urbanus vulgaris

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Category: green

Facade panels that produce energy from algae

by gailiute

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This looks like a great invention.  Arup created Solarleaf bioreactor – thin, 2.5 x .07 meter panel, when attached to the exterior of a building, is capable of generating biofuel – in the form of algae – for the production of hot water. Sounds fun and smart! Read more here:

http://www.archdaily.com/514018/arup-s-latest-solar-panels-produce-energy-from-algae/

Our future cities. Cradle to cradle design

by gailiute

 

For those, who have read Cradle to cradle, this talk will be a repetition of ideas from the book.

For those, who haven’t read it – please do so :)

Becoming local

by gailiute

Rasa Anaityte shared a nice reminder-documentary film about how our societal habits became so mass production/ artificial and unhealthy, that buying and eating local food is such fascinating thing to do, instead of being obvious (thank God we still have grandmas and grandpas in the villages and  cherry and apple trees in summer gardens in Lithuania :P :)

Description:

Do you know where your food comes from?

In the past ten years, the organic food industry has become big business and consumers have been left wondering exactly what the word “Organic” means and how they can really know what they’re eating.

With the rise of farmer’s markets and more and more chefs sourcing their ingredients from local farms, consumers are now able to meet and talk to the people who are growing their food.

LOCAL discusses the rise of the local food movement, the challenges of sourcing locally and how it’s become a growing part of the Austin, Texas food scene.

This documentary is the November film in my 12 Films Project, where I make one short film every month in 2011. To see the other films or to learn more about the project, visit the website at:

12filmsproject.com

Pedestrian friendly suburb without cars – Vauban, Germany

by gailiute

Recently I came across a nice example of working design that favours pedestrians and bicycles more than cars.

800px-Ecoquartier_Vauban_Freibourg3

The new (started mid 1990’s, construction finished in 2006) suburban development –  Vauban neighbourhood is based on a fused grid (first introduced in 2002, it offers the best of two widely known street patterns: grid and radburn) that favours active movement by foot or bike inside the neighbourhood and filters out the cars.

VaubanTraficNetwork-Schematic

Cars can enter local streets to access the houses, but the parking there is strictly forbidden. Car owners can park their vehicles only in two spots: the large garages at the end of location. In addition to that, residents of Vauban have to declare whether they own a car yearly  and in case they do, the are obliged to buy a parking space as well (which is not extremely cheap). However restrictions on car parking and such disfavouring of car ownership is compensated by a tram line which is within easy walking distance from every home.

Positive effect of this design is already visible in statistical data: “As of 2009 around 70% of the households had chosen to live without a private car. The level of car ownership has fallen over time. An earlier survey showed over 50% of households owned a car; of those who were living carfree, 81% had previously owned one and 57% gave up their cars on or immediately after moving to Vauban.” (Nobis, 2003, cited in wiki:)) 

And. Besides smart selection of pedestrians over cars, this neighbourhood is built according to low energy consumption standards: “100 units designed to the Passivhaus ultra-low energy building standard. Other buildings are heated by a combined heat and power station burning wood chips, while many of the buildings have Solar collectors or photovoltaic cells. Perhaps the best example of sustainable building is the Solar Settlement in Vauban, a 59 PlusEnergy home housing community. It is the first housing community world wide in which all the homes produce a positive energy balance. The solar energy surplus is then sold back into the city’s grid for a profit on every home.” (again, source: wiki). 

This project sounds great! Agree? ;)

 

Solarsiedlung_von_oben 327737739_b1bb1f8927 smart-urban-planning

 

New generation wind energy collector from TU Delft

by gailiute

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TU Delft not only claims to be one of the leading engineering universities – it really offers great inventions. One of them – new way of collecting wind power without any drawbacks that ‘traditional’ wind turbine has – no  moving parts, no sound, less vibration – it looks really promising. And the best part is that this new wind energy collector could be made in many different forms – easier to fit it in the urban environment :) well, of course it is still a project, but I hope it will evolve into real product.

About the project:

“TU Delft researchers Johan Smit and Dhiradj Djairam developed the EWICON (Electrostatic Windenergy CONvertor), a windenergy convertor that transforms windenergy into electricity without mechanical moving parts. This animation shows how it works and can be deployed. Do you want to know more? Read the entire thesis here: http://repository.tudelft.nl/view/ir/uuid%3Ae1cfdada-85ea-45c4-b6e4-b798abf5917e/ ”

The only issue that I see here is: this electricity generator needs water. Constantly. I try to imagine water tank nearby :)

 

Jeremy Rifkin: A New Era of Capitalism

by vytasvulgaris

Jeremy Rifkin about the current global development trends and “the third  industrial revolution”. About the emerging new political order, about the new generations of social entrepreneurs, about survival of human race etc.

Some more of Rifkin’s quite fascinating anthropological concept – Empathic Civilization (RSA Animate)

Contemporary future bicycle for urban commuter. Lithuanian designed folding e-bicycle Fwave.

by vytasvulgaris

Fwave 1Fwave 2

 

Bicycle gives freedom to travel daily on selected pace and route, claims Lithuanian designer Viktorija Čegytė. According to Viktorija, designing a bicycle for a contemporary citizen it is important to understand, that an urban cyclist must not necessarily be a professional cyclist or cycling enthusiast. Therefore cycling should be easy and comfortable. The other important task is to integrate bicycle in the public transport system thus extending advantages of both modes. Compact minimalistic design folding electric bicycle Fwave aims to be a casual accessory of an urban commuter.

more about the project: http://www.behance.net/gallery/Fwave-Bicycle/6063335

Read more in Lithuanian : http://www.dindin.lt/#page=465

 

 

Bonnington Square

by vytasvulgaris

 

A docummentary film directed by Alistair Oldham

“Bonnington Square is right in the heart of London, just two minutes walk from the river and just ten minutes from the Houses of Parliament. In the early eighties the one hundred houses of the Square were all squatted, forming a bohemian community from all around the world.The squat had two community gardens, a cafe, a wholefood shop, a nightclub, a newsletter and even a milkbar. Although it is no longer squatted, there are still many low rent housing cooperatives, and the cafe and the gardens are still collectively run, and the Square is now a model of a modern sustainable urban community” (http://vimeo.com/36595608).

Genre De Vie (sneak preview)

by vytasvulgaris

 

Genre de Vie is a documentary film about bicycles, cities and personal awareness. It looks at desired space and our own impact to the process of it. The film documents urban life empowered by the simplicity of the bicycle  (http://www.genredevie.com).

Here our friends film makers introduce a sneak preview already showing some pure thoughts and insights wraped in amazing imagery and motion. The rest is comming up this winter.

LOCAL

by vytasvulgaris

Next to a meditative reality of Our Daily Bread,  one of the beautiful short documentaries by Christian Remde  LOCAL which “discusses the rise of the local food movement, the challenges of sourcing locally and how it’s become a growing part of the Austin, Texas food scene” (http://vimeo.com/32845880#).

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