The world’s first vertical forest for low-income housing is coming to the Netherlands

January 10, 2018 by  
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Stefano Boeri has designed and built vertical forests across the globe, but his latest project, slated for Eindhoven in The Netherlands, will be unlike anything that has been done before. That’s because, for the first time ever, the forest tower has been funded by a social housing project, and the tower will provide low-income housing. The Trudo Vertical Forest looks to be an example of how good architecture can tackle both climate change and urban housing issues. Stefano Boeri has constructed vertical forest projects in Milan , Utrecht, Nanjing , Tirana, Paris , and Lausanne, but the Trudo Vertical Forest will be one-of-a-kind. Built to provide low-income housing, the tower will have 19 stories with 125 units, all covered in a luscious vertical forest that features a wide variety of plants and trees. “The high-rise building of Eindhoven confirms that it is possible to combine the great challenges of climate change with those of housing shortages. Urban forestry is not only necessary to improve the environment of the world’s cities but also an opportunity to improve the living conditions of less fortunate city dwellers”, said Stefano Boeri. Related: Bosco Verticale: World’s First Vertical Forest is Finally Complete in Milan Stefano Boeri Architetti was retained by Sint-Trudo to complete the tower, which will be an urban home to 125 trees and 5,200 plants. The 246-foot tower covered in a rich, biodiverse environment will help control urban pollution and provide homes for a variety of animals and insects. “The Trudo Vertical Forest sets new living standards. Each apartment will have a surface area of under 50 square meters and the exclusive benefit of 1 tree, 20 shrubs and over 4 square meters of terrace. Thanks to the use of prefabrication, the rationalization of technical solutions for the facade, and the consequent optimization of resources, this will be the first Vertical Forest prototype destined for social housing” states Francesca Cesa Bianchi, Project Director of Stefano Boeri Architetti. + Stefano Boeri Architetti

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The world’s first vertical forest for low-income housing is coming to the Netherlands

This is one of the hottest places on Earth – and it just snowed there

January 10, 2018 by  
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Freaky weather. Snow in the Sahara Desert, one of the hottest places on Earth #weather #snow #desert #sahara #freaky A post shared by @ galacticauthority on Jan 9, 2018 at 10:57am PST A desert town in Algeria known as the “gateway to the Sahara ” – one of the hottest places on the planet – is covered in snow. Ain Sefra got somewhere between 1 and 15 inches of snow (depending on which source you rely) last Sunday, and this snow didn’t just land and melt away – it actually stuck around for a good portion of the day. #sahara #snow #wonderful A post shared by John D (@johnd7450) on Jan 9, 2018 at 11:20am PST Sand dunes that are traditionally a warm umber were snowy white throughout the day, giving visitors and locals a rare visual treat. The snow fell mostly in locations 3,000 feet above sea level, where it is cooler than lower elevations. Related: 2017: the year climate change spiraled out of control Snow isn’t unheard of in desert areas, especially since it can drop dozens of degrees from the day’s high. But it is pretty rare. Ain Sefra has only had snow of this magnitude three times now in the past 40 years. And this snow was surprisingly deep and resilient, further showing that the weather this year has truly been exceptional. #sahara #snow #pic #january #winter A post shared by Viral Travel (@viral.travel_vt) on Jan 9, 2018 at 5:01am PST Via CNN lead image via Deposit Photos

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This is one of the hottest places on Earth – and it just snowed there

Shanghai flying car tower to clean the air with a 50,000-plant vertical forest

December 22, 2017 by  
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Flying cars seem to be moving from the realm of science fiction to reality – and Richard’s Architecture + Design (RA+D) helmed by architect Richard Moreta Castillo has already designed a net-zero tower pioneering drone car infrastructure. The Smart Power Long tower, a condominium building planned for Shanghai , features landing pads for flying cars. The futuristic concept is super green, according to RA+D, and will feature a vertical forest in which 50,000 trees and shrubs could scrub the skies. Dubai started testing flying taxis earlier this year, and RA+D also pointed to Nevada officials seeking permission from the Federal Aviation Administration for flying passenger drones as evidence the futuristic vehicles could soon be soaring the skies. RA+D first came up with the drone car tower concept in 2015 with their Moscow Tower, and they said the Shanghai tower’s construction could occur faster than expected – between 2018 and 2020. Related: Futuristic power plant complex generates clean power through wind, solar and geothermal energy The condominium tower draws design inspiration from Chinese dragon art. Docking stations for drone cars wind up the exterior. The building could clean the air naturally, as plants take in carbon dioxide , and could also have 180 carbon dioxide extractors, according to RA+D. The air could then be expelled from the top in numbers corresponding with the hour, illuminated with an LED spotlight to create an appearance similar to fire, to create what RA+D described as the “first smoke and chromatic clock for the reference of the Shanghai community.” Clean technologies are also part of Smart Power Long’s design, such as a recycling water plant utilizing ultraviolet disinfection treatment. A vertical electrical power plant will draw on solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal energy. The multi-use building could also contain a convention center, water river biology laboratories, and residences. Smart Power Long is designed for Shanghai’s Pudong District with a budget of $600 million. + Richard’s Architecture + Design Images courtesy of Richard Moreta Castillo

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Hollands first Vertical Forest to rise with 10,000 air-purifying plants

July 6, 2017 by  
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Hot on the heels of the world’s first Forest City in China , Stefano Boeri Architetti has announced their winning bid for the first Vertical Forest in the Netherlands. Set to rise in Utrecht, the Hawthorn Tower will, like its Milanese predecessor , be blanketed in greenery and is expected to absorb over 5.4 tons of carbon dioxide. The equivalent of one hectare of woods will be installed on the tower to create a real urban ecosystem with over 30 different vegetal species. Slated to begin construction in 2019, the Hawthorn Tower will infuse greenery into the heart of Jaarbeursboulevard area close to Utrecht Station. The tower is one of two tall buildings in the development, the other designed by Amsterdam-based MVSA studio. “The 90 meters in height tower designed by Stefano Boeri Architetti attempts to create, in Utrecht city center, an innovative experience of cohabitation between city and nature,” said the architects. Around 10,000 plants of different species—360 trees, 9,640 shrubs and flower—will be installed on all sides of the facade. The mixed-use building is positioned as the “new healthy center of Utrecht” and will comprise offices, fitness and yoga areas, bike parking, and public leisure space. Its scale and design will thoughtfully react and complement the surrounding urban fabric. The tower will also host the Vertical Forest Hub, a research center on worldwide urban forestation that’s open to the public on the ground floor and directly connected to the sixth-floor roof garden. The research center will showcase the different technical and botanic solutions chosen for the tower and track the progress of Vertical Forests under construction around the world. Related: China breaks ground on first “Forest City” that fights air pollution The Hawthorn Tower is the latest Vertical Forest of its kind to be unveiled, this time in the heart of Europe, and follows in the steps of other urban forestation projects designed by Stefano Boeri Architetti. Other projects include soon-to-be-completed Vertical Forests in Nanjing and Lausanne, a greenery-covered Mountain Hotel in Guizhou , and other green buildings planned in Paris, Tirana, and Shanghai. Construction on Hawthorn Tower is expected to finish in 2022. + Stefano Boeri Architetti Images by Imaginary A2 / Stefano Boeri Architetti

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Chic, minimalist hydroponic garden makes growing your own veggies a snap

July 6, 2017 by  
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Hydroponic systems let you grow fresh produce indoors, but they can be a pain to set up. Fortunately, Seedo just unveiled a modern hydroponic garden that takes all the fuss out of harvesting your own fruits and vegetables. The device looks like a typical mini fridge, but don’t let its simple exterior fool you – the Seedo is an amazingly high-tech system that can help just about anyone grow the urban garden of their dreams. Especially useful for those who aren’t blessed with a green thumb, Seedo’s high tech system comes with a number of features that make urban gardening possible in just about any environment. The system comes with a sterile hermetic ecosystem that keeps insects away and built-in cartridges that automatically release CO2 during the photosynthesis phase. To create a healthy growing environment on the inside, a full spectrum LED system controls the lighting and an automated temperature control function keeps the interior temp and humidity at precise levels. Related: Start an Organic Garden Anywhere Using Fizzy Farms Compact Hydroponic Grower The Seedo is a great option for almost any type of plant profile , from veggies and herbs to flowers and medicinal plants. In order to monitor the system from the comforts of your own home or while on the road, the Seedo system also comes with its own app and an internal HD camera in order to closely monitor your garden. + Seedo Lab Via Geeky Gadgets Save

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Chic, minimalist hydroponic garden makes growing your own veggies a snap

China’s first vertical forest is rising in Nanjing

February 2, 2017 by  
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Stefano Boeri Architetti is bringing the vertical forest concept popularized in Milan to Nanjing, China with the Nanjing Towers . The two green towers could provide the city with a breath of fresh air, producing around 132 pounds of oxygen every day as they absorb carbon dioxide. They’ll accomplish this air-cleaning feat with 1,100 flourishing trees from 23 local species and 2,500 cascading shrubs and plants . The two towers at 656 feet and 354 feet tall will rise above the Nanjing Pukou District, which Stefano Boeri Architetti’s press release describes as an area that will likely lead modernization efforts in the south of China’s Jiangsu province and help develop a Yangtze River economic zone. Nanjing Yang Zi State-owned Investment Group Company Limited is promoting the towers and is listed by Stefano Boeri Architetti as an investor in the project. Related: Vertical forest Mountain Hotel will clean the air in Guizhou, China The taller tower will hold offices, a museum, a green architecture school, and a rooftop club. The second tower will host a 247-room Hyatt hotel and rooftop swimming pool. A podium 65 feet high will include shops, restaurants, and a conference hall. Balconies on the buildings will allow inhabitants to get up close to the nature thriving on the building facades. 600 tall trees and 500 medium-sized trees will grow on the towers, and Stefano Boeri Architetti says the trees and cascading plants will help regenerate biodiversity in the area. Not only will the green towers be the first in China, but in all of Asia . And they probably won’t be the last – the ambitious architecture firm aims to design vertical forests in Shanghai, Guizhou, Shijiazhuang, Liuzhou, and Chongqing. Stefano Boeri Architetti aims to continue to popularize the concept with a book edited by their China office and published by Tongji University Press, A Forest City . The book is scheduled to come out in April. The Nanjing Towers are slated for completion in 2018. + Stefano Boeri Architetti Images courtesy of Stefano Boeri Architetti

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China’s first vertical forest is rising in Nanjing

76 water protectors arrested at Standing Rock

February 2, 2017 by  
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Just one day after federal officials greenlighted the Dakota Access pipeline , North Dakota police arrested 76 water protectors camped out at the site. Hundreds of activists had established a new camp at Standing Rock after it became clear that the Trump administration planned to move ahead with the project, but local police claim that “rogue” protestors were trespassing on private property. Embed from Getty Images North Dakota Senator John Hoeven stated on Tuesday that the army had been directed to proceed with the easement needed to complete the pipeline . Hundreds of protestors, including environmental activists and indigenous people, gathered at a camp to fight against the pipeline’s construction. Many protestors left when it became known that the police were planning to raid the camp, but others felt that the “prospect of treaty rights was something worth getting arrested over,” according to Linda Black Elk. The Morton County sheriff’s office said that it was too soon to tell what charges were being filed beyond the claim that protestors were trespassing. Related: Here’s every bank funding the Dakota Access Pipeline, and how to switch Nearly 700 people have been arrested in the battle against the pipeline, and Native Americans have stated that many have been subjected to inhumane conditions or mistreated in the local jails. Activists not arrested say that they are hoping to free those rounded up by police as soon as possible. Via The Guardian lead image via Flickr

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This reverse pyramid is a green urban community in the skies of Paris

October 25, 2016 by  
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The 127 residential units on the top of this bold building may be the world’s first village built out of bio-based materials. It is an inhabited natural ecosystem, where the apartments are surrounded by nature while being in the center of the French capital. While the roof of the Mille Arbres comprises a sustainable community in the middle of forest, the street level of the building is an urban park. Conceived as a work of land art, the park features a characteristic topography that lifts up or slopes down to provide convenient access throughout. Among other things, this landscape offers the experience of a real forest ecosystem. Managed by the Ligue de Protection des Oiseaux (League of the Protection of Birds), it will also be a place for classes and workshops. Related: Sou Fujimoto’s latest masterpiece in Japan spreads its branches like a real tree Fujimoto’s Mille Arbres will also include La rue Gourmande , an inner street and food court designed by Philippe Starck . In addition to housing and a food court, Mille Arbres will include a 4-star hotel with 250 rooms, over 27,000 square meters of office space, an ultra-modern integrated bus station, and a kindergarten with a large covered playground. The Thousand Trees project will rise above the ring road of Paris , absorbing pollution created by the traffic below and bridging the border that currently divides the inner and outer parts of Paris. Mille Arbres is the winner of the three-stage open competition Réinventer Paris . Its construction is expected to be completed by 2022. + Sou Fujimoto Images via SFA+OXO+MORPH

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This reverse pyramid is a green urban community in the skies of Paris

Vertical forest Mountain Hotel will clean the air in Guizhou, China

October 23, 2016 by  
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The Milan-based design firm  made headlines with Bosco Verticale, the world’s first vertical forest built right in the company’s hometown. A few years later, the firm’s design for a second green skyscraper won a competition to add an eco-friendly building in Lausanne, Switzerland, which will break ground next year. The Mountain Hotel will be built in Guizhou, China for the Hong Kong-based Cachet Hotel Group, and the design follows the same principles as their previous projects, with a focus on sustainable architecture and a green facade that can improve the quality of the air around it. Related: World’s second vertical forest will rise in Switzerland SBA will design the building as a vertical ‘forest mountain’ in the Wanfenglin region, which is also known as the Forest of Ten Thousands Peaks. Local artist Simon Ma will provide the interior design for the 250-room hotel which will offer amenities including a gym, lounge, VIP area, bar, restaurant, and conference facilities. The New York Times named China’s Guizhou region on its list of “52 Places to Go in 2016,”  predicting an increase in tourist traffic there. The forested area was largely inaccessible until 2014, when the government opened a $20 billion high-speed railway that cut the travel time from the nearest major city from 20 hours down to four. Tour activities and new hotels are sprouting up throughout the area, but certainly none are as likely to improve the local environment as much as the Mountain Hotel. + Stefano Boeri Architetti Images via Stefano Boeri Architetti

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MIT researchers create a "second skin" that could make you look younger

October 23, 2016 by  
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As we age , our skin loses elasticity and moisture. It’s a natural process that happens to everyone, but ten years ago a team of researchers decided to see if they could change that. They set out to design a coating that could revitalize skin, making it healthier . Now they are announcing successful experiments of this ” second skin ” that appears to give wearers a youthful appearance. Led by biomedical engineer Robert Langer of MIT , the team included researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital , beauty company Living Proof , and Olivo Labs . Their second skin, made of ” a silicone-based polymer ,” creates a breathable layer on skin, keeping in moisture and appearing to smooth and tighten skin. The team tested their coating on areas of the body such as under eye bags, legs, and forearms . The invisible, wearable coating can last for around 24 hours , and will stand up to water and sweat . Related: Is this protein the key to an anti-aging pill? When they experimented with skin water loss, the researchers found that the second skin performed better than moisturizers on the market, keeping in more moisture. They performed multiple studies and none of the experiment participants reacted negatively to the coating. The BBC spoke with Dr. Tamara Griffiths of the British Association of Dermatologists who seemed optimistic about the research . She said , “The results [with the polymer film] appear to be comparable to surgery, without the associated risks. Further research is needed, but this is a novel and very promising approach to a common problem. I will follow its development with interest.” The researchers noted that the second skin may have applications beyond beauty . With more research, the coating could be adapted to transmit medicine or protect wearers from harmful sun rays, or treat conditions such as eczema. What do you think? Is this second skin a medical breakthrough or simply an appeal to our vanity? Via the BBC Images via Melanie Gonick/MIT and Olivo Labs

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