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Thomas Heatherwick's vision of a garden bridge across the Thames (Image: Heatherwick Studi...

London could be the venue for a "garden bridge" in the mode of New York's High Line, if designer Thomas Heatherwick (he of 2012 Olympic cauldron fame) has his way. If £60 million (US$94 million) in private funding can be secured, it's thought the bridge could open as early as 2016.  Read More

Northwest Hydraulic Consultants principal Darren Shepherd, using a tiny kayak to assess th...

When an architect is designing a building, they build a scale model to check how their design will work as an actual physical structure. What happens, however, when engineers are designing things that will have to be compatible with the currents in rivers ... things like dams, bridges, or pump stations? Well, that’s where water resources engineering firms like Northwest Hydraulic Consultants (NHC) come into the picture. Their work often includes building exact miniature recreations of waterways, complete with flowing water. We recently caught up with NHC principal Darren Shepherd, who guided us through the production process of one of his more exciting models – a one-twelfth scale Norwegian whitewater kayaking park.  Read More

The Flussbad conversion will create the world's longest swimming pool amidst the historic ...

The 3rd International Holcim Awards for sustainable construction projects from across Europe were recently announced at a ceremony in Milan, with the German architectural firm realities:united taking first prize for its Flussbad proposal. Led by architect Tim Edler, Flussbad would transform a stretch of the River Spree in Berlin into a 745 meter (almost 0.5 mile) -long "swimming pool." That's about the size of 17 Olympic pools! It is hoped that the project will provide Berlin residents with a new way to use the city's historic center, whilst taking advantage of a currently unused section of Berlin's inner city river.  Read More

Anchored at the Quays of the Old Port of Montreal, Bota Bota, spa-sur-l'eau offers passeng...

Sid Lee Architecture is the design firm behind the transformation of a 1950's steam ferry, currently named Bota Bota. The storied ship once operated as a ferryboat between Sorel and Berthier, Quebec during the 50's and 60's, followed by a stint as a Richelieu River show boat. The ship is now anchored at the Quays of the Old Port of Montreal and has been completely refurbished into a day spa, featuring five decks fitted with various spa installations.  Read More

Cleaning up the Seine with Physalia

Concerned about our rising population having serious water supply issues in the not too distant future, Lilypad floating city designer Vincent Callebaut has come up with a floating amphibious garden that can clean our rivers as it travels the waterways of Europe. His proposed "audacious, avant-garde" Physalia project will be a self-sufficient, nomadic research vessel which can also host aqua-focused exhibitions and conferences.  Read More

The bauxite residue container pond spill near Kolontar, Hungary

It might sound like fighting fire with fire, but geologist Chen Zhu proposes the application of another industrial waste to the Hungarian bauxite residue spill, with the aim of reducing toxicity via a technique called carbon sequestration. While he says it wouldn't render the residue completely harmless, it would at least minimize the environmental damage.  Read More

The insecticidal protein Cry1Ab has been shown to leach from corn debris into adjacent str...

A new study by Indiana’s University of Notre Dame has revealed that streams across the U.S. Midwest contain insecticides from adjacent fields of genetically engineered corn, even well after harvest. The transgenic maize (GE corn) in question has been engineered to produce the insecticidal protein Cry1Ab. Pollen, leaves and cobs from those plants enter streams bordering on the cornfields, where they are said to release Cry1Ab into the water.  Read More

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