World Wide Wednesday: Flip bridges, sewer diving, and the death of starchitecture

Each week we will be focusing on blogs from around the world dealing specifically with urban environments. We’ll be on the lookout for websites outside the country that approach themes related to urban experiences and issues.

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• In Hong Kong they drive on the left side of the road, in mainland China on the right. This simple difference creates an complicated engineering dilemma. How do you design a bridge between the two without creating chaos and confusion on the road? How do you get drivers to switch from one side of the road to the other without a head-on collision? Dutch design firm NL Architects, have come up with an answer — build a figure eight bridge. As explained by Fast Company (who also host a video model of the bridge) the proposed “Flip Bridge” works by “separating the two sides of traffic, using a figure-eight shape. One side of the road dips under the other, funneling cars that were traveling on the left to the right (and vice versa), without forcing them to encounter head-on traffic at an intersection”.

Pop Science profiles “Nine of the World’s Most Promising Carbon-Neutral Communities”. Ranging from a small community in Kansas to SamsØ Island, Denmark to Vatican City, all the places on the list are taking bold steps to reduce their carbon footprints.

Edible Geography interviews Julio Cou Cámara, one half of Mexico City’s two-man sewer diving team. Responsible for cleaning and maintaining the faltering and overburdened system, Cámara finds himself clearing out bodies as often as repairing pumps.

• And, lastly, Newsweek predicts the death of starchitecture.

photo from dalbera