Cities Made of Salt May Hold The Key To Sustainable Urban Planning

As global desertification becomes a serious issue, one Dutch designer has an inventive solution that uses one of the world’s most plentiful resources.

As climate change wreaks havoc on our eco-system, many drought-prone regions have been left wondering how to deal with issues like urban planning and global desertification. The latter is an increasingly dire issue that has caused those in the architecture community to look for innovative solutions. 24-year-old Eric Geboers, a young designer from The Netherlands, thinks that he may know the solution, and, according to Design Indaba,“is on a one-man mission to change the world through sustainable innovation.” The first stop on his global mission is to create a “sea salt city in the desert” via his intuitive design organization The Salt Project. So far the group has already earned awards from the A*Star’s Science of Future Cities competition and a nomination for the Archiprix Prize 2016.

As straightforward as its name, The Salt Project creates building blocks composed of compressed salt—which are proving to be a solid contruction material on par with packed earth and other frequently used local resources. Strong in compression, the salt blocks are ideal for the types of rounded, arched, or domed structures already prevalent in dry, desert areas. In addition to looking cool, the translucent salt blocks also reflect and protect from the harsh sun, and are coated with a bio-based solution to keep them from melting.

Each of these “salt cities” will be made from compressed salt, as seen above.

Geboers’ vision doesn’t end at just architecture: he also intends to produce and maintain a “whole new ecosystem” in desert areas. He hopes to achieve this through a process of pumped seawater, harnessed via a solar-powered pipe system to a series of desalination greenhouses set up in the desert.

The Salt Factory is meant to showcase the dazzling possibilities of salt as a building material, but also comes as part of an expansion push for Qatar’s newest planned city, Lusail. It’s hoped that The Salt Project’s Lusail base will be the first in a series of self-sufficient communities of salt towns with organic infrastructures and regenerating greenhouses to grow native vegetation.

via Real Time with Bill Maher / YouTube and The Late Late Show with James Corden / YouTube

A controversial editorial on America's obesity epidemic and healthcare by comedian Bill Maher on his HBO show "Real Time" inspired a thoughtful, and funny, response by James Cordon. It also made for a great debate about healthcare that Americans are avoiding.

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"At Next Thursday's debate, one of the candidates has to say, 'The problem with our healthcare system is Americans eat shit and too much of it.' All the candidates will mention their health plans but no one will bring up the key factor: the citizens don't lift a finger to help," Maher said sternly.

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Me Too Kit

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The area's topography makes transporting medicines a treacherous task.

Photo by Henry Sempangi Senyule

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Widjifake, a hard-to-reach village in northwestern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with a population of 6,500, struggles with having consistent access to healthcare supplies due to the Congo River and its winding tributaries.

It can take up to three hours for vehicles carrying supplies to reach the village.

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via Keith Boykin / Twitter

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"There's something going on at Fox, I'll tell you right now. And I'm not happy with it," he continued.

Some Fox anchors have hit back at the president over his criticisms. "Well, first of all, Mr. President, we don't work for you," Neil Cavuto said on the air. "I don't work for you. My job is to cover you, not fawn over you or rip you, just report on you."

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