Rolling green ‘ribbons’ proposed for new urban park in downtown LA

February 2, 2017 by  
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Anyone who has been to Los Angeles knows the city could use more green space , and now it seems Brooks + Scarpa agrees. The urban design firm has unveiled their vision for the city’s future FAB (First and Broadway) Civic Center Park, which includes a two-acre tree-filled expanse and an events center covered with undulating strips of green turf. The competition, which is part of the city’s 50 Parks Initiative , encouraged proposals for the FAB Civic Center Park, a $12 million public park slated for First and Broadway in Downtown LA, across the street from Los Angeles City Hall. In addition to Brooks + Scarpa, AECOM, Eric Owen Moss, and Mia Lehrer + Associates submitted designs. Related: Dallas is building one of America’s biggest urban nature parks According to Brooks + Scarpa, their design could energize the surrounding neighborhood: “the city has a unique opportunity to design and construct an iconic park project in the Los Angeles Civic Center, that will augment the adjacent Grand Park, incorporate uses that bring life to the area (such as restaurant and public art installation).” + Brooks + Scarpa Via Archdaily Images via Brooks + Scarpa

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Rolling green ‘ribbons’ proposed for new urban park in downtown LA

Elon Musk says new company will start drilling under LA next month

January 26, 2017 by  
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Never one to dally, Elon Musk has announced he’s about to dig into his ambitious project to build a tunnel under Los Angeles. The new tunnel is expected to tame the city’s massive traffic congestion problem . According to Motherboard , the mogul announced the news via Twitter on Wednesday morning with a tweet that said: “Exciting news on the tunnel front. Plan to start digging in a month or so.” It’s clear that Musk is not one to let an idea languish, as he only stated his goal to build a tunnel in mid-December 2016 while publicly complaining on Twitter about the traffic problems in Los Angeles. “Traffic is driving me nuts. Am going to build a tunnel boring machine and just start digging…” he wrote on Twitter in December. Related: Elon Musk says Trump administration may be “positive on renewables” “It shall be called ‘The Boring Company,’” he wrote, according to Motherboard . “Borings, it’s what we do.” And, a month later, after a meeting with then-President-Elect Trump , voila – it’s happening. Musk confirmed he’s soon going to begin work on a tunnel carved out by Tunnel Boring Machines that will start at some point next month. According to Motherboard, the tunnel will start across the road from the SpaceX office in Los Angeles, located in Crenshaw, near the 105 Freeway. Musk stated his interest in tunnels that would “alleviate congestion completely” as far back as 2015 in an interview with scientist Neil DeGrasse Tyson . Via Motherboard Images via Maurizio Pesce and Minesweeper ,

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Elon Musk says new company will start drilling under LA next month

Grass hill hides a magical hobbit teahouse in Slovenia

January 26, 2017 by  
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A magical little teahouse is tucked away in the verdant hills of Slovenia. Created by Danica and Jože Kolari?, this beautiful tiny building was made from natural materials and perfectly complements the organic garden that grows around it. The hobbit house -inspired tearoom is almost entirely hidden from view from above thanks to its turfed roof, while its charming cottage-like interior was crafted using reclaimed materials. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIcphf3dq5g This hobbit house-inspired tearoom was recently spotlighted on a popular TV show called Ambienti , where viewers got a sneak peek at the construction process . First, the hillside was excavated to create space for the foundations of the timber-framed building. A concrete retaining wall was built in the rear. Once the building was complete, growing medium for the vegetation was installed on the roof so that the grass from the hillside would grow overtop the structure and make it appear as if the structure were carved out of the hill. Related: This luxury hobbit home in the UK could be yours for just $1 million The quaint interior is lined in large timber planks and features a wood-burning fireplace built from stone and brick set into the rear concrete wall. Many of the materials were reclaimed from the crumbling ruins of nearby farmhouses, which gives the tearoom its charming antique character. In addition to the teahouse and the organic flower and herb gardens, Danica and Jože Kolari? also have a self-built beehive and garden pavilion. + Ambienti Images by Jasna Marin, screenshots from Ambienti

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Grass hill hides a magical hobbit teahouse in Slovenia

Why McDonalds and United Airlines are moving to the city

December 14, 2016 by  
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Here’s why urban offices should be at the core of corporate sustainability strategies.

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Why McDonalds and United Airlines are moving to the city

Terrifying sinkhole swallows five-lane street in Japan

November 8, 2016 by  
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Traffic today is not following normal patterns in the bustling urban center of Fukuoka, Japan after a terrifying sinkhole claimed five lanes of city streets . The sinkhole, which left the surrounding buildings intact, measured 98-feet-long, 88-feet-wide, and nearly 50-feet-deep, exposing underground pipes and electrical infrastructure. No injuries have been reported and local authorities have responded quickly to assess the damage and begin to plan a solution. Fukuoka city officials reported that the sinkhole may be attributed to ongoing construction on the city’s subway lines. A project is underway to expand the subway network beneath the city streets, but it’s safe to say this side effect was not part of the plan. The collapse, which occurred shortly after 5 a.m. local time, caused power outages and kicked off a massive evacuation of the immediate area, in an attempt to keep the public safe from other ramifications, such as additional sinkholes or explosions from gas leaks. No serious injuries were reported, though. Related: Sinkhole releases over 200 million gallons of toxic waste into Florida’s drinking water Fukuoka, located in southern Japan, is the nation’s fifth largest city with 5.6 million residents. As part of the city’s growth, which has been booming in recent years, the local government is in the process of expanding the subway system to better serve its residents and commuting workers. Those plans backfired when construction allegedly kicked off the sinkhole, which began before dawn and grew until it had consumed all five lanes of the city street by mid-morning. Locals report hearing “a loud boom” when the sinkhole opened up directly in front of the main railway station serving the city. Via Business Insider Images via Kinkakuji09/Twitter

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Terrifying sinkhole swallows five-lane street in Japan

The all-electric Vespa scooter of your dreams is finally here

November 8, 2016 by  
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While scooters have long been a viable alternative to cars in urban areas, since they use less fuel and take up less space, all-electric scooters are not yet the standard. The Vespa Elettrica model was developed by the Piaggio Group, parent company to the Vespa brand and a leading maker of electric engines. While few details are known at this time, the preliminary product shots reveal a snappy body with signature Vespa style. The next-gen scooter was unveiled today at EICMA 2016 in Milan, an annual event also known as the Milan Motorcycle Show. Vespa plans to begin production and sales of the all-electric scooter in the late 2017. Related: Vintage Vespa scooters transformed into incredible chairs In addition to the game-changing Elettrica, Vespa is launching a special edition, all red version of the Vespa 946 to benefit (RED) , a nonprofit deboted to research and prevention for AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Since its founding in 2006, (RED) has donated $360 million to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, which has so far benefited 70 million residents across Africa. Proceeds from sales of the special edition Vespa 946 will be contributed to (RED) to further back these life-saving efforts. Although the 946 is not an all-electric scooter, it is equipped with a highly fuel efficient single-cylinder four-stroke engine, and it also produces less noise and emissions than your average scooter. Together with the launch of the Elettrica, Vespa moves into a sphere of socially conscious scootering that aims to provide sustainable mobility for urban dwellers while making the world a little bit better for other inhabitants of the globe. + Vespa Images via Vespa

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The all-electric Vespa scooter of your dreams is finally here

Solar-powered National University of Singapore building will produce as much energy as it consumes

November 8, 2016 by  
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The six-story NZEB@SDE will be powered by 1,200 rooftop solar panels and feature a range of other green building designs, including a hybrid cooling approach, natural ventilation, and natural lighting . The contemporary building includes a large overhanging roof to shade the interior from the overbearing tropical sun, while its porous layout allows for cooling cross-breezes for a comfortable environment with minimal reliance on air conditioning. The large openings and balconies help connect the occupants with the outdoor landscape. Related: A tropical paradise grows inside this lush Singapore home “This project marks a new chapter in our School’s vision of learning, knowledge advancement and multidisciplinary collaboration,” said Professor Lam Khee Poh, Dean of NUS School of Design and Environment. “Many hours of discussion, design iterations and collaborative teamwork have gone into the design of NZEB@SDE, which will serve as a living laboratory to inspire our staff and students to explore innovative ideas as we continue to push the boundaries of sustainable design to build a green and resilient urban habitat for all to enjoy.” The net-zero energy building is slated for completion in early 2019. + Serie Architects + Multiply Architects Via Dezeen

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Solar-powered National University of Singapore building will produce as much energy as it consumes

Proposed border city between US and Mexico solves many problems at once

September 22, 2016 by  
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The “Border City”, currently being exhibited at the London Design Biennale, is meant to function as a special zone where cultures “both clash and blend to create something altogether unique”. It draws from various international examples of “border situations” and aims to reconcile different cultural and economic narratives. This model addresses the specific case of the spatial border between the United States and Mexico , but aims to function as a widely applicable prototype of a new border city. Related: FR-EE Unveils Dynamic Design for Latin American Art Museum in Miami Hexagonal in plan, the “Border City” would accommodate over 100 million inhabitants who already populate the states along the border between the United States and Mexico. The masterplan includes a proposal for a regional and local infrastructural and transportation network , including various other elements which the visitors of this year’s London Design Biennale can inspect in person until September 27, 2016. + Fernando Romero Enterprise Via Archdaily

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Proposed border city between US and Mexico solves many problems at once

Autonomous roboats to sail the canals of Amsterdam

September 22, 2016 by  
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The idea of self-driving cars cruising our roads may not be a new idea, but a plan to release autonomous boats into the canals of Amsterdam would be the first of its kind. The Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS Institute) is collaborating with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on the first research program into the new technology. Called “roboats,” the autonomous ships would be designed to transport goods and people, as well as forming temporary, floating infrastructure. As the roboats cruise through the canals, the project will gather data on how urban waterways can be used to improve the city’s function and the quality of life of residents. They’ll be equipped with sensors that allow the boats to detect pollution and disease in the water, and could eventually be used to protect the environment. They could also be used to retrieve waste thrown in the water. In Amsterdam, that’s no small problem: 12,000 discarded bicycles end up in the canals every year. Related: Airbus to build flying autonomous taxis that soar over traffic Amsterdam in particular was chosen for the project due to the large amount of the city covered by water. Nearly a quarter of the city is taken up by its waterways, which were originally designed as part of the city’s functional infrastructure. The first prototypes of the boats will be released in 2017, with the research project lasting for the next five years. + AMS Institute Via New Atlas

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Autonomous roboats to sail the canals of Amsterdam

Reykjavik lays out plan to be carbon neutral by 2040

September 14, 2016 by  
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Iceland’s capital has laid out some ambitious plans to become completely carbon neutral by the year 2040. By controlling urban sprawl , increasing public transportation, and shaping all forms of transit to run on green energy, the city will become a model for other global and local governments in creating a more sustainable future. “Cities play a key role in the fight against climate change. They can react quickly… and are more often than naught far more progressive than the world’s governments,” said Reykjavik Mayor Dagur B. Eggertsson earlier this month. He claims his city is in a far better position to accomplish the points in his plan, seeing as their carbon emissions are already very low and their location is prime for green operation. Residents’ homes are already heated by geothermal energy and all of the city’s electricity is generated through hydroelectric power. Related: 6 ways Copenhagen plans to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025 One strategy of the new plan, according to Business Insider , is to increase the number of locals using public transportation from 4 percent to 12 percent, coupled with the task of converting all buses and cars to green energy within the next few decades. The goal of “urban densification” will be obtained by requiring 90 percent of new residential units to be built within city limits, which will, in turn, promote the use of mass transit and reduce carbon emissions. Via Business Insider Images via Flickr , Wikipedia

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Reykjavik lays out plan to be carbon neutral by 2040

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