Sustainable Design Awards Toolkit

Section 4.7 - Transportation visions

Sustainable design doesn't only happen in the UK. There are thousands of products being produced worldwide. In Western Europe the life expectancy for a paraplegic is about normal, but in developing countries where they are less advantaged it can be only 2 to 3 years. The Motivation Charitable Trust ( is aiming to extend their life and the quality of it. They are seeking an improvement through the Mekong Wheelchair. It can be a locally produced product that offers sufferers a greater freedom in their life however long. More than 800 mahogany framed 3 wheeler Mekong Wheel Chairs are now produced in a number of developing countries such as Cambodia, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

The 'Rocky Mountain Institute' (RMI) ( are aiming to follow up their environmental policies on forestry by improving public transport in the area and helping communities discover alternatives. RMI and Green Development services are promoting less mobility hungry societies with an emphasis on more transit friendly communities and real estate. When this isn't possible and a car is at present a necessary solution, RMI are developing the 'Hyper Car', a radically cleaner and more efficient form of transport compared with those methods currently used. RMI have been refining and promoting the 'Hyper Car' since 1991, with the aim of decreasing the need for imported fuel supplies, increasing energy security in nationally and locally based resources. The concept would offer an ultra-light construction, better performance, affordability, safety, hybrid-electric drive and most importantly a huge improvement in fuel economy. The proposed use of fuel cells that run on tanks of compressed gaseous hydrogen fuel would virtually eliminate pollutants. The RMI website ( gives more information on the car and how they are promoting the product in the USA and in developing companies which they hope will develop the car to leapfrog current less sustainable car users. The concept 'Hyper car'

The Norm Thompson Web Site Many institutes and companies are pledging to improve their environmental policies. Leading US-based catalogue company, Norm Thompson, is looking at ways to improve their service using sustainable methods. The have pledged a commitment to sustainability that includes eliminating PVC from their product lines by 2006 due to its impact on the environment in use and disposal. They plan to phase in organic cotton and also develop recyclable and biodegradable packaging. The first signs of progress in this area are its inserts that are printed with non-toxic soy-based ink and produced on recycled paper.

Sustainable projects ( and

The Eden Project Web Site In March 2001 the world's largest greenhouse opened its doors, the Eden project. It says so much for the principles of sustainability, enhancing understanding of interaction between people, plants and resources. The showcase is situated in an old clay quarry in Cornwall and contains 80,000 of the world's plants in its outstanding structural domed shaped segments. The structure skin of the project is fabricated from hexagonal geodesic panels, glazed with transparent ETFE foil pillows - each weighing 1% of its glass equivalent and requiring a mere fraction of the energy during manufacture. The structure lends itself to the environment, needing no rock-blasts for its construction and giving its viewers a breath-taking impact to symbolize their relationship with nature.
Following the successes of the Eden Project 'Nicholas Grimshaw and Partners' have been approached to create Ecolandia in Yvedon-le-Bains, a Switzerland-based vision linking its people, the latest technology and the environment. Within the areas of entertainment, education, commerce and nature will overlap to create 30,000 square metres of informed sustainability. At the centre are illustrations of four different ecological systems of the planet each making up an 'Eco-dream' area. Section Of Ecolandia
The Nicholas Grimshaw & Partners Web Site The building is semi-transparent to allow light to seep in and the outer layer of the building includes photovoltaic solar panels. 'Nicholas Grimshaw & Partners' hope to echo the beauty of its surrounding and outer structure of the proposed architecture with a deeper inner beauty of the promotion of sustainability. The project is due to open in the year 2006.

Inspirational Current Work
4.1  Inspiration
4.2  Alternative energy sources
4.3  Alternative materials in products
4.4  Efficient products
4.5  Design for disassembly
4.6  Innovative redesign
4.7  Transportation visions
4.8  Changing design perspectives
Toolkit Index
Section 1.
Sustainability Issues
Section 2.
Companies and Products
Section 3.
Ecodesign Tools
Section 4.
Inspirational current work

Biodegradable products containing Mater-Bi polymers

Photograph of a hand with the sun behind