Miscellanea: more favourites

Public transport – why you should opt for rail over bus by Prof Peter Newman

Is New York the greenest city? A review of ‘Green Metropolis’

Interesting articles on aspects of urbanism: Creative Communities

Socially concious design – a website that exploresd the question: can design change the world?

New York City Street Design Manual.

Pioneering urban regeneration in Johannesburg driven by the arts.

A revealing article with a snippet on where the priorities of some ‘star’ architects really lie.

Restoring the industrial landscape by William McDonough: regenerating a Ford factory.

A great house featured on Grand Designs.

A field guide to green roofs.

The website of the ‘Rational House’ concept.

Zulu cuisine.

South African rainwater harvesting and heat pump systems.

The consulting practice of Alan Baxter, recent recipient of a CBE.

 

 

 

 

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Miscellanea: clearing the favourites backlog

These articles and links caught my attention over the last while and have collected in my favourites folder. Time to deal with the link delivery backlog:

International development

A missionary-activist (aka ‘Tarzan agitator’) helping protect Amazonian tribes from oil and mining companies – from The Guardian.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation vs ‘Extreme humanitarianism’

Is aid doing Haiti more harm than good?

Gardian article: before you pay to volunteer abroad, think of the harm you might do.

Western vs Chinese aid: Which is better? – from Moneyweb

Good interactive graphic of the Corruption Index 2010

Losing our history:

Article chronicling the destruction of some of South Africa’s irreplaceable industrial heritage, through indifference and neglect.

A view on whether Christchurch’s iconic bell tower should be restored after the earthquake –  by Simon Jenkins

Detroit in Ruins – photographs by Yves Marchand and Romaine Meffre (also see this article: Detroit: the Ultimate Food Desert)

However see this grittily uplifting superbowl ad: Imported from Detroit

New thinking and projects in sustainability and design:

A treatment plant that converts sewerage to clean water, biogas energy and compost – by Amaresco in the US. (Expect to see more like this as cities realise that there needs to be a closed loop of resource use if we are ever going to be come sustainable)

Beyond food miles – from the Oil Drum.

Interview with John Egan on the importance of design

Article from Fast Company on roll-out of electric car charging stations

Also from Fast Company: The rise of the Aerotropolis

Civil and infrastructure engineering:

‘Civilised streets’ – A report from CABE (which has subsequently been shut down by the UK govt in a misguided attempt to save money)

Fantastic website on mini-roundabouts by someone who really understands his craft.

CSIR guide to Potholes

A guided tour of London’s sewer system

A Guide to South African Passes and Poorts. (More comprehensive than the Getaway book thats currently on sale)

Local:

An article in the Financial Mail that shares my scepticism on High Speed rail in South Africa. (Lets rather spend the money on urban rail)

Interview with Charles Taylor of Ballito

Nomkhubulwane – an Andries Botha elephant

The above two are from Comment from the Couch, a blog dedicated to hot-dipped galvanising.

Dennis Guichard – architectural and engineering photographer

Random:

Two articles you get when you google ‘design efficiency’: here and here. I always though the process of design could be efficient to varying degrees, hence the name of this blog, but I never considered actually trying to measure it, as they have done.

An incredibly smart guy who solved a Cypher Security Challenge. (He won a season ticket to Bletchley Park for his efforts…)

An ode to butter and butter making

NCP Photo Competition

This has great potential: the NCP Focus on Concrete photo competition. Concrete is so varied and can be a great subject with a bit of imagination and skill. The 2010 winner is shown here.

Recent carnage on the N3

This is a photo of a recent 25 (I have also heard 50) vehicle pile up on the N3 near Cato Ridge. When we find ourselves in the situation where 87% of our freight traffic goes by road, this is what we can expect…

From the ECR blog

Watch a Chinese Hotel get built in 6 days

I suspect the 6 days didn’t include the foundations,finishes and comissioning, but nevertheless very impressive. The idea is to make the construction process as factory-like as possible.

(via good.is)

Introduction to New Urbanism

Here is a short video introducing the concept of new urbanism:

(via US consultants TND Engineering)

Link collection: South African initiatives and innovations

Here are some links to articles I have come across recently – all interesting developments from around South Africa:

Two articles on the ‘teabag’ water purifier developed at Stellenbosch University, from iAfrica and Good Magazine

An article that gets it right about where our priorities should be in light of the World Cup (and potential Olympics I would add)

Very interesting sustainable rural community development: Verkykerskop

An article in the M&G documenting how renewable energy is starting to scale up in South Africa. (This was before the Upington – De Aar Solar Park was announced)

Local artists in Durban augmenting the urban environment a la Banksy…