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Bloomberg Donates $125 Million to Cut Traffic Deaths in Cities

October 1, 2014 by David Thorpe

Poorer cities to be the focus.

Cities are creating a culture where government innovation is an expectation, and where creativity is encouraged, according to Mike Bloomberg, who also announced that his organisation is to spend $125 million on programmes to reduce traffic deaths and injuries in 10 cities in low-and middle-income countries.[read more]

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WWF's Living Planet Report Paints Stark Picture of Unsustainable Development

September 30, 2014 by David Thorpe

A Signpost to One Planet Living

By expanding cities, cutting down forests and overfishing the seas, humanity has caused a 52% decline in the population of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish since 1970. This is the staggering and sobering headline fact to leap out of the latest Living Planet Report from WWF.[read more]

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Drive to End Ignorance on Energy Amongst Public and Professionals

September 29, 2014 by David Thorpe

Dr Kerry Mashford, CEO, National Energy Foundation

How much do you know about energy in buildings? According to a new poll, most people don't know nearly enough. So in the UK Dr Kerry Mashford, CEO, National Energy Foundation wants a national drive to increase understanding of energy use reduction, and your help is needed.[read more]

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British Regional Cities Tell London: "We Want To Be Free"

September 26, 2014 by David Thorpe

Core Cities cabinet members

Following the "no" vote in the referendum on Scottish devolution, eight English cities plus Glasgow in Scotland and Wales' capital, Cardiff, are demanding that much more power be devolved from London to unlock their economic potential.[read more]

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So What Really Came Out Of The Climate Summit?

September 25, 2014 by David Thorpe

Strong leadership requires action not just words.

After the euphoria has died down of the People's Climate March and the success of getting many world leaders to make statements about climate change in front of each other on Tuesday, many are now asking: what exactly has been achieved?[read more]

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The Cities That Are Leading on Climate Change

September 24, 2014 by David Thorpe

Monday's awards ceremony

The winners of the second annual City Climate Leadership Awards were revealed on Monday night by C40 and Siemens at an award ceremony in New York City. The Awards recognize cities all over the world that have achieved excellence in urban sustainability and leadership in the fight against climate change.[read more]

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UK's Most Congested City to Get Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Network

September 23, 2014 by David Thorpe

Artist impression of part of the scheme

Work should finally be getting underway soon for Bristol's £200 million ‘Metrobus’ bus rapid transit (BRT) network, following completion of all the relevant planning applications and an announcement of funding from central government. Bristol was named as the "most congested city in England" in the 2012 Congestion Index.[read more]

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City-dwellers Around The World Call on Politicians to Act on Climate Change

September 22, 2014 by David Thorpe

Peoples Climate March NYC 

According to CBS News there were 300,000. Marching, Singing, waving banners, taking over the whole of downtown Manhattan. Around the world, a total of 580,000 were estimated to have participated in demonstrations in 2,000 cities yesterday. Politicians are being scrutinized in advance of this week's crucial UN meeting.[read more]

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Cities Poised for Historic Role in Global Climate Negotiations

September 19, 2014 by David Thorpe

Tues 23 Sept: a date for the planet.

Delegates from around the world will saturate New York City next week for the United Nations Climate Summit and the crucial task of settling out the detail of a global agreement to reduce the world's greenhouse gas emissions and tackle the urgent challenge of climate change.[read more]

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How Cities Will Feed Their Citizens in the Future

September 18, 2014 by David Thorpe

Fresh and local – grown in a warehouse

For the last week I have been posting articles describing highlights from the Vertical Farming and Urban Agriculture conference held at Nottingham University last week. In this article I will draw together all the threads and try to present a picture of how I now see that cities will feed themselves in the future.[read more]

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The World's First Commercial Rooftop Aquaponics Farm

September 17, 2014 by David Thorpe

Fish with salad anyone?

Aquaponics – aquaculture (fish farming) + hydroponics (growing plants without soil) – could furnish 12% of a person's diet per 3m2 of roofspace, according to a prototype study. It produces both edible fish and vegetables. The fish's waste feeds the plants and the plants clean the water for the fish. Perfect for urban growing.[read more]

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Cityfood: Encouraging Urban Agriculture and Forestry in Developing Countries

September 16, 2014 by David Thorpe

Support for urban growing programmes

"You can't separate the sustainability of the city from its hinterlands," says Henk de Zeeuw. He works for the RUAF Foundation http://www.ruaf.org/, a global network in the field of (intra- and peri-) Urban Agriculture and City Region Food Strategies, and Cityfood, an initiative to support cities that want to start urban growing and local food programs.[read more]

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How China Leads the World in Indoor Farming

September 15, 2014 by David Thorpe

The restaurant which grows what you eat where you eat.

China is investing significant amounts of effort into developing vertical farming systems to feed its burgeoning urban population. It aims to become a world leader in industrial scale applications of these systems.[read more]

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'Do Highly Creative People Move More than Others, or Does Moving make People more Creative?'

September 15, 2014 by Jim Russell

Do creative people make the place, or does the place make creative people? Immigrant gateway cities in any country also double as national cultural centers. Immigrants, more than other movers, end up in dense hotbeds of innovation. I could endlessly chase my own tail in a game of chicken-or-egg.[read more]

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UN Online Course in Sustainable Urban Mobility in Developing Countries

September 12, 2014 by Améline Peterschmitt

Learn online

The rapid and often unplanned and uncoordinated growth of cities has significantly increased the challenge of creating new transportation systems, especially in developing countries. To learn more about urban transport planning, register now for the UN's e-learning course on Sustainable Urban Mobility in Developing Countries, starting soon.[read more]

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How Singapore and Japan are Feeding Cities with Low Carbon Indoor Farms

September 12, 2014 by David Thorpe

Jack Ng, founder of Sky Urban Solutions

Dramatically reduced energy use in a water-powered vertical farm. 7,000 lettuces per square meter per year. How Singapore and Japan are leading the way in urban, indoor agriculture.[read more]

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Launch of the international Centre for Urban Agriculture in Nottingham

September 11, 2014 by David Thorpe

Location of the new Centre

The Centre for Urban Agriculture is a new initiative in Nottingham University, a partnership with its academic collaborators in China and Malaysia, set up to address the issue of food security and urban agriculture, launched at the International Conference on Vertical Farming and Urban Agriculture yesterday.[read more]

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The Nine Challenges to Food Security That Threaten Our Ability to Feed the Cities

September 10, 2014 by David Thorpe

Food Don't Waste It - US FDA poster 1917.

In my second post arising from the International Conference on Vertical Farming and Urban Agriculture being held yesterday and today at Nottingham University, I report on professor of ecology, Tim Benton, University of Leeds, work on addressing the food security challenges facing us. How will we feed the cities in the future?[read more]

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The Mietskaserne Should Be Berlin's Next Export to the World

September 9, 2014 by Peter Smith

Berlin and Mietskaserne

The Mietskaserne has been Berlin's preferred style of housing since all the way back in 1860. It has effectively kept housing costs in Berlin below those of similar peer cities, and it could help stabilize out of control costs in cities around the world.[read more]

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Urban Agriculture – A Next Big Thing for Cities

September 8, 2014 by David Thorpe

Dickson Despommier at the conference.

Dickson Despommier sees the growth of urban and vertical farming as exponential. This is an account of his presentation at the Vertical Farming and Urban Growing conference in Nottingham, today.[read more]