sexta-feira, 24 de Outubro de 2014

A fully sustainable city for a polluted China

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One of the aspects for which China is known, among others, is due to their extremely polluted cities. However, the new ecological models of development can help these cities to become more sustainable. An example is the Binhai Eco City Master Plan, a case study designed by Holm Architecture Office, which explores the possibility of a total green development.

This Green City is a project created with the support of the Governments of China and Singapore. Surrounded by a green belt, the space includes a new financial district and five cultural spaces that are home to sports facilities and educational centers. Cultural buildings are located in specific plateaus project out of green space to the North. A green corridor and a tram line connecting the financial centre cultural buildings.

Designed to be a green oasis pedestrian, Eco City is located on a high plateau, getting the services and bus zone on a lower level. All the buildings were designed with efficient and sustainable energy technologies and renewable energy sources, referred to Inhabitat.

The Binhai Eco City was selected as one of the finalists of the WAF Awards 2014 and is designed to be located in the vicinity of Tianjin, in northern China.

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As one of the most important archaeological sites of the United Kingdom was saved in extremis

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The time when all discoveries were preserved and millenary encompassed a circuit of historical tourism is gone. Otherwise, what happened this month in the archaeological site of Binchester, in the United Kingdom, would not have happened.

According to the British press, the location, called Pompei of the North, has just been bought by a charity fund, for € 2,5 million ($ 7.7 million). Otherwise, it would be sold to those who probably would use for other purposes.

The site includes a Roman Fort with 1,800 years and a bathhouse with walls of 2.1 meters, which was once completely covered with paintings. There are also several artefacts and objects scattered.

Considered one of the most important Roman archaeological sites in the United Kingdom, he was eventually purchased by Auckland Castle Trust. The Fort commanded the main road going to the barracks of the Legion of York to Hadrian's wall.

According to several historians, this fort was one of the key elements of the complex system of existing borders on both sides of the wall and that marked the area further north of the Roman Empire for 400 years.

Originally, the Fort was built with wood, but was quickly renovated with stone, from the moment the infrastructure became permanent.

When the site was put up for sale by the Church Commissioners, which belongs to the Church of England, about 4,000 people signed a petition to stop the process. The idea of the Church passed through Comnissioners divide the site into two, which could destroy. However, this solution makes all parties happy â€" until you see.

"That is great news and we are thrilled that Binchester is now protected for future generations," explained Chris Ferguson, Chief Curator of Auckland Castle.

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quinta-feira, 23 de Outubro de 2014

An Amish community that goes beyond organic farming

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"In the second world war, my ancestors were conscientious objectors because they don't believe in fighting," says Samuel Zook, an Amish farmer. "If you really think about it, when we spray our crops with agro-tóxicos is that really what we're doing [the fight]. Is chemical warfare ".

Samuel Zook is part of an Amish community in the u.s. State of Pennsylvania. The Amish are an Anabaptist Christian religious group that is distributed by the United States and Canada. Are known to live in communities and by their conservative mores, as the restricted use of electronic equipment or the clothes they use.

Eight years ago, Zook was about to lose the battle for fungi and pathogens that ate their crops and pesticides appeared to have little or no effect. Disillusioned with the conventional farming methods, Zook searched feverishly for a way to save their crops. Was in a farmer's Amish articles of 18 years from Ohio, called John Kempf, that Zook found the solution you've been looking for.

Kempf is the unlikely founder of Advancing Eco Agriculture, an agricultural consultant established in 2006 to promote intensive organic farming with a scientific basis. The story of Kempf is similar to Zook. A series of crops destroyed took the young, with only the eighth year of schooling, the focus on the sciences. For two years the young studied biology, chemistry and Agronomy in order to save their crops. The solution came from the study of the immune system of the plants, which in the case of healthy specimens, produces a wide range of compounds that are toxic to the invading agents.

"The plant immune response depends on a balanced nutrition, as our own immune system", measuring Kempf to Atlantic. Modern agriculture relies on fertilizers to make plants more resistant but with scant knowledge of the nutritional needs of other bodily functions. Through analysis of the SAP from plants, Kempf has managed to find out shortcomings of certain minerals which can then enter into the soil. Once the plants are able to defend themselves and their immune system is fully functioning, pesticides can be avoided.

The Advancing Eco Agriculture produces then nutritional supplements for the plants in order to increase the health and income without the use of harmful agricultural chemicals. Among the ingredients of supplements are algae, humic substances, minerals, including calcium, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium â€" which aim to stimulate plant growth and improve soil quality.

It is with these supplements that Zook spent working on plantations, which already do not receive any type of pesticides. "You can do nothing to plantations and receive a certificate of organic farming. By contrast, we focus on restoring the balance found in natural systems, "says Zook. Although it plants of this Amish farmer are not completely free of diseases, crops have been quality and Zook likes the way practice their agriculture.

Foto: Mike O’C / Creative Commons

CGD promotes Sustainability in the future Conference

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Caixa Geral de Depósitos (CGD) will organise in the next few days 29 and 30 October, a Conference on the theme "Bridges for a more sustainable future", which aims to put civil society and the business world to "talk about Sustainability and act in harmony". The Culturgest in Lisbon, will be the stage of the event, which is part of the BCSD Portugal 2014 annual Conference.

At the Conference are confirmed names like Jo I confine, executive editor of the British newspaper The Guardian; Isabel Jonet, Self-help Association; Paula Viegas, Director of CGD's sustainability; Francisco Viana, director of communications and brand of CDG or Cláudia Coelho, Director of sustainable business solutions of PwC Portugal.

Among the main themes of the program are subject to debate panels schedule for a more sustainable Country, Environmental Reporting and Entrepreneurship and Social Entrepreneurship.

During the Conference will be also presented the results of the annual Carbon Disclosure Project Iberia and awarded prizes to Portuguese companies. The participation is free of charge, subject to prior registration. Registration can be done here and the program can be consulted in detail here.

The London offices of Google are planted vegetables

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Google has made great efforts to make their offices more fun for every employee, but are employees of the London offices who have the best of all.

The space has about 14,864 square meters and is equipped with furniture that was retrofitted to recreate the comforts of a home. On the roof of the ninth floor there is a terrace with garden and small lots that allow employees to grow vegetables and aromatic herbs.

Located in Covent Garden, the new offices have several indoor and outdoor leisure spaces, a gym, a Dance Studio, several cafes and restaurants and lounge areas. All these spaces are associated with a theme and equipped with recycled furniture, resulting in lower costs and reuse materials. In the construction of space were not used any toxic materials and wood used in finishes has a eco-statement, referred to in Inhabitat.

As for allotments which cultivation is necessary to fill in a registration form and wait until some is free, because demand is high, and the officials who neglect their plantations are them removed lots of cultivation.

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quarta-feira, 22 de Outubro de 2014

New toast of French gastronomy is a species of bird facing extinction

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The somber, a rare bird that exists, among other countries, in Portugal, is the new conqueluche of French chefs. According to The New York Times (NYT), the French are to revive the tradition of capturing the bird, sobrealimentá-la in complete darkness for 21 days, drown her with Armagnac, toast it and eat it all at once â€" just with one bite.

According to some gourmet chefs interviewed by NYT, the tradition is complete with the Act of hiding the bird under the dinner napkin. But the tradition isn't what it used to be, conservationists argue, and should stop immediately, under penalty of the rare bird become extinct.

In fact, the bird is protected in the European Union since 1979, although around 30 thousand somber being captured a year in France. The search for this tidbit led to population of the bird, which has only 15 centimeters, falling 40 percent in the last decade.

"The chefs and food lovers who believe they need to kill a bird in danger to keep its interesting gastronomic creations have little creativity," explained the President of Farm Sanctuary, Gene Baur.

The Organization BirdLife Europe has begun a petition to call the Ministry of the Interior to the question of illegal hunting of bleak in France. And, when you think that illegal hunting is an African and Asian phenomenon, it's hard to believe that, in a country with France's past, all just whistle for the side to protect this rare bird.

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Fotos: Vitalii Khustochka / Åsa Berndtsson / Ron Knight / Andrej Chudý / Biodiversity Heritage Librar

Korean artist transforms the Crystal Palace of Madrid in Kaleidoscope

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The Korean artist Kimsooja media is known for creating installations using the existing architecture, light and sound. In his latest work, entitled "To Breathe: the Mirror Woman", Kimsooja transformed Crystal Palace del Retiro de Madrid in a kaleidoscope, whose visual effect is accompanied by a soundscape created by the artist.

The greenhouse that now hosts the exhibition is usually a collection of exotic plants from the Philippines. Kimsooja turned this space into a sensory experience, covering the Windows of the greenhouse with a translucent diffraction film. This material diffracts more the Sun's rays, which are reflected in the mirrored surface that covers the entire floor, referred to Inhabitat.

Kimsooja presented a similar project at the Venice Biennale, in 2013, which also used translucent film to color the inside of the Korean Pavilion during the event.

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