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Power & Grid

Cutting The Cord Without Blowing Up The Power Bill [INFOGRAPHIC]

December 17, 2014 by Jeff McIntire-Strasburg

Saving Energy and Money at Home

I’ve been pushing the concept of “cutting the cord” at home: that is, getting rid of cable, and instead using an antenna and streaming device in conjunction with our wireless internet for our television entertainment. It would definitely save us money, but I hadn’t thought about what it might do to our electricity use.[read more]

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More Cities Must Take Unilateral Action on Climate Change

December 12, 2014 by David Thorpe

Japan has the largest density of cities pledging climate action.

319 cities have pledged action on climate change at the Lima conference, COP20. Feelings amongst delegates are optimistic for a legally-binding global deal next year in Paris. But total actions so far will not limit global warming to within 2°C. Many more cities therefore need to step up, sidetrack their national governments, and take action on their own.[read more]

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We Must Maximize the Use of Daylight in Buildings to Reduce Energy Use

December 11, 2014 by David Thorpe

See the light!

Daylight should become the primary light source in building for health, productivity and sustainability. Architects should design buildings to maximise the use of daylighting and in many countries are rewarded for doing so by gaining points, e.g. under LEED. Here is how to begin to go about designing buildings to maximise the use of daylight.[read more]

A New Town Square for an Urbanizing Mesa

December 10, 2014 by The Dirt ASLA

New Town Square

Colwell Shelor Landscape Architecture, West 8 Urban Design + Landscape Architecture, and Weddle Gilmore have won a competition to create Mesa City Center, a civic space destined to accelerate urbanization in Mesa, a city of more than 450,000 in the greater, sprawled-out area surrounding Phoenix, Arizona.[read more]

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Smart City Tech is Not Yet Living Up To Its Promise to Solve Environmental Problems

December 4, 2014 by David Thorpe

The EIC study looked at 10 British cities as well as others around the world.

A new report into whether ‘smart’ approaches can offer cities more efficient ways to tackle entrenched environmental challenges finds a disappointing lack of evidence that they are making a difference.[read more]

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We Need A Definition of Nearly Zero Energy Buildings

November 28, 2014 by David Thorpe

Low energy house types in Europe

A European study on the cost effectiveness of deep renovation of existing buildings contains recommendations for individual member states and says a definition of nearly Zero Energy Buildings is needed so designers and architects know what to aim for.[read more]

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World Bank Warns of Severe Threat to Food Supplies from Climate Change

November 24, 2014 by David Thorpe

The increase in droughts with 4° of warming

A new report from the World Bank, 'Turn Down the Heat' is warning that already global warming of around 1.5°C above pre-industrial times is locked into the Earth's atmospheric system, and unless we act now to reduce emissions, warming of probably 4 degrees will occur within our century, and everyone will feel the impact, particularly the poor.[read more]

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WEBCAST: Stéphane Dupas on Making European Cities Low Energy

November 19, 2014 by David Thorpe

Stéphane Dupas and the IMAGINE brochure

Stéphane Dupas is the project manager for the project “IMAGINE low energy cities”. In this wide-ranging interview, Stéphane talks about the cities that are involved, eight of them from different European countries. One of the key aims of the project is to engage local people, households and businesses in the mission to gain energy security, to aim at 100% locally-generated renewable electricity and implement energy efficiency measures.[read more]

100 Smart Cities in India: Governing for Human Impact

November 12, 2014 by TheCityFix - produced by EMBARQ

Smart Cities in India

This summer, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced plans to build ‘100 smart cities’ across India in an effort to take advantage of the country’s recent urban boom and catalyze investment in Indian cities. His initiative will cost the government 1.15 billion USD for the first year.[read more]

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Named and Shamed: the Banks Most Responsible for Increasing Global Warming

October 31, 2014 by David Thorpe

The 'Banks Quit Coal' campaign needs you!

Can a city claim that it is working for sustainability if the bank it uses invests in the coal industry? A new report identifies the banks which contribute most to this climate-destroying activity, enabling public financiers to switch their business to clean banks.[read more]

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South Australia Reaches 100% Renewables Electricity Supply If Only For a Day

October 30, 2014 by David Thorpe

South Australia's Sustainable Industries Education Centre.

On the day when the Australian government announced it had reached a deal on curbing climate-warming gas emissions from industry, the state of South Australia provides a glimpse of a renewable energy-powered future for the whole continent.[read more]

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Smart Phones Are the Key to Sustainable Off-Grid Power

October 27, 2014 by Sophie Curtis

Smart Phones and Mobile Business

BuffaloGrid brings power as a service to off-grid populations and communities, which enables all those mobile phones which the UN identified as the biggest contributors to economic growth in these regions. Now power can be just a text message away.[read more]