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"As mayors of the world's great cities we recognize our responsibility to ensure every building, whether historic or brand new, helps deliver a sustainable future for our citizens" - Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo. Pixabay

The world's most iconic skylines are going green. Nineteen city leaders from the C40 coalition signed the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Declaration on Thursday to ensure all new buildings operate with a neutral carbon footprint by 2030.

The mayors of Copenhagen, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Montreal, New York City, Newburyport, Paris, Portland, San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Monica, Stockholm, Sydney, Tokyo, Toronto, Tshwane, Vancouver and Washington, DC also pledged to ensure all buildings in the cities—old or new—will meet net-zero carbon standards by 2050, according to a press release. The cities are home to 130 million people combined.

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Vertical farms have been touted as a way to feed a rapidly urbanizing world population (I've waxed poetic about them myself.) Critics of the trending technology, however, contend that these energy-intensive hubs are too costly and perhaps impractical to maintain.

Sure, the naysayers have a point, but what if vertical farms did more than just feed mouths? In Stockholm, Sweden, the Plantagon CityFarm located in the basement of the iconic DN-Skrapan building in the Kungsholmen district has a whole other purpose besides nourishing the office workers on site—the farm also recycles its heat to warm the offices above.

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Green roof of the Denver Environmental Protection Agency. Denver Green Roof Initiative

Denver is the latest city to mandate rooftop gardens or solar installations on new, large buildings, joining San Francisco, New York, Paris, London and other cities around the world with similar green roof measures, the Associated Press reported.

The Colorado capital ranks third in the nation for highest heat island and eighth in the nation for worst ozone/particulate pollution, according to the Denver Green Roof Initiative, a grassroots group that advocated for the city's green roof ordinance, Initiative 300.

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Tesla/Electrek

Many people might balk at the idea of living in a home that's the size of a treehouse, but Tesla, Inc. just created a tiny house fit for its larger-than-life CEO, Elon Musk.

The Tesla Tiny House is currently being towed on the back of a Model X around Australia to exhibit the company's products and to teach the public how to generate, store and use renewable energy for their own home, according to Electrek.

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Craftsman tiny house by Zyl Vardos. Abel Zyl / Shuttertstock

Late last year, the tiny house community celebrated a watershed moment—an official appendix in the 2018 version of the International Residential Code, the model building code used by most jurisdictions in the U.S.

"There are many things that are monumental in the adoption of tiny house construction codes by the IRC," cheered Thom Stanton, the CEO of small space developer, Timber Trails. "Among them, that architects, designers, builders, community developers and (maybe most importantly) zoning officials have a means of recognizing tiny houses as an official form of permissible dwelling."

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The Santalaia in Bogotá, Colombia

The largest vertical garden in the world looks like a living, breathing green giant in Bogotá, Colombia's densely populated capital.

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