Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Urban

The SPACE folding bicycle promises to be both easy to store and comfortable to ride

Folding bicycles are a great idea, in theory. In practice, they often provide a poor riding experience and can be a hassle to stow away. Budapest-based designer Simon Hukaya believes he’s solved both these issues with SPACE – a concept folding bicycle which sports a one-touch unfolding mechanism and 20-inch wheels.  Read More

The 2008 Urban Crossover Concept

Peugeot caused a bit of a stir earlier this year in Beijing when it unveiled its 2008 Urban Crossover Concept, a "world car" designed for an increasingly young, urban market. Following the same design philosophy, the French automaker has announced that the new 2008 compact 4X4 hatchback, which is set to get its official unveiling at the Paris Motor Show later this month, will go into production in 2013.  Read More

Bountiful harvest fills the trays of a Daiwa Agri-Cube prefab garden factory

Daiwa House, Japan's largest homebuilder, has introduced a line of prefabricated hydroponic vegetable factories, aimed at housing complexes, hotels, and top-end restaurants. Called the Agri-Cube, these units are touted by Daiwa as the first step in the industrialization of agriculture, to be located in and amongst the places where people live, work, and play.  Read More

Sity - Shanghai city architectural concept designed to resemble a Chinese dragon

Architecture has the power to completely change its surroundings, creating a focal point which influences an area much larger than that which it inhabits. This means that when it comes to rebuilding a locale from the ground up, a bold new approach is needed, one which looks to the future while tapping into the past. Bulgarian firm Sonik Module believes it has accomplished this tricky balancing act with Sity, a conceptual design envisioned as the centerpiece for the redevelopment of an area along the Suzhou Creek in Shanghai.  Read More

Research by scientists from Columbia University and NASA suggests that painting rooftops w...

It's long been suggested that white rooftops could help reduce the heat bubble microclimates that surround our cities simply by reflecting solar radiation directly back into space, and in 2010 we reported on NCAR efforts to demonstrate the effect through computer modeling. A new study goes one better, putting the theory into practice and pitting three white materials against one another on three New York rooftops. The results of the study appear to be overwhelmingly positive, with white roof coatings reducing peak rooftop temperatures in summer "by an average of 43 degrees Fahrenheit (about 24 degrees C)."  Read More

 i-Tree software provides analysis, benefit-calculations and assessment tools to quantify ...

Trees make a huge contribution to the green infrastructure of our towns and cities, both in carbon sequestration and aesthetics, yet the economical value of them is often forgotten leading them to be undervalued or seen as a nuisance. The i-Tree tool aims to change the way people see trees – it is a freely available software suite from the US Forest Service which provides analysis, benefit-calculations and assessment tools to quantify the contribution made by trees in the urban environment to allow communities to understand the economic benefit of protecting our urban forests.  Read More

Honda shows BRIO city car prototype

Honda finally showed the smaller-than-small city car it has been developing for Asian markets - the Honda BRIO - today at the 27th Thailand International Motor Expo in Bangkok. It will be the smallest, lightest and cheapest car in the Honda range when it goes on sale in India and Thailand next year - around THB 400,000 (US$13,300).  Read More

Designers have completed the largest and most biologically diverse living wall in Surrey, ...

Not content with having the largest non-industrial living roof in Canada and North America, designers in Canada have gone one step further with the completion of the largest and most biologically diverse living wall in North America. Green wall designers Green Over Grey recently completed work on the living wall at the Semiahmoo Public Library and Royal Canadian Mounted Police Facility in Surrey, British Columbia, which consists of a unique design covering nearly 3,000 square feet (279 square meters) and consisting of over 10,000 individual plants.  Read More

The XOR Urban Transporter folding scooter folds down in around 20 seconds

We first covered XOR’s folding electric scooters about a year ago but, aside from their top speed, weight and the fact they fold up, there wasn’t a lot of info on them available. Now we’ve had a chance to see the folding scooter in action at Intermot 2010 and nail down a few more details about the vehicle from XOR Motors that is dubbed the “XO2 Urban Transformer.”  Read More

The Urban Forest Map relies on community contributions to build information sharing, and c...

How do we get a good picture of what trees are where, how they are affecting or contributing to the environment, and what problems they might be susceptible to in today's changing world? The main problem with recording this vital information is (to borrow a line) “tree people like planting trees, they don't like entering data.” So why not throw the task open to the local community? The Urban Forest Map is a one-stop repository using information contributed from any willing group or individual and aims to engage community participation to build a complete, dynamic picture of the urban forest.  Read More

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