October 6th, 2017

Uber on two wheels?

by Caroline Campbell

 

‘Non-docking’ bike sharing schemes are popping up in cities around the world. The companies behind the millions of ‘dockless’ bikes out on the world’s streets are claiming they’ll help with our transport and air quality problems, improve wellbeing, and de-carbonise our cities. Some planners hope these schemes will alleviate the first mile, last mile problem that bedevils attempts to encourage people out of their cars and onto public transport.

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August 18th, 2017

Shifting ideas: logistics and the circular economy

by Ad Lansink

 

Creating a circular economy, around which materials and products flow smoothly throughout their lifecycles, will require innovations in the field of logistics. There are two aspects to this: firstly, we will need adequate supply chain management – but this is also true of linear economies. Secondly, and more pertinently, we will need a strong system of reverse logistics.

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December 9th, 2016

What will it take to integrate renewables into the power grid? Ask a cyclist

by Gernot Wagner

 

There’s nothing quite like biking down clogged city streets, weaving in and out of traffic. For short distances, it’s faster than driving. It’s liberating. It’s fun.

It also makes it painfully clear that most roads aren’t made for bikes. Make one mistake, and you might end up dead. If you do everything right and the 4,000-pounder next to you makes a mistake, you still might end up dead. Few regular urban cyclists remain entirely unharmed throughout the years: A broken bone (“cut off by a van”), a scraped shin (“car door”), or perhaps simply drenched on an otherwise dry road (“I avoided the mud puddle; the car didn’t”).

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April 29th, 2016

Going down the tubes: can automated waste collection work?

by Hulda Espolin Norstein

 

What’s the most common and convenient way to receive your utilities? When it comes to gas, electricity, water, sewerage, internet connections and even television, the answer is obvious – underground pipes and cables. That’s led some to wonder why our waste is still stored and transported over ground. Surely someone could come up with a system in which waste is managed out of sight, doing away with all those polluting trucks and the problems of missing your collection.

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November 13th, 2015

Look, no hands: tackling air pollution and climate change

by Dominic Hogg

 

If there is a silver lining around the breath-constricting cloud that hangs over Volkswagen (and, perhaps, other manufacturers of diesel vehicles as well), it’s that the publicity raises awareness of the damages caused by air pollution. While a cadre of politicians and journalists strive to maintain the impression that there’s a debate to be had on the science of climate change, there’s far less dissent from the view that air pollution brings a trail of misery, and even death, in its wake.

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September 11th, 2015

Lost in transit: reducing packaging waste in the food supply chain

by Joanne Moss

 

When you think of food packaging, what springs to mind? Cardboard boxes, polystyrene and plastic trays, polythene wrap still predominate, both in consumer packaging and in the material the public rarely sees – the transit packaging that makes sure products arrive at the retailer intact. Much of this material can be recycled, but the waste hierarchy gives prevention top priority – so what scope is there to avoid generating transit packaging waste in the first place?

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June 12th, 2015

To EV or not EV: should I buy an electric car?

by Sophie Crosswell

 

When our ageing Corsa made it clear that it was trundling inexorably towards the car graveyard, my partner and I started to discuss how to replace it. Could we afford to take the plunge in to the emerging electric vehicle (EV) market, and could an EV do what we needed from a car?

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