Clean And Sparkle

Sustainability Problem: Air pollution (smog)
Sustainability Area: Health


Article: Pollution-Eating Tower Would Turn Smog Into Rings And Cufflinks

  • Studio Roosegaarde’s Smog Free Tower, a 23-foot-tall air purification system is meant to clean up parks and other public spaces.
  • Redesigning the device based on air purification technology already existing in hospitals; cubes, rings and cufflinks will be produced from carbon collected from the smog free tower.
  • Project is currently still a Kickstarter campaign, but hopes to meet its modest goal of $54,000 to build a prototype.

Note:  This device can also be integrated into current structures in the public space in cities such as street lamps, phone booths, benches, traffic lights, etc.

Organizational stakeholders include: Tech design team, production company/-ies and city authorities if the device is to be integrated into existing city properties.

As the project is still a Kickstarter campaign, the first 3 steps in deploying this technology AFTER the launch would be

1. Keep information on air quality of area the device(s) is installed.

2. Collect feedback information of each device (how much carbon did it collect?)

3. Demonstrate results and upscale project.

New Routes for Singapore

Sustainability area: Mobility and civic engagement
Sustainability problem: Commuters need more efficient ways to get to their destination using public transportation.

Article:  “New app concept crowd-sources demand, lets users create own bus routes” on Straits Times Singapore website

  • The Beeline app is a crowd sourcing transport app.
  • Allows commuters to have a personalizeded, faster, more efficient commute to their destination.
  • The feasibility of the app is being tested by the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) of Singapore and Land Transport Authority.
  • Based on route popularity, a private bus service will be activated.
  • These routes are envisioned to be adaptive – allowing revision of routes in response to different commuter needs.

Note: To ensure that this works in the best manner possible, there has to be a large participation of commuters. the IDA will also have to consider other questions such as (a) will there be a reduction of the public transportation’s fleet of buses?, (b) will this increase congestion?, (c) are the routes designed to be fuel efficient?, (d) what is the minimum capacity of the route before a bus is dispatched?, etc.

Organizational stakeholders include Singapore’s Land Transport Authority, Infocomm Development Authority, app engineers, commuters, data analytic, and traffic control centers.

Steps for deploying this technology:
(This app is still in the test phase, therefore the proceeding steps will take this into account)

1. Advertise the initiative through multiple platforms such as social media, local news stations, public radio broadcasts, and print advertisements to encourage public engagement.
2. Observe trends of route requests and optimize routes that caters to the most people in the most efficient manner possible. 3. Provide a few private bus services for the test phase.
4. Collect information and feedback for improvements.
5. If beeline proves to be a solution, the app can be used by the public transportation department for their own fleets as an attempt to diversify their service.

The 1st Law of Thermodynamics – Nanogenerators in Car Tires

Sustainability problem: There is a need to diversify sources of energy, especially to move away from fossil fuels.
Sustainability area: Energy

Title of article: Reinventing the wheel, from Popular Science
Name of technology: Triboelectic Nanogenerators (TENG)

  • By pulling latent energy from the ground, tires can reclaim electricity that could extend the battery life and range of electric or hybrid cars.
  • Triboelectic nanogenerators (TENG) harvests electricity that’s naturally transferred between 2 different surfaces when they come into contact and pulled apart.
  • High rate of repetition makes a rotating car tire perfect for this application.
  • Wattage increases with the weight and size of the tires used.

Note: While cars may never be fully-powered by their wheels, it provides an avenue for energy generation. More research should be done into its potential application on other objects as well.

Organizational stakeholders include University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Engineering’s researchers, automobile industry science experts, automation industry, cities (as part of an energy conservation policy).

First 3 steps in deploying the technology
a. Identifying best set of vehicles in different range of uses (personal, commercial, etc) to install this technology onto vehicles.
b. Track and compare amount of power generated by each type of vehicle.c. Identify possible areas of improvement and sell technology to other potential interested parties.

Hacking City Hall Part 1

1) Sustainability problem: Underutilized properties/vacant lots in Newark, NJ.
Area of sustainability: Civic engagement

2) Summary

  • Mobile technology, social media and smartphone apps can be used to improve the delivery of government services.
  • People have very defined needs and government services are not efficient at providing for these needs.
  • Complicated property processes regarding code enforcement and building permits makes it difficult for people to make informed decisions about the future of vacant properties.
  • CivicInsight is a mobile application that provides up-to-date information on vacant properties so that communities can access easier ways to make improvements on vacant properties.
    Article: It’s Time To Hack the City Hall from

3) Organizational stakeholders include: Department of Economic and Housing Development of Newark, NJ and, NGOs, businesses, property developers.

4) First 3 steps in deploying this technology in Newark

  • Digitize all necessary information in the Department of Economic and Housing Development
  • Provide press release on technology deployment to inform the public on the accessibility of information through this application
  • Monitor customer feedback responses to fix bugs within the software and potentially expand usage of mobile application to other departments.

Rubberized Asphalt Concrete

Rubberized Asphalt Concrete


Technology: Rubberized Asphalt Concrete

What is it?
A road paving material made by blending ground-up recycled tires  with asphalt to produce a binder which is then mixed with conventional aggregate materials. This mix is then placed and compacted into a road surface.

a. Resists cracking, which reduces maintenance costs.
b. Lasts 50% longer than conventional materials, leading to lower resurfacing investment.
c. Preserves underlying pavement
d. Greener solution
e. Provides better skid resistance, thus increasing road safety

Cleaning Up The Pacific Garbage Patch

1) Waste – the Pacific Garbage Patch harms our fish stocks, marine and wildlife biodiversity.

2) News article from BBC News Magazine, entitled “The Dutch boy mopping up a sea of plastic“.

  • Harnessing the ocean currents that sweep plastic waste, an array of floating barriers, anchored to the sea bed would catch and concentrate floating debris.
  • The debris will move along the barriers towards a platform where it can be extracted, while the ocean current would pass underneath the barriers (no nets for marine life to get entangled in).
  • 20 year old Boyan Slat came up with a feasibility report, co-authored by 70 scientists and engineers and is based on extensive testing and computer simulations.
  • The project idea is criticized to focus solely on remediation, rather than prevention. Critics are also concerned about microplastic and other debris that cannot be trapped by this technology.

3) Organizational stakeholders include wildlife and conservation NGOs, engineers and maritime specialists.

4) This technology is still in the testing process – the steps mentioned will consider it as a new technology deployment.

Step 1: Deploy technology on rivers and coastal areas of cities. Track efficiency of device in waste collection to provide multiple time frame data.

Step 2: Publish information on achievements to allow attraction of private and public investors for maintenance and improvement of technology.

Step 3: Scale the technology to be able to trap microplastic and other debris within the pelagic column (water column)