The urban landscape is changing, slowly but surely. Overpopulation, pollution, and climate change issues are the prevailing priorities right now. And as American infrastructure turns over for the next century, experts would do well to look all over the world for improvements.
Right now, there's no better example of how innovative designs can tackle sustainability issues than the facade of the Torre de Especialidadesis (Manuel Gea Gonzalez Hospital) building of Mexico City, Mexico. 100 meters long with tiles coated in titanium dioxide (TiO2), the facade creates chemical reactions with any nitrous pollutants that come in contact; most of which are from automobile emissions. The pollutants are subsequently broken down into harmless CO2 and water vapor, meaning this hospital building effectively cleans the air for its inhabitants and neighbors.
While there may be long-term problems of maintenance, the rewards for this kind of environmental tweak are sneakily abundant. Not only is the hospital creating a cleaner atmosphere for its patients- saving them time and space in the long run- but give it five, ten years; any long-term study that shows drops in related issues such as asthma, plant growth, medical diagnoses, will herald this kind of architecture as necessary civic infrastructure:
Donal Thoms-Cappello is a freelance writer for Rotor Clip Company.