How can cities be made more sustainable?

Posted by Earthr.org Content Team on 19 Aug, 2018

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9 Solutions

Pop-up Parks

Posted by Earthr.org Content Team on 19 Aug, 2018

Pop up Parks is a global movement that supports, shares and implements projects that invite people to be more playful and creative in urban environments. Pop up Parks help improve communities by bringing people together to improve their surroundings through simple, creative and rapid changes to the built environment. 

21% of children in the UK play outdoors; for their parents, the figure was 71% - Play England, 2007

Over the past five years the emergence of pocket parks and pop-up park spaces has been growing globally. According to the UN, by 2030 the world will have over 40 mega-cities with 10 million inhabitants or more and by 2030, over 60% of the world’s population will live in urban areas. As the world becomes more urbanised so do peoples' desire to find outside spaces where they can play, socialise, collaborate and enjoy the benefits of the natural and built environment.

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Bigbelly Smart Dustbins

Posted by Earthr.org Content Team on 19 Aug, 2018

City authorities around the world are now turning to solar-powered “trash compactors” to keep litter off the streets. The 150-gallon capacity rubbish bins are equipped with a motor that pushes down the rubbish when it nears the top. The motor is powered by solar panels embedded in the lid. The newest Bigbelly bins include a wireless monitoring system that notifies rubbish collectors when the bins are full.

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Algae-powered Building

Posted by Earthr.org Content Team on 19 Aug, 2018

To prove the dynamism of the “living wall” concept, look no further than Hamburg’s International Building Exhibition. Instead of sweet-smelling flowers, the south-facing facades of the zero-carbon apartment complex are laced with green-tinged algae. The walls’ external fabric includes a “bio-skin” of hollow grass panels on which the algae photosynthesises and grows. Periodically, the algae is harvested from the walls and fermented in a biogas plant to produce electricity.

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Neo-walled Gardens

Posted by Earthr.org Content Team on 19 Aug, 2018

Gardens stopped being just the preserve of people’s front lawns long ago. For a while, garden roofs were all the rage. Now, it’s all about walls. Drawing on advances in hydroponics, the facades of a growing number of libraries and offices, shops and hotels, are bursting into flower. One of the firms at the forefront of the “living wall” boom is UK-based firm Biotecture. The company’s “vertical gardens” can also be seen gracing the Taj Hotel in central London and the exit wall of Edgware Road Tube Station, among other locations. Aesthetics aside, green walls are credited with reducing air pollution and improving air quality.

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Water-producing Billboard

Posted by Earthr.org Content Team on 19 Aug, 2018

Researchers at Lima’s University of Engineering and Technology have come up with a billboard with a difference. Using a system of condensers and filters, it traps the humidity in the air and extracts the water vapour to produce around 96 litres of drinking water a day. The public can help themselves to it for free.

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Supertrees

Posted by Earthr.org Content Team on 19 Aug, 2018

Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay has a small copse of them. Up to 50 metres high, these steel-framed 'supertrees' not only have flowers and ferns growing up them, but their metallic canopies act to absorb and disperse heat too. They’re equipped to harvest rainwater too, as well as provide air ventilation for two “climate-controlled biomes” (large conservatories, in other words) below. 11 of the 18 trees also boast solar panels along their ‘branches’.

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Footfall Harvesting

Posted by Earthr.org Content Team on 19 Aug, 2018

Every day, hundreds of commuters and shoppers in the east London neighbourhood of West Ham cross the elevated pedestrian walkway close to the underground station. Few probably notice the springiness beneath their feet. Fewer still connect that five-millimetre flex in the rubber surface to the powering of the streetlights above. The paved flooring is decked with smart tiles that capture the kinetic energy from pedestrians’ footsteps and convert it into electricity. Pavegen, the UK firm behind the innovation, has installed a similar system at London’s Heathrow airport, among other international locations.

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Glow in the dark trees

Posted by Earthr.org Content Team on 19 Aug, 2018

Dutch designer/artist Daan Roosegaarde has come up with a “bioluminescent” plant. The experimental technology splices DNA from luminescent marine bacteria with the chloroplast genome of a plant to create a jellyfish-type glow. Trials are underway to create an industrial-scale version of the biomimicry-inspired technology that Roosegaarde hopes could one day replace conventional street lighting.

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Underground Bicycle Park

Posted by Earthr.org on 19 Aug, 2018

Not all urban dwellers are hooked to the car. Bikes are ever more in vogue. The question is: where to keep it safe? Tokyo-based engineering firm Giken Seisakusho has come up with a concept for a solution: an “eco-cycle, anti-seismic underground bicycle park”. At just seven metres wide, the cylindrical storage facility buries deep enough into the ground to house 204 bikes. Owners can retrieve their bike at the touch of a button, with the automated system delivering it back above ground in around 13 seconds.

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