Tagged: sustainable farming

A Great Green Wall for Africa

China has its Great Wall that used to guard off foreign raiders, Westeros has the Wall in the North to stop white walkers, and since a couple of years, a group of African countries is working on its very own Great Green Wall. Sounds impressive, isn’t it? Truth be told, it’s not a real wall. But one day, it will be great.

The Great Green Wall stretches 11 countries, from Senegal to Djibouti (graph: National Geographic)

 

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ReGen: the Tesla of eco-villages

Artist's impression of a ReGen village (photo: EFFEKT/ReGen)

What is the first thing you think about when you hear the term eco-village? Could it be that you envision a hippy-like commune, where people pass their days smoking pod and milking the cows? Then the ReGen village concept will surprise you. Envisioned by Harvard professor and tech-entrepreneur James Ehrlich and developed in collaboration with Danish architects bureau EFFEKT, this futuristic community concept went viral last year at the Biennale in Venice. It’s more than just some naive dreams: the first village is already under construction in Almere, a polder village 25 minutes from Amsterdam.

Artist’s impression of the neighborhood gardens (photo: EFFEKT/ReGen)

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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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De Ceuvel: sustainable urban development and cleantech playground

  • metabolic lab workshop room
    One of the workshop rooms at de Ceuvel (photo: Metabolism)
  • artist impression
    Artist impression of the Ceuvel before its realisation (courtesy: space&matter)
  • cafe de ceuvel
    De Ceuvel cafe is cosy-with-a-hippy-touch (photo: Metabolism)
  • De Ceuvel material flows
    Nothing is lost at de Ceuvel: water and waste streams are recovered (photo: Metabolism)
  • De-Ceuvel
    De Ceuvel seen from the water side
  • during construction
    During construction, old houseboats were hauled onshore and refubished (photo: Metabolism)
  • greenhouse
    In the aquaponic greenhouse, human waste is used as fertiliser (photo: Metabolism)

As an energy engineering student, I come across a lot of inventions that are about to save the world. At least, if they would ever get further than their inventor’s desk. Sometimes low-tech solutions can have a way bigger impact, simply because they happen. Urban development site de Ceuvel in the up-and-coming Amsterdam Noord area is a gem that exemplifies exactly what I’m talking about.

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On the future of chocolate

photo: Divine Chocolate

Wandering through the Galeries Royales de Saint-Hubert in the heart of Brussels can be a torture for chocolate-lovers (and who’s not?). Many famous Belgian chocolateers have a shop in this 19th century shopping arcade. Think Neuhaus, Léonidas, Godiva… Behind the windows, chocolate in all possible forms and shapes are displayed to lure you inside. The shop keepers are keen to let you try some of this delicous good that the Incas called food of the gods. It becomes very difficult not to spent all the money you have with you -some indeed do. And apperently we don’t have to go to the temples of chocolate to be tempted to buy it. Global sales are growing rapidly now chocolate becomes increasingly popular in China and South-America. Is this growing demand for chocolate a big deal? As long as supply follows demand there’s nothing to worry about, right? But that’s exactly where the problem lies.

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