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Urban

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

Japan's two-second folding bicycle

While folding bicycles have been around for a while now, this new variation can be folded with a swiftness and elegance never seen before. The 2-second slide-folding bicycle was designed to be folded quickly while you are walking. Once folded, the rider can push the bicycle along with ease much like one would push a wheel-barrow.  Read More

Honda's Personal-Neo Urban Transport ultra-compact vehicle - or P-NUT for short

With the variety of different engine technologies emerging to replace the traditional internal combustion engine, Honda has taken a very smart approach with its Personal-Neo Urban Transport (P-NUT) ultra-compact vehicle. The concept car features a modular rear engine bay designed to accommodate a wide variety of potential powertrain technologies including a conventional small internal combustion engine, a hybrid system, or a battery-electric drivetrain.  Read More

200 smart fortwo cars are on the streets of Austin as part of the car2go car sharing progr...

car2go, the innovative car sharing program first seen in Ulm, Germany, has launched in Austin, Texas. A joint partnership between the City of Austin and Daimler will initially see 200 smart fortwo vehicles made available 24/7 within the city to a select group of city employees and their relatives, with plans to increase the number of cars and make them accessible to all Austin residents and students in early 2010.  Read More

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