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Posts Tagged ‘new behaviours’

Solar Access Sharing Startup in the US

Posted in Models, Sustainable Cities by Kate Archdeacon on January 19th, 2011

by Dayna Burtness via Springwise

Image by Davide Cassenti via flickr under this Creative Commons license.  See also

The new real estate is your roof (or even your front yard).  With new thinking, the right information, being connected and a little entrepreneurship, new models of sustainability and new economic value can be revealed.   Put all of this together and you get Seglet.

Solar power is not quite as straightforward in the United States as it is in many other countries, largely because there is no countrywide policy on solar encouragement. Nonetheless, rooftops and other sunny spaces remain a desirable asset for utility companies and independent power producers, and that’s where Seglet comes in. The California-based site aims to connect property owners with commercial and individual users interested in renting or profit-sharing rooftops and other property segments.

Property owners begin by listing their roof or open land for free; Seglet automatically adds solar radiation and other details. Energy companies, independent power producers, energy consultants, investors, urban agriculturalists and others in need of sunny, open space can then browse through Seglet when they need a location for a new project. Along with each listing, they can easily see the site’s solar radiation, wind speed and wind direction, and meteorological data.

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Collaborative Democracy

Posted in Research, Visions by Kate Archdeacon on September 3rd, 2010


Image: infomatique from flickr CC

This article is from a remixed talk by Beth Noveck’s on “Transparent Government“. The talk was given as  part of the Long Now Foundation‘s Seminars about Long-Term Thinking. The talks were remixed by Hassan Masum, are made available under a Creative Commons by-nc-sa 2.5 license.

The talk describes a social experiment “which seized upon the truth that each of us is an expert in something” that was designed to investigate ways of re-energising democratic decision making.  It started from the following point,

We have been concentrating decision-making power in the hands of too few people – whether legislatures, or cabinet officials, or bureaucrats and agencies like the patent office. We construct our institutional practices around the notion that this is the best way that we have to make decisions. Even though we do not have a system of monarchy or aristocracy, we still believe in the notion of political expertise, and the notion that we have to rest power at the center.

What exacerbates this problem is that we are making long-term decisions that affect the fate of our planet. The fate of our economy, and of major systems of health care and education and environment, are being decided by people who are in short-term political positions. We have a disconnect between the long-term effect of what we do, and short-term electoral cycles.

We have to look at the ways we can reengineer our institutions to take advantage of the expertise that comes from outside the center, and bring it into the way that we make decisions.

Read the full article on Worldchanging

Zero Carbon Britain 2030: Report

Posted in Research by Kate Archdeacon on June 22nd, 2010

zerocarbonbritain2030 provides political and economic solutions to the urgent challenges raised by the climate science, outlining how we can transform the UK into an efficient, clean, prosperous zero-carbon society.  Covering energy, transport, land use, the built environment and industry, each chapter of the report has been written by bringing together the UK’s leading thinkers in their field including policy makers, scientists, academics, industry and NGOs.

zerocarbonbritain2030 is a fully integrated solution to climate change. It examines how we can meet our electricity and heating requirements through efficient service provision, while still decreasing carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and other emissions.

The report starts by examining the current “Context” in the Climate Science and Energy Security chapters. It then moves on to how we can “PowerDown” heat and electricity demand largely through new technology, efficient design and behaviour change. The “Land Use & Agriculture” section considers the tremendous potential of the land not only to decrease emissions but also to sequester residual emissions. We then move on to how we can “PowerUp” through the use of renewable technology. Finally we examine the policy that can help bring this about and the job creation that will come with it, in the “Framework, policy and economics” section.

A full copy of the new report is available as a free pdf , or buy a printed copy from the Centre for Alternative Technology.

High-density, human-scale: new approaches to apartment design

Posted in Models by Kate Archdeacon on July 17th, 2009

Source: Cathelijne Nuijsink, Metropolis Magazine


Kazuyo Sejima’s latest project, an apartment building in Yokohama, Japan, is an intricate composition of curves and voids that delicately balances privacy and community.

Completed last year for her independent firm, Kazuyo Sejima & Associates, the design refutes the Japanese practice of packing residences within inches of one another and cutting off all but windowless interiors from the world around them. “Architects may think about how to have a good relation with the surroundings but just in terms of one building volume,” Sejima says. “I want to bring character to each of the individual apartments.”

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Emissions-based Vehicle Excise Duty

Posted in Models, RDAG by Kate Archdeacon on December 12th, 2008

A different way of taxing car purchase & use provides consumers with rational pricing signals, based on environmental impacts, and may provide incentives to purchase more efficient vehicles.

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“Ride the Wind” CTrain

Posted in Models, RDAG by Kate Archdeacon on December 11th, 2008

An entire train system’s power-use is offset by the supplier’s payment to a wind-farm.

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London Congestion Charge

Posted in Models, RDAG by Kate Archdeacon on December 10th, 2008

The London Congestion Charge is a fee for some motorists travelling within those parts of London designated as the Congestion Charge Zone (CCZ). The charge aims to reduce traffic congestion and improve journey times by encouraging people to choose other forms of transport if possible.

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HomeZones Community Streetscapes

Posted in Models, RDAG by Kate Archdeacon on December 4th, 2008

HomeZones or Woonerf (Dutch) are grassroots, community-initiated streetscapes designed to develop and build community connectedness and safety by slowing motorised traffic and bringing human-scale activity back to the street.

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Creative Communities

Posted in Models, RDAG by Kate Archdeacon on December 1st, 2008

Amongst other initiatives, Creative Communities is an organisation that has encouraged street reclamation and social community activism. Their approach is used in many cities around the world – it is useful to any urban neighbourhood where cars are seen as a problem.

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