Monday, March 19, 2012

Chinese move to their eco-city of the future

There will be ~ already is ~ a strip mall, almost suburb but scaled up (way up) sameness to the cities of the future. Science fiction as fact: will be utopia or dystopia, a cloud city with a dark, infernal underbelly populated by mole proles sorting trash. Some things change only in degree and that more cosmetic than qualitative. 

I am strangely reminded of David Wingrove's science fiction series, Kung Chuo or Middle Kingdom, and wonder more about what and how many levels lie beneath this city.

Tainjin, China (credit: Tianjin Municipal Government)
Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco City — the world’s largest eco-city — is an experimental model for how Chinese cities could develop and solve some of the enormous problems facing them: permanent gridlock, a lack of water, and ruinous electricity bills.

General Motors is using Tianjin to work out if electric driverless cars can function in a normal traffic system, and road-test the next generation of vehicles: small urban cars that drive themselves but are safe in an environment full of unpredictable drivers, pedestrians and cyclists.

Other projects on trial include a low energy lighting system from Philips and rubbish bins that can empty themselves, sucking litter into an underground network, by a Swedish company called Envac.

The government-owned buildings in the city collect their own rain water for reuse, are powered by geothermal energy, have window shutters that move with the light, in order to keep buildings cool, and heating systems that use solar energy.

Chinese move to their eco-city of the future

Friday, March 2, 2012

Beautiful bookshelves - in pictures

Books are just as much places along the way as any physical geographical location. Most patw posts are either literary (cities in literature, citylit related) or real places of my life ~ sometimes both. Why not the physical places the books live?

From Guardian:

Equilibrium-bookshelf-007Most of us can only aspire to Ikea, but Alex Johnson's Bookshelf takes a beguiling look at the possibilities available if your budget, your rooms and your library are big enough. Here he takes us on a browse through some of the most beautiful.

Colombia-born Alejandro Gomez Stubbs, the designer of Equilibrium, says 'The concept was to design a piece that contrasted stylish modern design with playfulness and animation'

More here.