They say it’s possible to learn something from every person you meet. What if we take a look at the development of other countries to see if we can learn from their experiences?
11. Skytrain, new police “officers,” and sleeping anywhere, China
In China, a new railway station called Skytrain took only 4 months to build. A train that looks like a Chengdu panda will move along the country’s fastest suspension railway line. The train seats 230 passengers and reaches a speed of 37 miles per hour. It was designed for small towns. The construction of a hanging network is less time-consuming than the construction of stations and metro tunnels as it only takes 3-5 months to complete a suspended commuter railway line.
Officials in the Xinjiang province are seriously considering accepting geese into the service. Thanks to the feathered brigade, it was once possible to prevent a motorcycle theft. A thief had poisoned the guard dogs and climbed over the fence only to find that the road was blocked by 20 geese that attracted the attention of a policeman on duty with their loud noises. Scientists say that these birds have very good potential because they have panoramic vision, good hearing, and become aggressive if they sense danger.
How do they do it? The ability of Chinese people to fall asleep anywhere is something that has already become popular all around the world. There’s even a website called “Sleeping Chinese” where you can find photos of sleeping “celebrities.”
10. Absolute victory over garbage waste, Switzerland
43% of garbage is recycled in Zurich. There are containers for collecting paper, metal, and glass that can be found all over the city. There are even special overground waste bunkers. Other types of garbage are thrown away in special white plastic bags for €1.50 each. Using less plastic is in everyone’s best interest and that’s why people sort their garbage out very carefully. The garbage is burned and the power from it is used to heat 170,000 houses, wherein the smoke is cleaned and it leaves the pipes without doing any harm.
The ash is taken out of the city where they extract metals, including gold, out of it. On the containers, there is a message informing people that “loud” garbage, such as glass or metal, can be thrown away from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. On the weekends, it is prohibited to throw away such garbage. These rules are set in place in order to prevent disturbing surrounding neighbors and people.
“The Bullet Train” first amazed the world in 1964 at the Tokyo Olympics. It rushed at a speed of 130 miles per hour. Today the new Shinkansen trains beat all the records — reaching a maximum speed of 375 miles per hour during trial runs. JP Central plans to release these trains by 2027. It will become possible to cover a distance of 174 miles in 40 minutes or less.
Robots have already become a common thing for many Japanese people. In the morning, a robot in a restaurant can cook pancakes for you or offer fresh bedclothes in a hotel. The most amazing thing, however, is that robots can make disabled people walk.
The Japanese managed to create a powered exoskeleton. “We want to show the world that the future belongs to robots,” say the developers of HAL, The Hybrid Assistive Limb. All of the tests were successful. By the way, there is no need for a person to push any buttons since robolegs move by receiving impulses from the person’s muscles.
Ultrametropolis on an artificial island? Why not? Songdo IBD was built from scratch 40 miles away from Seoul near the airport. The main idea is using technologies for comfort. Each of the residents owns a special smart card for getting various types of services and free rides on public transport. The entire city is connected by a data system and all of the cars have RFID marks that provide information about situations on the road and the conditions of buildings.
7. Maggie Daley Play Garden, USA
In Chicago, there is a children’s park that is every kid’s dream. On the territory of 20 acres, there are attractions for kids of all ages. In “The Harbor,” for example, one can find slides, spy glasses, and a water-splashing whale. Specially equipped climbing walls are located all around the park and a secure rubber ground imitates hills and waves.
In “The Slide Crater” you’ll find numerous slides and towers connected by a huge suspension bridge that is loved by all children. The little ones also adore the entertainment called “Talk Tubes” with the help of which children at the top of a tower can talk to those who are below.
Also, you can find minigolf, a mirror labyrinth, and a spinning boulder that even the smallest child can rotate.
A popular play area called “The Sea” invites everyone onboard a ship with a steering wheel, stairs, ropes, and nets.
Picnics can be arranged on the surrounding lawns where different plants grow all season long. During the winter, a skating rink is arranged for older children and adults where the climbing wall is. Tap the image to see.
“The Enchanted Forest” offers children pathways between upside-down trees that lead up to a table for tea drinking. Designers took inspiration from Alice in Wonderland and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and created a fabulous atmosphere.
6. The best roads in the world, Germany
The highways in Germany equal perfection. They serve 30-50 years without being repaired, while the repair itself looks more like construction from scratch. The technology of road-making resembles a layered cake: frost-resistant base, geotextile, cement reinforcement, cement concrete coating, and “glaze” — diamond milling or a concrete layer with a filler.
Work begins at 5 a.m. and about one km of road is completed per day. All labor-intensive processes are done by road machinery controlled by humans. Thanks to these technologies, not only did they manage to reduce the noise level of such roads but also their cost.
These eco-friendly roads do not emit toxic gases when heated, they reflect 3 times more light at night, and the security level is so high that only 50% have a recommended speed limit.
5. New image for buildings, Austria
Kunsthaus Graz located in Graz, Austria, is called “A Friendly Alien.” It stands out against the backdrop of the tiled roofs of old buildings. According to the designers, this is a kind of dialogue between tradition and the avant-garde. And if the idea seemed strange at first, now the Graz Art Museum is a symbol of the city.
The Spittelau waste incineration plant was redesigned by Friedensreich Hundertwasser after a major fire in 1989. Now, the building is a unique display of how waste, energy, and art can be combined.
Today, the energy from the heating plant is used to heat more than 60,000 apartments near the plant and tourists always mark it on their walking routes.
4. Polymer banknotes, Australia
Since 1988, people in Australia have stopped gluing or taping up their money because it was replaced by polymer banknotes. They were released on the 200th anniversary of the settling of the continent by Europeans. Strong and water-resistant money immediately became popular. But the Reserve Bank did not stop at this and today one can even see animated Australian banknotes.
By the way, the practical approach of Australia has already been borrowed by New Zealand, Romania, New Guinea, Vietnam, Brunei, Canada, and the Maldives. More than 20 other countries including Israel, Mexico, and Great Britain are also planning to shift to new banknotes.
3. 3D zebra crossing, Iceland
In Ísafjörður, Icelandic officials decided to create a more effective pedestrian crossing. The painters made ordinary stripes appear as if they are 3-dimensional. They did it so ingeniously that they seem to be suspended in the air at first glace.
The idea was brought by the local environmental commissioner, Ralf Trylla, who once saw this innovation in India. As practice shows, drivers tend to notice such a crossing faster than the usual one.
2. Marriage contracts and wave energy, Brazil
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When applying for a marriage in Brazil, a couple is asked what type of marriage contract they wish to choose. There are 3 options. The first one is when the property that the spouses bought during the marriage and before will be equally divided in case of divorce. In the second option, only property brought within the marriage will be divided, and in the third option, property will not be divided at all. It seems to be a good idea for those who want to get married on a passionate whim.
90% of the country’s energy is provided by alternative sources. Moreover, Brazil became one of the first countries that started to transform the energy of waves. And the potential of the country is great because the length of Brazil’s coastline is almost 5,000 miles.
1. Greenhouse evolution, the Netherlands
The Netherlands is the undisputed leader in innovation. Approximately every 20 minutes a new licensed invention is created at Eindhoven University. In addition, this small country takes second place in product export. They produce 2.5 times more products on an acre of land than other countries do.
Also, the country is a champion in the production of tomatoes and onions, and the country owns half of the world’s flower market.
The main “engine” in agriculture would be greenhouses. They are popular in backyards, multistoried ones are found in the cities, and compact ones in the houses. Over the past 20 years, farmers have reduced dependence on water by 90% and have quit using pesticides completely.
Local farmers follow the innovative ideas of Wageningent University that became the analog of Silicon Valley in Food Valley. In the Duijvestijn Tomaten complex, for example, 15 types of tomatoes are grown on basalt fiber.
The innovator Jan Koppert sells cotton bags of ladybug larvae to fight aphids, bottles with predatory mites that eat plant mites, and bumblebees and butterflies for pollination to 95 countries. All farmers claim that crops have increased by 30%.
All agriculture in the Netherlands is organized in the spirit of the 21st century. The principle is simple — to produce more products using less land and energy. It is very important for the planet since its population will reach 10 billion by the year 2050.
Bonus: Flying cars, China
Anyone who knows about it wants Luke Skywalker’s X-34 landspeeder from Star Wars. The good news is that this technology already exists. The Volkswagen company has created a fantastic hover car design that doesn’t have any wheels and gets power from electromagnetic levitation that helps the device float just above the road. The 2-seater vehicle will also have such functions as autopilot, voice recognition, anti-collision sensors, and a steering joystick. This innovation does not emit any harmful gases to people and nature and it helps avoid traffic jams, as well.