The “Smart City” is not so much a concrete plan as it is a nebulous ideal, one that encompasses both environmental sustainability and human happiness in the most efficient way possible. And while it’s a matter of opinion whether a given city is designed well enough to be called “smart” there’s no question the world … Continue reading
Tag Archives: sustainability
Sweden Runs Out of Garbage, Has to Import It
Imagine you’ve got an unlimited budget to create the most efficient garbage system the world has ever seen. (Okay, maybe not the most glamorous hypothetical I’ve ever offered you. But earth’s human population is producing 1,300,000,000 tons of solid waste every year, and it’s got to go somewhere. Just think what a hero you’d be!) … Continue reading
5 More Wild, But Possible, Futures
Last week, we looked at several crazy – but plausible! – paradigms of the world to come. But there are way more futurist visions than I can fit in a single post, so here are 5 more futures that YOU might end up living in. Which one would you pick, if it was up to … Continue reading
Can Suburbia Be Sustainable?
Big houses, big lots, big SUVs – you know the drill. Suburbs create pollution, make people drive everywhere, and use up way more space than they need. Can they ever be truly sustainable? Well, I don’t know, but there’s a trend that’s moving in the right direction, and its popularity is growing. Over at the … Continue reading
Solar Panels, Minus the Expensive Toxins
Solar panels are a double-edged sword. On one hand, they’re a great way to get clean electricity. Unlike fossil fuels, sun power isn’t radically altering our climate, and we won’t be staring down the barrel of a “peak sun” problem for at least another 5 billion years. On the other hand, they are relatively expensive … Continue reading
Smart City: All Brains, No Soul?
Imagine you could build the city of the future, from scratch, right now. What would it look like? What would it do? It’s not a hypothetical question. According to this Salon article, software developer Plan IT intends to do exactly that: “Plan IT Valley” will be a new city located in northern Portugal, and is … Continue reading
Conversation with futurist Douglas Rushkoff
Last week, I skeptically dissected a book preview from futurist Douglas Rushkoff, whose forthcoming book Present Shock will tackle issues like sustainability, sufficiency and corporate dominance of the economy. The preview he wrote was quite short, and while intriguing, it brought up many more questions than it answered. Now, Co.exist (who featured the article originally) … Continue reading
Cheap, Clean Power for the Rural Poor
Which location do you think is better prepared for the transition to clean energy: the wealthy, green-minded city of San Francisco, or the poor, rural villages of East Africa? If you picked the African villages, believe it or not, you’re on to something. An incredibly innovative startup called Off.grid:Electric has spent two years working to … Continue reading
Book Preview: Why Futurists Suck
It’s no surprise that this preview for the book Present Shock, called “Why Futurists Suck,” would catch my eye when someone passed along the link: It’s hard not to take it personally when someone goes so far out of their way to denigrate futurists! But a quick read through the article on Good.is suggests the … Continue reading
The Food of the Future Is… A Beige Liquid?
Just came across this bizarre story on Nextnature.net: Tired of spending time, money and energy on preparing meals, [Rob Rhinehart] decided to find a new way to survive without actual food. He created a unique mixture called “Soylent”, which contains nothing but the elements the body needs: iron, vitamins, fat, calcium and dozens of other … Continue reading