liveable cities

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Turning Cities Into Living Organisms

Posted by on 08 Dec 2011 | Tagged as: biomimicry, liveable cities

How the Internet of Things is turning cities into organisms

Another good post in FastCompany’s Biomimicry – Nature of Innovation series:

When city services can autonomously go online and digest information from the cloud, they can reach a level of performance never before seen. First up, water systems that automatically know when it will rain and react accordingly. Continued at FastCompany.

How the iPad Could Disrupt the Home Energy Market

Posted by on 06 Apr 2010 | Tagged as: energy efficiency, greenr business, liveable cities

earth2tech

My iPad arrived on Saturday and it is one cool device! While there are question marks over Apple’s closed ecosystem, there’s no doubt about consumer interest. Like the Apple II, the Mac, iPod and iPhone before it, the launch of the iPad will be the tipping point for widespread adoption of nascent technology – in this case a large screen, touch control device in the home. As the following points out the outcome may impact home energy efficiency.

…the iPad could offer a few unique characteristics specifically for home energy management in comparison to an energy-specific dashboard gadget — like those made by Tendril, EnergyHub and Control4 (yep they make a gadget too) — mobile interfaces with smaller screens like the iPhone, or a website on a computer. Those advantages include a large screen, the ability for rich media and the fact that the device can do an unlimited amount of other tasks.

Continued at http://earth2tech.com/2010/04/06/how-the-ipad-could-disrupt-the-home-energy-market/

Technology for the (Financially) Poor

Posted by on 07 Jan 2009 | Tagged as: liveable cities

Another via my friend Ben de Vries to check out if you’re interested in another side of the open source movement:

Technology for the Poor’s mission is to develop, innovate and disseminate sustainable technologies to the poor all over the world. http://www.technologyforthepoor.com/

What Can Architecture Learn From Nature?

Posted by on 01 Oct 2008 | Tagged as: biomimicry, liveable cities

Answer: A lot…

Ultimately, biomimicry seeks to understand how we ought to integrate ourselves with nature. I find hope in the principle that, in nature, there are no hard boundaries or edges; materials merge together seamlessly. Perhaps through the emulation of nature, we will come to live more symbiotically with it, and our environments will become both closer to nature and less invasive to it.

Read the complete post a:

http://greenerbuildings.com/column/2008/09/08/what-can-architecture-learn-from-nature

Open Sustainability Network Event

Posted by on 16 Sep 2008 | Tagged as: events, liveable cities, open source

I posted about Open Source Sustainability a few months ago, so I was pleased to read about an upcoming event:

We are gathering together a large community of like-minded groups and people, called the Open Sustainability Network (OSN), to work on overcoming barriers to openness and collaboration. Our first conference will be at San Francisco State University on October, 18th-19th and admission is free.

To register for OSNCamp 2008 see: http://osncon.eventbrite.com

For more information: http://opensustainabilitynetwork.org

Building the Bio-inspired City

Posted by on 15 Sep 2008 | Tagged as: biomimicry, liveable cities

HOK, a global architectural firm, just announced the formation of an alliance with the Biomimicry Guild. Together the companies plan to integrate nature’s innovations in the design of buildings, communities and cities worldwide.

The built environment is the most fertile ground for biomimicry, according to Dayna Baumeister, PhD, co-founder of the Biomimicry Guild. “Buildings account for about 50% of total U.S. energy use, and our greatest collective impact will come from applying biomimicry to the planning and design of buildings, communities and cities — at every scale and in every region” Continued at CBS Marketwatch…

What Can Architecture Learn From Nature?

Posted by on 08 Sep 2008 | Tagged as: biomimicry, liveable cities

Brett Holverstott answers the question thus:

“Ultimately, biomimicry seeks to understand how we ought to integrate ourselves with nature. I find hope in the principle that, in nature, there are no hard boundaries or edges; materials merge together seamlessly. Perhaps through the emulation of nature, we will come to live more symbiotically with it, and our environments will become both closer to nature and less invasive to it.”

Complete post at: http://greenerbuildings.com/column/2008/09/08/what-can-architecture-learn-from-nature

To learn more about biomimicry and architecture/building put the GreenBuild Expo in your calendar: http://www.greenbuildexpo.org.

Also, closer to my home in San Francisco there is a one-day pre-conference session at West Coast Green on Sept 24th.

Photo Credit: Beijing National Stadium via Wikipedia

Just Imagine – from CNN International

Posted by on 12 Mar 2008 | Tagged as: biomimicry, liveable cities, video

Check out a new series of short interview/documentaries from CNN International “Just Imagine”, especially the third in the series that centers Livable Cities and the role of biomimicry in solving some of our greatest challenges. More to follow!

Toxic Chemicals to be Dropped on SF Bay Area

Posted by on 19 Feb 2008 | Tagged as: liveable cities

CDFA Logo

“Harmful if inhaled. Avoid breathing vapor or spray mist.” Not the warning you might expect on a chemical soon to be sprayed over extensive areas around San Francisco. According to StopTheSpray.org, the pesticides currently used (CheckMate OLR-F and LBAM-F) have only undergone short-term tests on rats and rabbits. The manufacturer states, “Long-term studies on the active ingredients have not been done, however, no adverse effects expected.”

The state agriculture department plans to use airplanes at night this summer to spray a farm pesticide over urban San Francisco, Marin County and the East Bay, intending to eradicate a potentially destructive moth.

The little-known proposal to wipe out the light brown apple moth, which if it became established could destroy the region’s agricultural industry, has developed increasing opposition among some residents who fear for their health.

Hundreds of people whose homes and yards were sprayed in Santa Cruz and Monterey counties from September to December have filed reports that said the pesticide seems to have caused coughing, wheezing, muscle aches and headaches, among other symptoms. Continued at SF Chronicle.

Add your voice to the concern at via a StopyTheSpray’s petition.

Official plan @ CDFA.

My Other Car is a Bright Green City

Posted by on 27 Jan 2008 | Tagged as: liveable cities, transport

WorldChanging

Another weighty editorial by WorldChanging’s Alex Steffen:

Today’s cars are costly, dangerous and an ecological nightmare. What if the solution to the problems they create, though, has more to do with where we live than what we drive?

Alex argues that building compact communities should be one of America’s highest environmental priorities, and says our obsession with building “green cars” may obscure other options.

Driving is often just a habit rather than a conscious choice. I lived in San Francisco for years before I ‘discovered‘ there was a serviceable option to driving, especially for downtown trips. Here’s to livable cities movement!

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