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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]

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How Solar Energy Can Solve Egypt's Electricity Crisis

September 8, 2014 by David Thorpe

Egypt's solar resource.

Massive power cuts are devastating life in Cairo and elsewhere in Egypt causing civil unrest. Egypt is blessed with some of the best solar energy resources in the world, yet in his address to the nation this weekend President Sisi made no reference to it or energy efficiency. Here's what he should do.[read more]

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Renewable Energy Toolkit for Enterprises

September 5, 2014 by David Thorpe

Solar thermal works well in cities. What else does?

The Institute for Sustainability has launched a free toolkit that can apply to urban areas which shows the opportunities that arise from using renewable energy and low carbon markets. Although targeted at the South East of England, much of this information is useful in most parts of the world.[read more]

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Winner of £250,000 Wolfson Prize Calls for 40 Garden Cities in England

September 4, 2014 by David Thorpe

The winner's concept garden city of Uxcester.

A plan to give "garden city" status to up to 40 English towns has won the £250,000 Wolfson Economics Prize. Winner David Rudlin argues for the near-doubling of existing large towns in line with garden city principles, to provide 86,000 new homes for 150,000 people built over 30-35 years.[read more]

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Visit a SuperHome and Become Inspired to EcoRenovate Your Own Home

September 3, 2014 by David Thorpe

Take a tour of my home

All around the UK this month, people who live in eco-homes are opening their doors so that interested other homeowners can see for themselves what changes they have made and ask questions about the installation, benefits and drawbacks of different measures. It's the best way to inspire people to eco-renovate their homes.[read more]

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One Year On From Car-Free Month in Suwon, What Has Changed?

September 2, 2014 by David Thorpe

Old tyres make a sculpture for a cyclist in a car-free area to gaze at.

It's exactly one year since the city of Suwon in South Korea practised an amazing experiment. In the Haenggung-dong neighborhood, 1500 cars were removed from the streets as their 4,343 owners volunteered not to use them for one whole month. What has changed since then?[read more]

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WEBCAST: George Marshall on Why Our Brains Are Wired to Ignore Climate Change

September 1, 2014 by David Thorpe

George Marshall, whose brain is wired up to talk about climate change.

Why, despite overwhelming scientific evidence, do we still ignore climate change? And what does it need for us to become fully convinced of what we already know? An interview with George Marshall, author of a groundbreaking new book called Don't Even Think About It: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Ignore Climate Change.[read more]

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Call for Imaginative Design to Build Green Infrastructure in Our Cities

August 29, 2014 by David Thorpe

Arup's vision of a fully greened city.

Cities Alive: Rethinking Green Infrastructure from the Landscape Institute and Arup shows how the incorporation of green infrastructure with imaginative design can help to create healthier, safer and more prosperous cities. It calls for green infrastructure to have a much more influential role in the planning and design of cities and urban environments.[read more]

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China Has Almost Half the World's Bike-Share Bicycles

August 28, 2014 by David Thorpe

Bike share station, Hangzhou

Chinese cities for instituting bike-share schemes fast. The country now has almost half the total number of bikes in schemes throughout the world, and 18 out of the 20 top cities for such schemes are in China. The two non-Chinese cities are...[read more]

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How Sustainable Transport Lost 100 Years

August 27, 2014 by David Thorpe

The Columbia electric bus in 1900.

130–100 years ago the world looked like it was on a path to electric-powered transportation, with bicycles, inter-city electric trains and electric buses and cabs. Instead, gasoline and the internal combustion engine became widespread and sustainable transport lost a century of progress. Urban planning might have been very different.[read more]