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Developing Greener Parking Spaces: The Next Step in Transportation

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IMG_4568 by Karim D. Ghantous via Flickr

Parking is a major problem in urban areas, both in terms of space and for environmental reasons. That’s why sustainable city development is dependent on our ability to come up with innovative parking solutions; and while it would be preferable to improve public transit infrastructure, general resistance to public buses and trains continue to make this feasible as a single solution.

In order to reduce the impact of cars on urban environments, it’s important to develop alternative technologies that can minimise the detrimental nature of typical garages and lots. These four solutions are the first steps towards cities where parking doesn’t dominate the landscape, but becomes an active contributor to the surrounding environment.

Shape Shifting

Many cities waste too much space on parking because they’re overly generous when creating spaces – not in the sense that there are too many spaces, but rather because they allot too much width for each spot. While some spots of course need to contain an SUV or other large vehicle, only some of the cars on the road are that large. Designing every spot as though it needs to hold a Hummer is unrealistic and a waste of space.

Instead, cities should provide a distribution of differently sized spaces based on local automotive trends. Programs like Park Assist can also help reduce overbuilding by using a sensor system to track parking occupancy. With this kind of data, garages can revamp their space construction, fitting more vehicles into a smaller area. When we know more about how drivers utilise urban parking, we’re better able to design efficient parking environments.

Room to Refuel

Parking when driving cars fuelled by traditional gasoline will always be associated with pollution and poor air quality, but electric cars have the potential to reduce this type of harm. The biggest problem with getting urban drivers to use electric cars, however, is that many are unsure about how much access to charging facilities they’ll have. With no clear place to plug in their car, urban drivers stick to traditional vehicles.

When parking garages introduce charging facilities, they also create a particular kind of consumer appeal, broadening their audience to a set of drivers who are currently offered few options. And for drivers who haven’t yet adopted an electric car, but have been considering it, this may be just the push they need.

The Car Sharing Revolution

If parking area owners offered more electric car charging locations, they also could potentially be at the forefront of the smart car industry. Self-driving automobiles equipped with sensors are typically electric cars, and they may be the key to greater vehicle sharing down the road as the technology develops. This could reduce the number of cars cluttering cities while not in use. Since cars spend 95% of their time parked, vehicle sharing could cut the number of vehicles needed dramatically.

An Over-Building Epidemic

Ultimately, one of the biggest problems cities face in terms of parking is that private property owners have discovered just how lucrative owning a garage or similar business can be. Parking rates are high and to maximise profits, many garage owners believe they should have a maximum number of spaces on offer, whether that means in a flat lot or a multi-level garage structure. Where there are spots, there’s also a source of revenue.

What many of these property owners don’t realise is that by trying to maximise profits in one sector, they may be increasing them in a less visible way through erosion. Paving in cities increases the rate of storm runoff and causes topsoil and shallow-rooted plants to be pushed out. This can deplete the water table, since the water can’t get back into the ground through the asphalt, and all of the rainwater will need to be managed. Paving with permeable materials is an easy solution to a runaway problem.

Next time you’re in a city, look around for garages and parking lots and try to make an assessment of how populated they are. Do you see a lot of empty spaces or a new garage going up just opposite an already existing one? These are all indicators that the area isn’t being put to good use. When we stop thinking about the lack of street parking in cities and recognise the overabundance of other parking areas, we can start reshaping our expectations about valuable urban land use.

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What Kitchen Suits Your Style? Modern, Classic or Shaker?

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shaker kitchen designs

A kitchen is the centre of the home. Your kitchen ranges between where friends and family gather, talk about their day, cook meals, have drinks, to somewhere you can just enjoy each other’s company. The kitchen is the heart of the home. But, everyone’s lifestyle is different. Everyone’s taste is different. So, you need a kitchen that not only mirrors your lifestyle but matches your taste too. Whilst some prefer a more traditional design, others want a modern feel or flair – and it’s all down to personal taste.

When it comes to redesigning your kitchen, what style would you go for? It’s a difficult one isn’t it. With so many different styles to go for, how can you know exactly what you want until you’ve seen it in action? Leading kitchen designer, Roman Kitchens, based in Essex, have provided three examples of bespoke kitchens and styles they specialise in, accompanied with beautiful images. This design guide will get you one step closer to picking your dream kitchen for your home.

1. Modern

New home in the city centre? Or even a sleek new modern build? You want a trendy and modern kitchen to reflect your city lifestyle. In modern kitchen design, colours are bolder and fresher, with sleek design and utilities that are distinctive and vibrant.

modern kitchen designs

This modern kitchen is sleek and smooth with flawless design and beauty. Minimalism doesn’t stop this kitchen standing out. Featured walls of wood and vibrant mint green draw the eye, whilst the white surfaces reflect the light, illuminating every nook and cranny of this kitchen. This kitchen features products from Rotpunkt, innovators of modern kitchen design. Made with German engineering, a Rotpunkt Kitchen is the ultimate modern addition to your home. Rotpunkt Kitchens have timeless design and amazing functionality, they work for every purpose and are eco-friendly. Sourced from natural materials, a Rotpunkt kitchen uses 37% less timber, conserving natural forests and being more environmentally conscious.

2. Classic

Prefer a homely and traditional feel? Classic kitchens are warm, welcoming and filled with wood. Wood flooring, wood fixtures, wood furniture – you name it! You can bring a rustic feel to your urban home with a classic kitchen. Subtle colours and beautiful finishes, Classic kitchens are for taking it back to the basics with a definitive look and feel.

classic kitchen designs

With stated handles for cupboards, Classic kitchens are effortlessly timeless. They convey an elegant but relaxing nature. Giving off countryside vibes, natural elements convey a British countryside feel. The wood featured in a classic kitchen can range between oaks and walnut, creating a warmth and original feel to your home. Soft English heritage colours add a certain mood to your home, softening the light making it cosier.

3. Shaker

Any kitchen planner will tell you that the meeting point between traditional and modern design, is a Shaker kitchen. They have a distinctive style and innovative feel. Shakers are fresh, mixing different colour tones with stylish wood and vinyl. The most important feature of a Shaker kitchen is functionality – every feature needs to serve a purpose in the kitchen. Paired with stylish and unique furniture, a Shaker kitchen is an ideal addition to any home.

shaker kitchen designs

The ultimate marriage between Classic and Modern kitchens, this Shaker kitchen has deep colour tones with copper emphasis features. All the fittings and fixtures blur the line of modern and tradition, with a Classic look but modern colour vibe. Unique furniture and design make Shaker Kitchens perfect for the middle ground in kitchen design. Minimal but beautifully dressed. Traditional but bold and modern at the same time. Storage solutions are part of the functionality of Shaker kitchens, but don’t detour from conveying yours as a luxury kitchen.

Whatever you choose for your new kitchen, be it Modern, Classic or Shaker – pick whatever suits you. Taste is, and always will be, subjective – it’s down to you.

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Ways Green Preppers Are Trying to Protect their Privacy

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Environmental activists are not given the admiration that they deserve. A recent poll by Gallup found that a whopping 32% of Americans still doubt the existence of global warming. The government’s attitude is even worse.

Many global warming activists and green preppers have raised the alarm bell on climate change over the past few years. Government officials have taken notice and begun tracking their activity online. Even former National Guard officers have admitted that green preppers and climate activists are being targeted for terrorist watchlists.

Of course, the extent of their surveillance depends on the context of activism. People that make benign claims about climate change are unlikely to end up on a watchlist, although it is possible if they make allusions to their disdain of the government. However, even the most pacifistic and well intentioned environmental activists may unwittingly trigger some algorithm and be on the wrong side of a criminal investigation.

How could something like this happen? Here are some possibilities:

  • They could share a post on social media from a climate extremist group or another individual on the climate watchlist.
  • They could overly politicize their social media content, such as being highly critical of the president.
  • They could use figures of speech that may be misinterpreted as threats.
  • They might praise the goals of a climate change extremist organization that as previously resorted to violence, even if they don’t condone the actual means.

Preppers and environmental activists must do everything in their power to protect their privacy. Failing to do so could cost them their reputation, future career opportunities or even their freedom. Here are some ways that they are contacting themselves.

Living Off the Grid and Only Venturing to Civilization for Online Use

The more digital footprints you leave behind, the greater attention you draw. People that hold controversial views on environmentalism or doomsday prepping must minimize their digital paper trail.

Living off the grid is probably the best way to protect your privacy. You can make occasional trips to town to use the Wi-Fi and stock up on supplies.

Know the Surveillance Policies of Public Wi-Fi Providers

Using Wi-Fi away from your home can be a good way to protect your privacy.However, choosing the right public Wi-Fi providers is going to be very important.

Keep in mind that some corporate coffee shops such a Starbucks can store tapes for up to 60 days. Mom and pop businesses don’t have the technology nor the interest to store them that long. They generally store tips for only 24 hours and delete them afterwards. This gives you a good window of opportunity to post your thoughts on climate change without being detected.

Always use a VPN with a No Logging Policy

Using a VPN is one of the best ways to protect your online privacy. However, some of these providers do a much better job than others. What is a VPN and what should you look for when choosing one? Here are some things to look for when making a selection:

  • Make sure they are based in a country that has strict laws on protecting user privacy. VPNs that are based out of Switzerland, Panama for the British Virgin Islands are always good bets.
  • Look for VPN that has a strict no logging policy. Some VPNs will actually track the websites that you visit, which almost entirely defeats the purpose. Most obviously much better than this, but many also track Your connections and logging data. You want to use a VPN that doesn’t keep any logs at all.
  • Try to choose a VPN that has an Internet kill switch. This means that all content will stop serving if your VPN connection drops, which prevents your personal data from leaking out of the VPN tunnel.

You will be much safer if you use a high-quality VPN consistently, especially if you have controversial views on climate related issues or doomsday prepping.

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