“We want to encourage visitors to Times Square to recycle so we are trying to make recycling easier”, said Mayor Bloomberg. “By year’s end, our Administration will put 1,000 new recycling containers on streets in all five boroughs. Making recycling easier for New Yorkers will build on our work to make our entire system of solid waste management less polluting, more energy-efficient, and more sustainable, both economically and environmentally.”

“We want to encourage visitors to Times Square to recycle so we are trying to make recycling easier”, said Mayor Bloomberg. “By year’s end, our Administration will put 1,000 new recycling containers on streets in all five boroughs. Making recycling easier for New Yorkers will build on our work to make our entire system of solid waste management less polluting, more energy-efficient, and more sustainable, both economically and environmentally.”

Revolution Recovery’s mission is to keep building materials out of landfills. They run a recycling facility that competes with traditional trash transfer stations, but rather than filling our earth up with these materials, they engage in the toil of sorting and reselling, and in the process create jobs and push for a more sustainable planet.

Philadelphia, PA

OpenUrban: Mapping the Future of Cities

OpenUrban is the first open source user generated web map and forum for current and proposed urban development. It is a web platform for civic collaboration, a venue for debate, and an outlet and archive for information on projects in planning processes. Understanding that an informed citizenry is a fundamental part of a functional and equitable society, it embraces crowd-sourcing technology as a means to inform and empower. By combining written media with spatial information, OpenUrban creates a powerful tool for people to understand how their cities are changing and supports their active participation in that change.

Links:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1157478173/openurban

www.openurban.com 

Reusable Certificates of Excellence

A reusable certificate of excellence is a transferable token of recognition that anyone can give, and anyone can receive, as an award doing something excellent. In theory, a collection of these certificates might behave in a manner similar to paper currency, except that self-interest would be supplanted by interest in the common good. The project’s efforts so far have focused on developing durable, wallet sized certificates, and on developing a website where each certificate can commented on as it moves from person to person. Some initial successes of this project are reported at http://wanderingawards.org.

A short promotional video can be found here.

Further development might involve distributing certificates that reward specific types of excellence, such as charitable giving, educational achievement, and participation in health and wellness activities. Anyone who would like to utilize such a system is welcome to do so, and is invited to contact the author for support materials and resources.

Location: Columbia, SC, USA

Free Internet along Wellington’s Waterfront

Wellington, New Zealand

Last year Wellington began providing free wireless along its waterfront. Anyone with a smartphone or laptop within a 3-400 m radius could log on for free.

The initiative came from a company called TradeMe, which is New Zealand’s version of eBay and has proved a great success. They wanted to give something back to the city which had helped them grow as a company, and which they believe to be the internet capital of New Zealand (they have a Silicon Welly).

TradeMe joined up with the City Council to make this venture possible and hope hundreds will logon daily.  Wellington’s Mayor at the time believed the city would be among the world’s first cities to offer residents and visitors free downtown wi-fi access.

Checking emails and getting a tan…


The initiative is also set to benefit tourists to the city and make it easier for visitors to make the most of the city and tell others about it.  Positively Wellington Tourism chief executive David Perks claimed that:

"Being able to access free wi-fi on the waterfront will mean our visitors can not only freely access information about where to go and what to do in the city, they can post photos of the picturesque harbour, public art and other attractions to their friends, families and digital networks throughout the world."
In order to ensure the free wireless is not used by commercial operators, users are logged out after two hours but can then login again if they need to.
As if having a Silicon Welly wasn’t enough. Wellington recently considered erecting a huge sign on one of its hills saying ‘WELLYWOOD’ to promote its growing film industry (think Lord of the Rings, Avatar, and now TinTin). Thankfully the structure didn’t get the go ahead, and it spurred a lot of PhotoShop images, one of which is relevant here. 

With the growing reliance on internet, providing free wireless hotspots in cities will become more and more standard, just as free wireless in cafes has become expected by customers. Thank you Wellington for kicking things off.

Re-imagining the (smarter) vertical city

re-imagined highrise

Over a billion of us live vertically: in deteriorating highrise buildings. In this new web-documentary, explore our 3D virtual space as residents, architects and animators re-imagine a bleak highrise neighbourhood into a thriving, smarter community.

Created at the legendary National Film Board of Canada, all in open-source technology.

http:/highrise.nfb.ca/onemillionthtower

Boing Boing calls it “damned cool” and wired.com says we’ve “reinvented the documentary format.”

Shopping Centers for Cutting Transportation Emissions

Many people use them, so why not make them more about community and more sustainable. I am talking about Shopping Malls. You get in your car, drive over, try to find a parking spot, get stressed out, and finally leave. What if malls were located on pedestrian streets that were easily accessible by bike, walking, and public transportation. Malls receive high traffic. By making them along pedestrian streets, you encourage the act of walking to them rather than driving to the mall. (If you look at maps, parking accounts for a vast portion of malls’ property.)