The Water We Eat: An Infographic Story

Maker: Info Design Lab Challenge: Fresh water is one of our most valuable and critical resources. We need to make sure there is enough for everyone on our planet, and we need to put solutions to work now if we want to avoid a water crisis. When it comes to improving our global consumption habits, most people don’t realize that about 92% of consumption actually …

The Ultimate Ted Talk Playlist for Sustainable Design

Looking for inspiration, or maybe even a pep talk? Why not spend an hour or two with this playlist of twelve Ted Talks, all on the theme of Sustainability by Design. From “Are mushrooms the new plastic?” with product designer Eben Bayer, to “We’re covered in germs. Let’s design for that.” with engineer and ecologist Jessica Green—these pioneering talks by designers set on making …

The Interactive Tool for Designing Resilient Cities

As an urban planner, there’s a lot you can do to introduce sustainability into cities and communities. From gray water recycling to bicycle paths, and footfall harvesting. But how do you assess the resiliency of the solutions you come up with? Thankfully, the University of Birmingham and a band of researchers have thought this through. Their free, web-based interactive tool helps urban designers analyze the resiliency …

Jets Pearl: The Vacuum Toilet That Uses 90% Less Water to Flush

Maker: Jets Challenge: Increasing volumes of sewage worldwide that requires sanitation, coupled with traditional gravity water toilets which demand far too much of our precious energy and fresh water resources to function. Solution: The Jets Pearl vacuum toilet uses 90% less water than the conventional toilet—which comes out to less than 1 litre (1/4 gallon) of water per flush. This toilet, and Jets’ other vacuum systems, use …

Fairphone: The World’s First Ethical, Modular Smartphone

Maker: Fairphone Challenge: The average smartphone contains materials that are obtained through unsustainable and hazardous mining practices. Including dangerous working conditions, the utilization of child labor, and the degradation and pollution of the environment. Solution: A phone made from conflict-free minerals and recycled materials that is modular, open, and easy to repair; and improves the supply chain with social values. Results: Improved working …

How Do You Apply Gender Mainstreaming to Urban Planning?

First of all, let’s talk about what is Gender Mainstreaming is. According to UN Women, “Gender Mainstreaming is a globally accepted strategy for promoting gender equality… Mainstreaming involves ensuring that gender perspectives and attention to the goal of gender equality are central to all activities.” Beyond the more obvious applications of policy development, programmes, and legislation, Gender Mainstreaming can even be applied to …

+ POOL: The World’s First Water-Filtering, Floating Pool

Maker: PlayLab, Inc.  Challenge: The water in New York City’s East River is too dirty and contaminated for the city’s 8 million plus people to swim in. Solution: A floating, plus-shaped community pool with a layered filtration system to remove bacteria and contaminants without the use of chemicals or additives. Results: This is a solution that helps ensure the sustainable management and sanitation of …

ArchDaily’s Archive on Sustainable Architecture

Looking for a strategic guide to urban tree placement? Or an example of how micro algae can be integrated into a building to generate shade and power? Head over to ArchDaily and immerse yourself in their growing collection of sustainable architecture projects, resources, and interviews. The collection is inspirational proof of architecture’s immense scope of impact on inhabitants, ecosystems, health, and more. Visit the archive here: http://www.archdaily.com/category/sustainability  ArchDaily was founded in …

Felyx: Urban E-Scooter Sharing System

Maker: Felyx  Challenge: Finding a sustainable and affordable solution for people who get to the city by car, as well as a car alternative for city dwellers looking for a complementary mode of transportation. Solution: A citywide electronic scooter sharing system. System users locate and pick up scooters via an app, pay for only the minutes they use, then park the scooter wherever they want. The scooters are emission and …