Clean-energy buildings to power city

A futuristic eco-city featuring buildings that operate as clean-energy power plants is taking shape in Kazakhstan, according to Inhabitat.

The 173-hectare site in Astana, which is being developed for Expo City 2017, will include exhibition and cultural pavilions, residential and commercial developments, educational and civic facilities as well as parks. The buildings will generate energy from solar panels and wind turbines to power the site through an innovative smart grid. Read more

A lighter car future

Autonomous vehicles could obliterate the need for up to 90 per cent of parking spaces in the next 15 years, paving the way for extra parks and affordable housing, according to Green Biz.

Ride-sharing will also have a big impact in reducing traffic congestion. Local governments need to plan for a new mobility future so they can optimise technologies for community and environmental benefits. Read more

Minds like a sponge

The humble loofah sponge has the potential to improve the rechargeable capacity of lithium batteries, researchers from Queensland’s Griffith University and China’s Peking University have found. According to Grist, modified loofah is being used to keep electroactive materials such as polysulfide and polyselenides in the electrode instead of dissolving over time.

The advance could bring us closer to meeting the energy needs of electric cars and renewable-powered grids. Read more