Posts Tagged ‘behaviour change’
Posted in Models by Kate Archdeacon on December 28th, 2011
From “How the Dutch got their cycle paths” by Sarah Goodyear for Project for Public Spaces:
Given the reputation of the Netherlands as a cyclist’s paradise, you might think that its extensive cycling infrastructure came down from heaven itself, or was perhaps created by the wave of a magic wand. Not so. It was the result of a lot of hard work, including massive street protests and very deliberate political decision-making.
The video [click through below] offers vital historical perspective on the way the Netherlands ended up turning away from the autocentric development that arose with postwar prosperity, and chose to go down the cycle path. It lists several key factors, including public outrage over the amount of space given to automobiles; huge protests over traffic deaths, especially those of children, which were referred to by protesters as “child murder”; and governmental response to the oil crisis of the 1970s, which prompted efforts to reduce oil dependence without diminishing quality of life.
The Netherlands is often perceived as an exceptional nation in terms of its transportation policies and infrastructure. And yet there is nothing inherently exceptional about the country’s situation. As the narrator says at the end of the film, “The Netherlands’ problems were and are not unique. Their solutions shouldn’t be that either.”
Watch the video. It’s inspiring (“…it seems so simple”) and frustrating (“aaargh…it seems so simple!”) at the same time.
Posted in Visions by Kate Archdeacon on November 9th, 2011
„mo“ – a flexible mobility system for the city of tomorrow
mo is a new mobility system – it helps make the city a better place to live. mo subscribers can rent bikes, cargobikes, ebikes and cars or use public transportation with just one card. With mo it pays to be eco-friendly: choose an eco-friendly transport or use your own bike to collect momiles. The more momiles the lower your bill. For instance if you mostly ride bikes, renting a car gets cheaper. Cycle and save money.
About the design concept: Under the direction of Munich design agency LUNAR Europe, a “human-centred” design process has been used to develop an innovative mobility system by the name of “mo”. The concept study, developed in collaboration with environmental organisation Green City e.V. and the University of Wuppertal, is based on a flexible, affordable and sustainable combination of bike rental systems, local public transport and car sharing.
>> Read more about mo.
Posted in Research by Kate Archdeacon on October 13th, 2011
Source: Food Climate Research Network (FCRN)
This paper is written by David Evans of the Sustainable Consumption Institute. It is based on observations of ‘ordinary’ people shopping for and preparing food (19 households in all). It argues that, contrary to the prevailing view, people do know how to cook and do care about throwing food away. However it argues that the pressure to ‘eat properly’, in part a consequence of the styles promoted by celebrity chefs, gives rise to food purchasing habits that are unrealistic and give rise to waste. It concludes by suggesting ways in which food waste can be reduced – by portion resizing and by moves to “normalise the provisioning of foodstuffs that are not susceptible to rapid decay” (ie. tins, dried foods, frozen foods etc).
Reference and abstract as follows:
Evans D (2011). Blaming the consumer – once again: the social and material contexts of everyday food waste practices in some English households, Critical Public Health, 1–12
In public debates about the volume of food that is currently wasted by UK households, there exists a tendency to blame the consumer or individualise responsibilities for affecting change. Drawing on ethnographic examples, this article explores the dynamics of domestic food practices and considers their consequences in terms of waste. Discussions are structured around the following themes: (1) feeding the family; (2) eating ‘properly’; (3) the materiality of ‘proper’ food and its intersections with the socio-temporal demands of everyday life and (4) anxieties surrounding food safety and storage. Particular attention is paid to the role of public health interventions in shaping the contexts through which food is at risk of wastage. Taken together, I argue that household food waste cannot be conceptualised as a problem of individual consumer behaviour and suggest that policies and interventions might usefully be targeted at the social and material conditions in which food is provisioned.
Read the article and related links on FCRN.
Or read about it on the SCI website.
Are you looking for practical, achievable ways to reduce the impact of electricity price rises in your community? The Community Power Conference: Australian Communities Taking Charge, aims to showcase how regional Australian communities: are developing innovative energy projects, helping to reduce local economic shocks can take practical action to hedge against rising energy prices.
14 -15 November, The Capital – Bendigo Performing Arts Centre, View Street, Bendigo
The Centre for Sustainable Regional Communities, in its third biennial conference on renewable energy, is partnering with the Central Victoria Solar City project, part of the Australian Government’s Solar Cities program, and the City of Greater Bendigo, to deliver an exciting exploration of current energy efficiency and renewable energy strategies and actions being taken by Australian communities. This conference will show your community what it can do with regard to:
- more efficient use of energy in homes and businesses
- more effective demand management to smooth peak energy loads, and
- developing local, renewable energy generators embedded within the national distribution network.
The conference will bring together leaders in the renewable energy industry including government, industry associations and communities which have adopted sustainable strategies built on innovative, renewable energy business models. Speakers will engage with community and municipality leaders:
- Outlining and developing comprehensive strategies for local and regional energy sustainability (identifying appropriate business models, overcoming policy barriers, engaging your community, knowing your technology options);
- Showcasing examples of regional communities that have already, or are in the process of putting such strategies in place; and,
- Reviewing and developing communities’ local and regional energy sustainability policy and programs.
If your community is facing increased energy costs and you would like to learn how to address this issue at the local level then this conference can help you. Follow the link below for more information.
From “Discussion round up: sustainability in the fashion business” by Jenny Purt:
What should the priorities be for the apparel business?
Labour conditions, water footprints, fibres and carbon.
An initial step would be for companies to make a concerted effort to adopt a few fabrics that are more sustainable but which may cost 5-10% more in base price. This would cause a chain reaction in the rest of industry. As big brands source more responsible textiles for their collections, there will be a bigger volume of orders which will lower the overall manufacturing cost (and therefore retail price), making the product more accessible to the mainstream market.[...]
How can companies increase sustainability throughout their supply chains?
In order to implement systemic change, there must first be a market for sustainable products, and currently that is quite small. Companies need to heighten customer awareness of where clothing comes from, how it is made and the social and environmental impact of its production. One panellist commented that there is a market for sustainability but currently consumers just don’t know enough. The first step is internal transparency.[...]
Can collaboration help?
Sharing best practices is a key element for change in the industry. Sharing knowledge is critical because the clothing industry is very complex and there is not just one answer. Only through collaboration at different stages of the supply chain we can find solutions.
How can brands bring ethical fashion into the mainstream?
While there are some super-premium ethical fashion brands, the market lacks stylish, affordable clothes from well-known high-street brands. One of the problems is that many ethical fashion companies do not get the exposure of the big, non-ethical brands because they cannot afford PR representation which is the engine house of the fashion industry. This means while there may be editors and stylists who would like some of the ethical fashion being produced, they are not exposed to it in the same way they are to big labels. The Mintel report in 2009 showed that some consumers would buy ethical fashion if prices were lower. However others said they would not trust cheap ethical fashion.[...]
What steps are being made across the apparel industry to encourage people to value quality and longevity over quantity and trends?
Mainstream retailers saw a “flight to quality” during the last recession. This means customers moving away from the cheaper, value products to more design-led and added-value pieces. This could be an interesting way of moving mainstream fashion to more sustainable sources if we can demonstrate real design value in ethical alternatives.[...]
Is organic cotton a sustainable solution?
There are a whole range of viewpoints on organic cotton with the most controversial being that farming cotton, organic or not, is not a sustainable option due to water availability. With many man-made fibres starting to mimic the touch, feel and handle of organic cotton, we will start to see cotton production levels falling and replacement fibres taking centre stage. The WWF recently produced a report on cotton highlighting the work done by the Better Cotton Initiative and the wider issues surrounding cotton production.[...]
Adopting more than one fibre type
Made-by has created an environmental benchmark for fibres which compares 23 fibres and ranks them on their sustainability impact. The organisation works with brands to develop a sustainable fibre strategy, swapping less sustainable fibres for those that are more sustainable.[...]
How can brands communicate sustainable approaches to consumers?
M&S [Marks & Spencer] is a leader in terms getting the message of its sustainability strategy out to the public but there are also other big brands doing some really interesting things. For example, Nike’s apparel eco index has now been released as open source. The company has also integrated its sustainability team into its business innovation lab with the ethos of “business as normal”. Puma are well known for its Clever Little Bag campaign, getting rid of shoe boxes and using a reusable bag instead. The sports company is also working on product development with eco scorecards and converting more of their range to sustainable materials, including cotton made in Africa. It is key for a brand to find an appropriate product and lexicon to communicate their approach to sustainability [...]
How can companies change consumer behaviour?
One panellist said that some of the best examples have come from the laundry sector. Procter & Gamble’s Ariel Turn to 30 campaign has been successful in raising awareness around washing at lower temperatures to save money as has Persil’s Small and Mighty washing product which is designed to clean in 30 minutes. There have also been encouraging examples in the apparel industry with Patagonia developing closed loop recycling for their fleeces and Tesco’s collection and redistribution of used school uniforms through British Red Cross a few years ago.[...]
How can businesses work with suppliers to increase sustainability?
Panellists agreed that talking to suppliers is key to getting internal transparency. One panellist said that in her experience suppliers are quite knowledgeable and enthusiastic about traceability and sustainable materials. If a business has an existing supply chain, a life-cycle-wide assessment of the overall impact might help identify the weakest areas in the chain. An initiative such as the Sustainable Apparel Coalition’s could help identify what issues to start chipping away at.[...]
What comes next for the fashion industry?
One of the major trends will be securing resources, raw materials, energy and water to run factories. Cotton prices have gone up over the last 12 months with factories in Bangladesh suffering four or five power cuts every day. With rising energy and water bills all over the world, even the big brands will struggle with these issues. Companies should see these challenges as an opportunity for more sustainable designs. The sector will face even tougher competition as suppliers from emerging countries establish their own brands and export to international markets in parallel with their work as contractors. New rules must be set and a common and clearer understanding about what is and is not sustainable is needed.
Key issues are:
- Consumer behaviour change – especially in how we clean and dispose of clothes.
- Making sustainable development desirable.
- Climate change adaptation – as the planet’s temperature changes, consumers needs from clothes will change.
Read the full article by Jenny Purt on the Guardian.
Posted in Models by Kate Archdeacon on October 3rd, 2011
Source: Japan for Sustainability
Under the new system, Yamato Transport Co. charters a single streetcar from Keifuku Electric Railroad at its Saiin carbarn, loads the streetcar with container dollies bearing parcels, and delivers them to Arashiyama Station and Randen-Saga Station. In Arashiyama, sales drivers unload the dollies, reload them onto carriers pulled by electric bicycles, and then deliver the parcels to customers.
Yamato Transport had already been using railway to transport parcels between some of its service offfices; however, this is the first modal shift between one of its distribution terminals and its sales offices, where parcels are actually collected and delivered. The company will introduce this system at other Randen streetcar stations and try to collect and deliver parcels while minimizing its use of trucks.
Yamato Transport hopes to reduce carbon emissions in Kyoto City, a city that, as the birthplace of the Kyoto Protocol, aims to be a model of environmental stewardship under the slogan “Walking City, Kyoto.”
Read the full article on Japan for Sustainability.
Source: Sustainable Bristol
From “Will Business embrace Lunchtime Allotments?” by Paul Rainger:
Growing your own is all the rage. With long waiting lists for allotment space, we’ve seen veg beds spring up in parks, guerrilla growers taking over derelict land and even veg growing on supermarket roofs. The beneficial effects of reconnecting which nature through growing are well studied, from healthy eating itself, through to general improvements in health, happiness and even productivity at work. So, could leading business embrace Lunchtime Allotments as the next must have staff perk?
Will tomorrow’s young generation of more values-led employees see an hour lunchtime break to tend their veg as another key differentiator between good and bad employers, just as secure bicycle parking and showers are for many today? One company in Bristol, Arup, are already leading the way in the city. Staff in their city centre Bristol office haven’t let lack of space get in their way. They have simply taken over the nearby wide grass verge by the main bus lane.Now beans and courgettes pass by the window of the traffic heading up to the train station. You can even follow their adventures on [their blog http://ovagrown.blogspot.com/].
What if every business played its part in greening our city? Not the bland corporate shrubbery we see today, but the real veg growing of Lunchtime Allotments like this. Businesses would benefit from the improved productivity, health and wellbeing of their staff. And in these times of recession in the public sector, it may now be the best way of achieving the truly edible city.
Read the original article by Paul Rainger on Sustainable Bristol
From “Cities rethink urban spaces with ‘pop-up’ projects” by Siri Agrell:
‘Pop-up’ urban planning gives cities the freedom to experiment with projects on a temporary basis, allowing innovative ideas a trial run without expensive commitment of taxpayer money. Cities around the world are embracing the idea, leading in many cases to permanent changes in the urban landscape.
If there is a reigning Queen of Pop-Up, it is Janette Sadik-Khan, the New York city transportation commissioner. In 2009, Ms. Sadik-Khan famously closed Times Square to traffic, transforming it into a pedestrian mall by simply throwing down some pylons and offering a smattering of lawn chairs. Although some drivers howled, Ms. Sadik-Khan was ready for the criticism, and began citing statistics she gathered by closely tracking the experiment.
The city quickly found that revenues from businesses in Times Square had risen 71 per cent, and that injuries to motorists and passengers in the project areas dropped 63 per cent. The city installed GPS units into 13,000 taxis so that the Department of Transportation could track the impact on car traffic, and found that northbound trips in the west midtown area around Times Square were actually 17 per cent faster.
The pop-up projects didn’t stop there. Ms. Sadik-Khan brought temporary public swimming pools onto Manhattan streets last summer, and, over the course of a single weekend, she turned a Brooklyn parking lot into a park by painting a white border and filling it in with green to represent grass. “It was a quick way of showing you can transform a space in a matter of hours instead of a matter of years,” she told Esquire magazine.
She performs most of her transformations without capital funds from the city, scrounging up cash and resources and avoiding actually asking permission.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration has embraced the tactic, and now uses the term “pilot project” to introduce programs into other departments, including education, making them exempt from the usual approval processes.
Read the full article by Siri Agrell for The Globe and Mail.
For an interesting follow-up, read this March piece in the NY Times, outlining the difficulties faced by the city officials mentioned above. KA
Posted in Movements by Kate Archdeacon on September 13th, 2011
From “How garage & basement apartments help people, neighborhoods and the environment” by Kaid Benfield:
One of the best ways to accommodate growth (as we must) without either exacerbating sprawl or disturbing the character of existing communities is by using so-called “accessory units” – secondary dwellings attached to a main home, such as garage and basement apartments. Sometimes these are called “granny flats” or “in-law suites” because of their usefulness to house extended family members while giving them the privacy that comes with having their own, separate entarnces and homes. For the primary homeowner, it can also be an excellent source of income to help pay for the mortgage or other needs. For the neighborhood, it brings in a mixture of housing types and price points, adding variety and affordability while preserving architectural character. It also helps people “age in place” as their housing needs shrink without having to leave their neighborhoods. Municipal planners are taking note: Vancouver, for example, promotes “laneway housing” facing alleys as part of its “EcoDensity” program; Seattle encourages “backyard cottages.”
Read the full article by Kaid Benfield for more on this, a related article in USA Today, and info about a new book called In-Laws, Outlaws and Granny Flats.
Source: Fast Company‘s Co.Design
Photos: Jean Baptiste Fastrez
From A Series Of Teakettles, Merges Craft and Mass Production by Belinda Lanks:
Like so many generic office towers, electric teakettles (standard in European households) soak up precious real estate without offering the slightest bit of aesthetic value. The Parisian designer Jean-Baptiste Fastrez wants to change that, by creating one-of-a-kind teakettles, with the help of artisans and a few mass-produced parts. For his “Variations Upon a Teakettle” project, Fastrez merged the industrial and handmade, combining standard-issue electric parts, which meet safety and heat regulations, with beautiful, artisan-crafted vessels. In his words: “In opposition to the industrial ideal (an object for all) is a more human and sustainable production: something for everyone.” The project is a touch profound — demonstrating how craftspeople can still add lasting value, despite all the trappings of modern production.
If an electric teakettle can be assembled from off-the-shelf (OEM) heating elements as well as handmade vessels, then these separate components can be repaired or replaced if they are damaged or when the owner’s taste changes. That would be an enormous improvement on the current system, where mass-manufactured kettles are very difficult to repair and are usually thrown away. Kate A