Reducing Over-Fertilization

Jon Harper – jbh2175

Sustainability Issue: Fertilizer Eutrophication

            Fertilizer runoff from agriculture is a major contributor to the eutrophication (essentially creating too many nutrients) of waterways and the oceans.  This creates algal blooms which choke out other plant life and then die, and when they are decomposing the decomposers use up all of the available oxygen in the water creating hypoxic or even anoxic conditions, killing any aquatic life nearby.  Huge “dead zones” have been created just beyond the mouth of the Mississippi in the Gulf of Mexico, and many other areas worldwide.

Technology: Non-toxic stabilizer “N-Protect”

When fertilizer is applied, bacteria will often use up part of it in a process called “Volitalization” which creates ammonia gas and causes the available nitrogen in the fertilizer to not reach the roots of the intended plants.  Because of this, excess fertilizer is used to get enough to the plants, and/or toxic stabilizers are used to make the nitrogen accessible to the plants but not the bacteria.

Solvay has come up with an alternative to this with their “N-Protect” product.  This is a stabilizer which is non-toxic, and does not have the foul odor that conventional stabilizers have.  It also has a higher efficacy than conventional stabilizers, at 50% instead of 30%.  This means that less fertilizer has to be applied, and that more is taken up by the intended plants.  Both mean less runoff into waterways and less volitalization into ammonia which then gets captured in the water cycle in clouds and rain, also ending up in rivers and oceans.


-Agriculture industry

-Fertilizer supply industry


-Coastal and River-adjacent communities near ‘dead zones’


  1. Implement wider usage of the product
  2. Test rivers and ocean areas near applications to determine level of effectiveness at reducing eutrophication
  3. Consider legislation requiring a higher level of volitization reduction in fertilizers


A Solution to Complicated City Budgets

Peter Schott // pcs2144

*an article cannot be found however the concept is an interesting take on our capital city/government budget discussion from 6/1)*

*this is not investment advice*

(1) Sustainability Problem: Everything / Civic Engagement

By utilizing blockchain and the Bitcoin infrastructure, the concept of Citycoin(s) attempts to raise equity for US cities, allowing for external investment.

(2) Citycoin attempts to strengthen the treasury of existing cities, as individuals stake their existing crypto (Stacks, or STX) to support the particular city.

  • The first city (arguably the pilot) is Miami
  • Without getting technical, users can commit their STX crypto, exchanging it for Citycoin.
  • With Citycoin, users are able to “stack” (lock) the currency, providing security to the network while earning interest paid out in STX/BTC
  • Big picture, this mechanism provides the given city an ongoing revenue stream to benefit its infrastructure and civic engagement
  • While this is a premature idea (in my opinion), Citycoin provides a clever way for cities to generate external capital without raising debt


(3) Stakeholders

  • Includes Local (and potentially State) Government (in the case of Miami, specific the Mayor and other public offices like the Treasury Dept.)
  • Includes the general public within the cities as ideally they support a crypto treasury
  • Potential projects resulting from the funds can span various industries and consequently NGOs, Universities and Corporations (e.g, Utility companies, Water companies, Waste companies, etc.)

(4) Next Steps

  1. Develop a user engagement plan/strategy to spread the concept of Citycoins, in an effort to gather feedback/input from City Governments and the community (both general public and crypto community)
  2. Have individuals that hold Stacks (STX) vote in their desired cities to be a part of Citycoin(s) to ensure the sustainability of the Citycoin concept
  3. Request that Stack (STX) holders execute a Stacks smart contract (already a part of the ecosystem), locking their crypto to mine Miamicoin ($MIA); publish results from first mining and staking cycle to justify concept

Anti-Solar Panels

Solar Energy At night: Currently when the sun goes down, Solar panels cannot generate energy

Technology Solution Anti Solar Panels

  • It uses heat radiating off the Earth’s surface.
  • Can work 24/7 rather than if the Suns out
  • Cost effective for Business to switch to Renewable Energy
  • Could increase solar farm energy production by 12%


  • Public
  • Industrial companies
  • Energy Companies
  • Environmentally Friendly
  • Government


  • Provide this technology to industrial companies to reduce their carbon footprint
  • Provide government grants for business who convert to Anti-Solar Panels
  • Provide incentives for companies to implement this technology


Using Blockchain to improve health access to unhoused people

1) Sustainability Problem (Safety and Health): Unhoused people (aka homeless) are part of a systematic cycle that hinders their safety and progress. Many displaced individuals lose their personal documents including birth certificates, licenses, social security card, etc. This makes it extremely difficult to rent, get a job, and receive medical attention.

2) Dell Medical School developing technology to improve access to health care for homeless population

  • The question posed by Dell Medical School is “How do you get more access to health care and social service resources for people experiencing homelessness in Austin?” In a study, the school found that 1/3 of people trying to get medical attention did not have documents to prove their identity.
  • Dr. Tim Mercer, director of the global health program at Dell, and his colleagues are trying to use Blockchain technology to create a system in which information and identity documents can be stored and used across different platforms and institutions.
  • The technology would store the data provided in one medical provider the information would be updated and stored so that if the person goes to another provider or tries to obtain human services their information is already available.
  • This blockchain system would help not only those experiencing homelessness, but also allow those trying to provide services to more efficiently do their job
  • This blockchain technology is being developed and is in it’s initial steps through student led research and testing.

3.) Stakeholders

  • People experiencing homelessness
  • Doctors/Nurses/etc.
  • Human Services providers
  • Health/Human Services office staff

4) Implementation Steps:

  1. Further research: testing and trying to perfect the blockchain further in every attempt to ensure the system speaks to each other but also is ethically ran
  2. Securing further funding via grants, investment, etc.
  3. Community involvement: Speaking with the populations that will be directly affected by the technology (i.e. stakeholders) and ensuring this meet their needs


Passive Housing Techniques Increase Efficiency and Reduce GHG Emissions in NYC Buildings

Article: Sendero Verde, country’s largest Passive House project, tops out construction on phase one, by City Realty Staff


Article: East Harlem’s affordable Sendero Verde project to get 37-story mixed-use building, by Ameena Walker

Post by Joshua Herrig, jlh2208

Sustainability Problem: Many, if not most buildings, are energy inefficient and are big greenhouse gas emitters. In New York City, buildings account for 47% of all GHG emissions. Another problem is that this technique costs more upfront, usually making it inaccessible and unaffordable.

Solution: Passive Housing techniques are being built into new buildings and retrofitted into old ones to make them, in some cases, 90 percent more energy efficient. One such apartment complex is being built in East Harlem called Sendero Verde. Sendero Verde is also affordable housing and is making this technique affordable and accessible.

Passive Housing must use 5 principles: 1. High quality insulation 2. Heat control and robust windows (often triple planed glass) 3. Airtight construction 4. Heat recovery ventilation 5. Thermal bridge-free design. The whole system is succinctly explained in this video: Passive House Explained in 90 Seconds.

This technique, once implemented, is cost efficient to the point where some buildings can be heated by the sun alone and reduces the heating bill to almost zero. As more and more buildings in NYC become electrified they will also need to retrofit their buildings unless the tenants will have to start paying higher heating costs. As of now, most NYC buildings run off of oil heaters which are terrible GHG emitters and polluters but building owners pay for it, not the tenants.

Which is why Sendero Verde is such an appealing project. The vision of the project is to build a “Community of Opportunity.” and will have very affordable heating and cooling bills for its tenants. The poor in New York City must often choose between paying their heating bill and paying for groceries and they often choose groceries. Passive housing techniques will significantly lower bills allowing them to not have to make that decision.

Stakeholders: 1. New York City government. 2. Architects 3. Construction and building managers 4. Tenants of the building 5. Citizens of New York

Implementation of this technology: 1. Teaching architects, builders, city planners of the Passive Housing techniques 2. Change of policy requirement (passive housing will work nicely with Local Law 97, which is requiring buildings to greatly reduce their GHG emissions. 3. Building and retrofitting buildings with passive housing techniques

NREL Software Automates Residential Solar Permitting, Replacing Painstaking Process for Local Governments

#sp3637, #energy


  1. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) released a pilot version of a no-cost, no-touch software system for cities and counties across the country to streamline rooftop solar permits in late 2020
  2. Besides gaining efficiency, local governments can count on SolarAPP to increase permitting fee revenue, enhance local resilience, establish safe solar-grid connections, and accelerate job growth in solar energy
  3. SolarAPP is beneficial for both compliant and non-compliant solar project designs. If a system is compliant, SolarAPP will approve the design and issue a permit instantly. If a system is not compliant, SolarAPP will decline the application and clarify why the system was not code-compliant, allowing the contractor to go back and revise their application in real time
  4. SolarAPP is compatible with local government permitting software, including Accela and OpenGov, which serve thousands of local governments across the United States


  1. Government officials
  2. Contractors
  3. Private Citizens


  1. NREL to start a campaign and market the app
  2. Target marketing to areas with 150 and more days of sunshine
  3. Work with local government for subsidies

Smart Waste Bins

Jasmine Kurniawan | jk4493


Environmental degradation is a result of various causes such as waste. According to Green Choices, while some waste can naturally rot, others generate explosive methane gas that contributes to the greenhouse effect. For this reason, it is important to incorporate technologies that assist in waste management for both companies and households.,attract%20vermin%20or%20cause%20litter.


Smart waste bin systems:

  • The article focuses on several types of smart waste bins including the IoT Based Smart Waste Bin, which use sensors to detect the level of the waste in the bin and alerts through methods such as opening up the lid when an individual passes to eliminate the odor.
  • The smart bin will send notifications to the owners of the household to empty when full.
  • Smart bins are effective in preventing the elimination of harmful gases by overstayed waste as well as encourage recyclable practices.  


Organizational stakeholders that would use this technology include the operations department within the organization, the city council waste collection department, as well as the property owners.


  • Purchase of digital gadgets and the integration of Wi-Fi technology that will allow connection between the users and the smart bin system.
  • Strategic placement of the bin in areas adjacent to the organization or building.
  • Allocating a specific team to monitor and perform the necessary procedures after receiving an alert from the system such as disposal or recycling will go a long way towards realizing the positive effects of the technology.

The Smart Windows in Movies Are Here

  1. Problem – Energy and Health

During the hot summer days, traditional windows allow in a lot of heat, radiation, and glare, causing the room temperature to increase. The consequent energy use for cooling increases drastically. Minimizing sunlight is not a solution, since it is believed that sunlight triggers the release of serotonin, which is a mood boosting natural chemical. It is increasingly popular for homes and offices to adopt floor to ceiling windows to maximize sunlight, but with it the HVAC energy consumption increases.

2. Technology – View’s Immersive Experience with Smart Windows

  • 825 Third Avenue in NYC is the first building to incorporate smart windows
  • The smart windows increase natural light, improve human health, and reduce energy consumption by blocking heat and glare
  • The windows are also transparent, digital screens with touch displays that enable communications. 
  • It uses AI to automatically adjust in response to the sun, increasing access to natural light and decreasing glare. 

3. Stakeholders

  • Building owners and developers – the installing of smart windows can potentially increase rent and attract quality tenants. 
  • Individuals and corporations renting in the building – experience lower energy consumption and increase in work efficiency through the use of smart windows
  • Construction companies – installing smart windows is a much more complicated process than traditional windows
  • Designers and architects – they can now incorporate this into the blueprint
  • Maintenance crew – smart windows would require more maintenance and cleaning. 

4. Steps

  • Consider the use of View’s smart windows by creating financial models to measure the overall costs and benefits
  • The design/architecture team must incorporate the technology in the design and collaborate with electricians to plan the wiring
  • Begin installation/construction

A different type of Superbloom for LA

Kelsey Kane-Ritsch (kk3395)

  1. Sustainability Problem (Energy and Health and Safety): Los Angeles owns and maintains more than 223,000 electric street lights. Old, standard street lights provide an important service, but they also suck energy and are ubiquitous infrastructure that is underutilized. Between 2009-2020 LA switched almost all of its streetlights to LEDs and saved $11 million in electricity costs and prevented 72,000 metric tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere. Now LA is ready to transform these infrastructure staples into multi-service hubs.
  2. Solution: LA’s smart street lights, or “Superblooms” as they’re called, provide an opportunity to reconfigure and innovate streetlight design beyond simply providing light.
    • The new lights are described as a “bouquet with extra tubes and arms for features such as shade sails, pedestrian fixtures or solar panels” which will allow streetlights to meet other city demands like EV charging, shading, wayfinding, internet, air pollution monitoring, and more.
    • During the pandemic, LA was able to equip street lights with cell phone equipment and about 3,000 street lights now provide extended 4G and 5G cellular data connectivity to Angelinos.
    • The 5G connectivity of the streetlights will allow for deployment of wifi, sensors, digital signage, extensive data collection, and will ultimately even enable smart cars to communicate with the traffic infrastructure.
    • Data gathered could be used to reveal traffic and pedestrian patterns, periods that require more or less lighting, and even identify communities with the poorest air quality.
    • One potential use of smart street lights that is more controversial is the incorporation of public safety cameras that could be used to help solve crime.
    • Resources:;
  3. Stakeholders:
    • LA Mayor’s Office
    • LA’s Chief Design Officer
    • Bureau of Street Lighting (BSL)
    • Project Room (design studio)
    • LA residents
  4. Implementation: Implementation of the Superbloom streetlights will be slightly complicated by the fact that they are not uniform. First, it will be necessary to identify which street light add-on features are most necessary or desirable in different locations (i.e. perhaps some require a sun shade while others may require an EV charging station). Next, Project Room (Superbloom’s design studio) and LA’s Chief Design Officer will need to work together to design the desired series and locations of lights. Third, a combination of these variations of lights should be piloted in their target neighborhoods to better understand user engagement and feedback before launching across all of LA.

Renewable energy from your sweat?

  1. Sustainability Issue: Energy

    Over 60 percent of our electricity comes from fossil fuels that generate greenhouse gases. It is now more important than ever to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that increase air pollution and the the effects of climate change. Renewable energy is one way to do that.

  2. Sustainability Technology: Wearable technology that produces power using sweat
  • Researchers at Tokyo University of Science tested a biofuel cell that uses lactate chemicals in sweat and a specific enzyme to create a chemical reaction and produce power.
  • This wearable tech is like a bandage that one can wear alongside an Apple Watch or a Fitbit and it uses the “capillary effect” method to transfer the sweat through the layers and create chemical reactions that transfers energy to the wearer’s wrist device (Apple Watch, Fitbit, etc).
  • Currently, the researchers have managed to power an activity meter for 1.5 hours using a drop of artificial sweat with their biofuel cells.
  • There is potential for this technology to work with not just smart watches, but other smart devices as well.
  • For more information, please see:

Video link for more information:

3. Stakeholders:

  • Researchers at Tokyo University of Science
  • Smart devices companies such as Apple and Fitbit and their designated team
  • Other investors of this technology
  • People wearing the technology

4. Steps in deploying the technology:

  • Procure more funding for continued research and testing
  • Team up with potential companies and test with upcoming product models
  • Gauge investors and create a marketing strategy

Uni: rm3851