Chicago’s Green Alley Initiative

Permeable Paving Materials (photo: Chicago DOT)

Urban alleyways. Grubby places that only scrappy cats or cop-show perps could love, right? Not in Chicago, where the Department of Transportation is giving them some serious TLC with its recently implemented Green Alley Program. This city-wide renovation initiative will offer some surprising environmental benefits and improve quality of life for residents.

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Sharp Introduces Earthquake-Detecting Solar LED Streetlights

Sharp is introducing a new range of solar-powered LED streetlights. These self-contained lights charge during the day, and switch on automatically when darkness falls. They can operate for 10 years straight without maintenance. They make use of new, high-intensity LED spotlights, which are ideal for public parks. The LEDs illuminate with a directed light and […]

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Solar Canopies For Parking Lots

A start-up company called Envision Solar has begun installing solar canopies in the parking lots of shopping centers. These lots, usually barren, heat-producing landscapes, can now provide shade for customers, while generating up to a half-megawatt of electricity. Envision’s “Solar Groves” incorporate lights that turn on automatically at night, while blocking skyward light pollution.

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Solar Trees May Light Up Europe

This is a great innovation — the streets of Europe could soon be lit by "solar trees". These self-contained streetlights could save cities energy and money too. Unlike regular streetlights, they do not require costly underground wiring to install, and they are immune to blackouts. Designed by Ross Lovegrove, the lights have 10 solar panels […]

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