How sustainable design is revolutionizing our daily lives

Arturo Vittori @TEDxCibeles photo: Carmen Acevedo Olivie

Arturo Vittori @TEDxCibeles photo: Carmen Acevedo Olivie

It is projected that by the year 2050, 66% of the world’s population will be living in cities. As we witness the current state of over-urbanization on the climate, on the environment and on human lives, the question looms: how do we create sustainable technology to accommodate, enhance and transform the lives of urban communities, while reducing our carbon footprint? Below are 5 TEDx talks on how smart sustainable design will revolutionize urban living of the future.

Rethinking urban mobility | Ryan Chin | TEDxBoston

In 2009, with climate change on the rise and the automobile industry at a decline, Ryan Chin suggested an alternative: more sustainable and affordable means of transport for city dwellers. He presents the idea for a foldable, stackable and shareable city vehicle that economizes space, fuel and congestion on the roads. Since this talk, Mr. Chin has since set up Optimus Ride, and created prototypes for the car. You can read more about this here.

Silk leaf: revolutionising our urban environment | Julian Melchiorri | TEDxCibeles

Julian Melchiorri presents the Silk Leaf project, an artificially made sustainable leaf that acts as a natural ventilator by absorbing air from the environment and turning carbon dioxide into oxygen to reduce carbon emissions. He speaks of the possibilities for this technology in urban areas and how Silk Leaf could be the remedy to many of the cities sustainability problems.

Sustainable Apartments – A New Model for the Future | Jeremy McLeod | TEDxStKilda

Jeremy McLeod showcases a new apartment model he created called “The Nightingale”. It puts community, environmental sustainability and ethical architecture first, all while being fiscally advantageous to all those who live there. He combines 25 ethical investors with one architect to create an easily replicable housing development.

Warka Water: An idea to feed the world | Arturo Vittori | TEDxCibeles

Arturo Vittori showcases a structure using all sustainable local materials, like bamboo and rocks, to trap humidity in dry areas that is converted into drinkable water. Many developing nations have adopted this technology to combat the droughts as a result of loss of rainy seasons.

3D Printed Food: The Future of Healthy Eating | Chloe Rutzerveld | TEDxYYC

Chloe Rutzerveld believes it is time for a 3D food printing revolution. She points out the discrepancy between the mass production of unhealthy 3D printed foods (candy, cakes,etc.) and the overwhelming problem of obesity in this generation. She presents a new sustainable form of 3D food printing that allows consumers to grow their own non-perishable food and replicate the recipes and designs of their food on a large scale for very cheap.


  1. Chris Hasbach

    No problem with the presenters or their subjects. Unfortunately, we seem to miss the most
    important issue being overpopulation. Dr. Erlich addressed ever since I can remember. In
    my life the U.S. population has gone from ~160,000,000 to ~ 330,000,000. Just ~65 years!
    I’m not so sure large metro areas like New York city are intelligent entities to be preserved.
    With modern telecommunications and the popularity of ‘work-from-home’ approach, a village
    approach might be more feasible—-hard to believe we still have telephone poles! I feel we
    only have 10-15 years to turn this all around and it will be done by those much smarter than
    this old fart.

  2. Julie Barker

    I also see overpopulation as THE key issue, and one that no-one seems to want to talk about. In spite of many examples in nature of overshoot and collapse, communities of many sizes have GROWTH as the cure-all goal. Inability to recognize the truth? Insanity? Disconnect from Nature?

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