What does a citizen have to do when the sea rises to alarming levels? Shall we all lift up our houses and start to live up in the air? Or maybe put our cities onto floating islands so they cannot be flooded? While both scenarios sounds like science fiction, the second one had persuaded the government of French Polynesia: in an effort to protect and enhance the country, the government has signed an agreement with non-profit Seasteading Institute in California to build the world’s first floating city.
In 2003, broadcaster and author Mark Ovenden designed the World Metro Map to present a global transportation system that connects cities through underground railways. His vision could end up becoming reality after all, now that LA-based company Hyperloop One has selected 35 teams as finalists in its global challenge to design the future of the vacuum-sealed train system.
The train is the most sustainable mode of transport for long-distance travel. And from January 1st, the Dutch Railways NS made it more environmentally friendly. They partnered with renewable energy supplier Eneco to solely operate all electric trains on new green energy, allowing 600.000 daily passengers to travel 100% carbon-free. That’s 1.200.000 train rides a day!
Forget solar roofs, we have solar roads now. The world’s first solar panel road just opened in the not-so-sunny Tourouvre-au-Perche in Normandy, France. Embedded with 2.800 square meters of photovoltaic panels, with a length of one kilometer, the solar path is expected to generate 280MWh per year.
Some 500 years ago surrealist avant la lettre, Hieronymus Bosch, painted his ‘The Garden Of Earthly Delights’. The masterpiece is a warning on the perils of life’s temptations. To celebrate the 500 year anniversary for the painter, our friends at Studio Smack made a contemporary interpretation in a hallucinatory 4K animation.
In the Arava region in southern Israel there is Capital Nature, an incubator for early stage green start-up companies that funds researches in the area of renewable energy. Here we’re standing with Oren Ezer, co founder of ElectRoad, in front of what it seems to be one of the biggest road improvements since the Romans paved their empire (no photos allowed).
Swiss artist Dan Acher‘s new project “Borealis” offers a possibility to experience the extraordinary beauty of the Northern Lights anywhere in the world. High-powered lasers project blue and green beams on the night sky to mimic the natural phenomenon. Due to variations in cloud density and changing weather conditions, the outcome is always different and unpredictable.
Since 1979 we have been using satellites to measure Arctic sea ice levels, which have been warning us about the alarming decrease of ice growth. Climate models predict that by 2040, the Arctic Bay will continue to freeze in winter, but could be free of ice in summer. Now imagine an ice hotel in this scenario that melts away every year.
Oh no! What do we have here? A map of The Netherlands with all its major cities – Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht, Almere – flooded and vanished into the ocean. Must be a speculative rendering of what happens when climate change kicks in and ocean levels rise. Is this our future? Think again, this is what some historians believe our past was, long before people started building dikes in the lowlands.