The Viridian Design Movement

From: Bruce Sterling []
Sent: Tuesday, August 06, 2002 5:39 PM
Subject: Viridian Note 00326: Air-Conditioned Tokyo

Key concepts: Tokyo, urban overheating, climate change remediation

Attention Conservation Notice: a weird, hand-waving Nipponese mega-scheme.

From: Laurence Aurbach <translucent*>
Subject: Viridian Furniture List

The Viridian Furniture List is now online in the "Recommended Products" section of the Viridian website. David Bergman did a yeoman-like job assembling this list and adding comments. He's also mirroring the list on his own furniture site, Fire and Water.

Maybe you'll find a woven bamboo buffet or a biopolymer mesh coffee table. – L.J. Aurbach

Entries in the Global Civil Society Design Contest.

From: Steven W. Schuldt <swschuldt*>

From: Ben Davis <bend*>

From: Joerg F. Wittenberger <Joerg.Wittenberger*>

From: Scott Vandehey <scot* >

From: Bob Morris <bob*>

From: Anonymous

From: Jim Thompson <jim*>

From: Mike Rosing <eresrch*>

From: Till Westermayer <till*>

From: Duncan Stewart <stewarts*>

From: R. Charles Flickinger <idlewild*>

From:"Kevin Prichard" <kevin*>

"I nominate Rop Gonggrijp's Secure Notebook, which was shown recently at H2K2. (

"The premise is both important and hilarious. The Secure Notebook provides a Secure Windows XP installation. Windows has a long history of being secure neither from attack nor privacy incursion, so this is something.

"Nothing gets in and nothing gets out, without it being firewalled, filtered, proxied, and encrypted. How is this done? A modified Debian Linux boots first, running custom NAH6 crypto device drivers, and then boots XP within vmware."

Sincerely yours, Kevin Prichard kevin*

This contest expires in nine days: August 15, 2002.

Source: Planet Ark

"Cooler Tokyo summers may be just a pipe dream away

by Elaine Lies

JAPAN: August 5, 2002

"TOKYO – In what could be the ultimate in public works projects, a Japanese panel of experts has proposed relieving the misery of steamy Tokyo summers by cooling the huge city with sea water and a labyrinth of underground pipes.

"Though summers are hard in any city, Tokyo's narrow streets, hordes of people and clusters of massive skyscrapers, largely unrelieved by greenery, produce a special brand of discomfort.

"And it gets worse every year. (((Oh yeah. You bet it does.))) The number of nights when temperatures stay above 25 Celsius (77 Fahrenheit) in Tokyo has doubled over the last 30 years, while average temperatures have shot up by 2.9 degrees C over the last century. Relief, however distant, could be on the way. ((("Great news, weather sufferers! We live in the high-tech capital of a G-7 state!")))

"At the behest of the Construction Ministry, the panel has drawn up a plan that would use a network of buried pipes, and water pumped from the sea, to cool things down. 'In the very best conditions, certain areas could in theory become as much as 2.6 degrees Celsius cooler,' said Yujin Minobe, a ministry planner.

"The huge air-conditioning systems currently used to cool buildings get rid of the heat they take out of the structure by venting it into the outside air, raising temperatures still further and creating a 'heat island' phenomenon in large cities. (((Soon whole cities will do it and vent their heat straight into the rising seas! Look out, Antarctica.)))

"Under the plan, this heat would be transferred to water in large underground tanks, and the water then pumped through a six-km (3.7-mile) network of underground pipes to a cooling plant on the Tokyo waterfront.

"There the heat from this water would be transferred to cooler sea water before the then-cooled water was pumped back through the underground pipes. The sea water, now warmed, would be released into the waters of Tokyo Bay.

"COSTLY PLAN. (((That's unsurprising.))) Minobe said the plan would cover some 123 hectares (304 acres) in the centre of Tokyo, including the Marunouchi business district and the posh Ginza shopping area, and would initially cost around 41 billion yen ($344 million).

"'Savings on reduced energy usage would eventually help pay for this,' he said. (((A real nest of ironies here, folks.))) Officials quoted in the English-language Japan Times said energy savings would total more than 1 billion yen a year, meaning the system would pay for itself in a bit over 30 years.

"However, Minobe said many problems remained with the plan, which has only been under discussion since April last year. One of the most serious problems is whether warmer water being returned to Tokyo Bay would damage the fragile marine ecosystem, a point Minobe said still required more study. (((Give it 30 years and there won't be any ecosystem left to study.)))

"He said the average temperature cut is likely to be only around 0.4 degrees. 'I'm not even sure people would be able to feel that difference,' he said. Any such plan, however, would likely produce a gleam in the eyes of Japan's huge construction industry, known for its propensity for public works projects. Although several are decried as wasteful, public works projects have long been used by the government in attempts to stimulate the economy. (((Nice use of the word "attempts.")))

"Frankly, I think this plan is still really more of a dream than anything else," Minobe said.

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