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Werner Sobek Urges for Emissions-Free Cities by 2020

Architect and engineer, Werner Sobek, is urging cities to become emissions-free by the year 2020 – for all cars and buildings to be entirely powered by renewable energy. Sobek shared this goal during his acceptance speech of the Fritz Leonhardt Prize in July 2015, saying that this goal is achievable, but only with the full support of automotive and construction industries. Although seven leading, industrialized nations have agreed to de-carbonization by the end of the century, Sobek believes that that would be too late. Read more about Werner Sobek’s vision of the future after the break.

Call for Papers: Alternative and Renewable Energy Quest

Alternative energy, also known as renewable energy, is an energy source that can not be destroyed from human use, it is an energy harnessed. Renewable energy is considered to be one of the pivotal ‘wedges’ that can combat global warming and stabilize the climate, through the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions.

The world has a critical necessity to search for alternative and renewable energy and the importance of its technologies have been growing significantly. For several important reasons, this is extremely important for the future of our society.

Mapdwell Expands to Washington D.C.

Mapdwell announced today the unveiling of Mapdwell Solar System for the Washington, D.C. The MIT-born project has formed an alliance with the District Department of the Environment (DDOE) to provide its state-of-the-art rooftop solar resource to the U.S. capital. 

DDOE was the first of several organizations to partner with Mapdwell after the platform was introduced in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The District’s map comes only seven months after the initial rollout of Solar System, and constitutes the first step in Mapdwell’s expansion in the United States and abroad.

Infographic: Which Cities Are Embracing the Green Revolution

Which cities are embracing the green revolution? This infographic compares the efforts of six leading cities - New York, Vancouver, Copenhagen, London, Amsterdam and Stockholm - in the race to drastically reduce global C02 emissions. Based predominantly on 2009 statistics, Stockholm seems to be leading the way in carbon reduction. Continue reading after the break to see who claims the blue ribbon for renewable energy, efficient water consumption and rigorous recycling. 

Strawscraper / Belatchew Arkitektur

Belatchew Arkitekter has presented a concept for transforming high-rise towers into power-generating factories.  The Swedish firm's proposal involves covering a Stockholm skyscraper with "electricity-generating bristles".  The tower in question is Henning Larsen's Söder Torn tower on Södermalm in Stockholm.  Belatchew has designed a wind farm that will top the existing building with a 16-story extension, covering the facade with "hairy-looking plastic straws designed to move with the wind".

Join us after the break for more details and images of this proposal.

PowerWINDows: A Proposal for Skyscraper-Compatible Wind Turbines

Could a new revolution in wind-turbines be on its way? A team from Australia's University of Wollongong (UOW) have collaborated with leading marine engineering firm Birdon Pty Ltd, to develop PowerWINDows - a new type of wind-to-energy converter that could potentially be appearing on skyscrapers near you soon.

Read more about this new idea after the break...

The Design Implications of President Obama's Commitment to Climate Change and Sustainable Energy

January 21, 2013, Inaugural Speech; Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson
January 21, 2013, Inaugural Speech; Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson

This past Monday, President Obama made climate change and sustainable energy the focal points of his Inaugural Address when he declared that choosing to ignore these key environmental issues "would betray our children and future generations." This is the first time in the last few months that the President has taken a firm stand for the future of our Earth, a direct result of Super Storm Sandy and a smart choice to reveal controversial policies only after re-election. Although Monday morning was not the time to outline a specific political strategy, President Obama made it very clear that this time around, denial of scientific judgment and Congressional opposition would not be reasons for failure to act.

While this is a sentiment easier said than done and there is doubtlessly a long and difficult road ahead for the President and his administration. The White House has revealed that it plans to focus on what it can do to capitalize on natural gas production as an alternative to coal, on "reducing emissions from power plants, [increasing] the efficiency of home appliances and [on having] the federal government itself produce less carbon pollution" (NYTimes). According to the New York Times, they aim to adopt new energy efficiency standards for not only home appliances but for buildings as well, something that should spark the interests of architects and urban planners already committed to designing with climate change and sustainable energy in mind.

More after the break...

TEDx: Who will run the world for the next 100 years? / Desmond Wheatley

Who will run the world for the next 100 years? Envision Solar President and CEO Desmond Wheatley argues that it will be whoever has abundant sources of power. That is constructive power, rather than destructive power, which is essential to run the information and technology industries that our world is entirely dependent on. Additionally, Wheatley states that energy equals water. And, with less than 1% of the world’s fresh water available for use, desalination is becoming an increasingly plausible solution. The only problem now is that energy is expensive. But, once cities have the will to switch over to renewables, that will no longer be an issue. Could you imagine San Diego as an net exporter of water? Desmond Wheatley can.