Archive for September, 2007

Research – Health in the urban environment

Posted in Research by fedwards on September 30th, 2007

The information below relates to recent research articles connecting health and the urban environment. The information below was contributed by Ben Harris-Roxas. If you know of other research that relates to aspects of urban sustainability please post them directly on-site (see “contribute a post” above) or email Ferne Edwards at fedwards

Health Impact Assessment in Urban Settings – Special Issue of NSW Public Health Bulletin

A new issue of the New South Wales Public Health Bulletin is now available. The issue focuses on HIA in urban settings and describes the contribution HIA can make to sustainable urban growth by establishing health as a core outcome. The issue has nineteen articles on urban planning and HIA, including nine HIA case studies.

Health Impact Assessment in Urban Settings (Special Issue)
Volume 18, Number 9-10, 2007

Health impact assessment in urban settings
Patrick J. Harris, Ben F. Harris-Roxas and Lynn Kemp

Influencing urban environments for health: NSW Health’s response
Sarah V. Thackway, Andrew J. Milat and Elizabeth Develin

International perspective on health impact assessment in urban settings
Salim Vohra

Read the rest of this entry »

Research – “Growing Cooler: : The Evidence on Urban Development and Climate Change” report

Posted in Models, Research, Visions by fedwards on September 27th, 2007

The Report “Growing Cooler: The Evidence on Urban Development and Climate Change” demonstrates that urban growth patterns are both a key contributor to climate change and an essential factor in combating it. The comprehensive review of dozens of studies demonstrates that it will be nearly impossible to avert climate change if the miles we all drive continues to accelerate, and that it is inevitable if we build so as to give ourselves no other choice. Even our most ambitious plans for improving mileage and efficiency for our vehicles will be overwhelmed by the increases in driving our communities require.

But here’s the truly good news: People do drive about a third less in compact, walkable places, with no coercion at all. And according to the market and demographic research amassed for the book, merely meeting the surging demand for these environments could significantly reduce the growth in the number of miles Americans drive, shrinking the nation’s carbon footprint while giving people more housing choices.

To find out more about the report, visit the home page at:

'Flooded Subway Station' by mysticchildz

Sustainable Cities – – Blog Action Day, 15 October

Posted in Events, Models, Movements by fedwards on September 27th, 2007

Republished with permission from

Blog about the Environment for Blog Action Day
Posted Wednesday, August 29, 2007

On October 15th, bloggers around the web will unite to put a single important issue on everyone’s mind – the environment. Every blogger will post about the environment in their own way and relating to their own topic. Blog Action Day’ aim is to get everyone talking towards a better future.

Blog Action Day is about MASS participation. Here are 3 ways to participate:

* Post on your blog relating to the environment on Blog Action Day
* Donate your day’s earnings to an environmental charity
* Promote Blog Action Day around the web


Sustainable Cities – – Sustainable Cities Round Table/ Future Melbourne forum

Posted in Events, Movements, Research by fedwards on September 27th, 2007

Resource – Carolyn Lewen & Neil Stanyer, Monash University & Photography Studies College, Sustainable Cities Round Table/ Future Melbourne forum

Ms Carolyn Lewen and Mr Neil Stanyer from Monash University and the Photography Studies College spoke about the value of water as conveyed through their installation art at the latest Sustainable Cities Round Table/ Future Melbourne forum. This artistic interpretation of water beautifully complemented the other speakers’ presentations, further endorsed by the installation of their artwork at the event itself. See below for footage of their presentation and their accompanying images.

artwork 2
artwork 3

Sustainable Cities – – Sustainable Cities Round Table/ Future Melbourne forum

Posted in Events, Movements, Research by fedwards on September 26th, 2007

Event – Introducing the Sustainable Cities Round Table/ Future Melbourne forum
September 25th, 2007
by ferne edwards

The Sustainable Cities Round Table/ Future Melbourne forum was held last Wednesday, 12 September, at the University of Melbourne. Focusing specifically on aspects of urban water sustainability – an issue that’s hitting hard all over Australia – the evening provided a broad spectrum of the various approaches, methods and values of urban water. To my delight we even had some artists’ (Carolyn Lewen & Neil Stanyer – see a post about their work on this site) water-themed installation project on display during the forum! Professor Chris Ryan hosted the evening and facilitated discussion in a “Jenny Brockie-style” format in the latter part of the evening.

As this was a collaborated event with the University of Melbourne and the City of Melbourne as part of the Future Melbourne forums, comments made during this session will be added to the Melbourne 2010 plan. Visit the Future Melbourne website for more information; The evening was professionally filmed by Ryan Spanger, Dream Engine films. Thanks to all our presenters! See their presentations from the evening on Sustainable Melbourne, See footage of Prof Chris Ryan below introducing the evening.

Seeking submissions – the IHDP Open Meeting 2008 – International Human Dimensions Program on Global Environmental Change is now open!

Posted in Events, Models, Research, Visions by fedwards on September 25th, 2007

The abstract submission period for the International Human Dimensions Program (IHDP) Open Meeting 2008 on Global Environmental Change is now open!

IHDP is accepting abstract submissions for sessions, oral presentations, and posters until November 30th this year on the new Open Meeting website:

IHSP OM’08 is themed ‘Social Challenges of Global Change’; the planning committee agreed on four core questions, which should cover the widespread aspects of the theme:
1. How do we deal with demographic challenges?
2. How do we deal with limitations of resources and ecosystem services?
3. How do we maintain social cohesion while increasing (global) equity?
4. How do we adapt institutions to address global change?

For more information on where to send your abstract submission visit

Research – Local food and market study, Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project

Posted in Research by fedwards on September 24th, 2007

The notice below was publicised on the Community Food Security Coalition list serve. It details a study released by the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project that explores the potential to expand local markets and products. Visit the website here:

Study Finds High Demand for Locally Grown Food
A new study released by Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project provides a detailed look at the food and farming economy of Western North Carolina and explores the potential to expand local markets for local farm products. The 320-page report, “Growing Local: Expanding the Western North Carolina Food and Farm Economy“, is the culmination of a multi-year research project funded by the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SSARE) program.

The research details:
(1) what food and farm products are currently produced in the region;
(2) how much of what is produced is also consumed in the region;
(3) the potential for increasing local consumption of locally produced food and farm products as a way to strengthen the regional farm economy; and
(4) where investment of resources and other actions could eliminate barriers currently impeding the purchase of local food.

The report may be downloaded from the ASAP Web site.

Seeking themes for The WorldWatch Institute’s State of the World report 2009

Posted in Research, Visions by fedwards on September 22nd, 2007

The WorldWatch Institute is seeking a theme for it’s State of the World report 2009.

For the past several years, themed editions have helped frame the annual State of the World report around the big ideas that will speed the transition to an environmentally sustainable world.

Each year, the Worldwatch Institute staff comes together to brainstorm the most important stories to include in the annual assessment of progress toward healthier societies, more equitable economies, and a cleaner environment.

Topics that have been highlighted include consumption, global security, the rise of China and India on the world scene, and the unprecedented demographic shift that will make the world predominantly urban for the first time in history. (Each of these reports can be ordered from the WorldWatch website). Next year, WorldWatch is planning to focus on the innovations needed to create a sustainable global economy.

To contribute ideas for the 2009 themed edition visit The WorldWatch Institute website at:

Model & Visions – Online game allows you to play with powering your city

Posted in Models, Visions by fedwards on September 20th, 2007

How do we meet growing global energy demand? What new kinds of fuels and power sources should be developed? These are the sorts of questions facing us all.

The Economist magazine with Chevron have developed an interactive, online game to help encourage greater understanding and dialogue of energy issues. Titled “Energyville“, this game puts you in charge of meeting the energy demands of your city. Choose from a portfolio of available energy sources to power your city from today through to the year 2030. Every decision you make will affect the environment, the economy, and even your city’s security.

Visit the Energyville game at:

Event – World Car-Free Day, 22 September

Posted in Events, Movements by fedwards on September 19th, 2007

From the Adbusters mailing list.

Every September 22, people across the globe get together to swear off their cars – if only for one day – in a collective reminder that we don’t have to accept car-dominated societies, cities, or personal lives. Since its earliest incarnations in the 1970s and ’80s, WORLD CAR-FREE DAY has grown into a massive global celebration of human-centric communities and people-powered transportation.

Car-Free Day 2007 could turn out to be the biggest yet. For the first time, China’s government is hopping on board, with official events talking place in more than 100 cities, including Beijing and Shanghai. Officials will reportedly be trading in their famed black sedans for public transportation, and some roads will be closed to private cars.

As the world tunes in to the fact that the climate is heating up, this is the perfect opportunity to take the heat off the planet, and put it on city planners and politicians to give priority to cycling, walking and public transport, instead of oil-hungry automobiles.

Visit ADBUSTERS.ORG for links to global resources on going car-free, first on September 22, and then in your everyday life. Let World Car-Free Day be a showcase for just how our cities might look, feel, and sound without cars – 365 days a year.

The Adbusters Team

'Car-Free Day' by Payton Chung