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There's No Plan B for the Retail Chain That's Making Its Stores and Supply Chains More Sustainable

March 31, 2015 by David Thorpe

It's all part of Plan A. There's no Plan B

A major retail chain is making exceptional efforts to revamp its stores so that they are much more sustainable. It's just unveiled the latest of these, in Newcastle. The chain is Marks & Spencer (M&S) and the policy behind the campaign is called Plan A designed to make the whole corporate effort sustainable right down the supply chains.[read more]

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European Mayors Band Their Cities Together to Fight Climate Change

March 30, 2015 by David Thorpe

The Covenant of Mayors

Mayors of 30 cities in Europe have signed a joint initiative on climate change in which they pledged to undertake to "reduce by at least 40% (their) greenhouse gases by 2030", in line with the European Union's goal and pledged to collectively purchase clean energy technology to make it more competitive.[read more]

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Pacific Cities Resolve to Improve Urban Resilience and Upgrade Informal Settlements

March 27, 2015 by David Thorpe

News from the Pacific Urban Forum 2015 

The Pacific Urban Forum 2015 met over the last week on the island of Fiji, under the theme of “Towards a New Pacific Urban Agenda: Harnessing Opportunities in a Post-2015 Environment”, to discuss how the emerging needs of cities in the region can meet the present challenges.[read more]

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Nine Lessons from the World Bicycle Forum in Medellín, Colombia

March 25, 2015 by Florian Lorenz

Fourth World Bicycle Forum "Cities for All" at www.fmb4.org

The World Bicycle Forum (#FMB4) in Medellín, Colombia was recently held. The FMB4 is the world’s largest discursive event on bicycling mobility and urban cycling cultures. Here are nine lessons from this amazing and transformative event.[read more]

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New Project to Develop Training for Tomorrow's Leaders of Sustainable Cities

March 24, 2015 by David Thorpe

How to train tomorrow's sustainable city leaders?

A new three year educational program called ESSENCE is to create innovative international training materials for tomorrow's leaders of smart, sustainable cities using blended learning techniques. It involves five universities from different European cities and enrolment is open now.[read more]

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The Fused Grid: A New Model for Planning Healthy and Liveable Developments

March 23, 2015 by Luis Rodriguez

Neighborhoods and Development Design

Much has been written about the importance of making our cities healthy and liveable and about what can be done to make them that way. However, much less has been written about when and how we should implement those principles and attributes that are essential to making our cities healthy and liveable.[read more]

New Alliance Aims to Set Accreditation Standards for Garden Cities

March 20, 2015 by David Thorpe

Letchworth, where it all began

A process has begun to create a set of standards to define a garden city following concern that the idea has been appropriated by certain developers who would not necessarily develop the most sustainable plans, and to champion the idea to the public.[read more]

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Gaps Identified in European Law to Ensure Healthy Indoor Air Quality

March 19, 2015 by David Thorpe

A good internal environment is essential for health.

Between 30-50% of excess winter deaths can be attributed to cold indoor temperatures, but the requirements for indoor air quality and thermal comfort are not comprehensive and clear enough in eight surveyed European countries, according to a new study from Buildings Performance Institute Europe (BPIE).[read more]

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New Urban Innovation Centre Will Incubate Ideas for Smarter Cities

March 18, 2015 by David Thorpe

Mapping the Future at the Urban innovation Centre.

A new Urban Innovation Centre has opened in London as a facility for urban innovators, particularly in the area of 'smart' cities, to incubate and pioneer their work. Its state-of-the-art facilities will be used by businesses, academics and city leaders to collaborate and turn ingenious ideas into real systems that will be used around the world to improve the quality of life for citizens whilst reducing environmental impact.[read more]

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The Town That Saves Millions on Heating Costs with a Water Source Heat Pump

March 16, 2015 by David Thorpe
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Doesn't look that exciting, but it is!

The town of Drammen in Norway heats most of its buildings with water that is at a temperature of just 8oC. The secret? Heat pumps. It's so easy and pays for itself really quickly. Why don't other towns and cities follow suit? Well, some are.[read more]

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How Embracing the Opportunities of the Green Economy Can Bring Sustainable Growth to Africa

March 16, 2015 by David Thorpe
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Achim Steiner, Executive Director of UNEP launching the Green Economy report

A new UNEP report makes the strong case for the importance of the green economy in creating sustainable wealth and growth in Africa. It finds that Africa is already seizing the opportunity to make a transition to the green economy, providing jobs and social benefits as well as protecting vital natural resources.[read more]

American Apartheid: Liberals Prefer Urban, Conservatives Prefer Rural: Should Planners Integrate or Segregate?

March 13, 2015 by David Thorpe

A dilemma in planning for sustainability

We all want liveable communities, right? And that means denser urbanisation, a reduction in emphasis on planning for cars, services within walking distance. But in a blow for urbanists it turns out that conservatives don't want this. So what does that mean for planners, place makers, policymakers and architects working for sustainability?[read more]