Recycled City Art Structure

HoustonUSA

Along Downtown Houston’s Main Street, this art piece (Trumpet Flower) offers ‘a unique visual experience with a functional purpose- a shade structure’. It is made of recycled wooden slats, and provides as both a whimsical and stunning sight among the surrounding parallel lines of the buildings.

City Recycling Cages

ZipaquiraColombia

Thanks to these cages in our city, recycling has become easier for everyone.  If you have plastic bottles, cardboard, or glass at your house, instead of mixing it with organic matter, you take it out to these cages. It is also easier for our city’s waste collection team to take proper care of the recyclable waste.

Urban Building Vertical Greenery...

BaltimoreUSA

Living art wall / vertical vegetation in Baltimore.

LEED Building Green Roof

HoustonUSA

The Houston Permitting and Green Building Resource Centers are housed within a certified LEED Gold building, which incorporates a large variety of sustainable and low-impact features.

This is a vegetated green roof that spans an area of around 1,720 square feet, and can be enjoyed through the windows of a large meeting room and other spaces. The roof system also serves to collect condensate in its troughs, which is practical in a location such as Houston, where a typically hot and humid climate can produce a great deal of moisture.

Overall, green roofs such as this are considered in credits toward LEED certification, due to their added benefit of minimizing possible building contribution to the heat island effect in urban areas. This involves the concept that dense cities tend to show a localized temperature increase, due to the heavy amount of human and industry activity over a small area.

While rooftop cooling efforts such as this are helping to decrease this effect, they may also serve to better insulate buildings, aid with stormwater runoff, and provide help in other aspects that make them a beneficial addition to many buildings.

City Solar Parking Kiosk

HoustonUSA

Our city has solar panels on all of the parking kiosks.

Urban Public Bicycle Rental

HoustonUSA

Our city has designed the Downtown area for safe bicycle use. As shown in the third image, large bicycle lanes are marked out with distinct green paint and large protective bumpers.

Urban Cool Roof and...

HoustonUSA

The Houston Permitting and Green Building Resource Centers are housed within a certified LEED Gold building, which incorporates a large variety of sustainable and low-impact features.

Its roof not only supports this large solar installation, but is designed to follow a ‘cool roof code’, as mandated for commercial buildings by the city. The code serves to reduce buildings’ contributions to the heat island effect (a localized increase in temperature around urban areas, created by their everyday activities).

This roof utilizes solar panels (which also act as additional barriers between the sun’s rays and the roof, helping to keep the building cool), as well as exhibiting a light-colored and more reflective roof material, and vegetated green roof on the building’s side. These features give the roof a very high solar reflective index (SRI) of 89/100.

Public Bicycle-Sharing System

NashvilleUSA

To date, Nashville’s B-cycle bicycle sharing initiative offers 310 bicycles through 36 stations around the city, available for public rental. The initiative provides for an efficient and low-impact mode of transportation, a more personal and interactive opportunity to explore Nashville’s sites, and a positive option for health and exercise to the public.

The other included images display some of the public art created to station personal bicycles. These are named ‘Corn and Tomato’, as a project of the Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission. 

Parking Garage Lighting System

GrapevineUSA

DFW Airport has implemented a parking garage lighting system which serves to visually indicate open parking spaces as they become available. The design helps to minimize unnecessary emissions created by drivers as they search for an open space. Small LED lights at each space in the garage are visible from the ends of aisles, and allow drivers to quickly spot a free space without having to continually circle the garage.

The light sensors also communicate with exterior and aisle signage in real time, letting drivers who enter know which floors have open spots, and preventing further unnecessary driving. As an added benefit, open designated spaces such as accessible and 1-hour parking spaces can also be distinguished by color-coded lights.

This system not only improves the overall efficiency of parking flow and operations, but may serve to provide less opportunity for driving aggravation and accidents within the garage.

Recycling Bins for Glass

DenverUSA

While paper and plastic recycling bins are common in public settings, it’s rare to see glass included. Now the product least likely to break down can be reused & recycled infinitely! 

https://www.peacecorps.gov/educators/resources/timeline-decomposition/

National Plastic Bag Tax...

BogotaColombia

This is one of the nice reusable bags we had received at a local store, after legislation regulating plastic use was enacted in Colombia in 2016. Due to the large amount of plastic waste ending up in surrounding water bodies, Colombia has banned all plastic bags smaller than 30×30 cm, and placed a small charge on others that can still be purchased in stores (with a plan set to increase the tax each year until 2020).

By the middle of 2018, this initiative had served to decrease plastic bag consumption by 35%, and raised around $4 million in taxes [see articles below]. Success from these efforts is spurring other similar initiatives and will hopefully continue to drive progress toward mitigating damage from plastic moving on.

More on Colombia’s Plastic Initiatives:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beautiful Reclaimed Wood Tables

HoustonUSA

We noticed during lunch that these gorgeous tables we were sitting at were made with wood from reclaimed bowling lanes. They were very soft, beautiful, and had an overall good-quality feel. Very impressive pieces- and what a great use.

Urban Vertical Lattice Gardening

HoustonUSA

These are a few samples around our Downtown area of vertical vine growth for shade and privacy purposes. It is an excellent way of implementing urban greenery while providing a practical purpose.

 

The first group of images displays a line of green shading along several bus stop waiting areas. The next group shows the potential for green shading use in urban parking garages. 

Urban Hotel Rooftop Solar...

PragueCzech Republic

The solar panel installation at our hotel can be seen at the center right of the image, and utilizes the sunlight as a source of energy to heat running water. The temperature of the working fluid can rise up to 80°C. Thanks to our Pontos, cooling, and boiler systems, the running water is then cooled to 55°C by the end of the whole process.

In the summer season, there is no need to activate the Pontos or boiler systems, as the solar panels absorb enough sun energy (up to 240 kW) to warm up the running water.

More information on the Mosaic House Pontos system may be read in another post:

Hotel Grey Water System with Heat Recuperation

City Cigarette Butt Recycling

PlanoUSA

Our city has a ‘Cigarette Litter Prevention Program’, and has posted these small canisters in many areas in order to collect used cigarettes. Not only does this help to keep the streets clean, but it also serves to benefit the connected recycling process. While the cigarette butts are small, the organization has seen that their total accumulation is significant, and can be used to recycle into ‘plastic industrial products’.