Panasonic and eight other companies are putting forward a plan to build the green town of the future in Japan.  Seems pretty awesome:

Japan may still be recovering from earthquake-related woes, but that’s  not stopping Panasonic and eight partner companies from pushing ahead  with their own rebuilding effort that could reshape the way future  cities and towns are built. Part demonstration initiative and part  reclamation project, Panasonic and friends are turning the footprint of   one of the company’s former factory sites into a 47-acre, 1,000-home “smart  town” with energy- and eco-conscious considerations leading the  development.

The goal is to get a bunch of green technologies working together in the same place, and see just how much can be done in terms of energy savings.

via betterworlds:
Source: Popular Science

Panasonic and eight other companies are putting forward a plan to build the green town of the future in Japan.  Seems pretty awesome:

Japan may still be recovering from earthquake-related woes, but that’s not stopping Panasonic and eight partner companies from pushing ahead with their own rebuilding effort that could reshape the way future cities and towns are built. Part demonstration initiative and part reclamation project, Panasonic and friends are turning the footprint of one of the company’s former factory sites into a 47-acre, 1,000-home “smart town” with energy- and eco-conscious considerations leading the development.

The goal is to get a bunch of green technologies working together in the same place, and see just how much can be done in terms of energy savings.

via betterworlds:

Source: Popular Science

A relationship with the city | Japan Times

News photoData process: The TenderNoise project website, which tracks the impact of noise on a San Francisco neighborhood, was just one of the many projects presented at the “Internet of Things 2010 Conference” in Tokyo last week.

TECHNOLOGY

The Internet of Things 2010 Conference in Tokyo explored the interactions of humans with their built environment.

By VERENA DAUERER Special to The Japan Times

I magine you live in a house that communicates with you through an interface resembling the futuristic info-graphics in the science-fiction movie “Minority Report” — where actor Tom Cruise interacted with icons on an holographic touch screen. For example, a kitchen appliance, such as your fridge, displays a neat pie chart showing you’re running low on beer. As soon as you leave the house, the fridge orders more beer from an online store and gets it delivered before you return. This may not be the first scenario the organisers of the Internet of Things 2010 Conference had in mind. But it is a nice vision.

"The Internet of Things" (IoT) is a term coined by researchers at the Auto-ID Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the late 1990s, and refers to the interconnection between everyday objects over a network. This is achieved by sensors that are connected through a wireless network and use such things as radio-frequency identification (RFID) devices. In this construct, our world is constantly monitored through sensors that gather, analyse and visualize data in real time in a way we can instantly understand. This perpetual data flow is taking place purely as machine-to-machine interaction. To use the example above, it is the fridge opening your automated front door. But, the Internet of Things tries to avoid the negative connotation of machines operating on their own.

urbangreens:

Japan’s Namba Parks Has an 8 Level Roof Garden with Waterfalls | Inhabitat

“Namba Parks, a massive retail and office compund in Osaka, Japan, totally blasts away the boring stereotype of what a mall is supposed to look like. Built in the footprint of the old Osaka baseball stadium, it has an eight level rooftop garden that spans several city blocks and features tree groves, rock clusters, cliffs and canyons, lawns, streams, waterfalls, ponds and even space to grow veggies!”

via fibonaccispirals

urbangreens:

Japan’s Namba Parks Has an 8 Level Roof Garden with Waterfalls | Inhabitat

“Namba Parks, a massive retail and office compund in Osaka, Japan, totally blasts away the boring stereotype of what a mall is supposed to look like. Built in the footprint of the old Osaka baseball stadium, it has an eight level rooftop garden that spans several city blocks and features tree groves, rock clusters, cliffs and canyons, lawns, streams, waterfalls, ponds and even space to grow veggies!”

via fibonaccispirals

Checking Up on Walk Scores: A look at the places I’ve lived

jxnblk:

I love the site Walk Score. I’ve used it in the past to compare different places that I’ve lived, but it looks like their scoring system has gotten a little more accurate since I last used it. Here’s a breakdown of the places I’ve lived:

Huntington, WV – 83

I was born and grew up in Huntington. This score is based on the apartment I lived in while I was going to school, two blocks from campus, where my share of the rent was about $100/month. Huntington’s a small town of about 50,000 people, planned by Collis P. Huntington to serve as a hub to get West Virginia coal up to Pittsburgh to make steel. It had great rail infrastructure before the disease of the car consumed so many people’s minds and had a decent streetcar system. Nowadays, I wouldn’t seriously consider living in Huntington without a car, but the basic street grid is still intact, and Marshall’s campus houses a lively population of walkers.

Reston, VA – 62

Reston was a rude awakening for me. Having grown up in a small town and lived in two major East Asian cities, I had no idea how terrible American exurbs were. I unwittingly moved in with a friend there to look for a job with no intention of owning a car. Reston was built up in the latter half of the 20th century, obviously based around cars as the dominant and only serious mode of transportation. Some people who live there seem to think they live in this wonderful little walker’s paradise, but based on the sheer number of surface parking lots I had to traverse to get anywhere, I would seriously disagree. As a sort of light at the end of the tunnel, most new development is happening around the Town Center, which is a mixed-use development that will tie into a Metro station on the Silver line in a few years. I’ve vowed never to go to Reston again until I can get there on a train.

Crystal City – 89

Although, not at all ideal for me, Crystal City is a huge step forward from Reston. Arlington County’s done a great job of trying to build new, mixed-use development around its Metro stations and preventing arterial highways from ripping it apart, with the exception of 395. In the past 30 or so years, they’ve managed to grow their population and economy without adding automotive traffic. That said, Crystal City as a community is severely damaged by the oversized Route 1 that runs in front of my building. My building is also part of a superblock that really makes it a pain in the ass to walk from one side to the other. When Crystal City was built up in the 1960s, they assumed that moving all the pedestrian traffic into ugly tunnels was the wave of the future, and they’re just recently trying to bring the streets back to life and correct those mistakes. From what I know, the Potomac Yard neighborhood next to Crystal City will eventually get its own Metro station and a streetcar system to tie it all together. That’s good (and probably necessary) for future generations, but I really have no desire to live here anymore.

Shanghai & Osaka – N/A

I have no idea how to calculate the walkability in these cities, but based on the results I get from various locations in Northwest DC, I can only assume that they would be well above 100. I think the bar to getting a high walk score in the U.S. is probably set way too low. Almost anywhere in Japan (with the exception of rural parts), you are within walking distance of a least a few bus stops or train stations and have your pick of a dozen or so convenience stores to choose from. If there’s a place that’s not so walkable, bicycles are always a great option. The sidewalks often blend into the roadway so that pedestrians, bikers, motor scooter riders, buses and cars are all mixed into the same area, which sounds dangerous, but actually makes everything a lot safer.

The longer I live in the states, the more I think that a place like New York City is the only place I’ll really be happy. How important is walking to you? And what do you think of your neighborhood?