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Archive for January, 2009

Ecopolis video – featuring Australia’s John Lasich and his solar technology

Posted in Models by fedwards on January 30th, 2009

Check out this Youtube video (3 minutes) which features John Lasich, Co-Founder of Solar System, who believes that we can access enough energy for all the world’s megacities (more on sustainable cities!).

The Climate Group Plans To Develop Low Carbon Cities In China

Posted in Sustainable Cities by fedwards on January 28th, 2009

Please find an abstract from a news story posted on the World Business Council for Sustainable Development website. More and more sustainable cities can only be a good thing!

The Climate Group Plans To Develop Low Carbon Cities In China

ChinaCSR, 19 January 2009 – The Climate Group has announced plans to develop 15 to 20 low carbon cities in China in the next three to five years to encourage the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions and address the problem of climate change. The Climate Group said in a report released in Beijing that China would miss the best opportunity to retain its technology advantage and core competitiveness in the world market if it lets slip the opportunities brought by the global financial crisis.

Wu Changhua, director for Greater China of The Climate Group, said that as a path for development, the core aim of a low-carbon economy is to increase energy efficiency and change the energy structure. She said that this would mean cleaner, more efficient and lower green house gas emission for China. Wu added that besides big cities like Beijing, Shanghai, and Tianjin, the Climate Group would mainly target second-tier and third-tier cities in China for the low-carbon initiative as these smaller cities provide more opportunity for development.

To read the full story visit the World Business Council for Sustainable Development website.

Call for Papers for Environmental Studies Association of Canada (ESAC)

Posted in Research by fedwards on January 23rd, 2009

The 2009 Environmental Studies Association of Canada (ESAC) Conference will be held May 27-29 at Carleton University in Ottawa, hosted by the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, as part of the annual Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences.

We invite interested academics, graduate students, practitioners and activists to join us in exploring research and teaching related to environmental studies in Canada. Various formats will be considered, including: papers, roundtable discussions, film screenings, posters, audio-visual submissions, etc. We welcome proposals for joint sessions with other scholarly associations.

Deadline for proposals: January 31, 2009.
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New Report Tracks Progress on Sustainability in Britain’s Biggest Cities

Posted in Research by fedwards on January 21st, 2009

The Sustainable Cities Index tracks progress on sustainability in Britain’s largest cities, ranking them on environmental performance, quality of life and future-proofing. It enables city leaders to track their progress against a set of indicators relating to factors which councils are able to influence. Bristol has ousted Brighton and Hove to become Britain’s most sustainable city, with Plymouth third. The report reveals a clear north-south divide particularly on quality of life, but Newcastle has managed to buck this trend coming in fourth. The project has been endorsed by Margaret Eaton, chairman of the Local Government Association: “Forum for the Future’s Sustainable Cities Index has driven real change by inspiring cities to adopt more ambitious sustainability strategies and by providing a framework against which they can benchmark their efforts.”
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ULTra Personal Rapid Transit System

Posted in Models, RDAG by Kate Archdeacon on January 21st, 2009

ULTra (Urban Light Transport) is a model of PRT that has developed beyond the concept stage and is currently being tested at Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 5. Personal Rapid Transport has been advocated since the 1950s as offering “on-demand, non-stop transportation, using small, independent vehicles on a network of specially-built guideways”. [wikipedia]

ULTra Media Photos

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2009 Summer Certificate Course: Sustainable Environmental Management

Posted in Events by Devin Maeztri on January 20th, 2009

What: 2009 Summer Certificate Course – “Sustainable Environmental Management”
When: June 26 – July 18, 2009
: University of California
Application: no later than January 30, 2009.

For more information please contact:
Program Coordinator – Elna Brunckhorst
Program Co-directors – Robin Marsh and David Zilberman

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Urban Design and Health

Posted in Research by fedwards on January 19th, 2009

The section below is republished with permission from the Going Solar Transport Newsletter #93, 13 January 2009, compiled by Stephen Ingrouille. Going Solar newsletter provides an excellent commentary on local sustainable transport issues in Melbourne.

“The closer you live to the city, the better chance you have of being trim, a study of Sydney suburbs has found. University of NSW researchers, in conjunction with the NSW Department of Health, examined residents in 40 local government areas across Sydney. They found those living in the outer suburbs were 30 to 50 per cent more at risk of being overweight and 40 to 60 per cent less likely to be physically active than their inner-city counterparts. ‘We set out to replicate other studies that linked urban sprawl and obesity that were conducted overseas, particularly in the US, and to see how Sydney compared’, said Bin Jalaludin, who led the study. Professor Jalaludin said the lack of urban development in more sparsely populated areas meant people were less encouraged to walk. ’We hypothesised that areas with greater population density had more mixed land use and commercial development, which means more places to walk to’, he said. The study also connected car use in sprawling areas to obesity. ‘It seems that people living in purely residential areas tend to drive more and we know that people who drive more tend to be more obese’, Professor Jalaludin said. Read the rest of this entry »

Welcome to the Sustainable Cities Network 2009!

Posted in Movements by fedwards on January 12th, 2009

The Sustainable Cities Network has now re-awakened for 2009 and we’re keen to foster sustainable action and solid achievements for the year to come! Posts will now be updated a few days each week and we extend our welcome for people to place news of their own urban-based sustainability initiatives, events, research and requests online. A selection of the Sustainable Cities Network material will also be collated into our email newsletter (based on the Sustainable Melbourne website) which reaches over 1,600 interested others in Melbourne and beyond! To find out how to post your content on the Sustainable Cities Network visit theHow to use this site‘ link.