9 results for “Environmental Impact”

Green roofs improve the urban environment – so why don’t all buildings have them?

Michael Hardman and Nick Davies
October 29th 2019

Rooftops covered with grass, vegetable gardens and lush foliage are now a common sight in many cities around the world. More and more private companies and city authorities are investing in green roofs, drawn to their wide-ranging benefits which include savings on energy costs, mitigating the risk from floods, creating habitats for urban wildlife, tackling air pollution and urban heat and even producing food.

A recent report in the UK suggested that the green roof market there is expanding at …

How this self-sustainable microhome may change the future of housing

Belen Munoz
March 2nd 2018

Looking for a self-sustainable mobile microhome? Ecocapsule got you covered. This cute-as-pie capsule pod allows you to live completely off the grid in a low-energy, mobile dwelling, packed into a compact egg-shaped form. And now, it's finally possible to pre-order one, as the Slovak company has just launched the production of their first series of self-sustainable pods, and we were curious to hear what's next.

Precious Plastic One Year After

NextNature.net
April 29th 2017
Help Dave Hakkens build the third version of his Precious Plastic recycling machines!

Happy Earth Day!

NextNature.net
April 22nd 2017
Today we celebrate Earth day, here is why.

ECO Coin First Trial at DGTL 2017

NextNature.net
April 18th 2017
We had a wonderful first run of the ECO Coin during DGTL festival in Amsterdam.

In Conversation with Yoyo Yogasmana, Winner of the First ECO Coin Award

Ruben Baart
April 9th 2017
Read our conversation with the ECO Coin Award Winner of 2015: Yoyo Yogasmana.

Koert van Mensvoort at Tropic City Talk

NextNature.net
March 6th 2017
Join us this afternoon for a discussion on how we can reappropriate global climate change as an infrastructure for our urban environment.

Fighting Plastic Waste Together

NextNature.net
February 15th 2017
Eco Coin Award winner Dave Hakkens is upgrading his Precious Plastic recycling machines, and you can help him do it!

Designer Dave Hakkens is putting plastic waste to better use

Ruben Baart
November 11th 2016
We recently handed this year’s ECO Coin Award to Dutch designer Dave Hakkens, founder of the Precious Plastic movement. With his open sourced recycling machines, he provides people around the world the knowledge to start recycling plastic locally.
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Rooftops covered with grass, vegetable gardens and lush foliage are now a common sight in many cities around the world. More and more private companies and city authorities are investing in green roofs, drawn to their wide-ranging benefits which include savings on energy costs, mitigating the risk from floods, creating habitats for urban wildlife, tackling air pollution and urban heat and even producing food.

A recent report in the UK suggested that the green roof market there is expanding at a rate of 17% each year. The world’s largest rooftop farm will open in Paris in 2020, superseding similar schemes in New York City and Chicago. Stuttgart, in Germany, is thought of as “the green roof capital of Europe”, while Singapore is even installing green roofs on buses.

These increasingly radical urban designs can help cities adapt to the monumental challenges they face, such as access to resources and a lack of green space due to development. But buy-in from city authorities, businesses and other institutions is crucial to ensuring their success – as is research investigating different options to suit the variety of rooftop spaces found in cities.

A growing trend

The UK is relatively new to developing green roofs, and governments and institutions are playing a major role in spreading the practice. London is home to much of the UK’s green roof market, mainly due to forward-thinking policies such as the 2008 London Plan, which paved the way to more than double the area of green roofs in the capital.

Although London has led the way, there are now “living labs” at the Universities of Sheffield and Salford which are helping to establish the precedent elsewhere. The IGNITION project – led by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority – involves the development of a living lab at the University of Salford, with the aim of uncovering ways to convince developers and investors to adopt green roofs.

Ongoing research is showcasing how green roofs can integrate with living walls and sustainable drainage systems on the ground, such as street trees, to better manage water and make the built environment more sustainable.

Research is also demonstrating the social value of green roofs. Doctors are increasingly prescribing time spent gardening outdoors for patients dealiong with anxiety and depression. And research has found that access to even the most basic green spaces can provide a better quality of life for dementia sufferers and help prevent obesity.

An edible roof at Fenway Park, stadium of the Boston Red Sox. Via Michael Hardman, Author provided.

In North America, green roofs have become mainstream, with a wide array of expansive, accessible and food-producing roofs installed in buildings. Again, city leaders and authorities have helped push the movement forward – only recently, San Francisco created a policy requiring new buildings to have green roofs. Toronto has policies dating from the 1990s, encouraging the development of urban farms on rooftops.

These countries also benefit from having newer buildings, which make it easier to install green roofs. Being able to store and distribute water right across the rooftop is crucial to maintaining the plants on any green roof – especially on “edible roofs” which farm fruit and vegetables. And it’s much easier to create this capacity in newer buildings, which can typically hold greater weight, than retro-fit old ones. Having a stronger roof also makes it easier to grow a greater variety of plants, since the soil can be deeper.

The new normal?

For green roofs to become the norm for new developments, there needs to be buy-in from public authorities and private actors. Those responsible for maintaining buildings may have to acquire new skills, such as landscaping, and in some cases volunteers may be needed to help out. Other considerations include installing drainage paths, meeting health and safety requirements and perhaps allowing access for the public, as well as planning restrictions and disruption from regular ativities in and around the buildings during installation.

To convince investors and developers that installing green roofs is worthwhile, economic arguments are still the most important. The term “natural capital” has been developed to explain the economic value of nature; for example, measuring the money saved by installing natural solutions to protect against flood damage, adapt to climate change or help people lead healthier and happier lives.

As the expertise about green roofs grows, official standards have been developed to ensure that they are designed, built and maintained properly, and function well. Improvements in the science and technology underpinning green roof development have also led to new variations on the concept.

For example, “blue roofs” increase the capacity of buildings to hold water over longer periods of time, rather than drain away quickly – crucial in times of heavier rainfall. There are also combinations of green roofs with solar panels, and “brown roofs” which are wilder in nature and maximise biodiversity.

If the trend continues, it could create new jobs and a more vibrant and sustainable local food economy – alongside many other benefits. There are still barriers to overcome, but the evidence so far indicates that green roofs have the potential to transform cities and help them function sustainably long into the future. The success stories need to be studied and replicated elsewhere, to make green, blue, brown and food-producing roofs the norm in cities around the world.

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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This peculiar housing pod was initially thought of as a ‘frontier dwelling’ intended for people residing in nature for longer periods of time (think field study researchers or professional photographers). However, in 2015, the Slovakian firm Nice&Wise (former “Nice Architects”) presented Ecocapsule’s concept as the ultimate shelter for all eco-nomads looking to live off the grid for a while, in pretty much any location on Earth.

It was not until January 31st that the first fully functional capsule made its public debut. Transported by a helicopter, this egg-shaped home flew over Bratislava’s city center and safely landed onto the roof of UNIQ’s modern building. This was the first out of a total of 50 exclusive pieces, which are intended to be delivered within the US, Japan, Australia and the EU by the end of this year. Freedom often comes with a price, and in this case, it’s set at roughly seventy-nine thousand euros. As explained by co-founder and current CEO, Tomáš Žáček, the manufacture of the more affordable mass-produced second series can be expected at the beginning of next year.

[caption id="attachment_80703" align="alignnone" width="640"]Ecocapsule on the roof of UNIQ building in Bratislava. The first Ecocapsule on a roof top in Bratislava. Photo by Michal Chudik, ©Ecocapsule Holding.[/caption]

All you need in 8,2 square meters

Surprisingly, everything you need to survive can be stored within 8,2 square meters: This tiny mobile capsule is equipped with a smart home system and comes with a sleeping space for two, a kitchenette, shower and toilet, storage space, and even electrical outlets, which are solely powered by a low-noise wind turbine and solar panels. The spheroid shape is of no coincidence, as it is designed to maximize the collection of rainwater and dew, as well as to minimize energy loss.

This complete set of innovative features makes Ecocapsule a unique eco-friendly and multipurpose unit, that could be used for a plenty of other potential applications. Besides a nomadic housing alternative, it could also serve as an independent research station or a remote tourist cabin, or even as a shelter in humanitarian emergencies.

[caption id="attachment_80710" align="alignnone" width="640"]The view from inside one Ecocapsule. The view from inside one Ecocapsule. ©Ecocapsule Holding.[/caption]

A housing revolution?

While our current housing scheme appears to push us further away from nature, keeping humans within structured urban spaces, Ecocapsule offers an original alternative that aims to revert that trend without compromising the natural environment. It acts as a bridge that can help us reconnect with our primitive past of living in nature.

What's interesting about this housing alternative, is that it has the potential to redefine the way humans interact with nature. It shows us how living in nature becomes possible without having to compromise our contemporary basic living needs: internet, electricity, drinking water.

With this in mind, we approached Matej Gyárfáš, Creative Communication Director at Ecocapsule, to learn more about the significant consequences this new home could have in our lives. Gyárfáš believes that the primary aspect to consider is the capsule’s self-sustainability.

Ecocapsule leaves almost no footprint, so every Ecocapsule user is saving the environment while living in it.

Ever wondered how much electricity you consumed yesterday? Or how much water you use each day? It's no surprise that most of us would not know an accurate answer to these questions. We are just comfortably assured that, as long as we pay our bills, water and electricity will be available to us. According to Gyárfáš, this particular aspect of our current lifestyle would directly be affected by Ecocapsule, as it aims to foster a change in user habits and behavior toward natural resources:

“We have always wanted Ecocapsule to have an educational impact. Using the smart-home app, the users have a very realistic overview on how much energy they spend. So they become aware of it. Just as you know how much money you have on your account, how much you make and spend, you should also know how much energy your lifestyle requires. And you become more responsible in terms of energy-spending.”

With this built-in feature, users know exactly how much water and electricity they spend per hour, day, or month. And more importantly, they become aware of how much time it takes for their self-sustainable home to keep up with their living habits. In other words, users can get a sense of the real value of energy. The sense of responsibility towards the environment would thus be naturally enhanced.

[caption id="attachment_80709" align="alignnone" width="640"]Ecocapsule owners on their way to surf. Ecocapsule owners on their way to surf. ©Ecocapsule Holding[/caption]

At Ecocapsule –Gyárfáš explains– they try to keep an optimistic view on the world; however, although they would “love the idea of Ecocapsule changing the world, the current status quo requires a lot of effort in a multitude of areas in order for the world to change for the better. So we never think so far as to expect Ecocapsules to instate a completely new way of living. We do think, however, that every Ecocapsule user will be affected by our product in a very positive way and this will have a good impact on the environment.”

The question remains of whether the eventual spread of Ecocapsule’s way of living could encourage us to re-shape the urban landscape as we know it and instate a more sustainable society in the future, where its members could be rewarded depending on their energy consumption habits. This fact could perhaps help bring us closer to ‘making environmental value more explicit in economical terms.

While it may still be too soon to declare the rise of Ecocapsule as the start of a housing revolution, it certainly holds the potential to be a game-changer in our future way of living. Gyárfáš does not hesitate to admit that: “We did not create Ecocapsule with this goal in mind, but based on thousands of people giving us feedback, it seems that it will be a game changer indeed - at least in mid-term housing. We are not aware of any no other product on the market that combines the basic characteristics of Ecocapsule – smart, self-sustainable and mobile. We don't know if people will live in Ecocapsules (or something similar) in fifty years, but it sure would be a nice thing.”

_________________________Looking for more stories? Join NNN and we will keep you in the know on everything next nature, all around the world! [mc4wp_form id="72385"] [post_title] => How this self-sustainable microhome may change the future of housing [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => interview-ecocapsule [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-03-10 13:09:21 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-03-10 12:09:21 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://nextnature.net/?p=80702 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [post_category] => 0 )[2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 72924 [post_author] => 367 [post_date] => 2017-04-29 11:29:48 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-04-29 09:29:48 [post_content] => Each year at NNN we look for people and projects that contribute to making the planet a more sustainable place and reward them with the ECO Coin Award. In 2016 the winner was Dutch designer Dave Hakkens and his Precious Plastic recycling machines. One year after launching the second version of his machines, studio Dave Hakkens treated themselves with a little present to celebrate this achievement: the precious plastic patches. Hakkens is currently working on the development of an upgraded version of the machines, and you can help him achieve that goal. Play your part in plastic recycling worldwide, and you might get a nice patch in return. [post_title] => Precious Plastic One Year After [post_excerpt] => Help Dave Hakkens build the third version of his Precious Plastic recycling machines! [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => precious-plastic-patches [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-04-29 11:29:48 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-04-29 09:29:48 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://nextnature.net/?p=72924/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [post_category] => 0 )[3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 73610 [post_author] => 367 [post_date] => 2017-04-22 10:00:03 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-04-22 08:00:03 [post_content] => Today we globally celebrate Earth Day. What better occasion to read and share the Letter to Humanity written for all of us by NNN director Koert van Mensvoort? Humanity is at a crossroads, there are two paths along which our relationship with technology can develop: a dream or a nightmare. That's why the Letter to Humanity urges us, humans, not to be slaves or victims of our own technology, but rather to use it to enhance our life on this planet.US Senator Gaylord Nelson initially introduced Earth Day day in 1970 to protest an oil spill in California. Today it is about the relationship between man, nature and technology, as technology is becoming a nature of its own. Until date, Earth Day is among the most widely celebrated eco-events across the world. Acknowledged in 192 countries, today it focuses on creating awareness about our planet and demonstrating support for environmental protection. It's a day to celebrate our planet, that despite all the differences between people, we still share.For NNN this day is the opportunity to spread the Letter to Humanity. Because after all, humanity is all of us. Read, share and inspire via #lettertohumanity or visit lettertohumanity.org. If you'd like to do more, you can also copy, translate and further distribute the letter, or write your personal one! [post_title] => Happy Earth Day! [post_excerpt] => Today we celebrate Earth day, here is why. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => happy-earth-day [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-04-21 10:29:53 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-04-21 08:29:53 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://nextnature.net/?p=73610/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [post_category] => 0 )[4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 73439 [post_author] => 367 [post_date] => 2017-04-18 18:39:30 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-04-18 16:39:30 [post_content] => Imagine a community with an alternative kind of currency, what would it look like? Last weekend Next Nature Network teamed up with DGTL Music Festival in Amsterdam to launch the ECO coin, a digital currency to reward people who actively contribute to a more sustainable world. Over 40.000 visitors attended the festival, turning our first grand experiment into a success.[caption id="attachment_73458" align="aligncenter" width="640"] The ECO Coin stand at DGTL Festival.[/caption]With a team of 200 volunteers, 200 students from NHTV Hogeschool in Breda and ten next nature experts, we kicked off the experiment to promote ecological value through currency. Visitors were invited to carry out 20 different sustainable actions on the festival terrain for which they were rewarded with ECO coins. Every ECO earned unlocked exclusive rewards and lifted the festival experience to new heights.[caption id="attachment_73460" align="aligncenter" width="640"] The ECO coin app in use.[/caption]Among the ECO quests, visitors gained the opportunity to get a glimpse of future nanotech products in the NANO Supermarket, turn plastic bottle caps into keychains, learn about new food cultures, upcycle plastic with a 3D printer, participate in a modular artwork, and even change their energy provider to top up their ECO coin balance.[caption id="attachment_73455" align="aligncenter" width="640"] NNN director Koert van Mensvoort earning ECOs by making pesto from weeds.[/caption]Besides earning some well deserved ECOs, it was the gesture itself that triggered many people to join the ECO movement. This proved that the progressive audience of the festival was well aware of the urgency to harmonize economy and ecology. "I don't really need a reward, I just really like the environment" a visitor named Ben commented. "In the end, the direct reward should come from within," his friend Alex added. Yet, some participants joined it just for the rewards. "Beers are always good" said visitor Constantin.[caption id="attachment_73479" align="aligncenter" width="640"] A visitor topping up his ECO balance through his RFID wristband.[/caption]In two days, people earned hundreds of ECOs, we spoke with thousands of people and, naturally, had an amazing time. More in-depth results will be shared in the coming days, including the announcement of the ECO coin Champion. Thanks to everyone who participated in this experiment and see you next time. The ECO coin is here to stay!To learn more about the ECO coin and stay up to date with upcoming events visit ecocoin.com. Here you find the story behind the project, its ambitions and plans for the very near future. [post_title] => ECO Coin First Trial at DGTL 2017 [post_excerpt] => We had a wonderful first run of the ECO Coin during DGTL festival in Amsterdam. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => eco-coin-dgtl-report [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-12-07 11:28:19 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-12-07 10:28:19 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://nextnature.net/?p=73439/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [post_category] => 0 )[5] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 72308 [post_author] => 873 [post_date] => 2017-04-09 12:15:20 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-04-09 11:15:20 [post_content] => In 2015 we handed our first ECO Coin Award to Age of Wonderland fellow Yoyo Yogasmana for his work in Indonesia to preserve more than 130 existing rice varieties without any use of insecticides and transfer his knowledge to the digital domain. Two years have passed, reason enough to catch up with Yogasmana and discuss the Kasepuhan community, global food networks and winning the ECO Coin Award.In his acceptance speech on the occasion of the award, Yoyo modestly referred to the Ciptagelar Kasepuhan community by thanking them for their generous contribution to the project. “The community was very pleased to receive the Award” Yoyo says. “This was an important token of appreciation that presented our work to a large audience around the world. Our community performs a far-reaching body of work to conserve nature and culture, and strives to balance and harmonize our relationship with all living creatures”.
It is important to transmit nature, culture and traditions to successive generations
The Kasepuhan community is a traditional Sundanese community that counts around 5.300 people living in the foggy mountains of West Java, Indonesia. Its name comes from the Sundanese word sepuh, which means "old" and refers to a way of living based on ancestral traditions. Such traditions laid the foundation of the local community, whose main subsistence depends on the cultivation of rice.[caption id="attachment_72963" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Ciptagelar village view[/caption][caption id="attachment_72961" align="aligncenter" width="640"] The village is 1400m above sea level; it is always surrounded by mist.[/caption]In 2015 Yoyo was among the Age of Wonderland fellows, that year they addressed the complex issues ingrained in our global food system together with the local community of Eindhoven. “What we did was introduce our local wisdom and ancestral value to the project” Yoyo explains. “This led our community to live consciously, take care of nature and taught us how to live in togetherness”.
Food is the primary medium through which we express our humanity
Yoyo was invited on behalf of NNN fellow Arne Hendriks, who curated Age of Wonderland 2015: Balancing Green and Fair Food“Food is the primary medium through which we express our humanity. Food production, its distribution and preparation, and its symbolic strength in times of crisis as well as abundance, is the main influence on how we experience and give shape to our culture" Arne elaborates.[caption id="attachment_72971" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Rice plantation. The rice sprout will grow within 4 to 6 weeks, after that period of time, they transfer the sprout to a bigger wet field.[/caption][caption id="attachment_72969" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Women threshing rice. Every process in the rice production has to be done by hand; machines are not allowed. Throughout the village, there are some areas that provided a sheltered cabin that includes sticks for the women to use.[/caption][caption id="attachment_72967" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Woman threshing rice.[/caption][caption id="attachment_72965" align="aligncenter" width="640"] A farmer's rest house located next to the king’s rice field. All the villages are obliged to help the king by planting rice. The planting has to be finished within a certain amount of time, last year all the villages had to finish within 4 weeks after king’s plantation. This tradition comes around the same time as harvest.[/caption]Yoyo believes that the introduction of more cooperative fair trade concepts will lead to a more equally spread food system. In this case, local food production would benefit both local communities and agricultural producers, as it would benefit consumers on a global scale. During his stay in The Netherlands, Yoyo realized there are only few Dutch communities whose concern is to protect and preserve their own nature and culture, and this should change. One way to do this is to "develop kinship with nature by empowering people with their own strengths, potencies and networks” as Yoyo put it.
 I will hand the ECO coin to people who respect and practice their ancestral value
Keeping in mind the ECO Coin has a symbolic value (so far), Yoyo would pass the baton to support local communities who keep living by their tribal heritage. "I will hand the ECO coin to people or communities who respect and practice their ancestral value. It is important that nature, culture and traditions are transmitted to successive generations".[caption id="attachment_72959" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Dry land plantation in the king’s rice field. In the village, people plant rice in wet and dry land (the previous images depict the wet land plantation). All the people in the village have to help on this day. Men are holding wooden sticks to make holes in the ground, and women put the rice seeds in. The plantation process starts with a ceremony held by the king and his family.[/caption][caption id="attachment_72983" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Ceremony in front of the king’s rice storage house during the biggest harvest festival called Seren Taun.[/caption]Thank you so much Yoyo Yogasmana, for sharing your thoughts and viewpoints with us. And many thanks to Adelaide Tam, for providing such wonderful images of the Ciptagelar village!Cover image: NNN Director Koert van Mensvoort handing the ECO Coin Award to Yoyo Yogasmana. Photos and captions: Adelaide Tam. [post_title] => In Conversation with Yoyo Yogasmana, Winner of the First ECO Coin Award [post_excerpt] => Read our conversation with the ECO Coin Award Winner of 2015: Yoyo Yogasmana. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => interview-yoyo-yogasmana [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-07-12 16:00:37 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-07-12 14:00:37 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://nextnature.net/?p=72308/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [post_category] => 0 )[6] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 71925 [post_author] => 367 [post_date] => 2017-03-06 21:45:02 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-03-06 20:45:02 [post_content] => The Earth is warming up, global warming extensively alters the Earth’s climate system, including its lands, oceans, and ice. Join us this afternoon for a discussion on how we could regulate climate change as an infrastructure for our urban environment. The event is initiated by designer Jólan van der Wiel, who will present the first part of his Odd Environments series: Tropic City. The installation imagines Amsterdam as a tropical city and will be concluded with an expert meeting in which NNN director Koert van Mensvoort will present his vision on natural transformation. The event is free and starts at 14:00 at the National Maritime Museum in Amsterdam. More info: Het ScheepvaartmuseumImage: Gravity Stool by Jólan van der Wiel [post_title] => Koert van Mensvoort at Tropic City Talk [post_excerpt] => Join us this afternoon for a discussion on how we can reappropriate global climate change as an infrastructure for our urban environment. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => koert-van-mensvoort-tropic-city-talk [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-12-07 11:28:21 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-12-07 10:28:21 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://nextnature.net/?p=71925/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [post_category] => 0 )[7] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 71417 [post_author] => 367 [post_date] => 2017-02-15 12:03:16 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-02-15 11:03:16 [post_content] => Last year we handed our annual ECO Coin Award to Dutch designer Dave Hakkens for his outstanding contribution in fighting plastic waste with the Precious Plastic movement. His work caused a wave of enthusiasm around the world and has been growing ever since. After four years since Hakkens launched his first version of the recycling machines, it is time for an upgrade and you can help him achieve that goal.As part of the new version, Hakkens will create a collection of objects and teach people how to make these using video tutorials. Besides that, he will strengthen his digital platform to enhance local communication and provide starter kits "to make machine-building as easy as pie". But that's not all, Hakkens will develop an open source business model, so that people can make use of plastic waste to make a living. According to his vision, the Precious Plastic movement will "change our perception of plastic: from disposable to valuable".Reasons enough to join the movement and help empower people around the world to start recycling plastic locally. You can either contribute by making a donation or sharing your skills to develop the upgraded version, this will make it possible to deliver the new machines to everyone for free. Recycling plastic has never been so fun, or as Hakkens puts it "this new version will make plastic recycling go bananas".[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-TWO9gSM30Y[/youtube] [post_title] => Fighting Plastic Waste Together [post_excerpt] => Eco Coin Award winner Dave Hakkens is upgrading his Precious Plastic recycling machines, and you can help him do it! [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => fighting-plastic-waste-together [to_ping] => [pinged] => https://davehakkens.nl/community/forums/topic/a-map-with-worldwide-development/ [post_modified] => 2017-02-17 15:40:43 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-02-17 14:40:43 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://nextnature.net/?p=71417/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [post_category] => 0 )[8] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 68141 [post_author] => 873 [post_date] => 2016-11-11 13:26:37 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-11-11 11:26:37 [post_content] => We recently assigned this year’s ECO Coin Award to Dutch designer Dave Hakkens, founder of the Precious Plastic movement. With his open-source recycling machines, he gives people around the world the knowledge to locally start recycling plastic. We visited Hakkens' studio, where we spoke about recycling, mobile phones, traveling and sustainability.Dave Hakkens graduated cum laude at the Design Academy Eindhoven in 2013. His graduation project Phonebloks gained international media attention, which resulted in Google's interest to develop the mobile. In the same year he won the Social Design Talent Award and a commission to implement and further develop his Precious Plastic project. Initially trained as an industrial designer, Hakkens spends his time building machinery, making videos and creating his own community.
The idea for Precious Plastic was simple: getting people to recycle plastic
When was the first time you became aware of recycling?Since I was younger I've always been amazed by metal; seeing homeless people collecting cans from the streets, bringing them to a designated point and exchange them for money. I became aware of how something we consider trash can generate value. Gradually I understood the metal working process and started seeing it as a material. Today I still work along these lines. It is up to us to make something out of it, and plastic seemed like an interesting medium when I started the Precious Plastic project.Can you update us on the status of Precious Plastic?The idea for Precious Plastic was simple, getting people to recycle plastic and so I developed these machines. After the project ended, a few people started building them themselves, but only on a small scale. Therefore I decided to create a second version, which was launched six months ago. I already received constructive feedback on the project. People started building their recycling machines from Mexico to Hungary, from Indonesia to South Africa and Australia. However, as there is not a recycling machine in every village in the world yet, we are already thinking about building a third version.At the moment there are people who have the resources for a machine, but don’t know how to make one. At the same time, there are people who want to build a machine, but don’t know anyone who would want one. Sometimes it’s a matter of bringing these two people together, which locally can create a building scenario. This is an interesting point to consider in the development of the third version, to smoothen the building process by offering a map where you can see where the builders and the plastic are located.We recently handed this year’s ECO Coin Award to Dutch designer Dave Hakkens, founder of the Precious Plastic movement. With his open sourced recycling machines, he provides people around the world the knowledge to start recycling plastic, locally.Was this the starting point for your community?This initially started as the Phonebloks community, where others were invited to contribute to the project. Building a community is very valuable to me. At some point I created a community for Precious Plastic and decided to bring it all together. Even though it is still a work in progress, I learn and gain much from it. The idea was to build an ongoing forum for people to meet, but also be able to develop their own projects.Upon our arrival, you mentioned you had just returned from a long travel, how does traveling influence your work?When traveling I think its more interesting to visit the slumps in India rather than seeing a temple. By visiting the slumps I get an actual insight to how they deal with plastic, which inspires me a lot. As my work often deals with global problems – from e-waste to plastic – I feel it is important to understand how the world works and to ask myself what does it mean on a global scale. I am not saying I comprehend the world completely, but traveling helps me understand it better. Next to that, I travel to meet the people who built my machines and invited me over. For example, in Indonesia I experienced how the machines work in their environment, while simultaneously being able to help them solve the problems they were facing in process.What kind of problems?To my surprise they had difficulties in finding an engine. You would think a motor is such a basic part of equipment, but people in Indonesia had trouble getting one. Another problem was that some of people that were able to build the machine didn't know what to do with the material – a bit similar to what is happening in the 3D printing world now. I could never foresee problems like these, it is interesting for me to think about how to improve these aspects.We recently handed this year’s ECO Coin Award to Dutch designer Dave Hakkens, founder of the Precious Plastic movement. With his open sourced recycling machines, he provides people around the world the knowledge to start recycling plastic, locally.How do you think technology can contribute to further recycling?A big part of the project currently resides in developing countries, as there is a lot of plastic waste. The project feels more urgent in a place like that, as people are in direct contact with it. Whereas here, we hide our waste in trashcans, it’s not really visible. To that extent, I think it would be great to see places like these becoming more technologically advanced, having robots grinding and disposing of materials. I imagine this as a friendly place, very often waste processing stinks and it's dirty by nature. It would be great to see a clean place where materials are carefully sorted. Perhaps this would be integrated in version number 12.You once said you are “trying to make the world better by making things” does this still count?This is the main motive behind my work. Although I would say I have mixed feelings about it right now. On one hand, this is how I judge the quality of my projects, by asking myself if it's going to make the world better, otherwise I will simply not do it. On the other hand, I am aware that it sounds a bit corny, as it's a common thing to say. I do believe that everybody lives to make the world better in its own way. However, I don’t use that motto anymore, as nowadays the Silicon Valley adopted it to sell apps of any kinds.
Building a community is very important to me
This brings us to Phonebloks, your proposal for a modular phone to reduce e-waste. How did you feel when Google contacted you to develop the phone?At that time I hoped the project could develop into something more than just an idea, but I never thought multinational mobile phone companies would have taken me seriously. I started wondering what would happen if I could reverse this logic and create a proposal for a socially constructed phone, after which the industry could follow the consumer demand. The idea went online with the outlook that everybody would have been able to make it themselves. That’s when companies picked up the project and Google was one of them. They even offered me a job, but it was never my ambition to work in a mobile phone department. Besides that, I didn’t want Google to make these phones exclusively, as I created it to be accessible for the whole mobile industry.And then Google pulled the plug…Yes. Let me start by saying that a lot of people initially thought Phonebloks was Project Ara, because of the scope of the project. Google spent a lot of time working on that project. Every time I visited them, they showed me the development of the prototypes, which resulted in a working modular phone. They even had designers working on modular speakers and such. It was a good learning curve for me to experience how a tech giant like Google handles their business. I do think it will be a matter of time another company continues the project. LG and Motorola are already offering their modular phone versions, so you see it is slowly evolving.We recently handed this year’s ECO Coin Award to Dutch designer Dave Hakkens, founder of the Precious Plastic movement. With his open sourced recycling machines, he provides people around the world the knowledge to start recycling plastic, locally.You just celebrated the one-year anniversary of Story Hopper, in which the story becomes more important than the physical product. Where do you see the role of the designer in regard to storytelling?I started Story Hopper to explore an alternative way of working. I don’t necessarily think each idea needs a product to become a project. For example, I often get compared to Bas van Abel (Fairphone), both Dutch and both working with phones. However, in the Fairphone case the physical product was really needed, while with Phonebloks the video was enough. I think in general storytelling can be part of a project, but not everything. Things still have to be made, or improved even.
I believe that everybody lives to make the world better in its own way
To what extent do you find sustainability in other projects?The problem is not so much in not-having sustainable items, but it's grounded in the idea of us not using them in a sustainable way. We throw them away not because they are broken, but because of the rapid pace of new products. To me, this is an important aspect in design, to challenge the current mindset. This is the general outline for Story Hopper. I am not making things, but I am exploring ways that are aimed to show people what else is possible.What are the reactions to your work?With a project like Phonebloks you have to take into account that almost everybody owns a mobile phone, and it is easy to relate to this project. While the plastic topic is more for a niche group, not many people are concerned about material assimilation. For instance, Precious Plastic is a smaller scale project with fewer views on the Internet. However, I do notice that in the places I visited in Indonesia, India and Nepal, people were aware of it. Seeing that project ended up with the right people, really touched me. The accessibility of the project helped people to illustrate what they are working on to their inner circles. Making it more tangible and show what the plastic waste possibilities are.We recently handed this year’s ECO Coin Award to Dutch designer Dave Hakkens, founder of the Precious Plastic movement. With his open sourced recycling machines, he provides people around the world the knowledge to start recycling plastic, locally.Do you want to share some of your future plans with us?I would like to work on a bigger project and challenge myself even more to see what I can do by myself, as I don’t really have a regular team around me. At the moment I am interested in fashion and food design, although I am not sure what will come out of it. It occurs to me that in fashion there is this idea of humans creating it, every season over again. This system could use some changes. But these are just two topics of interest for now, I will see where to go from there.Thank you so much, Dave, for sharing your work and viewpoints with us!Cover photo by Xiaoxiao Xu.More interviews: Liam Young, Bruce Sterling, Jason Silva, Arne Hendriks, Rachel Armstrong, Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg, Floris Kaayk, Chloé Rutzerveld, Nadine Bongaerts, Mike Thompson and Susana Cámara Leret, Pauline van Dongen, Leanne Wijnsma. [post_title] => Designer Dave Hakkens is putting plastic waste to better use [post_excerpt] => We recently handed this year’s ECO Coin Award to Dutch designer Dave Hakkens, founder of the Precious Plastic movement. With his open sourced recycling machines, he provides people around the world the knowledge to start recycling plastic locally. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => interview-dave-hakkens [to_ping] => [pinged] => https://nextnature.net/2016/10/dave-hakkens-wins-eco-coin-award-2016/ https://nextnature.net/2016/06/interview-mike-thompson-susana-camara-leret-designers-exploring-alternative-ways-thinking/ https://nextnature.net/2016/09/interview-pauline-van-dongen-designer-merging-fashion-tech/ https://nextnature.net/2016/09/interview-leanne-wijnsma/ [post_modified] => 2019-07-11 14:53:35 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-07-11 13:53:35 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://nextnature.net/?p=68141 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [post_category] => 0 ))[post_count] => 9 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 122542 [post_author] => 2231 [post_date] => 2019-10-29 14:26:12 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-10-29 13:26:12 [post_content] =>

Rooftops covered with grass, vegetable gardens and lush foliage are now a common sight in many cities around the world. More and more private companies and city authorities are investing in green roofs, drawn to their wide-ranging benefits which include savings on energy costs, mitigating the risk from floods, creating habitats for urban wildlife, tackling air pollution and urban heat and even producing food.

A recent report in the UK suggested that the green roof market there is expanding at a rate of 17% each year. The world’s largest rooftop farm will open in Paris in 2020, superseding similar schemes in New York City and Chicago. Stuttgart, in Germany, is thought of as “the green roof capital of Europe”, while Singapore is even installing green roofs on buses.

These increasingly radical urban designs can help cities adapt to the monumental challenges they face, such as access to resources and a lack of green space due to development. But buy-in from city authorities, businesses and other institutions is crucial to ensuring their success – as is research investigating different options to suit the variety of rooftop spaces found in cities.

A growing trend

The UK is relatively new to developing green roofs, and governments and institutions are playing a major role in spreading the practice. London is home to much of the UK’s green roof market, mainly due to forward-thinking policies such as the 2008 London Plan, which paved the way to more than double the area of green roofs in the capital.

Although London has led the way, there are now “living labs” at the Universities of Sheffield and Salford which are helping to establish the precedent elsewhere. The IGNITION project – led by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority – involves the development of a living lab at the University of Salford, with the aim of uncovering ways to convince developers and investors to adopt green roofs.

Ongoing research is showcasing how green roofs can integrate with living walls and sustainable drainage systems on the ground, such as street trees, to better manage water and make the built environment more sustainable.

Research is also demonstrating the social value of green roofs. Doctors are increasingly prescribing time spent gardening outdoors for patients dealiong with anxiety and depression. And research has found that access to even the most basic green spaces can provide a better quality of life for dementia sufferers and help prevent obesity.

An edible roof at Fenway Park, stadium of the Boston Red Sox. Via Michael Hardman, Author provided.

In North America, green roofs have become mainstream, with a wide array of expansive, accessible and food-producing roofs installed in buildings. Again, city leaders and authorities have helped push the movement forward – only recently, San Francisco created a policy requiring new buildings to have green roofs. Toronto has policies dating from the 1990s, encouraging the development of urban farms on rooftops.

These countries also benefit from having newer buildings, which make it easier to install green roofs. Being able to store and distribute water right across the rooftop is crucial to maintaining the plants on any green roof – especially on “edible roofs” which farm fruit and vegetables. And it’s much easier to create this capacity in newer buildings, which can typically hold greater weight, than retro-fit old ones. Having a stronger roof also makes it easier to grow a greater variety of plants, since the soil can be deeper.

The new normal?

For green roofs to become the norm for new developments, there needs to be buy-in from public authorities and private actors. Those responsible for maintaining buildings may have to acquire new skills, such as landscaping, and in some cases volunteers may be needed to help out. Other considerations include installing drainage paths, meeting health and safety requirements and perhaps allowing access for the public, as well as planning restrictions and disruption from regular ativities in and around the buildings during installation.

To convince investors and developers that installing green roofs is worthwhile, economic arguments are still the most important. The term “natural capital” has been developed to explain the economic value of nature; for example, measuring the money saved by installing natural solutions to protect against flood damage, adapt to climate change or help people lead healthier and happier lives.

As the expertise about green roofs grows, official standards have been developed to ensure that they are designed, built and maintained properly, and function well. Improvements in the science and technology underpinning green roof development have also led to new variations on the concept.

For example, “blue roofs” increase the capacity of buildings to hold water over longer periods of time, rather than drain away quickly – crucial in times of heavier rainfall. There are also combinations of green roofs with solar panels, and “brown roofs” which are wilder in nature and maximise biodiversity.

If the trend continues, it could create new jobs and a more vibrant and sustainable local food economy – alongside many other benefits. There are still barriers to overcome, but the evidence so far indicates that green roofs have the potential to transform cities and help them function sustainably long into the future. The success stories need to be studied and replicated elsewhere, to make green, blue, brown and food-producing roofs the norm in cities around the world.

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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