Categories
Organization Projects & Ideas

The Buckminster Fuller Idea Index

This website and Revolution Summer have a similar purpose of showcasing projects that may spark social change or resolve pressing issues, like access to water or enviromental pollution by proliferation of combustion engine vehicles. Of course, the difference is that the Buckminster Fuller Idea Index gives a prize of $100.000 to the winner project each year.

The winner of the 2009 edition is this project by MIT researchers that proposes to replace the private owned fossil fuel vehicle traffic inside large cities with a network of battery-powered small vehicles, that can be rented at convenience in racks spread throughout the city, similar to the public bike rental systems in cities like Barcelona or Paris:

Mobility-on-demand systems provide racks of these vehicles at closely spaced, convenient locations around an urban service area. Vehicles automatically recharge while they are in these racks. Users walk to the nearest rack, swipe a credit card, pick up a vehicle, drive it to a rack convenient to their destination, and drop it off. These are, in other words, ubiquitously distributed one-way rental systems. These systems are highly efficient in reducing urban congestion, energy use, and carbon emissions. They are synergistic with ubiquitous wireless networking and distributed intelligence, and with solar-friendly, wind-friendly, fuel-cell-friendly smart electrical grids.

Categories
Unrest

Every night, a car gets burned in Berlin

Anti-gentrification arsonists are burning luxury cars in Berlin neighbourhoods or suburbs where gentrification processes are taking place. Other targets include police cars, and vehicles of DHL, a company that provides logistics services for the German Army:

They occur at a rate of nearly one a night, without warning or fanfare. By the time the police arrive, all that remains are smoking wrecks. Even the identifying badges — Porsche, BMW, Mercedes, VW — are often obliterated by fire.

During the past six months, more than 170 cars have been destroyed by fire in Berlin and police confirm conservatively that 93 were politically motivated attacks.

A mysterious, single page website, brennende-autos.de (Burning Cars of Berlin), shows the number of cars set alight and where the crimes occurred, revealing clusters in ‘‘richer’’ areas, or in suburbs where gentrification and redevelopment are changing the demographic of local neighbourhoods.

Somebody set up a website that maps the arsons, classified by car manufacturer.