University of British Columbia & Emily Carr University
In 2018 the NeighbourHub team won our grand prize for their design of structures to be located in public parks in every neighbourhood. They offer the opportunity for residents to generate their own energy and water for daily use and during disaster situations – all while being independent of the City’s existing infrastructure.
The structure appears as public art that provides light and shelter on a rainy day. Upon further inspection, instructions explain the purpose of the Neighbourhub and reveal its interactivity. The design plays on Vancouver’s strengths. Two pedal charging stations allow users to back their bike into the structure to generate power. LED lights glow to indicate how many Watts of energy are being generated by the user, and possibly the friends or neighbours racing beside them. Power is stored within batteries to charge cell phones and the embedded radio. Vancouver’s abundance of fresh, drinkable water in the form of rain, is captured in a 1500 gallon cistern and filtered to meet municipal regulations. Residents can fill their water bottles, and watch the water collection gauge move, giving them a sense of water availability.
Atmospheric Pollution Monitoring
University of California Berkeley
Motivated by the dangers of air pollution in Albany and the surrounding area, the student team at Berkeley devised a solution to measure the capacity of the Gill Tract Community Farm to intercept airborne particles and gaseous air pollution. The information they collect will be used to solidify the importance of urban agriculture, reignite a conversation about the effectiveness of current regulations, and spark further research that will benefit the quality of life of nearby residents’ overall health and the ecosystem. They hope that their findings will also advise future policy decisions that will hold major emitters responsible for the pollution they generate, particularly when it impacts low-resource communities.
K-12 Education in Sustainability
University of Arizona
Students at the University of Arizona developed a solution that includes developing an education curriculum that would give students at Andrada Polytechnic High School the hands-on experience and knowledge base required to work in sustainability. The design of the system and the implementation process will be devised in such a way that it that can be reproduced in various forms throughout the world. The goal of this project is to implement sustainability practices within their local community’s education system, which will in turn help move the world to more sustainable practices. The physical component includes a rainwater harvesting system, solar energy collection, and community gardening.
Georgia Institute of Technology
In 2016 The Georgia Institute of Technology won our grand prize for their design of a natural herbicide to promote natural alternatives to highly toxic chemical herbicides on Georgia Tech’s campus and in the surrounding community. Their design included a combination of concentrated vinegar and d-Limonene has demonstrated high potential as a natural herbicidal solution, and we plan to experiment with different vinegar to d-Limonene ratios and dilutions of this solution.
Monarch Butterfly Conservation Garden
CSU Long Beach
Motivated by the relationship between monarch conservation and the life cycle of food production in Southern California, students at CSU Long Beach partnered with Long Beach Organic to build a monarch waystation to support the food production recovery process
Public Transportation Advocacy
Kennesaw State University
Heavy motor vehicle traffic and the lack of travel alternatives drives excessive carbon emissions in the Metropolitan Atlanta Area. Concerned with the associated health risks of poor air quality, students at Kennesaw designed an advocacy program to promote the implementation of rail. Noticing the political pushback of the rail expansion, the student team decided to engage citizens directly. They leveraged on-campus petitions to rally support from students, partnered with “MARTA Army,” and created a social media campaign to raise awareness of the issue.
Aquaponics in Merced
University of California, Merced
Roughly 21.5% of Merced residents live in poverty compared to a state average of 10%. This student team decided to partner with The Merced Rescue Mission to design and build an aquaponics system to produce food in a water and energy efficient manner and strengthen Merced’s food supply.
Pennsylvania State University
In order to increase the participation rates for recycling in the
commercial sector, the ESW chapter at Penn State is proposing to initiate a certification program that recognizes businesses that meet or exceed standards for recycling their waste while reducing their energy and water consumption.
High School Community Garden
University of California, San Diego
Looking beyond their affluent community of La Jolla, students at UCSD decided to partner with Hoover High School in City Heights, a community home to a large immigrant population. Through collaborative efforts, the university team will go into the schools and gain students interest in the club. The team will develop a mentor program that will enable university students to connect with high schoolers.