Posts tagged infrastructure

Posted 3 years ago

Open Source Ecology | Global Village Construction Set

Open Source Ecology is a network of farmers, engineers, and supporters that for the last two years has been creating the Global Village Construction Set, an open source, low-cost, high performance technological platform that allows for the easy, DIY fabrication of the 50 different Industrial Machines that it takes to build a sustainable civilization with modern comforts. The GVCS lowers the barriers to entry into farmingbuilding, and manufacturing and can be seen as a life-size lego-like set of modular tools that can create entire economies, whether in rural Missouri, where the project was founded, in urban redevelopment, or in the developing world.

The ideas that guide the GVCS are:

Open Source - we freely publish our 3d designs, schematics, instructional videos, budgets, and product manuals on our open source wiki and we harness open collaboration with technical contributors.

Low-Cost - The cost of making or buying our machines are, on average, 8x cheaper than buying from an Industrial Manufacturer, including an average labor cost of $15 hour for a GVCS fabricator.

Modular - Motors, parts, assemblies, and power units can interchange, where units can be grouped together to diversify the functionality that is achievable from a small set of units.

User-Serviceable - Design-for-disassembly allows the user to take apart, maintain, and fix tools readily without the need to rely on expensive repairmen.

DIY - (do-it-yourself) The user gains control of designing, producing, and modifying the GVCS tool set.

Closed Loop Manufacturing - Metal is an essential component of advanced civilization, and our platform allows for recycling metal into virgin feedstock for producing further GVCS technologies - thereby allowing for cradle-to-cradle manufacturing cycles

High Performance - Performance standards must match or exceed those of industrial counterparts for the GVCS to be viable.

Flexible Fabrication - It has been demonstrated that the flexible use of generalized machinery in appropriate-scale production is a viable alternative to centralized production.

Distributive Economics - We encourage the replication of enterprises that derive from the GVCS platform as a route to truly free enterprise - along the ideals of Jeffersonian democracy.

Industrial Efficiency - In order to provide a viable choice for a resilient lifestyle, the GVCS platform matches or exceeds productivity standards of industrial counterparts.

These are fantastic ideas.

Posted 3 years ago
There are lots of useful things we can do to rearrange daily life in the USA that would put people to work, but they would tend to defy the status quo. We could recognize that peak oil means that we have to grow our food differently and make local agriculture a more up-front piece of the economy. We could rebuild the railroads so that people don’t have to drive everywhere. We could rebuild our inland ports to move more bulk freight on boats. Notice these are very straightforward activities, unlike the manipulation of financial paper and markets. We’re not interested in focusing on agriculture and transport reform. Business and political interests are arrayed against changing anything. Something’s got to give.
Posted 3 years ago




Meet a Gargantuan Wind Turbine, the 7-Megawatt V164. You could fit the entire infield and outfield of Yankee stadium inside the area that this enormous machine sweeps. Twice! Read more.

The annual output of the V164 is estimated to be 30,000 megawatt-hours, which is roughly equivalent to 2,787 households’ electricity consumption.

This is all very different from the small-scale beginnings of the wind industry. In 1979, Vestas’ first turbine was the V10-30kW model, which produced about 40,000 kWh. That is to say, the V164 is expected to produce 750 times as much energy as the V10.

Another way of looking at this is to consider Altamont Pass, Calif., the world’s largest wind farm with over 5,000 turbines when it was built in the 1980s. The entire combined annual energy production of Altamont is 1.1 TWh. The citizens of California could get the same amount of energy from just 36 of the new turbines. Thirty-six machines would replace 5,000.”

Posted 3 years ago
In transportation, we are shying away from major new projects like high-speed rail because they do not fit in with contemporary American commuting trends — forgetting the fact that the U.S. car reliance is a constructed one. We spent massively to create the highway network, and the result is that it is now the backbone of most Americans’ daily commutes. There was nothing natural about that process, and no reason to think that it cannot be reversed if we thought differently about our transportation system development. We are adding population at such a quick rate that we could encourage different commuting trends if we want to, but only if we invest the resources to do so.
Posted 3 years ago
If we cannot see the case for expending our collective resources on trains, it will not just be because we have all joined gated communities and no longer need anything but private car to move around between them. It will be because we have become gated individuals who do not know how to share public space to common advantage.
Tony Judt, Ill Fares the Land, p. 216
Posted 3 years ago
A new report from the Political Economy Research Institute says that bike and pedestrian projects create 11 to 14 jobs per million dollars spent, while road construction only creates 7 per million.
Posted 3 years ago

African Huts Far From the Grid Glow With Renewable Power

As small-scale renewable energy becomes cheaper, more reliable and more efficient, it is providing the first drops of modern power to people who live far from slow-growing electricity grids and fuel pipelines in developing countries. Although dwarfed by the big renewable energy projects that many industrialized countries are embracing to rein in greenhouse gas emissions, these tiny systems are playing an epic, transformative role.

Posted 3 years ago
In retrospect I understand that this was utter insanity. Wider, faster, treeless roads not only ruin our public places, they kill people. Taking highway standards and applying them to urban and suburban streets, and even county roads, costs us thousands of lives every year. There is no earthly reason why an engineer would ever design a fourteen foot lane for a city block, yet we do it continuously.
Why? The answer is utterly shameful: Because that is the standard.
Posted 3 years ago
Posted 3 years ago

Wikipedia | Rede Integrada de Transporte

Rede Integrada de Transporte (also known as RITPortugueseIntegrated Transportation Network) is a bus rapid transit system in CuritibaBrazil.

Curitiba has a well planned transportation system, which includes dedicated lanes on major streets for a bus rapid transit system.[1] The buses are long, split into three sections (bi-articulated), and stop at designated elevated tubes, complete with handicapped access.[2] The system, used by 85% of Curitiba’s population (2.3 Million passengers a day),[3][4] is the source of inspiration[5] for the TransMilenio in BogotáColombiaMetrovia in GuayaquilEcuador as well as the Emerald Express (EmX) ofEugeneOregon and Orange Line of the Los Angeles, California, and for a future transportation system in Panama CityPanama, Transmetro system in Guatemala City,Guatemala, the Metrobús of Mexico City and Buenos Aires[6]Argentina, and for the city of Bangalore.