Super Skinny Home Squeezed Between Buildings in Tokyo

Sustainability Problem

Over 13 million people live in Tokyo and there isn’t a lot of space leading to very expensive and cramped living conditions.

Technology Article

Article

  • In land-scarce Tokyo people are having a hard time finding a place to live.
  • Atelier HAKO Architects has gotten creative and is building homes in the leftover space between buildings. 
  • The architects slotted the skinny three-story Honmachi Residence into a slim lot that, despite its four-meter-wide width (13 feet), feels surprisingly spacious on the inside.
  • They were able to include a porch and windows to provide natural light and ventilation in the small space and the rooftop allows for even more open space.
  • As more and more people all over the world migrate to urban areas the cities will become more crowded requiring creating construction like the work being done by Atelier HAKO Architects.

Stakeholders

  • Atelier HAKE Architects
  • Cities and urban areas
  • Current and future residents of cities
  • City governments

Deployment

  • Atelier HAKE Architects continues to build these structures
  • Try to strike a deal with the government that helps them purchase and build these properties at a reduced price.
  • Expand their work or their ideas to other cities where land is scarce.
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Detecting Forest Fires using Wireless Sensor Networks

Sustainability Problem

Forest fires have adverse effects on a wide range of environmental, social, and economic assets and are 46% above the 10 year average so far in 2016 in the US.

Technology Article

http://www.libelium.com/wireless_sensor_networks_to_detec_forest_fires/ 

  • Most of the time forest fires are discovered too late because they have already spread.
  • Apart from prevention, early detection is the most effective way to minimize casualties and damages.
  • DIMAP-FactorLink, which under the name of SISVIA Vigilancia y Seguimiento Ambiental jointly commercialize projects for the environmental protection, have developed and integrated a forest fires detection system using the products of Libelium.
  • The covered area is about 210 hectares in the North Spain region, comprising the Communities of Asturias and Galicia.
  • The aim was to provide to different organizations of an environmental monitoring infrastructure, with capability to have alert management and to deliver early warning alarms.
  • The system has 3 main parts, the wireless sensor network, the communications network, and the reception center.

Stakeholders

  • DIMAP-FactorLink
  • Libelium
  • Residents of areas that are in danger of having forest fires
  • Fire fighters
  • Governments

Deployment

  • The companies form partnerships with governments and install the systems to monitor forest fires.
  • People are trained to use the technology.
  • These sensors and systems can be used in cities as well.

Other sources:

Military Spy Turned Sustainability Warrior

Sustainability Problem

It is estimated that 18 million acres of forest are permanently lost each year so the land can be used in other ways.

Technology Article

https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2015/may/20/drone-technology-military-spy-turned-sustainability-warrior

  • Drones are now being used for many things other than military objectives that can be beneficial to all humans and the planet.
  • In 2015, Cargill, one of the world’s largest agricultural companies started using drones to help monitor its commitment to zero deforestation in its palm oil supply chains in Indonesia.
  • The drones help them map, identify, and monitor environmentally sensitive areas.
  • Drones will also allow Cargill to more quickly and accurately detect burning and illegal forest clearing.
  • As drones and sensors become more advanced they can be used by Cargill and other agricultural companies to make more important decisions pertaining to sustainability.

Stakeholders

  • Companies producing drones
  • Agricultural companies
  • Consumers of the agricultural companies products
  • Inhabitants of the countries where the drones are being used

Deployment

  • Other companies follow Cargill’s lead and use drones to monitor and eliminate deforestation
  • As drones and sensors become more advanced Cargill and other companies can use them to inform other decisions beneficial to their sustainability efforts
  • As mentioned in an earlier post, drones can and are being used to inform all sorts of decisions by people, governments, and companies. Continue to find innovative ways to use them that are beneficial to society and to sustainability.

Other sources:

Floating Garbage Bins

Sustainability Problem

Pollution. Marine life is dying at an alarming rate and the whole oceanic ecosystem is being threatened as a result.

Technology Article

Brilliantly Simple Floating Rubbish Bin Revolutionizes Ocean Cleaning Technology by Kristine Mitchell December 25, 2015.

  • Australian surfers created an automated floating rubbish bin that collects garbage, debris, and even oil from the water, and may revolutionize ocean cleaning technology.
  • The system is designed to run constantly and the group aims to sell and install them in marinas, ports, and boat clubs.
  • The group is raising funding through their Indiegogo campaign so they can produce the systems on a large scale.

Stakeholders

  • Seabin Pty Ltd (creators of system)
  • Donators to their Indiegogo campaign
  • Marinas, ports, harbors, boat clubs, etc. that will purchase and install the systems

Deployment

  • Form partnerships/raise funding to produce on a large scale.
  • Sell Seabins to Marinas, ports, boat clubs etc.
  • Aim to get them in rivers and other bodies of water as well.
  • Figure out a better way to power the pump that operates the Seabin (currently electric that costs $20/month)…solar(?).

Other sources:

Planter that Charges Smartphones

Sustainability Problem

The natural resources that are currently used to create the majority of the world’s electricity are scarce and not clean. Renewable energy sources are needed not only because they will not run out but also because they are clean.

Technology Article

Bioo is the world’s first planter that can charge your smartphone  by Cat DiStasio on 4/29/2016. 

http://inhabitat.com/bioo-is-the-worlds-first-planter-that-can-charge-your-smart-phone/

  • A startup based in Barcelona has created a planter that harnesses the power of photosynthesis and uses it to charge electronic devices.
  • The planter is able to charge a device up to 2 to 3 times a day and produces electricity during the day and night (5.0v, 1.0A).
  • It looks like a simple, average sized planter pot and has a USB port disguised as a rock.
  • The planter is expensive, it costs $135, but the idea of creating electricity from plants is an interesting one.

Stakeholders

  • Arkyne Technologies
  • Consumers of the product
  • Consumers of electricity

Deployment

  • Make the planters available for commercial use. You can only pre-order now, the products are expected to be ready for use in December 2016.
  • Get the planters in stores so they can be made and sold on a larger scale.
  • Investigate using the technology on a larger scale to create larger amounts of electricity to power items other than USB port device (a Dutch company is currently doing this).

Other sources:

LightGrid: GE Partners with Oceanside, CA

Problem

  • Energy: Cities are wasting energy and money powering unnecessary or broken roadway and street lights.

Technology

  • LightGrid by GE is an outdoor wireless control system for street and road lights. The technology allows for remote operation and monitoring of all fixtures through a Web-based user interface.
  • The technology allows you to collect real time data for any light fixture or group of light fixtures.
  • In Oceanside, CA the city expects to drive energy and maintenance savings by an estimated $600,000 annually.
  • In addition, the installation of new lights is expected to reduce annual carbon dioxide emissions by 1.7 million pounds.

Stakeholders

  • GE
  • Local government
  • Residents

Process

  • Connect with cities and other municipalities to show them the benefits of installing GE LED street lights with LightGrid technology.
  • Install GE LED street lights with LightGrid technology on roads and streets, and in parks, parking lots, and other areas.
  • Monitor each light through the Web in real-time and respond to maintenance or operational needs and activate more precise “on/off” and light dimming schedules to save energy and money.

Sources