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Archive for March, 2009

Lowhub – delivery / waste model

Posted in Models by fedwards on March 25th, 2009

Lowhub is a sustainable delivery company, using electric vehicles or those fuelled with biodiesel produced from used cooking oil, to restaurants, retailers, hotels and delicatessens in Central London. They have recently been interviewed by the Food Climate Research Network and you can read the interview by clicking here or just access it from the home page.

Launch of new Environment, Health and Development research network

Posted in Research by fedwards on March 23rd, 2009

A new Environment, Health and Development research network has been launched in 2009, funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council. Please see the website:

There will be an inaugural conference in June 2009. This will comprise an electronic conference and a symposium, where we will particularly explore the role of social science perspectives on themes linking environment, health and development, discuss different analytical approaches, and discuss ways forward for the network. The website gives details of how to join the network and how to apply for the symposium.
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Applications for fellowships at TEDGlobal 2009 have now opened!

Posted in Events by fedwards on March 19th, 2009

TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from those three worlds. Since then its scope has become ever broader. TED is excited to begin the search for the inaugural class of TEDGlobal Fellows to participate in the TEDGlobal Conference in Oxford, U.K. Following the successful Fellows program launch in Long Beach, CA, they are looking for the next eclectic group of 25 innovators from around the world.

TED Fellows may apply or be nominated by another individual. Please follow this link to apply. To nominate a candidate, email fellows@ The program will accept applications for fellowships from March 6, 2009 through April 3, 2009.

For more information the TED Fellows program visit

Cars and Cities

Posted in Models by Devin Maeztri on March 13th, 2009

The section below is republished with permission from the Going Solar Transport Newsletter #101, 10 March 2009, compiled by Stephen Ingrouille. Going Solar newsletter provides an excellent commentary on sustainable transport issues.

“Only a few months after his election in the summer of 2000, [the Mayor of London Ken] Livingstone began courting Robert R. Kiley, a former C.I.A. official, business leader and transit expert, who as head of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in New York in the 1980’s was credited with resurrecting the city’s graffiti-scarred subway system, now considered one of the best in the world. Kiley, given the new title of London’s transport commissioner, brought with him another former top New York transit official, Jay Walder, who had become an expert on road pricing at Harvard and in Singapore, where a smaller but much more costly congestion-charging system in place for more than 25 years has cut car ownership to 1 in 10 city residents.

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Seeking information – do you grow your own food for ‘survival’?

Posted in Research by fedwards on March 13th, 2009

I realise that ‘survival’ is a fairly strong term, but I’m wondering if there are many people out there – in Australia and elsewhere – who have been or who have recently started to grow their own food in order to supplement their diets? The reasons of course may be varied – is it due to burgeoning tough times in the economic recession, is it because you’d like to become more self-sufficient and self-supporting, is it because you want to act and do something for yourself and for the environment in this era of climate change? Of course, there’s probably many more reasons than that…. And maybe you’re doing other things besides…. I’d be very interested to know.

Please either comment on Sustainable Cities Net below or email me directly at fedwards
Ferne Edwards, Moderator,

Healthy Cities Conference

Posted in Events by fedwards on March 10th, 2009

Please see message below from Sophie Secombe, Healthy Cities Conference Secretariat. More information is available at

There are only 2 weeks remaining until the Healthy Cities Conference being held at the Holiday Inn, Surfers Paradise 25th – 27th March 2009. The Conference will be a platform for Government, Academics and Industry sector professionals to consider health, sustainability, natural resource management, climate change, urban design and the implications for public policy. The future will present some exciting challenges, what do we need to meet these challenges and how will it effect the way we live and work?

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On the state of sustainable cities

Posted in Research by fedwards on March 6th, 2009

The section below is republished with permission from the Going Solar Transport Newsletter #99, 24 February 2009, compiled by Stephen Ingrouille. Going Solar newsletter provides an excellent commentary on sustainable transport issues. The original article is by John Whitelegg, Canberra Times, 4/2/09. It outlines the states of several world cities such as London, Beijing and Sydney.

“The world’s great cities are at a crucial tipping point in their development. London is finding it difficult to cope with the growth in demand for public transport, Beijing has serious air pollution and the infrastructure of US cities is collapsing. Australia’s cities are rightly regarded as some of the finest urban environments in the world but they, too, are in trouble.

“The Sydney city region is typical. Its traffic levels are among the highest in the world, its air pollution routinely breaches World Health Organisation standards, and its planning and metropolitan governance are not fit for the purpose. Brisbane, Perth and Melbourne have fuelled traffic growth with an excess of highly expensive new highways and a failure to recognise global trends in so-called demand management. London has its congestion charge, Toronto will not build new roads and many other cities are heavily into high-quality public transport, walking and cycling strategies. Australia is being left behind.
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Report on Superstores and Climate Change

Posted in Research by fedwards on March 4th, 2009

A short paper by economist Jean-Marie Beauvais describes the results of a study indicating that shopping at large, suburban ‘superstores’ consumes more than four times as much transport energy as local grocery store shopping. This aspect has also been discussed (with possible alternative transport models) in the “Virtual Shopping” chapter of George Monbiot‘s book, “Heat“. To view the Beauvais article visit

Recent report by the UN on the Environmental Food Crisis

Posted in Research by fedwards on March 2nd, 2009

See an abstract of a review below about the United Nation’s report titled the “Environmental Food Crisis” from, 18 February 2009.

The United Nations has warned that 2008’s food shortage could foreshadow an even bigger crisis to come, with food prices expected to rise substantially as production fails to meet demand. According to the United Nations Environment Programme’s latest report, The Environmental Food Crises, food prices could increase by 30-50% “within decades” as up to 25% of the world’s food production could be lost due to “environmental breakdowns” by 2050.

“A lot of the factors contributing to today’s food shortages are expected to get a lot worse,” a UNEP spokesperson told just-food. “These include drought, depletion of grain stocks, high oil prices, biofuels and speculation in food stocks.”

According to the study, climate change is likely to be a key factor undermining food production, with water shortages and the spread of pests threatening future yields.  The study calls for a re-examination of the way food is produced, handled and disposed of globally.

The UNEP called on governments meeting at the upcoming UN climate convention in Copenhagen to agree a “deep and decisive” new global deal.

More information can be found online at: