As part of its research into the public transport of tomorrow, researchers at Fraunhofer have developed the AutoTram – a vehicle as long as a streetcar and as agile as a bus. Combining the best of both vehicles it has no need for rails or overhead contact lines, instead the “bustrolley” rolls on rubber tires and follows a simple white line on the road surface. It was constructed to serve as a research platform in the institute’s “Fraunhofer System Research on Electric-Powered Mobility” project – a large-scale research cooperative involving 33 Fraunhofer institutes that focuses on developing mobility solutions for the future.
Skidmore, Owings and Merrill LLP (SOM) has just unveiled details of the first phase for the expansion and redevelopment of three business districts in China's capital city, Beijing. Key to the success of the project is the installation of a Central Park area which will help to heat and cool energy efficient buildings in the Dawangjing District by geothermal exchange instead of relying on energy-intensive cooling towers.