Meet the CityTree: clean and cool air in the city

photo: Damián Bakarcic

Being raised in a rural village in Belgium, living in the busy and polluted city of Barcelona makes me crave for some fresh air every now and then. I am certainly not the only one. 90% of the world’s urban population is breathing polluted air. Sometimes called the silent killer, air pollution is responsible for nearly half a million premature deaths a year in Europe alone. I know everyone is freaking out about ISIS right now, but the real killer is all around us and we have created it ourselves.

A CityTree installed in Oslo is drawing attention (photo: Oslo Phototour)

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CloudFisher turns fog into drinking water

photo: Aqualonis

Last Wednesday the 22nd of March, the UN celebrated the World Water day. Many take drinking water for granted, but there are still 1.8 billion people in the world who use a source of drinking water that puts them at risk of getting deadly sick. In the driest and poorest regions of the world, women and girls walk for hours in the blistering heat to collect water for their families –withholding them from studying or working. Addressing the drinking water crisis of those regions can solve many problems at once.

photo: Aqualonis

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Meet The Growroom: IKEA’s sustainable city garden

With the coldest of winter behind us and the promise of spring in the air, the gardeners under my readers might feel the call of nature to start growing food again. Or maybe you would love to grow some yourself, but happen to live in an urban area with little open space? Do not despair! IKEA’s designer lab Space10 has the solution for you: the Growroom. Meant to be a community garden to grow local vegetables and herbs, the designers recently made the plans available to everyone.  Team up with your neighbors and friends and get building –only 17 steps!

The Growroom (photo: Space10)

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Nanjing Towers: China’s Bosco Verticale

courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

It’s no secret that China has serious problems with air pollution. In December last year, the situation in the capital Bejing became so bad it halted everyday life: schools were closed, planes grounded and cars banned from the roads. In a radical move to fight the issue, Chinese urban developers are envisioning forest cities where offices, hotels and residential buildings are covered in a blaze of plant life. The first step is underway in Nanjing, the capital of China’s eastern Jiangsu province: the Nanjing Towers.

Artist impression of the Nanjing Towers (courtesy Stefano Boeri)

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Turning waste milk into loo paper

Carezza di latte, caress of milk. It sounds like a new version of delicious Italian coffee to me, but make no mistake. It is the Italian toilet paper brand Tenderly’s latest premium product. Silky soft, it holds the promise of a supreme caress even for the most sensitive skin. And all of that with the help of waste milk. Sounds amazing, don’t you think?

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Trump the climate

photo: Gage Skidmore

President-elect Donald Trump, probably the most discussed man of 2016, is about to move into the oval office on the 20th of January. From his alleged links with Russia, derogatory statements about women and plans to build a wall on the US-Mexican border, Trump has proven to feel no remorse about spreading wrong information. How will Trump’s Administration deal with climate change? Based on his statement that “climate change is hoax invented by the Chinese”, one might expect the worse. Let’s have a closer look.

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