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Creating Community: Review of Last Week's Webinar on Urban Architecture and Building Better Communities

March 2, 2015 by David Thorpe

How can real communities by designed?

The SCC #SustainableChat Webinar: Urban Architecture and Building Better Communities held last Wednesday was very successful. Our panel of experts covered the design, economics, sustainability and community related issues of the topic. But the conversation has only just begun....[read more]

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Urban Demographics: Elderly Cities

February 26, 2015 by Vitor Pereira

Aging Urban Populations

Nanmoku is the city with the oldest population in Japan. It has 22,000 inhabitants, with 52.7% older than 65 years old. The leaders of this city in the Japanese province of Gunma are desperate. They urgently need young people to renew their population or else be prepared to “disappear from the map.”[read more]

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The Smart Future of Urban Mobility

February 25, 2015 by Hussein Dia

Smart Mobility and the Future

The ability of governments to manage their infrastructure is increasingly being challenged by limited budgets and constrained resources. In an effort to manage cities more effectively and efficiently, decision makers are turning to “urban informatics” and smart infrastructure to better understand people’s mobility needs.[read more]

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Uber: A Sustainable Disruptor?

February 25, 2015 by John Tucker

A few years ago, “uber” meant nothing more to English speakers than a Web-savvy way to say “super” and sound cool. But now, with a capital U, it’s a part of the vernacular. Uber is the ride-sharing service that has become nearly as popular as New York’s ubiquitous yellow cab. It’s all the rage.[read more]

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What are the Best Indicators for Measuring the Sustainability of Cities?

February 18, 2015 by David Thorpe
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How do we know if we have hit the target?

All over the world, individuals, groups, towns and cities are struggling with the knowledge that in total, humanity's activities breach the ability of the planet to support them. There is a wide variety of initiatives and programs which are being developed to try to address this. This is my second post on attempts to define a universal standard for the environmental aspects of sustainable towns and cities.[read more]

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What Singapore Can Teach All Cities About Using Urban Green Infrastructure To Mitigate Megadroughts

February 17, 2015 by Warren Karlenzig

Singapore, where landscaping protects from extreme weather effects.

NASA's new report on the likelihood of megadrought in the Central and Western US is a harsh yet timely wake-up call for cities and the need for green infrastructure, which is often the best way to deal with problems of water scarcity, quality, flooding, and urban heat islands, according to John Parker, Chief Economist, Impact Infrastructure.[read more]

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Tea Party Activists, the ICLEI and Sustainability in Southwest Virginia

February 17, 2015 by Jim Pierobon

Anti-ICLEI Roanoke County Supervisor, Al Bedrosian 

Membership of the ICLEI (International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives), which helps to guide – but imposes no mandates – on regions trying to sustain their economies, has been cancelled in Roanoke County, Virginia, by local Tea Party activists on political grounds.[read more]

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Amazing Ways in Which Modular Buildings are Environment-Friendly

February 13, 2015 by Anne Staley

Modular buildings are prefabricated and consist of several sections or ‘modules’ that can be transported using a crane onto a building’s foundation to match the building’s layout. Interestingly, modular constructions adhere to federal codes set down by the U.S. HUD.[read more]

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Could We Define a Universal Standard for Sustainable Towns and Cities?

February 12, 2015 by David Thorpe

Beyond the ecological fooprint

How should sustainability be defined for cities and towns? Why is there no universal standard? In a fast urbanising world already living beyond the means of the planet, this is an urgent task: to create, using open data, easily updatable info and present it in a way that people can use it at all levels from government downwards to determine and compare progress.[read more]

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Would You Really Call Frankfurt The World's Most Sustainable City?

February 11, 2015 by David Thorpe

Hong Kong is ranked 8th

The multinational construction firm Arcadis has produced its own list of the world's most sustainable cities, out of a sample of 50 cities from 31 countries worldwide, but do the criteria used mean it has any value?[read more]

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Investors Dumping Coal & Gas Should Now Look at Sustainable Infrastructure

February 6, 2015 by David Thorpe

Go Fossil Free Day is 13/14 Feb.

Attendees at the upcoming Financing Sustainable and Resilient Global Infrastructure Summit in May might just include the world's richest sovereign wealth fund which will be looking for somewhere to put its money after it has divested itself from coalmining by dumping 40 coalmining companies from its portfolio.[read more]

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Guess Which City Tops List for the Worst Traffic Jams?

February 5, 2015 by David Thorpe

Jakarta traffic: going nowhere.

Indonesia's capital Jakarta has the world's worst traffic jams according to a new survey by Castrol, its 2014 Magnatec Stop-Start Index. But the solutions to congestion are already known.[read more]

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Dubai Becomes First City to Fuel Municipal Vehicles on 100% Local Waste Cooking Oil

February 4, 2015 by David Thorpe

Renewable fuel from the Middle East.

Dubai is to become the first city in the world to formally adopt biodiesel made 100% locally from 100% waste cooking oil for use in its municipal vehicles.[read more]

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City Leaders Must Engage Citizen Support for Sustainable Infrastructure - EIU Report

February 3, 2015 by David Thorpe

A section of Line One of the Panama City Metro

Urban infrastructure and services in cities around the world are in need of major investment within the next five years if they are to remain adequate, according to 68% of respondents to a survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). The results show that city leaders need to do more to engage citizens.[read more]

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UCLG, EU and Four Other Local Authority Networks Sign Historic Agreement on Sustainable Development

January 30, 2015 by David Thorpe

The agreement affects about half the world's local governments.

The United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) and the European Commission, together with three other important networks in local government, have signed a historic agreement to work together on development issues in order to tackle global poverty and inequality, promote democracy and sustainable development.[read more]

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New Open Source Calculator Claims the World Can Live Well And Tackle Climate Change

January 28, 2015 by David Thorpe
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We can have our cake and eat it, apparently.

A new, seemingly authoritative and open source Global Calculator tool claims to have discovered that everybody in the world can have a reasonable standard of living that is compatible with living within planetary boundaries. But how is this possible? And how much would it cost?[read more]

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Will Hyper/CAT Be the Secret Engine Behind Smart Cities Worldwide?

January 27, 2015 by David Thorpe

The HyperCAT logo

Hyper/CAT! It sounds like some kind of super powered feline, but if a certain group of people in the UK have their way it will be even more powerful than that. For HyperCat it is an emerging new standard, rather like HTML, but for the Internet of Things. It will help everything that is in a smart city talk to everything else. If it were to become globally applicable then all cities in the world will be one day interoperable, connectable, and able to use the same technology.[read more]

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Healthy, Liveable, and Sustainable Communities Can Make a Big Difference in Our Lives

January 27, 2015 by Luis Rodriguez

Sustainable Communities and Health

Imagine a community — neighborhood, village, town, or city — that provides residents with plenty of opportunities to enjoy a high quality of life. A world-class community that strives to preserve or improve its economy, the quality of its environment, and the health and well being of its residents.[read more]

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There's a $90 Trillion Plan to Rid the World's Cities of Cars

January 26, 2015 by David Thorpe
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The way to go.

Over the next 15 years, about $90 trillion will be invested in infrastructure in the world’s cities, agriculture and energy systems. 24 leaders from government, business, finance and economics in 19 countries think it should be spent fighting climate change. And one of the key challenges is to remove cars from cities.[read more]

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Sustainable Airline Biofuels Come A Step Closer

January 22, 2015 by David Thorpe
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Is it bye-bye to flying?

The planet is warming, and the most climate-friendly thing you can probably do is avoid flying. But aviation is growing at 5% per year. New tech breakthroughs and a new report are beginning to show how airline fuel could become more sustainable...[read more]