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This Week in Tech: A Smart Forest City in Mexico

Plus, Tesla's latest residential solar panels, next steps for Sidewalk Labs' Toronto Waterfront, and more design-tech news from this week.

This Week in Tech: A Smart Forest City in Mexico

Milan-based Stefano Boeri Architetti has revealed plans for a smart forest city in Mexico. Designed for Honduras-based real estate developer Grupo Karim, the planned city will occupy close to 1,400 acres and house some 130,000 people in the Cancún region. Conceived as a food and energy self-sufficient metropolis, the smart city will be surrounded by a ring of solar panels and agriculture fields that will be irrigated by water from an underwater maritime pipe. Almost 1,000 acres of the city will feature green space with 2.3 trees per inhabitant. Overall, the city will absorb 116,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually.[Stefano Boeri Architetti]

Learn what performance characteristics designers should review when selecting electrochromic or dynamic glass for their projects. [ARCHITECT]

Google-owned Sidewalk Labs and Waterfront Toronto have agreed to proceed to the evaluation stage of Sidewalk Labs' development proposal after submitting a 1,500-page report earlier this summer. "After two years in Toronto and engaging and planning with over 21,000 Toronto residents, we are looking forward to the next round of public consultations, entering the evaluation process, and continuing to develop a plan to build the most innovative neighbourhood in the world," said Sidewalk CEO Dan Doctoroff in a blog post. "We are working to demonstrate an inclusive neighbourhood here in Toronto where we can shorten commute times, make housing more affordable, create new jobs, and set a new standard for a healthier planet."[Sidewalk Labs]

Elon Musk–led Tesla has unveiled new designs for its residential solar roofing tiles. The updated tempered glass tiles will be larger than previous iterations, feature fewer parts for easier installation, and will be cheaper to purchase. "There are all these roofs out there just gathering sunlight, but not doing anything with it," Musk said in a media conference call. "In the future it will be odd for roofs to be dormant, or dead, or not gathering energy.”[Tesla]

Blaine Brownell, AIA, explores emergent teleoperation and telerobotics technologies that could revolutionize the built environment.[ARCHITECT]

Researchers at MIT have developed a new passive cooling system that blocks incoming sunlight without the use of electricity or other power sources. Made of a polyethylene foam called an aerogel, the marshmallow-like material can also reflect infrared light back into the atmosphere, cooling its surroundings to temperatures lower than ambient air temperatures.[MIT]

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