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urban-sustainability

未来系列:城市的可持续发展

FUTURES:Urban Sustainability

By A’liya Spinner

The Daily Commute

每日通勤

The bus rumbled beneath Maya’s feet, jostling even more on every turn than it usually did. The city had switched to a new bioethanol, and it didn’t run quite as smoothly. But it was better for the engines, they said, and kept the buses running longer. The passengers tried not to complain— many remembered when there had been no reliable buses at all.

公共汽车在玛雅脚下轰隆隆地行驶着,每拐一个弯都比平时更颠簸。这座城市已经改用了一种新的生物乙醇,但它的运行并不那么顺畅。但他们说,这对发动机更好,而且能让巴士行驶得更久。乘客们尽量不去抱怨——许多人还记得那时候根本没有可靠的公共汽车。

A particularly large bump in the road almost tipped Maya into the man beside her. With a hurried apology, she adjusted herself and tightened her grip on the pole, trying to minimize her contact with the strangers around her. The bus was particularly crowded today, as the college students began to move back into town for the fall semester and they acquainted themselves with the extensive public transit system and their newfound freedom to explore the bustling city.

路上一个特别大的颠簸差点把玛雅撞到旁边的男人身上。她匆匆道了歉,调整了自己的姿势,握紧了杆子,尽量减少与周围陌生人的接触。今天的公交车特别拥挤,因为大学生们开始搬回城里开始秋季学期,他们熟悉了广泛的公共交通系统,并获得了探索这座繁华城市的新自由。

Buildings passed quickly as the bus kept a good pace; the trees were beginning to turn orange and red with the approach of autumn. It was her favorite time of year, and she would frequently walk between the towering apartments and oak trees just to admire the changing leaves and marvel at how seamlessly they flowed together. She could find everything she needed under that shaded urban canopy.

由于公共汽车保持着良好的速度,建筑物很快驶过;随着秋天的临近,树木开始变成橙色和红色。这是她一年中最喜欢的时间,她经常在高耸的公寓和橡树之间穿行,只是为了欣赏树叶的变化,惊叹它们是如何无缝地融合在一起。她可以在城市树荫下找到她需要的一切。

Abruptly, the bus came to a stop in the middle of the road, rocking Maya back on her heels. Heads lifted from their books or phones in confusion, looking out of the windows to see traffic had similarly halted all around them. Up ahead, bright orange barriers blocked the street. A handful of construction workers and their robotic assistants were attempting to redirect the confused cluster of buses and cars down a side street.

突然,公共汽车在路中间停了下来,把玛雅甩了回来。人们困惑地从书本或手机上抬起头,望向窗外,发现周围的交通也同样停止了。在前方,亮橙色的路障挡住了街道。几个建筑工人和他们的机器人助手正试图将混乱的公共汽车和汽车群引向一条小街。

“What happened?” Maya asked aloud, as curious murmurs began around her.

“发生什么事了?”玛雅大声问道,周围开始有奇怪的低语。

“Looks like some trees were knocked from the terraces of a big office building in the storm last night,” a man beside her summarized from a news alert that flashed across the screen of his phone. “They’re working on getting them replanted or cleared, but until then, the block is closed to vehicular traffic.”

“昨晚的暴风雨中,一栋大办公楼的露台上好像有几棵树被刮倒了,”她身边的一名男子从手机屏幕上闪过的一则新闻提醒中总结道。“他们正在努力让它们重新种植或清除,但在那之前,该街区禁止车辆通行。”

There was a series of groans from the people aboard, particularly the students, full of energy and places to be. Maya herself felt very little in the way of disappointment; she remembered when the roads were always open, and it had come at the expense of the air, which was hot and choked with exhaust, and the loss of pedestrian pathways in the city. Younger citizens had few or only foggy memories of those days. Maya supposed it was good that they still found things worth improving in the system, so that her generation did not get complacent with the things that could still be made even better than they were now.

船上的人发出了一连串的呻吟声,尤其是那些精力充沛、有地方要去的学生们。玛雅自己并没有感到失望;她记得以前道路总是畅通无阻的,但这是以空气的损失为代价的,空气又热又呛人,城市里的行人通道也消失了。年轻的公民对那些日子几乎没有或只有模糊的记忆。玛雅认为,他们仍然在系统中发现了值得改进的地方,这是件好事,这样她这一代人就不会因为那些仍然可以做得比现在更好的东西而自满。

As the vehicles around them began to clear, the bus started up again, making a slow and jostling turn down along its new route. As it passed the blockade, Maya caught a glimpse of a massive crane, lifting a young, fallen tree up into the air and towards the high terraces of the vertical forest. She hoped it could be replanted. Trees had become the symbol of the city’s resilience, growing alongside the infrastructure, keeping the air cool and clean and sheltered from violent weather.

当他们周围的车辆开始清空时,公共汽车又启动了,沿着新路线缓慢而颠簸地向下转弯。穿过封锁线时,玛雅瞥见一架巨大的起重机,正把一棵倒下的小树抬向空中,朝向垂直森林的高高的梯田。她希望它能重新种植。树木已经成为这座城市复原力的象征,它们与基础设施一起生长,保持空气凉爽、清洁,并免受恶劣天气的影响。

“This should be a short detour,” the bus driver called over the grumble of the engine and murmuring of passengers. “Five minutes, maybe. We’ll get back on track and get you guys where you need to be.”

“这应该是一条很短的绕路,”公共汽车司机在引擎的轰鸣声和乘客的嘀咕声中喊道。“大概五分钟吧。我们会回到正轨,把你们送到你们该去的地方。”

There was a small, playful cheer from the passengers before they resumed their previous transitory activities. Maya joined them, grateful to live in a place where such a quick fix was possible, as the colorful leaves of the forested city became a blur beyond the windows.

乘客们发出了一小声俏皮的欢呼,然后他们又开始了先前的短暂活动。玛雅也加入了他们的行列,她很感激能住在这样一个可以快速解决问题的地方,森林覆盖的城市五颜六色的树叶在窗外变得模糊起来。

Cities of the Future

未来的城市

In 2017, the Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced plans for “NEOM”, an entirely new city, tourist destination, and desalination site spread across fifty islands in the Red Sea. This massive project is largely aimed at reducing Saudi Arabia’s economic dependence on the oil trade by diversifying their sources of income, as well as to combat the region’s extreme water shortages. But it also represents the possible future of architectural innovation, because with an entirely new city also comes new technologies and standards in ecological sustainability.

2017年,沙特阿拉伯王储穆罕默德·本·萨勒曼宣布了“NEOM”计划,这是一个全新的城市、旅游目的地和海水淡化基地,分布在红海的50个岛屿上。这个庞大的项目主要是为了通过多样化的收入来源来减少沙特阿拉伯对石油贸易的经济依赖,以及解决该地区极度缺水的问题。但它也代表了建筑创新的可能未来,因为伴随着一个全新的城市,生态可持续性的新技术和标准也会随之而来。

The builders of NEOM have already announced their intent to stay environmentally friendly; Saudi Arabia is partnering with French and Japanese energy companies to devise a method of running the new desalination facility completely on clean energy. Though the exact type of energy has yet to be determined (possibly geothermal), this could be a major step towards greener energy in the region— especially because the desalination facility is projected to produce 500,000 cubic meters of water every day by 2024. The Saudi Arabian government additionally signed an environmental agreement to protect marine ecosystems and coral reefs around the proposed cities and beach destinations of NEOM, as well as establish binding controls to reduce other forms of pollution.

NEOM的建造者已经宣布了他们保持环保的意图;沙特阿拉伯正在与法国和日本的能源公司合作,设计一种完全使用清洁能源运行新的海水淡化设施的方法。虽然具体的能源类型尚未确定(可能是地热能),但这可能是该地区向更绿色能源迈进的一大步——特别是考虑到该海水淡化设施预计到2024年每天生产50万立方米的水。沙特阿拉伯政府还签署了一项环境协议,以保护NEOM拟议城市和海滩目的地周围的海洋生态系统和珊瑚礁,并建立有约束力的控制措施,以减少其他形式的污染。

Another part of the NEOM project— and much more ambitious than desalination or tourist attractions— is “The Line”, a proposed, “indoor” city that would stretch for 106 miles. Saudi Arabia’s press release claimed that The Line would have no cars, roads, or emissions, and operate completely on renewable energy, with electric rails connecting its sections together. Artificial intelligence and robot aids are also promised to the future residents of The Line, which Crown Prince bin Salman claims will be a beacon of technological progress and sustainability, while “challenging the traditional flat, horizontal city”. Of course, The Line has been met with substantial criticism, both because of Saudi Arabia’s regressive cultural and social policies, particularly for women and migrant workers, and for overpromising the capabilities of modern technology. Many architects do not believe The Line is feasible at all, calling it a science-fiction jumble of ideas and overreliance on technology to solve humanity’s problems.

NEOM项目的另一部分——比海水淡化或旅游景点雄心勃勃得多——是“the Line”,一个拟议中的将延伸106英里的“室内”城市。沙特阿拉伯的新闻稿称,该线路将没有汽车、道路或排放,完全使用可再生能源,用电动轨道连接各部分。人工智能和机器人辅助设备也被承诺给未来的城市居民,王储本·萨勒曼称这条线将成为技术进步和可持续发展的灯塔,同时“挑战传统的扁平、水平的城市”。当然,The Line遭到了大量的批评,一方面是因为沙特阿拉伯倒退的文化和社会政策,特别是对妇女和移民工人的政策,另一方面是因为它对现代技术的能力过分承诺。许多建筑师完全不相信这条线是可行的,称它是科幻小说中想法的混乱,过度依赖技术来解决人类的问题

Yet as fantastical and ambitious as it may be, The Line is founded on a very real, recent practice being observed all around the world: building new cities from scratch. Hundreds of new cities— physically separated from other urban centers, and fully planned from the ground up— have appeared in the last few decades, largely in China, Southeast Asia, and Africa. These cities become fully functional entities, with governments, work districts, residencies, and economies of their own, as well as acting as large financial boosts for the country that built them. Selling land to developers, inviting businesses to open shops, and attracting wealthy citizens to settle in a “better designed” city, with more efficient roads and modern luxuries in abundance, is a profitable venture, especially for nations looking to woo foreign investors and keep populations from migrating elsewhere.

然而,尽管它可能是幻想和雄心勃勃的,这条线是建立在一个非常真实的,最近的实践,全世界都在观察:从零开始建设新城市。在过去的几十年里,数以百计的新城市——在物理上与其他城市中心分离,并从地面上全面规划——出现了,主要在中国、东南亚和非洲。这些城市成为了功能齐全的实体,有自己的政府、工作区域、居民和经济,也为建设它们的国家提供了巨大的财政支持。把土地卖给开发商,邀请企业开店,吸引富有的公民在一个“设计更好”的城市定居,拥有更高效的道路和丰富的现代奢侈品,这是一项有利可图的冒险,特别是对于那些希望吸引外国投资者和防止人口迁移到其他地方的国家。

But these cities can be more than burgeoning economic epicenters— they also represent the opportunity to design infrastructure with sustainability in mind. And many of them are doing just that. Gracefield Island, for instance, is a city being built from the ground up in Nigeria, and their mission statement centers sustainability and environmental coexistence. The builders of Gracefield Island claim that the infrastructure will contain underground drainage systems, stormwater conservation receptacles, walkable and bike-friendly roads, and limits to high-pollutant vehicles and appliances in households. Designing cities from scratch gives architectects the chance to take sustainable building to the fullest; Danish architect Bjarke Ingels is designing a metropolis to eventually house five million in empty swaths of land in either Idaho or Nevada. This city will be constructed with sustainable building materials, and prioritize pedestrian-friendly roadways. Bjarke acknowledges that the technology of our time cannot create a wasteless utopia, but he still hopes that this city— and other, new cities like it— will act as examples of sustainability in architecture around the world.

但这些城市可以不仅仅是蓬勃发展的经济中心——它们还代表着在设计基础设施时考虑到可持续性的机会。他们中的许多人就是这样做的。例如,格雷斯菲尔德岛(Gracefield Island)是尼日利亚一座从无不有的城市,其宗旨是可持续发展和环境共存。格瑞菲尔德岛的建造者声称,基础设施将包括地下排水系统、雨水保存容器、适合步行和自行车使用的道路,并限制高污染车辆和家用电器进入住户。从零开始设计城市让建筑师有机会将可持续建筑发挥到极致;丹麦建筑师Bjarke Ingels正在设计一座大都市,最终将在爱达荷州或内华达州的大片空地上容纳500万人。这座城市将用可持续的建筑材料建造,并优先考虑行人友好型道路。比亚克承认,我们这个时代的技术无法创造一个没有废物的乌托邦,但他仍然希望这座城市——以及其他类似的新城市——能够成为世界各地建筑可持续发展的典范。

An Ecological Retrofit

生态改造

Moving the world’s population from our current urban centers to new, eco-conscious cities is not remotely feasible, nor should it be the ultimate ideal. Cities built entirely from scratch have the advantage of modern planning and technologies that ancient metropolises like Cairo— originally built to only house one million people, not the ten million it has today— do not, making them easier to construct with carbon-reduction and water retention in mind. But our modern cities are not lost causes; with intelligent retrofitting and investment, our urban centers are crucial tools in preventing resource scarcity, over-rapid urbanization, and climate change.

将世界人口从目前的城市中心转移到具有生态意识的新城市是完全不可行的,也不应该是最终的理想。完全从零开始建造的城市拥有现代规划和技术的优势,而像开罗这样的古代大都市——最初建造时只能容纳100万人,而不是今天的1000万人——没有这些优势,这使得它们更容易在建设时考虑到碳减排和保水。但我们的现代城市并不是失败的事业;通过智能改造和投资,我们的城市中心成为防止资源稀缺、过快城市化和气候变化的重要工具

The most obvious improvement we can make to preexisting cities is the expansion or creation of “green spaces”. Public parks, lawns curated with native and diverse species, and increased plant life in concrete jungles reduce net carbon emissions and also assist in water drainage, reducing risks of flooding in areas impacted by global warming. Some cities, such as Milan, are integrating vegetation into their space by growing trees, bushes, and other plants on vertical “forests”, creating residential and public skyscrapers that lower temperatures, absorb carbon dioxide, and act as natural noise reduction. The installation was so popular and effective that districts in China, Sweden, and the Netherlands commissioned the original architect to build more forested skyscrapers around the world.

我们对现有城市所能做的最明显的改善就是扩大或创造“绿色空间”。公园、由本地和多样化物种精心策划的草坪,以及混凝土丛林中增加的植物生命,减少了净碳排放,还有助于排水,减少了受全球变暖影响地区的洪水风险。一些城市,如米兰,通过在垂直的“森林”上种植树木、灌木和其他植物,将植被融入到它们的空间中,创造出可以降低温度、吸收二氧化碳并起到自然降噪作用的住宅和公共摩天大楼。这种装置如此受欢迎和有效,以至于中国、瑞典和荷兰的地区都委托原建筑师在世界各地建造更多的森林摩天大楼。

Another strategy to improve the carbon emissions and livability of our current cities is underway in Melbourne: transforming the suburbs into their own, walkable communities. With better public transportation, safer pedestrian and bicycle paths, and more support for local businesses, Melbourne hopes to make their residential districts into functional communities of their own, with the schools, jobs, and services that most people would need on the day-to-day. Not only does this reduce carbon emissions from constant car traffic, it also encourages life and family in the suburbs, where natural plantlife can more easily be cultivated. Not all occupations or stores can be relocated to walkable suburbs, of course, but encouraging the development of pedestrian-friendly infrastructure, and supporting access to local businesses near neighborhoods is a positive step to adapting our current cities to be more environmentally friendly.

墨尔本正在实施另一项改善碳排放和城市宜居性的战略:将郊区改造成适合步行的社区。随着更好的公共交通,更安全的步行街和自行车道,以及对当地企业的更多支持,墨尔本希望把他们的住宅区变成自己的功能社区,拥有大多数人日常需要的学校、工作和服务。这不仅减少了持续的汽车交通带来的碳排放,还鼓励人们在郊区生活和家庭,在那里自然植物更容易种植。当然,并不是所有的职业或商店都可以搬到适合步行的郊区,但鼓励发展适合步行的基础设施,支持社区附近的当地企业,是使我们当前的城市变得更环保的积极步骤。

On the Horizon

一触即发

New technologies around urban sustainability are being devised and implemented every day. Particularly, many innovators are looking for ways to use renewable energy to power our large cities and vehicles. For example, successful prototypes of “floating” wind turbines— turbines anchored to the deep seafloor by a few cables, rather than huge, concrete bases— have sparked interest in countries like Japan, where lack of usable shallow water and dense urban populations has made other forms of wind energy more difficult. In addition, Irish startup Seabased is designing robust hydroelectric buoys that generate energy from the movement of oceanic currents, meant to supplement or replace wind power in coastal communities.

围绕城市可持续性的新技术每天都在被设计和实施。特别是,许多创新者正在寻找使用可再生能源为我们的大城市和汽车提供动力的方法。例如,“浮动”风力涡轮机的成功原型——通过几根电缆,而不是巨大的混凝土基座,将涡轮机固定在海底深处——激起了像日本这样的国家的兴趣。在这些国家,缺乏可用的浅水和密集的城市人口,使得其他形式的风能变得更加困难。此外,爱尔兰初创企业Seabbased正在设计坚固的水力浮标,从洋流运动中产生能量,旨在补充或取代沿海社区的风力发电。

Wind turbines are also working their way into cities and suburban communities, by generating energy from the breeze of passing cars. While these small and recyclable roadside wind turbines generate less power than the much larger floating variety, they can be used to cleanly power traffic lights, road signs, and, in the case of high-traffic areas, local buildings. Though our overreliance on private vehicles is something climate activists hope to decrease in urban environments, collecting energy from everyday traffic will be a welcome source of renewable electricity for cities.

风力涡轮机也开始进入城市和郊区社区,利用过往汽车的微风发电。虽然这些小型可回收的路边风力涡轮机产生的电力比大得多的漂浮式风力涡轮机要少,但它们可以用来清洁地为红绿灯、路标供电,在交通流量大的地区,还可以为当地建筑物供电。尽管气候活动人士希望在城市环境中减少我们对私家车的过度依赖,但从日常交通中收集能源将是城市中受欢迎的可再生电力来源。

Then there’s the modernization of solar energy, one of the most prolific and well-known forms of renewable energy. A Dutch company known as Lusoco is developing a solar concentrating material that can be used as glass, able to be integrated into buildings and automotives without sacrificing functionality or aesthetics. The polymers are also coated with luminescent dyes that cause them to glow, allowing for self-sustaining signage or lighting in isolated locations. Another manufacturer, Norwegian Crystals, is making solar panels out of microcrystalline silicon ingots that greatly reduce the carbon footprint of the photovoltaics they create; as an added bonus, all of their production is powered by clean, hydroelectric energy. When finished, these solar panels will address a major obstacle in the mass-production of solar energy: that they are inefficient to make and difficult to recycle, something many companies are beginning to address. Fortunately for older models, advancements in photovoltaic recycling are being made every day, and the growing practice of reusing many components from non-functioning panels reduces the need for expensive or freshly-mined components in the next generation.

然后是太阳能的现代化,这是最多产和最著名的可再生能源形式之一。一家名为Lusoco的荷兰公司正在开发一种太阳能聚光材料,它可以用作玻璃,可以集成到建筑和汽车中,而不牺牲功能或美观。这些聚合物还涂上了发光染料,使它们发光,允许在孤立的位置进行自我维持的标识或照明。另一家制造商,挪威晶体公司,正在用微晶硅锭制造太阳能电池板,这大大减少了其产生的光伏的碳足迹;作为额外的奖励,他们所有的生产都是由清洁的水力发电提供动力。一旦完成,这些太阳能电池板将解决太阳能大规模生产的一个主要障碍:它们的生产效率低,难以回收,许多公司已经开始解决这个问题。幸运的是,对于老型号来说,光伏回收技术每天都在进步,而且越来越多的从无功能面板中回收许多组件的做法减少了下一代对昂贵或新开采组件的需求。

Finally, biofuel technology continues to develop as a promising alternative to many pollutants, particularly the fuels used not only in cars, but planes and seafaring vessels, as well. Phycobloom, for example, is an ambitious company that claims they will someday be able to replace fossil fuels with their algae-derived oil. Unlike other algae-oil companies, which have to crush and kill their crops to obtain oil— an expensive and slow process that prevents algae-oil from being a reliable fuel source— Phycobloom’s genetically-engineered algae release oils into their surroundings, where it can be harvested without harming the growing crop. As an added bonus, algae grows with only sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide, releasing oxygen and fuel as a byproduct. And this is only one of the biofuel companies working to create a sustainable replacement for fossil fuels. Bioethanol is a huge industry of startups and innovations, deriving bioethanol from sugarcane, agricultural residues, and municipal waste.

最后,生物燃料技术继续发展,成为许多污染物的有前途的替代品,特别是不仅用于汽车,而且用于飞机和航海船舶的燃料。例如,Phycobloom是一家雄心勃勃的公司,他们声称有一天他们将能够用藻类衍生的石油取代化石燃料。其他的藻类油公司必须碾碎和杀死他们的作物才能获得油——这一过程昂贵而缓慢,阻碍了藻类油成为可靠的燃料来源——Phycobloom的基因工程藻类将油释放到周围的环境中,在那里它可以在不伤害生长中的作物的情况下获得。作为额外的奖励,藻类生长只需要阳光、水和二氧化碳,释放氧气和燃料作为副产品。这只是致力于创造化石燃料可持续替代品的生物燃料公司之一。生物乙醇是一个巨大的创业和创新产业,从甘蔗、农业残留物和城市垃圾中提取生物乙醇。

Group Effort

团体协作

Sustainable living is neither an individual nor governmental responsibility alone. People living in urban environments can do their unique part in the effort by installing solar panels or buying from clean energy sources, planting native species and trees in their gardens, and investing in electric vehicles or public transportations. Meanwhile, cities and nations must also make the effort to fund and encourage sustainable energy sources, update infrastructure to be more walkable and recyclable, and protect and expand existing green spaces. This must also be combined with a global effort to reduce fossil fuel use and respect the ecological hotspots and biodiversity around our burgeoning urban sprawl. It may seem overwhelming to consider sustainable living in the current world, but even one environmentally-friendly change to your life has a positive impact on your local neighborhood, and can help become the foundation that more complex sustainability is built upon.

可持续生活既不是个人的责任,也不是政府的责任。生活在城市环境中的人们可以通过安装太阳能电池板或购买清洁能源,在自己的花园中种植本地物种和树木,投资电动汽车或公共交通工具,为这一努力做出自己独特的贡献。与此同时,城市和国家还必须努力资助和鼓励使用可持续能源,更新基础设施,使其更适合步行和可回收,并保护和扩大现有的绿色空间。这还必须与减少化石燃料使用的全球努力相结合,并尊重我们蓬勃发展的城市扩张周围的生态热点和生物多样性。在当今世界,考虑可持续的生活方式似乎令人难以承受,但即使是一个对你的生活有利的变化,也会对你的当地社区产生积极影响,并有助于成为更复杂的可持续发展的基础。

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STARSET_Mirror

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