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How Sustainable Cities Collective Members Are Building a Better Future

July 29, 2015 by David Thorpe

Towards the green city [This is Singapore]

This is my last post for the time being on Sustainable Cities Collective and I want to take the opportunity to explain how I have come to understand the great value that it has. What will life be like for urban citizens in the future? The answer may depend upon whether you or your descendants will be living in a city which has implemented many of the ideas already covered on this website.[read more]

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Cities are Built of Steel and Cement. How Can We Make These More Sustainable?

July 28, 2015 by David Thorpe

Build more with less

Everybody knows that we use raw materials inefficiently but there are great knowledge gaps in what to do about it. The authors of Sustainable Materials Without the Hot Air want to fix this by looking in detail at the production of materials to figure out the most effective way to reduce their environmental impact.[read more]

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New report: Coastal Cities Will Drown In Around 50 Years

July 27, 2015 by David Thorpe

New York City could look like this

Sea levels are projected to rise faster than previously thought – as much as 10 feet within the next 50 years – precipitating an undeniable and irreversible effect on coastal cities like New York and Miami, according to a new study by 17 of the world’s top climate change experts.[read more]

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Why Cities Need Youth Innovation for a Low Carbon Future

July 24, 2015 by Ivan Bruce

Young winners, designers of a walking app

More than ever, we need young people involved in creating sustainable cities. This can be achieved by establishing and strengthening networks that provide opportunities for young aspiring entrepreneurs and innovators to get involved and learn from like-minded groups of individuals on a global scale.[read more]

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Will Autonomous Vehicles and Integrated Transport Planning Bring Extra Costs or Reduce Costs for Cities?

July 23, 2015 by David Thorpe

The connected vehicle

Self-driving vehicles are touted as a big part of the landscape of future cities, enabling people to pursue other tasks while being driven, let cars drive more efficiently, and drastically reducing the number of road casualties. But what will be the ultimate cost-benefit balance for cities? Will it be worth their while to facilitate them?[read more]

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City Leaders: $164m Up For Grabs in the 3rd 100 Resilient Cities Challenge

July 22, 2015 by David Thorpe

Cities are woefully unprepared for the future

Cities around the world are now able to apply for a slice of $164 million from The Rockefeller Foundation in its 100 Resilient Cities Challenge. The opening of the third and final round of this challenge was announced yesterday at the “Cities for Tomorrow” conference.[read more]

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Will the Sharing Economy Replace Capitalism?

July 21, 2015 by David Thorpe

Paul Mason, utopian author

A new book, Postcapitalism by Paul Mason, argues that the sharing economy will replace capitalism. But is this true?[read more]

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Will Autonomous Vehicles and Intelligent Transport Systems Cost or Benefit Cities?

July 13, 2015 by David Thorpe

The connected vehicle

Self-driving vehicles are touted as a big part of the landscape of future cities, enabling people to pursue other tasks while being driven, let cars drive more efficiently, and drastically reducing the number of road casualties. But what will be the ultimate cost-benefit balance for cities? Will it be worth their while to facilitate them?[read more]

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What’s The Best Way To Insulate A Building?

July 8, 2015 by David Thorpe

A Structural Insulation Panel

What are the most climate-friendly and economic ways to keep the warmth in or the heat/cold out of a building, in order to save energy and maximize the comfort of occupants? This article will help you choose the best insulation material by comparing materials on thermal ability, cost, eco-friendliness and breathability.[read more]

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What Should Be Our Correct Reaction To The Greek Tragedy?

July 6, 2015 by David Thorpe
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It's not just the IMF that are to blame

What should be our correct reaction to the Greek tragedy? How on earth did they get into this mess in the first place? Why did nobody see this coming? Greece was living beyond its means. It was profligate and didn't save for the future. And we aren't like that, are we?[read more]

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Using Waste Heat From a Refuse Incinerator to Grow 5,000 Tons of Tomatoes

Bessières Mayor Jean-Luc Raysseguier at the site

A small town in France, Bessières, is implementing a widely replicable project: using waste heat from the incineration of unrecyclable municipal waste in a cogeneration plant to heat nearby greenhouses that will produce 5,000 tons of tomatoes a year, as well as saving greenhouse gas emissions.[read more]

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How To Reduce the Carbon Emissions Impact of Travel [Infographic]

July 3, 2015 by David Thorpe
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What might be the best and least best tactics for reducing the environmental impact of your travel? Here they are, from best to worst. Walking and cycling are best and flying worst. But what about in between?[read more]

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U.S. Supreme Court Decision is Breakthrough for Race Relations, Housing and Social Mobility

July 3, 2015 by Peter Smith

A significant ray of hope

The U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Texas Department of Housing v. Inclusive Communities Project is a landmark ruling for racial and economic equality. It was a victory for those fighting in favor of more protection in the housing market for vulnerable populations.[read more]

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20 City and Regional Governments Pledge to Save 5% of Global Carbon Emissions

July 2, 2015 by David Thorpe

Full infographic in the article

Twenty local city and regional governments, representing over 220 million people and $8.3 trillion GDP, have committed to a series of ambitious targets to reduce carbon emissions totalling 5% of all global emissions, with many more due to report over the summer, according to the Compact of States and Regions.[read more]

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Meet the Businesses Aiming for 100% Renewable Energy

June 29, 2015 by David Thorpe

The launch at Formula E

Following the webinar last week on Sustainable Cities Collective about the many cities committed to aimng for 100% Renewable Energy, leading businesses are publicizing their own commitment to the same target and chalenging others to follow their example, citing the many benefits of doing so.[read more]

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Using GIS Analysis To Achieve Zero Traffic Casualties

June 18, 2015 by Julio Carrillo

Vision Zero in Austin, Texas

In the city of Austin, Texas, USA, there have been 699 traffic fatalities since 2004, so its Comprehensive Planning unit is embarking on a Vision Zero traffic safety initiative, and using a GIS analysis of traffic incidents to tackle this aim. Here's a glimpse of how it works.[read more]

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Rise of the Commonauts: A New Social Tool Tackling City-Dwellers' Taboo on Talking to Strangers

June 15, 2015 by Thomas Groetschnig

Wear a sticker and make a friend

COMMONAUTS is an urban intervention initiative and a social tool, designed to encourage face to face conversations between strangers in public spaces and other social environments of common interest such as open air festivals, cafés, plazas, bars, art exhibitions or popup markets.[read more]

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Work Starts on Europe's Largest Urban Permaculture Passivhaus Eco-Community

June 15, 2015 by David Thorpe

The site will contain 68 homes.

Work is starting today to develop the site of the largest permaculture-based, Passivhaus urban eco-community in Europe, in Leicester, England. When finished, the settlement will contain 68 homes for rent at affordable rates for essential workers.[read more]

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Bonn Climate Talks End With Slow Progress

June 12, 2015 by David Thorpe

Christiana Figueres was optimistic

The climate talks that have been ongoing for eleven days in Bonn have wound up with only a little to be optimistic about. There were no tangible commitments made to demands that developed nations make good on their financial commitments to invest in emissions-reducing technology in developing countries, and to cut their own emissions.[read more]

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Baltimore to Receive National Award  for Excellence in Sustainability

June 11, 2015 by David Thorpe
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Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake will accept the award today

Baltimore City will today be awarded a national rating for its efforts to become a more sustainable community by the STAR Community Rating System, the United States' first comprehensive framework and certification program for evaluating local sustainability.[read more]