Modular construction: Using Lego-like blocks to build structures of the future

Buildings don't have to be permanent — modular construction can make them modifiable and relocatable.

Freethink
  • Modular construction involves building the components of a habitable structure in a factory, and then assembling those components on-site.
  • The history of modular construction stretches back centuries, and it became briefly popular in the U.S. after World War II, but it's never quite caught on.
  • Construction firms like iMod Structures, which constructs buildings that can be modified and relocated, may soon change that.
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Deepfake geography: Why fake satellite images are a growing problem

A new study calls the technique "location spoofing."

Photo by Mohit on Unsplash

Research indicates that "deepfake geography," or realistic but fake images of real places, could become a growing problem.

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How cell phone data can help redesign cities

With the rise of Big Data, methods used to study the movement of stars or atoms can now reveal the movement of people. This could have important implications for cities.

Credit: Getty Images
  • A treasure trove of mobility data from devices like smartphones has allowed the field of "city science" to blossom.
  • I recently was part of team that compared mobility patterns in Brazilian and American cities.
  • We found that, in many cities, low-income and high-income residents rarely travel to the same geographic locations. Such segregation has major implications for urban design.
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The problem with our noisy planet

Noise causes stress. For our ancestors, it meant danger: thunder, animal roars, war cries, triggering a 'fight or run' reaction.

CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP via Getty Images

Noise is a belittled threat that disrupts the functioning of people, animals, even plants. It causes stress, provokes aggression, increases the risk of heart disease. Blocking the issue of noise can bring catastrophic consequences for us.

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Why cities are critical to achieving a carbon-neutral world

In May 2018, the city of Paris set an ambition to be carbon-neutral by 2050.

Photo by Rodrigo Kugnharski on Unsplash
  • Countries, governments and companies are aligning on a need for net-zero - and this is an opportunity to rethink decarbonizing our cities.
  • There is no "one-size-fits-all" solution – each city's needs must be at the heart of developing integrated energy solutions.
  • A city can only decarbonize through collaboration between government, the private sector, and local communities.
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