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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]

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Awards for Sustainable Energy Projects in European Cities

January 21, 2015 by David Thorpe
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Last year's winner: the self-sufficient Polish Commune of Kisielice.

This year, the European Union is, for the first time, offering to recognise sustainable energy projects that operate at a local level in cities, communities and regions. There are just two weeks left to enter initial details of a project to the competition, with a final deadline of 28 February 2015.[read more]

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Revealed: the Greatest Global Business and Societal Opportunities in Sustainability

January 20, 2015 by David Thorpe

Some see risk, others see opportunity.

They say that crises and risks for some are opportunities for others. Following on from the World Economic Forum's Global Risks report last Friday, is a new Global Opportunities Report, published this morning by UN Global Compact, DNV GL and Scandinavian think tank Monday Morning.[read more]

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The Heat is On for Sustainable District Heating and Cooling

January 19, 2015 by Clare Taylor
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The London Heat Map and Sustainability

Half of cities’ energy consumption is for heating and cooling. From planning to implementation, cities are increasingly turning to modern district energy as a low carbon solution using cogeneration and many different kinds of fuel from renewables and waste, to seawater and geothermal energy.[read more]

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INTERVIEW: Dan Bloom on CliFi and Imagining the Cities of the Future

January 19, 2015 by David Thorpe

Dan Bloom, coiner of the term CliFi

Fancy some climate change with your popcorn or bedtime read? Climate fiction, or cli-fi, is a new genre of fiction that was first identified as a distinct concept by Dan Bloom, a freelance writer who has been based in Tokyo and Taipei since 1991. It is, basically, fiction which touches in some way on the topic of climate change.[read more]

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The Sustainable Growth Oxymoron

January 19, 2015 by JL Morin
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Is Sustainable Economic Growth Possible?

We do a lot without thinking, like using GDP growth as a standard of excellence. Most 21st century activity is based on a ‘given’ that underpins the soft science of economics: 'Growth is good' -- not just a big assumption, a wrong assumption. Is sustainable economic growth an oxymoron?[read more]

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High Alert for Environmental Threats in World Economic Forum's Global Risks 2015 Report

January 15, 2015 by David Thorpe
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Today marks the release of the World Economic Forum's Global Risks 2015 report. While international conflict tops the list of concerns, the experts whose opinions were solicited rated environmental risks more prominently than economic ones, including water shortages, climate change and fast urbanization.[read more]

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New Study Identifies How Cities Can Cut Energy Use by 25% by 2050

January 14, 2015 by David Thorpe

Found: the energy-saving wedge.

A new study of the energy use of 274 cities shows how different tactics will be necessary to reduce energy consumption in different cities. It adds that a particular effort to reduce consumption in fast-urbanising cities in Asia could potentially reduce total global energy use in cities by more than 25%.[read more]

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Now Is the Time for Cities to End Reliance on Fossil Fuels

January 13, 2015 by David Thorpe

Saudi oil well

The price of oil continues to fall, making investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency less economically attractive. But this is all the more reason why now is the time to switch.[read more]

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Euphoria, Business Deals and Reality at the 'Davos of the East'

January 12, 2015 by David Thorpe
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US Secretary of State John Kerry greets Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Vibrant Gujarat Summit.

John Kerry, Ban Ki-Moon, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and thousands of corporate business people are in Gandhinagar for the 'Davos of the East', Vibrant Gujarat. But for many it is seen as a rich persons' club, where deals are done and futures sealed that have little to do with ordinary people and the poverty they experience.[read more]

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How We Can Keep Global Warming to 2°C or Below

January 9, 2015 by David Thorpe
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The greatest challenge for 2015

There is no greater challenge for the world this year than to reach an agreement at Paris' climate change talks in December that will limit global warming to within 2°C. There are many impediments to this, but it is possible to see a way through.[read more]

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The City Where 77% of Journeys Are By Sustainable Means

January 8, 2015 by David Thorpe

Sustainainable mobility has many advantages. Image:  Forum for the Future

Walking, cycling and public transport now account for 77 per cent of all journeys in Helsinki, with two thirds of Helsinki residents preferring to walk or use public transport on a weekday according to a new survey. This is an increase on the last survey in 2010.[read more]

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The Future of Finance for Cities and Urban Infrastructure

January 6, 2015 by David Thorpe

Zenata: Africa's first eco-city

What are the new requirements of International Financial Institutions (IFIs) when responding to the needs of cities and the rapid rise in urbanization? Who are they? What do they specialize in? these questions are answered in a new report from Future Cities Catapult.[read more]

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Cli-Fi: Envisaging the Future of Humanity under Climate Change

January 5, 2015 by David Thorpe

A scene from IDP:2043

'Clifi' is a new genre dedicated to climate fiction, or fiction about climate change. Film-makers, novelists, graphic novelists and playwrights are using the science and predictions of climate scientists to construct human dramas around possible futures in an effort to stimulate us into action.[read more]

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Making Cities Resilient to Disasters is the Dream of These Brave Young People

January 2, 2015 by David Thorpe

Peace Boat's Young Trainees

Fetra Rakotondrasoava and Myriam Vololonarivo from Madagascar, Felix Luis Carlos and Fernando Mussane from Mozambique, and Sabelo Mnukwa and Lalumbe Makuya from South Africa could have helped to save your life one day. That's because they train others in disaster relief, particularly when coastal cities are overwhelmed by climate-related and other catastrophes.[read more]