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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]

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Crash Remedies: The Road to Traffic Safety

March 19, 2015 by Fanis Grammenos

Roads and Traffic Safety

In order to cut traffic deaths, is it necessary to redesign the urban form? This academic paper takes a historical approach to answer the question.[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]

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Do You Promote Liveable Communities? Could You Win a 'Walking Visionaries' Award?

March 12, 2015 by Florian Lorenz

Do you know a potential winner?

The Walking Visionaries Awards are one of this year’s most exciting awards programs for sustainable urbanism and future mobility. Do you know a potential winner? Organized by the Management Team of the 2015 Walk21 conference, to be held in Vienna, Austria from October 20 to 23, it is open for ideas and projects covering all fields related to walking and liveable communities.[read more]

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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 26, 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]