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3 things are needed for the e-bike revolution

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Good reasonably priced bikes, protected locations to experience, and safe locations to park.

After writing Research finds that e-bike riders get as a lot train as riders of standard bikes I posted it on Twitter and bought the largest response I’ve ever needed to a tweet, with 1400 likes, 524 retweets and counting. There have been many fantastic confirmations of my thesis, that folks with e-bikes experience farther and extra usually.

However it additionally grew to become clear that there’s some resistance to getting out of vehicles and onto e-bikes.

Individuals want protected and separated locations to experience.

Biking charges could be rather a lot larger if most individuals weren’t like me. We prefer to really feel protected.

— Emily Montgomery🇨🇦🇪🇺🇬🇧 (@EmilyMontgomer2) August 12, 2019

Maybe the largest one is the dearth of protected bike infrastructure. In most North American cities, bike lanes are substandard in the event that they exist in any respect, usually simply painted strains within the door zone, used as Fedex Lanes or parking lanes, and barely enforced.

Video of the crash that killed a bike owner on Coney Island Ave. (disclaimer: it’s disturbing) https://t.co/LpNKfWmW2U

— Clayton Guse (@ClaytonGuse) August 11, 2019

Many individuals don’t really feel protected “sharing” the street with vehicles, and actually, after seeing the video of the current crash in Brooklyn, I can not blame them.

If we’re going to get individuals to really feel comfy and protected on bikes, we want an enormous funding in separate, protected bike infrastructure. After seeing that video, we in all probability want a bolstered concrete wall, not a curb, separating them. We might afford it, too, if governments cared and would get their priorities straight.

tweet re moneyTweet about e-bikes /Display seize

However it appears that evidently no person in North America is absolutely severe in regards to the local weather disaster. No one desires to surrender area for bike lanes, so we’ve got a battle on our fingers for each foot or meter of motorbike lanes wherever in North America.

This week, the Metropolis Council of Iowa Metropolis declared a local weather emergency, then rejected a avenue design change close to downtown that will’ve allowed bike lanes as a result of a handful of residents objected they would want to stroll 100-200 toes to their automobiles. https://t.co/XIgSqiWZfm

— Greg Shill (@greg_shill) August 10, 2019

Individuals want a safe place to park.

That is good and all, however since bikes are very straightforward to steal, and people value greater than common bikes, you will not see me shopping for certainly one of these anytime quickly https://t.co/v7j0SDsI5j

— Niveks (@DrNiveks) August 11, 2019

That is certainly a difficulty. In Denmark or the Netherlands, persons are comfy simply utilizing the wheel lock that comes with the bike. Within the Netherlands additionally they usually have entry to huge parking buildings for bikes like this one:

In Toronto, the place bike theft is a large drawback for everybody however the police, I take advantage of a minimal of two locks and infrequently three; the mixed value of the 2 that I purchased is greater than some individuals pay for total bikes. Some recommend that every one these bikes ought to have GPS trackers however I do not see what good that will do; I’m not going to attempt to get better my very own bike and the cops aren’t going to do it for me.

Cities spend many tens of millions on parking garages for vehicles; they need to spend a fraction of that on safe, monitored bike storage. Zoning bylaws also needs to make safe bike storage necessary in all buildings. As I famous in an earlier submit on delivery containers used as bike storage:

No one I do know with a Cevelo street bike leaves it chained to a submit in the midst of town (they preserve a junker bike for that), however a number of individuals have e-bikes now that value as a lot. That is why safe bike parking and storage is absolutely going to be the third leg of the stool that may make the e-bike revolution occur: good bikes, good bike lanes, and a protected, safe place to park.

However there have been additionally so many fantastic, constructive feedback from individuals who stated e-bikes have modified the best way they get round, that they have not changed their bikes however the truth is changed their vehicles. This actually might be a revolution the place e-bikes will eat vehicles. I would come with extra, however Twitter has modified their web site in order that they’re arduous to embed with out repeating my tweet each time. So I’ll finish with a typical remark:

I knocked e-bikes for years… till I attempted them. Now? They’re 100% the longer term. Strive one. By no means look again. https://t.co/n6sjNHPyzN

— Brandon Smith (@muckrakery) August 11, 2019

It is true. My commute was 20 minutes biking + 45 minutes transit, however now with e-bike my commute is 50 minutes biking. I spin the pedals greater than twice as lengthy every single day.
I am getting extra train and arriving at my vacation spot sooner.

— Jon 🚴🇺🇸 ITMFA (@jonrjohnston) August 9, 2019

Good reasonably priced bikes, protected locations to experience, and safe locations to park.

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Sustainability

Why we need fewer, smaller, lighter, slower cars: particulate pollution from brake wear is giving us “London Throat”

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Bought a froggy “metropolis throat”? It may be from metallic particles emitted from braking automobiles and vehicles.

As pickup vehicles and SUVs proceed to take over the roads, emissions proceed to extend. And never simply tailpipe emissions, however we have famous in Why we want fewer, smaller, lighter, slower automobiles: plastic particulates from tire put on are being discovered within the Arctic. And wait, there’s extra: a brand new research has discovered that air air pollution from brake abrasion mud (BAD) could also be as dangerous as diesel exhaust.

Liza Selley of the College of Cambridge describes her analysis in The Dialog:

What most individuals don’t realise is that exhaust fumes aren’t the one reason behind air air pollution. Actually, as much as 55% of roadside site visitors air pollution is product of non-exhaust particles, with round 20% of that air pollution coming from brake mud. Composed of iron particles, brake mud is brought on by friction between the iron brake rotor grinding on the brake pads when a car slows down. This brake mud is then worn away and turns into airborne. And as current analysis performed by me and my colleagues discovered, brake mud triggers irritation within the lung cells with the identical severity as diesel particles.Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry.Revealed by The Royal Society of Chemistry. Liza Selley et al/CC BY 3.0

The researchers added brake mud particles to macrophages, the cells that clear the lungs of particles, and located that they elevated inflammatory exercise and prevented the immune cells from destroying dangerous micro organism.

This discovery may imply that air pollution from brake mud may be contributing to the excessive numbers of chest infections and froggy “metropolis throats” which can be reported by folks dwelling and dealing in city areas.

Selley notes that decreasing exhaust emissions are all nicely and good, however “we want methods to cut back non-exhaust pollution, like brake mud, too.” She advises, as does TreeHugger, that “biking or strolling extra, grabbing the bus or car-sharing may cut back congestion within the areas that we reside and work.”

As famous in our submit about air pollution from tire put on, and our earlier very controversial submit on air pollution from electrical automobiles, all of those types of air pollution are proportional to the dimensions and weight of the autos. I wrote:

Larger, heavier automobiles trigger all types of issues. They devour extra gasoline, they trigger extra put on and tear on infrastructure, they take extra room to park, they kill extra pedestrians each by hitting them and by poisoning the air with exhaust from ICE powered automobiles, plus particulates from each sort of automotive, it doesn’t matter what is powering it.

A commenter additionally famous: “A change in driving habits would assist so much. Watch folks jack rabbit begins, and wait to slam on the brakes on the final second for a crimson mild.”

It is but one more reason to ban SUVs and light-weight vehicles in cities; they name this irritation “London Throat” however you get it in each metropolis. As one other member of Selley’s group, Dr. Ian Mudway, tells the BBC: “There isn’t a such factor as a zero-emission car.” And the larger and heavier they’re, the more serious the emissions.

Here is the unique analysis: Brake mud publicity exacerbates irritation and transiently compromises phagocytosis in macrophages

Why we want fewer, smaller, lighter, slower automobiles: particulate air pollution from brake put on is giving us “London Throat”

Bought a froggy “metropolis throat”? It may be from metallic particles emitted from braking automobiles and vehicles.

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Sustainability

Wood architecture meets nature in new community in Copenhagen

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Henning Larsen’s design for Fælledby is “a mannequin for sustainable residing.”

It seems to be so bucolic and wonderful, with such pretty renderings.

Simply past the Copenhagen metropolis heart, Henning Larsen’s proposal for Fælledby transforms the previous dumping floor web site right into a mannequin for sustainable residing, balancing human priorities with a powerful dedication to the pure environment. Designed to accommodate 7,000 residents, the Fælledby neighborhood might be totally timber building, with particular person buildings that includes birdhouses and animal habitats built-in inside the constructing facades. Fælledby explores a residing mannequin with nature at its core, concurrently crafting a brand new neighborhood to accommodate the calls for of the rising metropolis and rising native biodiversity.

Site of project corner of amagerWeb site of mission/ Google maps/Display screen seize

The renderings make it appear to be it’s off within the nation someplace, however in reality it’s simply past the Bryggebroen bicycle bridge underneath the label Havenestaden, an enormous piece of land that hasn’t been a dumping floor for a very long time, now a little bit of nation within the metropolis. Fælledby is occupying a portion close to the south finish. Some commenters at Dezeen are outraged about this; “All inexperienced NGOs are towards this mission in Denmark. Amager Widespread is like Central Park NYC, however simply in Copenhagen.”

Entry to site© Henning Larsen

“Deciding to construct within the pure panorama round Fælledby comes with a dedication to stability individuals with nature. Particularly, because of this our new district will Copenhagen’s first constructed totally in wooden, and incorporating pure habitats that encourage richer progress for vegetation and animals,” says Signe Kongebro, Companion at Henning Larsen. “With the agricultural village as an archetype, we’re making a metropolis the place biodiversity and energetic recreation outline a sustainable pact between individuals and nature.”

Sections through building© Henning Larsen

It is a good looking, however clearly a controversial mission. And it is not totally timber building, until they’re constructing the underground parking out of Cross-Laminated Timber, which I doubt.

Planning the community© Henning Larsen

Feargus O’Sullivan described the location in CityLab a number of years in the past, writing that the Pink-green alliance of politicians wished to scrap the mission.

It might sound unimaginable that land like that is being thought of for improvement in any respect, however for hundreds of years Amager Fælled was thought of Copenhagen’s soiled backdoor. As a result of metropolis’s behavior of dumping sewage there, the whole lot of Amager was as soon as known as Lorteøen, or “Shit Island”, whereas the wetland itself was a dumping floor till the 1970s and solely opened to the general public in 1984. The realm nonetheless teems with life, with deer roaming by means of its grasses and wading birds gorging on the bugs that flourish round its ditches and ponds.

Habitat preservation is maintained© Henning Larsen

However in line with Henning Larsen, they’re doing all the pieces they will to protect and encourage the preservation of the pure surroundings.

Developed in collaboration with biologists and environmental engineers from MOE, the scheme preserves 40 p.c of the 18.1 hectare mission web site undeveloped habitat for native natural world. Inexperienced corridors draw the encircling panorama into the masterplan, dividing Fælledby into three smaller enclaves. These corridors enable residents elevated and direct entry to nature, however extra importantly, enable the animal species of Amager Fælled to maneuver freely by means of and inside the space.

Nature is everywhere between villiages© Henning Larsen

It is a powerful name. This seems to be nothing like the opposite large new improvement within the space, Ørestad. It is solely taking over a small portion of the location that’s already partly occupied with a hostel. It was, as they are saying, a dump. However dumps have a means of evolving into parks; In Toronto, rubble from constructing the subway and workplace buildings within the sixties was dumped within the lake to construct a brand new outer harbor that was by no means wanted; bushes and birds and nature took maintain in all of the mess and now it’s Tommy Thompson Park, “Toronto’s city wilderness.” Amager Fælled is an city wilderness now.

Nature is wholly built-in inside Fælledby’s landscaping and structure: nests for songbirds and bats are constructed into the partitions of homes, new ponds within the heart of every of Fælledby’s three communities supply a habitat for frogs and salamanders, and neighborhood gardens create new flowers to draw butterflies, to call a number of. Narrowed roads and underground parking inside the plan scale back car visitors and visibility, making nature the point of interest.

Center of village© Henning Larsen

Wooden building, cladding and the just about conventional design makes it really feel extra pure too.

In comparison with various supplies reminiscent of metal or concrete, timber captures and shops CO2 throughout its progress – as a constructing materials, it actively removes CO2 from the surroundings as it’s produced. Fælledby is the newest in a resurgence of timber building all through Scandinavia, because the area units a worldwide instance for sustainable up to date structure.

Critics at Dezeen aren’t satisfied. “This mission is greenwashing on an enormous scale. A lot of the animals residing at Amager Widespread will now not reside on this habitat or in any respect in Copenhagen, if Henning Larsens’ plan goes to be.” However the Danes do such intelligent and delightful greenwashing; look what they did with the native incinerator.

Village detail© Henning Larsen

However I’ll give the final phrase to Signe Kongebro of Henning Larsen:

“Like the normal rural village, the Fælledby masterplan stands for itself inside an open pure panorama. This offers a possibility to create a setting that’s uniquely delicate to sustainability and pure priorities,” explains Kongebro. “We see a possible to construct a brand new metropolis that speaks to the sensibilities of youthful generations, to create a house for individuals in search of an answer on the way to reside in higher concord with nature. For us, Fælledby is a proof of idea that this may certainly be accomplished.”

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Sustainability

OxiCool air conditioner uses plain old water as a refrigerant

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Launched at CES, this may very well be a really huge deal.

It has at all times been counterintuitive, making an attempt to clarify how absorption fridges and coolers which run on propane or gasoline work. However they and nearly each fridge or air conditioner work on the identical precept: when a liquid turns right into a gasoline (or ice modifications to water) it absorbs warmth. It is known as latent warmth or the warmth of transformation. Most fridges and air conditioners use fluorinated gases; now we have proven warmth pumps that work with CO2 and propane as refrigerants; absorption models use ammonia that evaporates when warmth is utilized.

One of many prime improvements at CES 2020 was the HomeCool from OxyCool, a brand new air-con unit that makes use of water because the refrigerant. My first thought on seeing it was that it was in all probability simply an evaporative cooler, however it is a very totally different factor, a type of absorption cooler, which will flip the air-con world the other way up.

OxiCool was developed and patented by Ravikant Barot, the unit replaces all of these poisonous chemical compounds with plain water. As finest as I can perceive it from studying the patents, water evaporates in a vacuum, altering state and absorbing warmth, which supplies the cooling motion. The water molecules then are pumped over to the absorbent chamber, full of silica gel or another desiccant, absorbing much more warmth within the course of. Then the cycle is reversed; warmth is added and the water is returned to the condenser. One drawback with water as a refrigerant is that if it freezes, it expands and may destroy the system; desiccants maintain single molecules of water and can’t freeze. Does that make sense?

No different firm or nation has ever found out tips on how to use water as a refrigerant in a nonfreezing capability till OxiCool invented and patented the expertise.That lack of ability to make use of water as a refrigerant, and lack of ability to get round water’s enormous enlargement issue throughout section change, is why the world has been compelled to chill itself utilizing chemical compounds which can be serving to to quickly heat the planet to its breaking level. It’s a clear expertise utilizing molecular sieves in vacuum sealed models constituted of stainless-steel.

Patent drawing truck configurationOxiCool patent drawing for truck-sized unit/Public Area

It is all sealed in a field; simply add warmth on the proper time at one finish and it’ll cool on the different; Then you definitely reverse and recharge the system. As a result of there is no such thing as a compressor, it’s quieter and makes use of much less power. And it may be actually small; it was initially developed to maintain truck cabs cool when drivers had been resting in order that they did not should idle their engines. This makes it fascinating for Passive Home designs which have actually small heating and cooling masses, in addition to tiny homes.

Oxicool© OxiCool drawing

The Homecool unit launched at CES is larger in measurement and cooling capability; one website lists it at 20,000 BTU/hr for a Gang of 4 warmth exchangers costing $10,000. For some motive it’s also built-in with movement detectors and it talks to Alexa. Barot additionally received his first patent on it in 2009 so it has been a very long time coming.

I want there was extra technical knowledge and historical past so we may decide if this was an actual ready-for market machine or if it was simply water vapourware. But when it really works, it may very well be huge.

UPDATE: Possibly not so huge. A pointy-eyed reader factors out that it appears much like an adsorbent chiller, the place “the refrigerant water is adsorbed on a stable sorbent like silica gel or zeolite throughout disposal of latent warmth on the floor. The latent warmth decreases to zero with growing addition of water molecules, after which solely evaporative warmth needs to be dissipated.”

This may very well be a really huge deal.

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