Each week our friends at Inhabitat recap the week's most interesting green developments and clean tech news for us -- it's the Week in Green.
All eyes turned to Russia last week as the Winter Olympics kicked off in Sochi. The opening ceremony took place in the Fisht Olympic Stadium, a venue designed by Populous that was inspired by Fabergé eggs. But despite promises that this year's games would be zero-waste, environmental groups have countered that the event won't live up to its green claims. In other green design news, Paris is planning to turn abandoned underground metro stations into restaurants, auditoriums and even underground swimming pools. In London, a series of impressive origami-inspired pavilions popped up in Canary Wharf. In Abu Dhabi, Inhabitat obtained some exclusive photographs of the Al Bahr Towers, which are cooled with the world's largest computerized façade. A new study suggests that white roofs are actually more effective at fighting climate change than green roofs, but planning for climate change will require more than just a coat of white paint. Some prominent thinkers are suggesting that as ocean levels rise, we will be forced to build floating cities -- or at the very least, buildings that are better adapted to water.
Swedish furniture maker IKEA is branching out beyond low-cost furniture; the company just launched a program to bring solar-powered light to more than 10 million refugees around the world -- more than half of them children. In other green energy news, the company Rawlemon just unveiled a smaller version of its amazing solar energy-concentrating globe that can be used to charge mobile devices. The architecture firm Perkins+Will is proposing to build a large green-roofed apartment building in Philadelphia that would double as a power plant. The building would contain a trash incinerator, which would be used to power the building. And a team of Japanese scientists has developed a tiny fuel cell that can transform cockroaches into a self-powered wireless sensor network that could be used to help locate disaster victims.
In green transportation news, Empire Cycles recently unveiled the world's first 3D-printed titanium bike frame, which boasts extraordinary strength, but is also super light. Elio Motors rolled out its funky new P4, a three-wheeled vehicle with two seats that gets up to 84MPG and only costs $6,800. And for those who prefer to leave their cars behind when traveling around the US, the American Intercity Bus Riders Association recently released a map that shows how to travel using Amtrak, Greyhound and other services.
Prosthetic hands will never be able to perfectly replace the real thing, but they're getting closer. A team of Italian and Swiss scientists has developed the first artificial hand that restores a sense of touch to patients with a missing limb. Also on the medical innovation front, the Oregon-based company Revmedx recently developed a small syringe that can seal gunshot wounds in just 15 seconds. In the "don't play with your food" department, London-based designers Dentaku have produced a tiny synthesizer that can be used to create instruments from fruits and vegetables. And Inhabitat's Managing Editor Mike Chino explains how Chairish's new iPhone app can be used to sell a classic midcentury modern chair.