Posts Tagged ‘urban sustainability’

The Nature of Cities: Film

Posted in Visions by Kate Archdeacon on December 9th, 2009

Source: How It Grows

jessicareeder_flickrCC_att_SA
Image: Congress Avenue Bridge, by jessicareeder via flickr CC

University of Virgina professor Timothy Beatly premiered his new film, The Nature of Cities, at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden’s Gillette Forum on October 29th. The film is an interesting overview of various ways in which nature and sustainable architecture are being incorporated into European and American cities. Geared towards people outside the design and science community, it’s a great introduction to the concept of urban nature.  The film has several interesting vignettes, like a car-free development that is so eerily quiet you can follow the sound of waves to find a nearby beach. Or a week-long bio-blitz of a canyon in San Diego that allows kids who were previously warned about the ‘danger’ of the local canyon to explore it and identify the native plants and insects.

The most striking story in the film features the Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin, Texas, famous for its bat colony. The city has gone from trying to torch the bats under the bridge to setting up a protected area where crowds of people assemble to watch 1.5 million bats emerge in the evenings. Now, new bridges in Texas are being specifically designed to house bat colonies. Imagine if more of our buidings and infrastructure were built this way! It’s fascinating to see the shift in construction from environmentally harmful, to environmentally neutral, to environmentaly positive.

Source: How It Grows


City slickers have a lower footprint

Posted in Research by fedwards on April 3rd, 2009

According to a new study released by the International Institute for Environment and Development, urban dwellers have a lower carbon footprint than the national average. “Many cities have surprisingly low per capita emissions but what is clear is that most emissions come from the world’s wealthier nations,” says David Dodman, author of the study that will be published in the April edition of Environment and Urbanization. “The real climate-change culprits are not the cities themselves but the high consumption lifestyles of people living across these wealthy countries. To read more about this report visit the IIED website here.


Invitation to the Sustainable Cities Round Table – Sustainable Sharing

Posted in Events by fedwards on February 9th, 2009

When: 6-8pm Thursday 26 February 2009
Where: Shed 4 Dock 4 North Wharf Road, Docklands VIC 3006 AUSTRALIA. Map: 2E 7D
RSVP essential to: rsvp@ sustainablemelbourne.com by 20 Febuary 2009
What: It may seem strange that we’ve highlighted sharing as a sustainability issue. Yet as the West has become more industrialised we’ve also grown more individualised producing more products per person. At this Sustainable Cities Round Table we explore how we can learn to share again. Topics include shared spaces, such as composts and co-houses; shared products and materials, such as the renewed retro world of no longer daggy hand-me-downs, and shared services, such as permablitzes and group purchasing power.

Speakers include:
Kate Pears, My Sisters Wardrobe
Adam Grubb, Permablitz
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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.


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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A more usable SustainableCitiesNet.com!

Posted in Movements by fedwards on November 12th, 2008

SustainableCitiesNet.com has a new appearance with much thanks to our fantastic web support! The site is now easier to use – be it searching for local sustainability events, models, movements, research or policy – or for uploading your own sustainability initiatives online!

New features include:

  • a better appearance – our banner has no distortion, we have more pictures of beautiful sustainable cities and the posts are easier to read and comment on;
  • more succinct categories and pages – less tags with more clarity of topic, each category now comes with an explanation of what they mean; and
  • added “register” and “log in” links at the top of the screen to allow you to register or sign in more quickly to post your environmental initiatives online!

SustainableCitiesNet strongly encourages people and organisations in cities around the world to post their urban sustainable initiatives directly online. In spirit with our goal “to deliver information, to connect people and projects, to accelerate the city’s sustainable transformation” please post your sustainable initiatives today!


RSVP now for the Sustainable Cities Round Table on Healthy Cities!

Posted in Uncategorized by fedwards on October 23rd, 2008

SustainableMelbourne.com and the Victorian Eco-Innovation Lab (VEIL) invite you to:

The Sustainable Cities Round Table on Healthy Cities
Village Roadshow Theatrette, The State Library of Victoria
6-8pm, Wednesday12 November 2008
A free event!

In partnership with the Australasian Centre for the Governance and Management of Urban Transport (GAMUT) and the State Library of Victoria.

Register your attendance to RSVP@SustainableMelbourne.com by 7 November.
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Call for proposals: Addressing the climate vulnerabilities of urban Africa

Posted in Uncategorized by fedwards on October 2nd, 2008

To better prepare Africa’s urban settlements for climate variability and change, the Climate Change Adaptation in Africa (CCAA) program invites combined research and capacity building proposals that address the vulnerabilities of Africa’s urban centres to climate change, and will help urban stakeholders work together in developing adaptation options.

This call for proposals is co-funded by CCAA and IDRC’s Urban Poverty and Environment program. The application and project development process is led by CCAA.

Full details on this call can be found at: www.idrc.ca/ccaa-urbancall. Completed applications, accompanied by full proposals, must be submitted no later than midnight, Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), November 30, 2008 to: ccaa-urbancall @idrc.ca

The Climate Change Adaptation in Africa (CCAA) research and capacity development program is jointly funded by IDRC and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID).


Another sustainable city website – introducing Moraga, California

Posted in Sustainable Cities by fedwards on September 16th, 2008

I’ve recently added the link to the Sustainable Moraga website (under Americas on the right-hand side bar) to the list of Sustainable Cities. This website is like many others around the world who are aspiring to make sustainable changes at a city-level. Read more about Sustainable Moraga and its goals from the abstract below from their website.

Sustainable Moraga is a local, grassroots citizens’ group founded in 2005 to help Moraga become a more sustainable community. We believe that all of us—local residents, businesses and town government—can take proactive, meaningful steps to minimize our footprint on the planet. Through awareness, education and action, Sustainable Moraga helps people and organizations in Moraga become “conscious consumers” actively preserving our environment and making Moraga a better place to live.

We are motivated by a concern for the human impact of such issues as global warming, air and water pollution, energy costs, fossil fuel depletion, waste creation and disposal, harmful pesticides and other hazardous chemicals and products. Locally, we are not immune to these problems and their negative role in cancer, asthma, plant and animal survival, temperature variation, growing season changes, terrorism and foreign resource reliance.