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environment: The Latest Architecture and News

What Are Green Corridors?

Green corridors, or biodiversity corridors, are large portions of land that receive coordinated actions to protect biological diversity. According to Brazil’s National System of Nature Conservation Units, they strengthen and connect protected areas, encouraging low-impact use by implementing a more comprehensive, decentralized and participatory conservation alternative.

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Eco-Capitalism and Architecture: Environmentally Friendly Materials and Technologies

There was a time when buildings wanted to be mountains, roofs wanted to be forests, and pillars wanted to be trees. As the world began to go into a state of alert with the melting of glaciers and the consequent rise of Earth’s temperature, architecture – from a general perspective – was concerned with imitating the shapes of nature. Something close to human-made “ecosystems”, seen by many as allegoric and decorative, in service of marketable images of “sustainable development”.

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What Are Biomaterials in Architecture?

As part of the effort to make the construction sector more sustainable in the face of the climate crisis, the bioeconomy has stood out. While the road to net-zero architecture is still very complex, the emerging shift in culture and general thinking is evident, and innovation seems to be driving this transformation.

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6 Urban Design Projects With Nature-Based Solutions

Extreme natural events are becoming increasingly frequent all over the world. Numerous studies indicate that floods, storms, and sea-level rise could affect more than 800 million people worldwide, ultimately costing cities $1 trillion per year by the middle of the century. This suggests that urban survival depends on addressing urban vulnerability as a matter of urgency to protect the city and the population.

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How Architecture is Contributing to the Increase of the Temperature of the World

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Photo of ETA+, via Unsplash

Over the past 60 years, architects and engineers have surrendered to industrial construction solutions, with buildings designed to be built faster and faster and at very low cost.

Over the past 60 years, architects and engineers have surrendered to industrial construction solutions, with buildings designed to be built faster and faster and at very low cost. As a more standardized and cheaper international approach to building emerged throughout the 20th century, many professionals abandoned the vernacular traditions of their ancestral cultures, which were developed over thousands of years, to fight the climatic extremes of different regions.

Returning the Building to the Soil: an Interview with the Architect and Scientist Mae-Ling Lokko

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Photo: © Courtney Sofiah Yates

Agriculture and the food industry seem to have little in common with architecture, but it is precisely the overlap of these three areas that interests Ghanaian-Filipino scientist and architect Mae-ling Lokko. Working with recycling agricultural waste and biopolymer materials, Lokko searches for ways to transform the so-called agrowaste into building materials.

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Architecture and Nature: How Architecture Can Draw Inspiration From Natural Elements

Nature is often used as an inspirational source for architecture. Whether from its shapes, the extraction and use of its materials, or even the incorporation of physical and chemical processes in the technologies used, it is always relevant to look for relations between the built environment and the natural environment. Of the many ecosystems present on planet Earth, the oceans represent most of the surface and hold stories, mystiques, symbols and shapes that can be referenced in architecture.

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Sacred Forests: The Dialogue Between Religion and Environmental Preservation in Ethiopian Churches

“And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, where He placed the man He had formed. Out of the ground the Lord God gave growth to every tree that is pleasing to the eye and good for food.”

This is how the Garden of Eden is portrayed in the first book of the bible, Genesis, which describes the origin of the universe and the heavenly place where Adam and Eve were placed. Such a paradise, despite being little characterized in the original words, has been inhabiting the imagination of the faithful and other enthusiasts of the matter for centuries. The scenes of this idyllic place, reinforced by the paintings and sculptures created over time, present a landscape considered ideal, an Edenic nature, expressed many times by the vibrant and contourless color – just like a painting by Monet –, probably emphasizing the representation of the spiritual world, where the image is seen through the contrast of colors, shadows and lights.

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A Carbon-Neutral Architecture Goes Beyond Construction Materials: Planning, Logistics and Context

Discussing carbon neutrality in architecture should not only be based on local materials and new technologies, since there are many aspects that impact the construction production chain. From design to construction, without losing sight of the context and economic system of our society, the construction industry is responsible for a considerable part of the energy consumed worldwide. In order to interfere in this reality, it is necessary to expand the fronts of action, questioning the place of construction in our society.

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50 Shades of Green: The Contradictions of Greenwashing in Architecture

Nowadays everything is “painted” green. It's green packaging, green technologies, green materials, green cars and, of course, green architecture. A “green wave”, stimulated by the environmental and energy crisis we are facing, with emphasis on climate change and all the consequences linked to global warming. This calamitous situation is confirmed by the second part of the report entitled Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability prepared by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and presented in recent weeks. It reveals that, although adaptation efforts are being observed in all sectors, the progress implemented so far is very low, as the actions taken are not enough.

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What Is Ecological Urbanism?

According to the architect and researcher Patrícia Akinaga, ecological urbanism emerged at the end of the 20th century as a strategy to create a paradigm shift with regard to the design of cities. With this, urban projects should be designed from the potential and limitations of existing natural resources. Unlike other previous movements, in ecological urbanism architecture is not the structuring element of the city — the landscape itself is. In other words, green areas should not only exist to beautify spaces, but as true engineering artifacts with the potential to dampen, retain and treat rainwater, for example. With ecological urbanism, urban design becomes defined by the natural elements intrinsic to its fabric.

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World's Most Liveable Cities in 2021: Auckland in New Zealand Tops the Ranking

Auckland in New Zealand has topped the ranking in the 2021 EIU's annual world's most liveable city survey. Classifying 140 cities across five categories including stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure, this year’s edition of the review has been highly affected by the global pandemic. Australia, Japan, and New Zealand took leading positions, while European and Canadian cities fell down the ranking.

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From Past to Future: The Urgency of "Green" in Architecture

The climate crisis has revealed the poor planning of our cities and the spaces we inhabit. Both construction and projects contribute to high carbon gas emissions. Fortunately, there are several ways to intervene to bring change into this scenario, either through materials and techniques adopted in each initiative or through geographical and social impact. In this scenario, the only certainty is that: to think about the future we cannot ignore the "green" in all its recent meanings from nature to sustainability, and ecology.

Social Design Festival

A five-day national festival to seed, incubate and showcase socio-environment design successes.
Workshops are three-day hackathons that address design issues in the social realm.
Conference as a forum to understand how design can bridge the deficit in the public domain.

Social problems are design problems, and the design community has long felt the need to proactively push for positive change using the potent combination of government, design and active citizens.

This festival ties up with government departments and addresses different problems through three-day workshops, for instance, can we initiate thinking on how to cope with flooding of coastal cities, placing wide-ranging