The Engineering Living Materials program – a house that can grow and repair itself

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has certainly had its hand in turning the gizmos and gadgets we used to dream of into a reality. The agency is still hard at work blazing the trail for future tech, issuing challenges for the creation of the most advanced things on this Earth. It has now taken on a new challenge, this …

How does Vilnius keep its air so clean?

Vilnius (Lithuania) has the cleanest air among urban agglomerations in Europe, but it is also one of the most motorized cities in the world, along with Athens (Greece) and Los Angeles (US) – see the top 10 motorized cities here. It seems unlikely for these two facts to be true in the same city, as …

Delicious but environmentally costly: Pizza wood-fired ovens in Sao Paulo

A new paper in Atmospheric Environment suggests that wood-fired ovens in Sao Paulo are highly contributing to air pollution. The city is already switching to biofuels, but this new finding could present a setback for Sao Paulo’s green initiatives.  Sao Paulo is the world’s fifth largest metro area with 21 million inhabitants and it is considered …

10 impressive landscape architecture projects from China

China has made remarkable advancements in many aspects of development (civil engineering, industry, urbanization, etc.), but landscape architecture can certainly be seen as the most outstanding of all. Here are ten examples of projects where sustainability, functionality, creativity and concern for the environment all come together. 1. Zhengzhou Vanke Central Plaza, by Locus Associates, Zhengzhou …

Making way for pedestrians – Paris and New York hold car-free days

Freeing busy city areas from cars for a few hours is a policy initiative that seeks to reduce high pollution levels as well as allow people to enjoy a few hours of cycling and walking through iconic streets. Civil society has played an important role bringing up this initiative to their local municipalities, to the …

Taking back the streets: Barcelona’s new “Superblocks”

The Eixample district of Barcelona is the centre of a new initiative: Superblocks. This project plans to tackle air pollution and high noise levels by creating car-free spaces. Ildefons Cerda is considered one Barcelona’s architecture and urban planning pioneers of the 19th century. He is famous for having designed the Eixample district, an extension of …

Solar energy and the city

We are seeing the use of solar energy increasing every year, at the expense of coal which is slowly, but surely being replaced – according to Spencer Dale, BP chief economist, it doubles its capacity every 20 months. How can solar technologies be made more attractive to businesses, institutions and, most importantly, regular citizens? One …

Cities Alive – Rethinking green infrastructure

‘Cities Alive – Rethinking green infrastructure’ is a report focused on  the role of green infrastructure in addressing the challenges of the 21st century. The report was the product of a collaboration between the Landscape Architecture and Foresight & Research & Innovation teams at Arup and has involved a wide range of specialists. In the …

Vancouver: a renewable city

Vancouver’s goal for 2050 is to get 100% of its energy from renewable sources. They have a 35-year ambitious and achievable Renewable City Strategy. “We can accelerate change by being a leader in the use of renewable energy in our operations” say experts from the city of Vancouver.  Achieving the targets in the Greenest City Action Plan …

The urban distribution center – Charleroi, Belgium

Over the past few years, Charleroi has embarked resolutely on a policy of economic redeployment and urban restructuring. The city center is currently the site of an impressive phase of renovation and expansion. In this context, an Urban Distribution Centre (UDC) of 2000m² was created outside of the city. Heavy vehicles can drop the goods there, before being redistributed …