Mexican 'smart city' would be 100% energy efficient, self-sustaining

An Italian firm has put forward an idea for a green city that would be completely self-sustaining, modern, and green.

Image source: Stefano Boeri Architetti
  • An Italian architecture firm has proposed a sustainable city for Mexico.
  • The plans call for a 100 percent self-sufficient metropolis, with renewable energy, Venetian canals, and endless green space.
  • This design is one of many "smart city" proposals as of late that point to a new form of urbanism.
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MIT engineers unveil emissions-free cement

Electrochemical methods such as this could someday dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions around the planet.

Chiang et al.
  • Cement production accounts for 8 percent of total carbon dioxide emissions worldwide.
  • The new method uses renewable electricity to generate heat for the mixing process, while an electrochemical technique allows for carbon dioxide to be captured and stored.
  • This method isn't likely to be implemented at scale anytime soon, but it's an "important first step," the researchers said.
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Sign of the times: School designed to limit impact of mass shootings

With little progress on other avenues to preventing mass shootings, one firm has employed architecture to save students.

Image source: TowerPinkster
  • A school in Michigan is being remodeled in a way to minimize the effect of a shooter should the worst happen.
  • It features limited sight lines, bullet proof windows, and doors that can be locked at the push of a button.
  • Some research casts doubt on how effective the plans will actually be.
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Notre Dame rebuild proposal would bring solar glass, urban farm to cathedral roof

The "green" proposal would bring a 21st-century update to the 850-year-old cathedral.

Image source: Vincent Callebaut Architectures
  • Shortly after a fire destroyed Notre Dame's roof and spire in April, France announced it'd be accepting rebuild proposals from architects around the world.
  • One Paris firm has proposed a "green" design that would rebuild the Gothic cathedral's roof with a mixture of glass, oak and carbon fiber.
  • There's an ongoing debate in France as to whether the cathedral should be rebuilt exactly as it was, or with a more modern touch.
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Should France rebuild Notre Dame exactly as it was?

The lack of tall, strong oak trees poses something of a problem for the restoration effort.

Photo credit: Chesnot / Getty Images
  • A fire destroyed Notre Dame's 115-foot roof on April 15, immediately sparking a debate on how France should restore the cathedral.
  • Some argue that it should be rebuilt to its original specifications, while others say alternate materials would be a better options.
  • The debate calls to mind the philosophical thought experiment known as "The Ship of Theseus."
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