedan is the world’s first five passenger hydrogen car, it can drive over 400 miles on a single tank of hydrogen, and it can even power your house for seven days in a row. Read the rest of Honda’s Clarity Fuel Cell Vehicle to hit the streets of California next year

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Honda’s Clarity Fuel Cell Vehicle to hit the streets of California next year

The streets of Paris will go completely car-free for one day this weekend

September 25, 2015 by  
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In a big win for sustainable transportation , the streets of Paris will go completely car-free for one entire day this weekend. On September 27th, A Day Without Cars will make the French capital a pedestrian and bicycle paradise. Tourists and locals alike will be able to enjoy Paris without traffic congestion, the honking of horns or car exhaust. Read the rest of The streets of Paris will go completely car-free for one day this weekend

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The streets of Paris will go completely car-free for one day this weekend

One-woman traveling bicycle library delivers free books in San Francisco

September 6, 2015 by  
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If you hear a huffing and puffing sound on the streets of San Francisco, be alert: it could be the great Bibliobicicleta coming your way. Alicia Tapia, a passionate school librarian, is biking around the city with a traveling pop-up library that she tows in a mini trailer. Capable of holding 100 free books, the library-on-wheels was started as a successful Kickstarter campaign that now spreads the love of reading to neighborhoods across the city. READ MORE>

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One-woman traveling bicycle library delivers free books in San Francisco

Toyota’s zero-emissions fuel cell bus to hit the streets of Tokyo this month

July 24, 2015 by  
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Toyota  manufactured a zero-emission fuel-cell  bus and is planning to take it for a week-long test drive on the streets of Tokyo, Japan. This public transportation vehicle is actually a blend of other existing technologies. The bones are based on a conventional Hino bus, which has a standard hybrid system, and then the people mover was retrofitted with a hydrogen fuel-cell setup similar to the one found in the Toyota Mirai . In order to begin evaluating the real world applications of this greener option, the bus will transport commuters on established routes around central Tokyo and the waterfront area for several days later this month. Read the rest of Toyota’s zero-emissions fuel cell bus to hit the streets of Tokyo this month

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Toyota’s zero-emissions fuel cell bus to hit the streets of Tokyo this month

Turn An Old Drawer Into A Handy Patio Table

July 21, 2015 by  
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It’s backyard barbecue season! The days are getting longer, the air is getting warmer, and people are spilling into the streets and filling up patios, cold drinks in hand. And then there’s your backyard. An empty patch of grass with a few lonely…

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Turn An Old Drawer Into A Handy Patio Table

A small Iowa town embraces energy independence

July 1, 2015 by  
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For Bloomfield, a fresh energy strategy can create jobs and resilience, with promise for Main Streets across the nation.

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A small Iowa town embraces energy independence

Did climate change make Rubbish the sea lion pup wander the streets of San Francisco?

May 5, 2015 by  
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‘Rubbish’ is the name of the adorable sea lion pup captured above in the image from KTVU’s Twitter feed. He was rescued last week after wandering the streets of San Francisco. This is not the first time The Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, California, has rescued the pup. In March, they discovered him in Santa Barbara suffering from pneumonia and malnourishment. They nursed him to health and then released him at Point Reyes National Seashore. Last Thursday, the wandering pup made his way to San Francisco’s Marina District and then hid under a car on the corner of Marina Blvd and Divisadero Street, eluding rescue for 30 minutes, CBS San Francisco reports. Eventually trained rescuers scooped him up in a net and transported him back in a carrier to the rescue center in Marin Headlands, where they will “fatten him up” again. That’s the good news. The bad news? Rubbish’s adventures point to a troubling new trend, and climate change may be the culprit. Read the rest of Did climate change make Rubbish the sea lion pup wander the streets of San Francisco? Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Animals , Climate Change , food scarcity , global warming , News , Point Reyes National Seashore , rubbish , San Francisco , sea lion , The Marine Mammal Center

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