Posts Tagged ‘Resource’

Residential Design & the Benefits of Plants: Online Resource

Posted in Research by Kate Archdeacon on January 6th, 2010

Source: Sustainable Cities Collective, from “Sustainable Residential Design: Maximizing the Benefits of Plants”

The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) has created an online resource guide on maximising the benefits of plants through sustainable residential landscape architecture. The guide contains lists of organisations, research, concepts and projects related to plants and sustainable landscape architecture, and includes sections on: native [U.S.] plants, residential agriculture, residential wildlife habitat, indoor plants and residential composting. Developed for students and professionals, the resource guide contains recent reports and projects from leading U.S. and international organisations, academics, and design firms.

This sustainable residential design resource guide is the third in a new four-part series. See earlier guides in the sustainable residential design series: increasing energy efficiency and improving water efficiency. One last future guide in this series will focus on how sustainable residential landscape architecture can incorporate innovative, recycled (and recyclable) materials.

The guide is separated into five sections:

* Native Plants

* Residential Agriculture

* Residential Wildlife Habitat

* Indoor Plants

* Residential Composting

As an example, the section on “native plants” includes models for reintroducing native plants into residential landscapes, as well as plant databases and government and non-profit organization native plant conservation efforts. There are also links to projects that have successfully incorporated these concepts in a residential context.

Go to the Resource Guide to see the full range available.

Resource: Climate Change Map

Posted in Research by Kate Archdeacon on October 30th, 2009

Source: Met Office, UK

A-map-showing-the-impact--003_the Met
Image: Met Office

A new map illustrating the global consequences of failing to keep temperature change to under 2 °C was launched [last week] by the UK Government, in partnership with the Met Office.  The map was developed using the latest peer-reviewed science from the Met Office Hadley Centre and other leading impact scientists. The poster highlights some of the impacts that may occur if the global average temperature rises by 4 °C above the pre-industrial climate average.  Ahead of December’s international climate change talks in Copenhagen, the Government is aiming for an agreement that limits climate change as far as possible to 2 °C. Increases of more than two degrees will have huge impacts on the world.

The poster shows that a four degree average rise will not be spread uniformly across the globe. The land will heat up more quickly than the sea, and high latitudes, particularly the Arctic, will have larger temperature increases. The average land temperature will be 5.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels.  The impacts on human activity shown on the map are only a selection of those that may occur, and highlight the severe effects on water availability, agricultural productivity, extreme temperatures and drought, the risk of forest fire and sea-level rise.  Agricultural yields are expected to decrease for all major cereal crops in all major regions of production. Half of all Himalayan glaciers will be significantly reduced by 2050, leading to 23% of the population of China being deprived of the vital dry season glacial melt water source.

“The map’s release marks a significant shift in political discourse on climate change, with many politicians until recently unwilling to discuss the possibility of a failure to hit the 2C target “, David Adam and Allegra Stratton,

Read the full article.

BuilderScrap: FreeCycle for the Building Industry

Posted in Models by Kate Archdeacon on October 14th, 2009

Source: Springwise

Image: Bryn Pinzgauer via flickr CC

More than 90 million tons of construction and demolition waste are generated each year in England and Wales alone, and at least 13 million of those tons are surplus new materials that could have been reused. Hoping to keep such waste out of landfills, BuilderScrap is a free site for the construction trade that aims to connect builders who have extra materials with those who need them.

UK-based BuilderScrap was established by builders for builders as a way to use up surplus new and high-quality second-hand material in the supply chain. Users begin by registering and then uploading any extra building materials they’d like to sell or give away. Allowable items include timber, doors, floorboards, stair components, joists, tiles, window frames and office furniture, to name just a few. Other users who are interested in an item then contact the relevant user via the BuilderScrap website, which in turn notifies the listing member, who can respond to work out the details. Once the item has exchanged hands, the original listing member then de-lists it from the site.

Read the full article on Springwise.

(What’s Freecycle?)

Supply Chain Transparency: evolving Online Tools

Posted in Movements by Kate Archdeacon on October 6th, 2009

Source: Worldchanging

Image: Sourcemap

From Kirstin Butler’s The Backstory of Stuff: New Sites Enable More Transparency in the Supply Chain

Until recently, visualizing global goods’ sourcing was the domain of contemporary artists and technoactivists. Tracing an object back to its origins could be a time-consuming and frustrating process that meant doing solitary research and creating original interfaces. But the increased accessibility of online mapping tools and wiki-style collaborations have changed the cartography of consumption.

Enter Sourcemap, an open-source application for collective supply chain research and mapping. When WorldChanging first reported on Sourcemap last year the project had yet to launch; now its users have already traced the global travels of products as diverse as cars, granola, and lace (even though the site is still in beta mode).  An MIT-based team built Sourcemap’s applications around Google Earth, and its geotagged food, travel, and product maps will look familiar to anyone who has called up a set of road trip directions. Still, while not the exclusive province of programmers, Sourcemap does require some skill with computing language to manipulate data. Most visitors to the site will probably gain the most from viewing supply chains in progress.

Even the pinpoint accuracy of a global map, however, can lack the immediacy of a human story. That’s where high-profile advocacy can take up the charge of transparency for more just and sustainable sourcing practices. A great example is the Enough Project’s Come Clean 4 Congo campaign, which seeks to connect the points between your cell phone and conflict minerals.

Read the rest of this entry »

Living Planet City

Posted in Models by Kate Archdeacon on September 8th, 2009

Source: Worldchanging, taken from an Article by Christa Morris

Living Planet City

“Welcome to the Living Planet. It’s clean, it’s efficient — and it’s doable. Today.”

WWF Canada‘s The Living Planet City’s bright animation of thriving urbanism illustrates 20 big ideas to make any city more sustainable.

In the “west end,” a combined heat and power plant uses “waste” heat energy to provide chilled water for a nearby supermarket. In the “east end,” a municipal waste station feeds into a biofuel plant, complete with solar, green roofs on top. At the waterfront, wave, tidal and wind energy power the city while a rapid transit station ferries people back and forth: all this with plenty of park space.

Clicking around brings up summaries of the technology and provides links to learn more. Once properly informed and inspired, visitors are encouraged to get the ideas out there by sending a link to elected officials, friends, and business owners. You can even send a suggested message to your slated Copenhagen representative.

Good start! But is it good enough?

How do you adapt and perfect a Living Planet City when there are so many varying starting points, and thus, varying challenges? One solution would be to make the city as interactive as its sister site, “the Living Planet Community.”

In the Living Planet Community, you can commit to any number of thousands of climate-friendly actions or add your own, and the site will calculate the GHG reduction you achieve. You can even create groups — of friends, coworkers, or strangers — and set a goal for GHG reduction while engaging in planet-friendly competition.

Why not merge this community and the city? Why not take it further, with a sustainable Sim City-esque program, where, after creating your city, you get realistic feedback on its CO2 output? A well-designed simulation could train leaders (and future leaders) to see the changes necessary to achieve emissions reduction goals in their unique cities.

Read the full Article by Christa Morris, on

NZ Council: Pro-Greywater

Posted in Movements by Kate Archdeacon on July 15th, 2009

Source: Watersmart


The Kapiti Coast District Council has become the first New Zealand local government body to regulate for the use of greywater to solve a serious water shortage.

The Kapiti district is about an hour’s drive from the national capital, Wellington and has around 46,000 ratepayers. However this number is predicted to grow by more than 50 percent in the next 40 years, further straining the district’s limited water supply. Read the rest of this entry »

WaterLife: A Film About Fresh Water on Earth

Posted in Movements by Kate Archdeacon on July 7th, 2009

Source: Environmental Anthropology list

WATERLIFE follows the epic cascade of the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean. From the icy cliffs of Lake Superior to the ornate fountains of Chicago to the sewers of Windsor, this feature-length documentary tells the story of the last huge supply (20 per cent) of fresh water on Earth.

Read the rest of this entry »

Seeking academic contributors for the Green Series

Posted in Uncategorized by fedwards on September 18th, 2008

Please see a message below which may be of interest to Sustainable Cities readers from Ellen Ingber, Author Manager, Golson Media.

“We are inviting academic editorial contributors to the Green Series, a new electronic reference series for academic and public libraries addressing all aspects of environmental issues, including alternative energies, sustainability, politics, agriculture, and many other subjects that will comprise a 12-title set. Each title has approximately 150 articles (much like encyclopedia articles) on major themes, ranging from 1,000 to 4,000 words. We are starting the assignment process for articles for the first three titles in the series with a deadline of FEBRUARY 2, 2009:
Green Energy
Green Politics
Green Food

Read the rest of this entry »

Announcing the Sustainable Cities Round Table – Waste Not Want Not, Melbourne, Australia

Posted in Events by fedwards on September 8th, 2008

This Sustainable Cities Round Table will examine the concept of waste – wasted resources, the reuse of waste, the revaluing of waste, waste campaigns and how redesign and absorption within a closed system can transform waste into a resource to create more sustainable cities. The evening will feature a series of short presentations, musical interludes, networking opportunities and more!

When: 6:30 – 8:30pm, Wednesday 24 September
Where: Carrillo Gantner theatre, Sidney Myer Asia Centre, the University of Melbourne, Swanston St
Contact: RSVP ESSENTIAL to by 19 September

Confirmed speakers so far include:
Richard Thomas, Wormlovers – An Australian Vermiculture enterprise
Edward Meysztowicz, Branin – From bakery waste into resource
Amelia de Bie, I op therefore I am – Shopping your way to sustainability
Penny Algar, Artist – Artists working with recycled or found materials
Darlene Gaylor, Envirogrind Recycling – Bringing waste to a grinding halt
Jeff Moon, Phoenix Fridge project – A community approach to recycling
Wendy Jones, Keep Australia Beautiful – Tidying our towns and championing waste heroes!

The Sustainable Cities Round Tables are a regular series of events that showcase local environmental initiatives and encourage networking for people working in urban sustainability issues across the government, academic, industry and community sectors. To view footage of previous events visit and click on “Sustainable Cities Round Tables” at the top of the screen.

Please forward this invitation to others who may be interested in attending.


Ferne Edwards
Sustainable Cities Research Officer, Victorian Eco-Innovation Laboratory (VEIL)
Email: Phone: (03) 8344 9268

A fantastic new resource – launches!

Posted in Uncategorized by fedwards on September 3rd, 2008

Cool Climate Jobs is an exciting new online job resource for the climate and renewable energy communities. Featuring jobs in the climate, renewable energy, and green collar research, policy, and practice fields from around the world, Cool Climate Jobs is free to browse as well as an affordable platform to promote your employment opportunities. It’s just $125 (American dollars) ($100 for non-profit organizations) for a 4 week posting – internship postings are always free. There are also sponsorship and advertising opportunities to showcase your event or organization directly to thousands of skilled members of the climate and renewable energy industries.

For more information visit: