This man built a floating solar-powered fortress made out of 150,000 recycled water bottles Off the cost of Isla Mujeres Bay in Cancun, Mexico, environmentalist and architect Richart Sowa lives comfortably on his island made of over 150,000 recycled water bottles. Sowa first built his floating abode in 2005, but harsh weather destroyed the island. On his third attempt of rebuilding his home— this time in calm waters—he succeeded in developing a sturdy home. He has been living almost completely self-sustainably on his private island since 2008. UN-HABITAT Adopts First-Ever Resolution on Public Spaces Resolution Requests UN-HABITAT’s Executive Director to Ensure the Application of Place-Making Internationally April 15, 2011- Nairobi, Kenya The Governing Council of UN-HABITAT (United Nations Human Settlement Programme) has adopted the first-ever public space resolution which urges the development of a policy approach for the international application of Placemaking. The resolution, adopted during its 23rd Session, “requests the Executive Director, in collaboration with Habitat Agenda partners…to develop a policy approach on the role that place-making can play in meeting the challenges of our rapidly urbanizing world, to disseminate that policy and its results widely and to develop a plan for ensuring its application internationally…”
Almost Untouched Nature - Waterfall Restaurant, Philippines Image credit Visiting this interesting Waterfall Restaurant located in San Pablo City, Philippines at the Villa Escudero Plantations and Resort can be a truly unique and memorable experience. Visitors can enjoy in lunch served on bamboo dining tables while the crystalline running water flows under their feet. Besides enjoying the authentic local cuisine, you can enjoy the almost untouched nature of the region formerly occupied by a farm and coconut plantations.
Detroit Leads the Way on Place-Centered Revitalization Future plans for Cadillac Square call for a lively marketplace / Image: PPS You may have heard about downtown Detroit’s big comeback story. Campus Martius has become one of America’s great urban squares. Demand for housing has outstripped supply for months. Major tech firms like Twitter are opening up offices in refurbished historic buildings. Hypar Pavilion / Diller Scofidio + Renfro with FXFowle Construction is complete on Hypar Pavilion at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, situated on the edge of Hearst Plaza and 65th Street, the new free standing structure is the home of a new public lawn and restaurant. The dual requirements of a destination restaurant and a public green space located within the confines of the Plaza are satisfied with a single architectural gesture sited between the reflecting pool and the plaza’s north edge. Elizabeth Diller comments, “Hypar Pavilion’s moment of invention came when we discovered how to design a destination restaurant without consuming public space on the Lincoln Center campus.
from pond to cup - UWE project resolves global clean water crisis Issue date: 16 January 2014 flickr photo gallery Researchers at UWE Bristol have developed a portable and mobile water treatment system capable of delivering clean drinking water at source. The system has been developed for use in remote or undeveloped areas of the world to provide clean water for disaster relief and humanitarian emergencies. Such technology could help transform the lives of people who currently have no access to clean drinking water. A modest garden shed located next to a pond located on the main University campus is the focus for the research.
Why Cities Can't Afford to Lose Their Artists The Art Basel Miami Beach art fair kicks off this week, an event that drew 75,000 people and 140 international museum and international groups in 2013. The art fair is widely credited with kick-starting the economic resurgence of the Miami area, so it seems like a good time to ask: What do we really know about the role of art in the city? Does it help to drive economic growth and development or does it contribute to gentrification? Are leading edge arts clusters found just in big cities, like New York and Los Angeles, or can they spread to smaller and medium sized ones as well? A recent study published in the journal Urban Studies takes a close look at the connection between the arts and city building.
9 of the Coolest Secret Subway Stations in the World If you’re anything like us, you’re fascinated by the secret worlds of underground transportation. What goes on in abandoned subway stations? Do mole people exist? Have we been approaching Platform 9¾ at the wrong angle? A couple months ago, we brought you a collection of beautiful abandoned train stations from all over the world. 11 Principles for Creating Great Community Places Effective public spaces are extremely difficult to accomplish, because their complexity is rarely understood. As William (Holly) Whyte said, “It’s hard to design a space that will not attract people. What is remarkable is how often this has been accomplished.” PPS has identified 11 key elements in transforming public spaces into vibrant community places, whether they’re parks, plazas, public squares, streets, sidewalks or the myriad other outdoor and indoor spaces that have public uses in common.
Superkilen / Topotek 1 + BIG + Superflex Architects: Topotek 1 + BIG Architects + Superflex Location: Nørrebro, Copenhagen, Denmark Client: Copenhagen Municipality, Realdania Budget: 11 MIO USD Area: 30,000 sqm Year: 2012 Photographs: Iwan Baan, Hasse Ferrold, Jens Lindhe, Maria da Schio, Torben Eskerod, Mike Magnussen General descriptionSuperkilen is a half a mile long urban space wedging through one of the most ethnically diverse and socially challenged neighborhoods in Denmark. It has one overarching idea that it is conceived as a giant exhibition of urban best practice – a sort of collection of global found objects that come from 60 different nationalities of the people inhabiting the area surrounding it.
Exxon: The Road Not Travelled - Inside Cllimate News In 1981, 12-year-old Laura Shaw won her seventh-grade science fair at the Solomon Schechter Day School in Cranford, N.J. with a project on the greenhouse effect. For her experiment, Laura used two souvenir miniatures of the Washington Monument, each with a thermometer attached to one side. She placed them in glass bowls and covered one with plastic wrap – her model of how a blanket of carbon dioxide traps the reflected heat of the sun and warms the Earth. Millennium Villages – Center for Sustainable Development The Millennium Villages Project’s sites are areas in which community-level work is done to advance MDG related goals in health, nutrition, and education. Accomplishments in these sectors will be documented over the life of the project. Areas of measurement will include malaria morbidity, access to water and sanitation, education attendance and performance, and availability of school meals. The findings will review lessons learned in empowering local communities to achieve the MDGs. CSD at the Earth Institute is home to the monitoring and evaluation and the systems design teams for the Millennium Villages.