Students for a Smarter Planet ..leaders with conscience
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As a follow on to the Vertical Farms blog post by Kimberly (published August 6th), read about this Thesis project from Philipp Hutfless who’s studying Industrial Design at University of Applied Sciences in Darmstadt,  Germany.  He was inspired by a trip to Japan which sparked his desire to design a food system that could be sustained offshore.

Here’s a sketch of his work in his own words on the

James Dyson Foundation website:

 

Vereos

 

Another description of the project is posted on the Fast Company exist website  (They have all kinds of reviews, musings, op ed pieces and product information on their site – check it out) Floating Ocean Greenhouses Bring Fresh Food Closer To Megacities

 

 

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August 23rd, 2014
8:59
 

As we all droop from the heat of summer in America, it’s a depressing thought to imagine that water shortages could spell an end to making lemonade or running thru the sprinkler on your lawn or hanging out at a pool or beach with your friends or biting into a sweet juicy peach grown by a local farmer (all particularly summer-y type activities that are generally associated with the U.S.).  But it may not be as far fetched as one might suppose -  and it may have a financial repercussions worldwide, too!

Since 2011 companies have spent more than $84bn worldwide to improve the way they conserve, manage or obtain water, according to data from Global Water Intelligence, regulatory disclosures and executive interviews with the Financial Times.

 

Please take some time to check out the article by Pilita Clark linked below .  Admittedly, it’s a lengthy read, but absolutely fascinating (and slightly terrifying!) in the details about the many areas of the globe that have already begun preparations in hopes of staving off the worst effects of the ‘evaporation’ of this most precious commodity.

 

A WORLD WITHOUT WATER

 

Continents

(P.S. Note her mention of Coca-Cola and their project with World Wildlife Fund – I talked about their work in my blog post on June 27th. Here’s another chance to click on the panda to explore different career paths for yourself)

WWF logo

 

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August 14th, 2014
6:06
 

Excess heat is a wasted by-product of many industrial processes. Weizmann Institute of Science reports on an Israeli start-up that has discovered a way to capture this industrial by-product and turn it into fuel.  While this new process has not yet been put into production, the test data supports a very compelling debate.

Besides being a sustainable source of energy, an advantage of using released industrial heat rather than solar energy is that the former is released 24 hours a day, while solar energy heat can only be generated between 8 and 10 hours daily.

blog weizmann

Prototype of the the excess heat system setup. Photo: COURTESY NEW CO2FUELS

With plans on the table with two companies in Europe – the largest steel manufacturer in the world, and an engineering and equipment supplier, it remains to be seen how successful this new process will be.

Do you think this transformation of excess heat into fuel will reap substantial benefits?

Read about the proposed plan to execute this process

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August 7th, 2014
2:30
 

Travel on a bike is fun and healthy.  Traveling with a bike can be exhausting and hazardous to your health (keep in mind the angry looks and comments you endure from those who are unintentionally whacked by you toting your green transportation onto a subway, train, bus, … you get the idea).  And trying to get a bike into an electric car for a trip to the mountains is the equivalent of solving the riddle of the Sphinx.

Ta da!!! – this way cool alternative (which may or may not make it to the mass market), but is SO AWESOME!

Lucid Design’s Full-Size Bike Fits Into a Tiny Circular Backpack!

KitBike

And check out Lucid’s website for information on their other products and projects.  Based in India, their collective creativity is mind-blowing.  And their excitement in what they do is obvious – catch their spirit and build it into your own work!

 

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August 6th, 2014
5:00
 

There are approximately 20,000 people per square mile in Singapore.  So the island nation doesn’t really have space for farms.  Nearly all food consumed there is imported; often from great distances, places like Argentina.  Could floating vertical farms be the answer to make local farm to table a reality?  Barcelona base firm JAPA proposes a system for looping towers that float in harbors which may make space for crops to grow year round.  The project, called Floating Responsive Architecture (FRA) is inspired by floating fish farms in use since the 1930s.  The unusual shape of the towers helps save space and maximizes light according to JAPA principal, Javier Ponce.

Sign me up for repelling during the crop harvest and accessing transportation to and from the farms via helipad.

vertical farm

Bringing Local Food to Dense Urban Areas

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