Four ways technology will change how we commute in the future | Guardian Sustainable Business | The Guardian

From self driving cars to streetlight sensors, we highlight some of the grand ideas for urban transportation from cities across the US

Source: Four ways technology will change how we commute in the future | Guardian Sustainable Business | The Guardian

 

Olli, a 12-passenger self-driving shuttle, uses the cognitive computing ability of IBM Watson and is being trialled in cities across the US.
 Olli, a 12-passenger self-driving shuttle, uses the cognitive computing ability of IBM Watson and is being trialled in cities across the US. Photograph: Local Motors

Columbus, Ohio, is a mid-size city known primarily as the home of Ohio State University, not as a hub of cutting edge technology for public transportation. But that is exactly what this city of 790,000 people plans to be.

By 2019, residents of Columbus could see autonomous shuttles cruising the Easton commercial district, motion-sensitive LED streetlights that also provide free Wi-Fi internet to the residential neighborhood of Linden, and 175 smart traffic signals that aim to ease traffic jams and speed first-responders’ paths through the city. Residents will also be able to use one app to plan and pay for trips that require multiple types of public transportation.

Columbus’s smart city evolution is taking shape thanks to $40m in federal funds the city recently won as part of the US Department of Transportation’s Smart City Challenge. The challenge drew applications from 78 cities.

The Pipe for Santa Monica Pier desalinizes 1.5 billion gallons of drinking water for California | Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green Building

The infrastructure California needs to generate energy for electricity and clean water will change the state for years to come, but this need not blight the landscape. The Pipe is one example of…

Source: The Pipe for Santa Monica Pier desalinizes 1.5 billion gallons of drinking water for California | Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green Building

 

Solar-powered Pipe desalinizes 1.5 billion gallons of drinking water for California

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Solar Cost Hits World’s New Low, Half the Price of Coal – EcoWatch

Solar Cost Hits World’s New Low, Half the Price of Coal

Source: Solar Cost Hits World’s New Low, Half the Price of Coal – EcoWatch

ACERA

This surpasses the record set in May of a $29.90 per MWh bid in Dubai for an 800 megawatt (MW) solar project.

“This is the lowest price ever seen, for any renewable technology,” an analyst told Bloomberg. The low price is possible due to the rapid fall in cost of solar technology and the 12 MW solar plant’s location in the ideal conditions of Chile’s Atacama Desert.

Rejected recyclable waste up 84% in England since 2011, data shows – BBC News

The amount of household rubbish being rejected for recycling in England has increased by 84% over the past four years, government figures show.

Source: Rejected recyclable waste up 84% in England since 2011, data shows – BBC News

Media captionAre you recycling properly?

The amount of household rubbish being rejected for recycling in England has increased by 84% over the past four years, government figures show.

A BBC Freedom of Information request found councils were unable to recycle 338,000 tons of waste in 2014-15 – up from about 184,000 tons in 2011-12.

But Department for Environment data shows total recycled waste rose from 10.7m to 11m tons a year in the period.

Sweden’s Green Port; Yangtze Porpoises & Leftover Cafes – Al Jazeera English

A port reducing shipping emissions; saving China’s Yangtze porpoise; and a ‘pay-as-you-feel’ junk food cafe goes global.

Source: Sweden’s Green Port; Yangtze Porpoises & Leftover Cafes – Al Jazeera English

FROM THIS EPISODE

Gothenburg’s Green Port

Ninety percent of world trade is transported by ships at sea. Traditionally this has been considered a greener method of transport than road or air, but toxic pollution from ships kills tens of thousands of people every year.

The Port of Gothenburg, Scandinavia’s busiest shipping hub, is pioneering a number of methods to mitigate the effects of pollution from ships.

From plugging ships into onshore green energy supplies so they do not have to burn fuel whilst in dock, to pioneering a new ‘sniffer’ technique which monitors passing ships’ sulphur emissions.

UK Cohousing Network

Find out about cohousing in the UK and join the network! Find a group, read our resources, and be a part of it.

Source: UK Cohousing Network

Cohousing in a nutshell

Cohousing communities are created and run by their residents. Each household has a self-contained, private home but residents come together to manage their community and share activities. Cohousing is a way of combating the alienation and isolation many experience today, recreating the neighbourly support of the past. This can happen anywhere, in your street or starting a new community using empty homes or building new.

Hyperloop pod design unveiled by MIT scientists after 1st test — RT Viral

In a week that saw the Hyperloop complete its first ever track test, scientists at MIT have unveiled their design for the high speed pod.

Source: Hyperloop pod design unveiled by MIT scientists after 1st test — RT Viral

In a week that saw the Hyperloop complete its first ever track test, scientists at MIT have unveiled their design for the high speed pod.

Since winning a competition to design Elon Musk’s super-fast transport system in January, a team of 30 researchers and engineers has been developing “a mode of transportation that could change how we think about travel.”

Solar Impulse aeroplane reaches Oklahoma – BBC News

Solar Impulse has landed in Tulsa, Oklahoma, ending stage 11 in its round-the-world journey.

Source: Solar Impulse aeroplane reaches Oklahoma – BBC News

Leaving PhoenixImage copyrightSOLAR IMPULSE
Image captionThe plane left Goodyear, Phoenix, before dawn on what was to be an 18-hour flight

Solar Impulse has landed in Tulsa, Oklahoma, ending stage 11 in its round-the-world journey.

Pilot Bertrand Piccard brought the plane in from Phoenix, Arizona, in a flight that lasted just over 18 hours.

The zero-fuel aircraft has now reached halfway across America, with its immediate goal of getting to New York firmly in sight.

The Swiss team wants to be on the East Coast at the start of June to begin planning the big Atlantic crossing.

To complete its circumnavigation of the globe, the solar-powered aeroplane needs to get to Abu Dhabi, UAE. That is where the adventure got under way in March last year.

As well as setting new aviation milestones, the stated purpose of the project is to demonstrate the capability of clean technologies.

Sadiq Khan to more than double size of London’s clean air zone | Environment | The Guardian

New mayor of London calls air pollution ‘our biggest environmental challenge’ and plans to bring the increased ultra low emission zone into force early

Source: Sadiq Khan to more than double size of London’s clean air zone | Environment | The Guardian

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London
 Khan plans to extend the clean air zone beyond the congestion charge zone to reach as far as the north and south circulars. Photograph: David Levene for the Guardian

The Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) – which could also now come into force earlier than planned – will require drivers of the 2.5m oldest and dirtiest vehicles to pay a charge. Owners of cars that fail to meet the standards will pay a £12.50 charge, separate to the congestion charge.

The scheme is intended to act as an incentive to drivers to use cleaner vehicles or alternative transport to reduce the levels of nitrogen dioxide, a toxic gas produced by diesel vehicles.

Rainforest Biome, world’s largest indoor rainforest – Eden Project, Cornwall

Rainforest plants, facts and figures in the Rainforest Biome at the Eden Project, Cornwall.

Source: Rainforest Biome, world’s largest indoor rainforest – Eden Project, Cornwall

Rainforest Biome

Key info

  • Largest indoor rainforest in the world
  • Over 1,000 varieties of plant
  • Allow 1.5 hours to see everything
  • Temperature: 18–35°C

Feel the tropical heat in our stunning Rainforest Biome and experience four of the world’s rainforest environments: Tropical Islands, Southeast Asia, West Africa and Tropical South America.

With the awe-inspiring domes and enormous trees towering above you, you’ll follow the path deep into our vast indoor jungle and find surprises around every corner.

Latest news: three titan arums – the largest flowering structure in the world – are set to bloom in our Rainforest Biome soon. Keep an eye on our live webcam and Twitter feed for updates.

Tomorrow’s Buildings: Construction industry goes robotic – BBC News

Drones, autonomous bulldozers and 3D printing – how tech is transforming the building site.

Source: Tomorrow’s Buildings: Construction industry goes robotic – BBC News

Tomorrow’s Buildings: Construction industry goes robotic

Media captionMexico City is trialling new technologies to tackle air pollution

The building site of the future is going to look very different to the one we are all used to today.

Instead of men in high-visibility jackets and hard hats, there are going to be drones buzzing overhead, robotic bulldozers and 3D printers churning out new structures.

That at least is the hope of those making technological solutions.

But first they have to convince the traditionally risk-averse construction industry that such change is necessary.

Scientist accidentally creates a battery than can last a lifetime. Gamechanger | Minds

Finding a battery should could charge and discharge over 200,000 times was not her expectation, but Mya Le Thai, lead study author at University of California, Irvine, pulled it off while “playing around” with the materials. “Mya was playing around, and she coated this whole thing with a very thin gel layer and started to cycle it,” said senior author Reginald Penner, chair of UCI’s chemistry department, in a statement. “She discovered that just by using this gel, she could cycle it hundreds of thousands of times without losing any capacity.” “It” is a battery with coated gold nanowires in manganese dioxide.  When she added the Plexiglas-like gel it stabilized and protected the nanowires.   “That was crazy,” added Penner, “because these things typically die in dramatic fashion after 5,000 or 6,000 or 7,000 cycles at most.” You can see the gel surrounding the nanowires “The coated electrode holds its shape much better, making it a more reliable option,” Thai said. “This research proves that a nanowire-based battery electrode can have a long lifetime and that we can make these kinds of batteries a reality.”   photo credit: A nanowire compared to a human hair. Thai et al./UC Irvine via YouTube

Source: Scientist accidentally creates a battery than can last a lifetime. Gamechanger | Minds

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