Qatar is a country where money is unlimited and oil is cheap and ample. Therefore, there are cars all along all the way.Although some of the above descriptions perhaps ring true in everyday life on the streets of Doha, the Qatari government has very different intentions for its National Vision 2030. Qatar, which hosted the most recent incarnation of COP18, the United Nations sustainability conference, is in fact deeply involved in a variety of cutting-edge environmental projects, particularly in the construction industry and built environment, including ambitious plans for solar-powered stadiums for the 2022 World Cup.
This does not sound much like a country concerned about its sustainability credentials. On top of that, Qatar has the world’s largest carbon footprint per capita.
Qatar’s very own green building authority, the Qatar Green Building Council (QGBC), has been up and running since 2009. The QGBC’s stated aim is to to promote and raise awareness of environmentally and socially responsible building practices in Qatar. QGBC has been closely involved in Qatar’s most groundbreaking green building initiatives.
In an effort to free itself of its unfortunate reputation for polluted skies, Beijing officials recently launched a program to get rid of its smog by 2017. But this effort may not be limited to mundane details like controlling the number of cars on the road. Others, like Dutch artist and "social designer" Daan Roosegaarde believe that art has a role to play in shifting people's ideas about how pollution can be part of the solution; he proposes that Beijing's smog be collected and actually re-used -- by transforming it into gems for rings.
In collaboration with ENS Europe and professor Bob Ursem, Roosegaarde's Smog Free Project would use ‘patented and energy friendly ion technology,’ in what will apparently be the world's largest air purifier. This would be a larger and more portable version of technology that is already used in hospitals, and will be used to capture PM2.5 smog (ie. particulate matter measuring 2.5 microns) in a park in Beijing. Due to this intervention, which is slated to happen next year, this park will have the cleanest air in the city.