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Future Technologies

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Revealed: the Best and Worst Solar PV Panels You Can Buy

December 17, 2014 by David Thorpe

How clean are your panels?

Your solar electricity may not be as clean as you think. The Silicon Valley Toxic Coalition has recently produced a new scorecard ranking manufacturers on safety, pollution and human rights. You can use it to help choose the best manufacturer.[read more]

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We Must Maximize the Use of Daylight in Buildings to Reduce Energy Use

December 11, 2014 by David Thorpe

See the light!

Daylight should become the primary light source in building for health, productivity and sustainability. Architects should design buildings to maximise the use of daylighting and in many countries are rewarded for doing so by gaining points, e.g. under LEED. Here is how to begin to go about designing buildings to maximise the use of daylight.[read more]

How Gravity (And a Little Coagulant) Could Transform How Communities Clean Water

December 8, 2014 by This Big City

Installing the water-purifying device in Honduras.

Purifying water as a safe and healthy resource is a problem that is as old as civilization itself. When people started living together in anything bigger than traveling bands of shepherds and hunters, potable water became a shrinking resource.[read more]

Montreal May See an Expansion of Self-Service Vehicles and Car Sharing

December 7, 2014 by Global Site Plans - The Grid

Car Sharing in Montreal

We estimate that a car in Montreal spends ninety-five percent of its time parked every week. In this context, self-service cars could contribute to reducing the number of vehicles on the road, and their deployment should be encouraged, believe researchers at the Ecole Polytechnique.[read more]

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Smart City Tech is Not Yet Living Up To Its Promise to Solve Environmental Problems

December 4, 2014 by David Thorpe

The EIC study looked at 10 British cities as well as others around the world.

A new report into whether ‘smart’ approaches can offer cities more efficient ways to tackle entrenched environmental challenges finds a disappointing lack of evidence that they are making a difference.[read more]

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Planning for One Planet: A Dialogue for Thought

December 1, 2014 by Luis Rodriguez
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Planning and Dialogue

The reality is that access to opportunity varies depending on where you live. Different regional labor markets offer different types of jobs, and not all pay wages that offer a path out of poverty. Those jobs that do aren’t spread evenly across places, and may not be accessible to low-income workers.[read more]

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Envisioning Future Cities: Pocket Drones, Bioinspired Designs, and Smart Citizens

November 29, 2014 by Sophie Curtis

Future City Technology and Planning

The Future Cities Summit, organised by RE.WORK, brings together the most influential leaders and officials to collaborate and reshape our future cities. Attendees of the summit will gain insight into breakthrough innovations that will have an impact on creating sustainable, intelligent and efficient future cities.[read more]

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We Need A Definition of Nearly Zero Energy Buildings

November 28, 2014 by David Thorpe

Low energy house types in Europe

A European study on the cost effectiveness of deep renovation of existing buildings contains recommendations for individual member states and says a definition of nearly Zero Energy Buildings is needed so designers and architects know what to aim for.[read more]

3D Printing Can Empower Landscape Architects

November 27, 2014 by The Dirt ASLA

3D Printing Innovation

Landscape architects can bypass things that used to be required basics like contractors and participate directly in the fabrication and manufacturing of all sorts of objects like benches or even pavers, if they are confident enough to delve into 3D modeling and 3D printing.[read more]

Toronto Seeks Injunction to Stop Uber

November 27, 2014 by Brandon Donnelly

Uber Injunction in Toronto

One evening this past spring I was leaving a Rotman School event at Liberty Grand on the west side of Toronto. There aren’t a lot of taxis coming through this part of the city, so I figured I was going to have to wait while I hailed one from my phone. But as luck would have it, one happened to be pulling up.[read more]

China's Clean Air Challenge: The Health Impacts of Transport Emissions

November 24, 2014 by TheCityFix - produced by EMBARQ

China, Transportation, and Air Pollution

Air quality is one of many tragic social and environmental issues China has faced during its rapid urbanization and motorization. China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection revealed that only 4.1% of the 74 surveyed cities met the new standards for fine particulate matter (PM2.5) emissions.[read more]

Uber-like Buses That Go Where and When You Want To

November 21, 2014 by TheCityFix - produced by EMBARQ

Transportation Options

Startups like Uber are revolutionizing personal transport in cities worldwide, providing on-demand services at a relatively low price. Can the same thing be done for bus transport? Imagine requesting a bus from your phone, and having it drop you off exactly where you chose.[read more]