Friday, November 30, 2012

Climate Saving Measures

Here are suggestions ranging from the grand to the everyday. Pick one or two (or five) and run with them.
Make the big changes
Make the small changes
Get the right equipment
And plant trees!

The New Materialism

The New Materialism: or, how falling in love with the world could help us all live more, with less.

The world’s oldest continuously working mechanical timepiece, the clock at Wells Cathedral was wound by hand every week for 600 years until the last in a long line of ‘Keepers of the Great Clock’ retired in August 2010. Maintaining the clock required skill, dedication and a great deal of care. As the centuries passed, it needed each of the keepers to develop a loving relationship with the mechanism: to tend, nurture and cajole it into life. It is this quality of relationship that we lose when we lose our connection with the objects we own, and this sense of enchantment with the material world we are part of that lies at the heart of an emerging ‘New Materialism’ that promises a world of better, not more.
In protest against a deluge of high velocity ‘stuff’, for over 20 years people around the world have celebrated ‘Buy Nothing Day’ on the last Saturday in November. A break from the pressure to constantly consume is a relief for many, but are we missing a bigger opportunity to develop a healthy and fulfilling relationship with ‘stuff’? To date, the green movement has responded to the need to live within our collective ecological means by either (like ‘Buy Nothing Day’) theatrically rejecting the material world, or by promoting a new, green consumerism (more of the same, but slightly less damaging). Initiatives like ‘Buy Nothing Day’ help us break the cycle of consumption, but our collective response to the pressing need to learn to live within our environmental limits could be much more. It could be an invitation to fall in love with the material world: in healthier, more deeply satisfying ways.
On a practical level the new materialism has been quietly developing for decades. Instead of a ‘throwaway’ society (in every sense of the word), we know we should move to one in which value is created with more of a ‘closed-loop’ of material use in which we repair, reduce, reuse, recycle and all the other appropriate actions prefixed with ‘re’. Engaging with the world by making and doing isn’t just good for the environment. It allows expression and encourages growth through learning. Stonemason Lida Kindersley describes how much can be learned from something as simple as using a pencil: “If you want to define a letter the moment that you push on the pencil, or use it aggressively, it breaks. You learn to keep the point by not using force. The secret to the stonemasons’ craft lies in understanding and working with the material, not dominating it”.
A world in which we all hold a wider range of practical skills leaves us less at the mercy of disposable goods and built-in obsolescence, and more in a position to shape and fashion the world around us in satisfying ways. It gives us real freedom to replace the illusory version promised by the market. The free-market version of freedom restricts us to a series of anxiety-inducing choices between almost identical products we played no part in creating that are likely to be superceded by a new ‘must-have’ model in a matter of weeks. The attractiveness of a ‘great reskilling’ is that it gives us real freedom to shape the world for ourselves. It has been widely promoted by the Transition Town movement where skills on offer range from how to make your own radio programme to how to build your own house.
Instead of passively consuming – by making, mending and caring for ‘stuff’, we enter into a deeper, more fulfilling relationship with the world, one that is rewarding, inherently low impact and socially just – since it also involves better sharing what we already have. It is what the ecological economist Herman Daly is referring to when he says the economy of the future needs to be a “subtle and complex economics of maintenance, qualitative improvements, sharing, frugality, and adaptation to natural limits. It is an economics of better, not bigger.” More than that, in the words of the Ceramicist Marianne de Trey, a ‘New Materialist’ approach is “a journey into the very heart of things.”
It describes a shift from a passive consumer society to more of an active ‘producer society’. It suggests a world in which we roll back our gradual deskilling and the impoverishment of work, and where we all confidently know how to boil an egg, stitch a garment or build a wall. This is a world where we don’t just consume collaboratively (the re-emergence of the age-old practices of sharing, lending, bartering swapping and gifting from global networks like ‘Freecycle’ to the UK’s ‘Streetbank’) but that we create and produce collaboratively too. From Community Supported Agriculture to new urban farms, social centres, furniture recycling and bicycle repair shops, communities of people are already coming together to make and re-fashion the things that we need. In the words of William Morris, it is a world abundant in “useful work, not useless toil”.
This is where the New Materialism can advance the transition to an economy that supports, rather than undermines, meaningful and healthy lives for all. An economy that needs to boost demand without raising consumption is one that calls for practical people and artists in equal measure – menders, makers and entertainers. It requires a huge growth in practical services that will boost the numbers of plumbers, electricians, builders, carpenters, farmers and engineers, as much as upholsterers, seamstresses, painters, potters, sports coaches and storytellers. Maintenance, craft, quality and entertainment could be the guiding principles by which we nurture the economy through a great transition to an economy that is able to deliver good lives for all, with less.
There is much more that could be done to accelerate the emergence of the New Materialism, from ending the scourge of built-in obsolescence to re-imaging charity shops as high street hubs where we come together to make, mend and share. To begin with, though, we have proposed an initial manifesto for the New Materialism. And, in the spirit of a world we shape and care for together, we invite anyone to add to, or adapt, this manifesto at We could also reform the month that has come to be synonymous with the old-materialism. The four weeks before Christmas could become a ‘Make, Mend and Share Month.’ If this happens, we might even arrive at Christmas Day feeling happier, more sociable, and considerably less in debt.
Find out more : and in The Guardian

Ruth Potts and Andrew Simms

The New Materialism is published by Schumacher College, bread, print & roses and The Real Press and can also be downloaded from the Schumacher College website here. There will be a number of events on the new materialism in the coming months, please keep an eye on the Schumacher website for more detail.
It draws on material developed by Ruth Potts during the MA in Economics for Transition. Andrew Simms is a fellow of nef and his book, _Cancel the Apocalypse, is published by Little Brown in Spring 2013.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Seeing cities as the environmental solution, not the problem

by Kaid Benfield 

Seattle (by: Katie Jones, creative commons license)

For a long time, America’s environmental community celebrated wilderness and the rural landscape while disdaining cities and towns.  Thoreau’s Walden Pond and John Muir’s Yosemite Valley were seen as the ideal, while cities were seen as sources of dirt and pollution, something to get away from.  If environmentalists were involved with cities at all, it was likely to be in efforts to oppose development, with the effect of making our built environment more spread out, and less urban.

We’ve come a long way since then, if still not far enough.  We were and remain right to uphold nature, wildlife and the rural landscape as places critical to celebrate and preserve.  But what we realize now, many of us anyway, is that cities and towns – the communities where for millennia people have aggregated in search of more efficient commerce and sharing of resources and social networks – are really the environmental solution, not the problem:  the best way to save wilderness is through strong, compact, beautiful communities that are more, not less, Arles, Provence, France (c2011 FK Benfield)urban and do not encroach on places of significant natural value.  As my friend who works long and hard for a wildlife advocacy organization puts it, to save wildlife habitat we need people to stay in “people habitat.”

For our cities and towns to function as successful people habitat, they must be communities where people want to live, work and play.  We must make them great, but always within a decidedly urban, nonsprawling form.  As it turns out, compact living – in communities of streets, homes, shops, workplaces, schools and the like assembled at a walkable scale – not only helps to save the landscape; it also reduces pollution and consumption of resources.  We don’t drive as far or as often; we share infrastructure.  While recent authors such as Edward Glaeser and David Owen are sometimes excessive in extolling the virtues of urban density without giving attention to the other things that make cities attractive and successful, they are absolutely right that city living reduces energy consumption, carbon emissions and other environmental impacts. 

A lot of my professional friends are committed urbanists as well as committed environmentalists.  We understand the environmental advantages of urban living so thoroughly that we take it for granted that other people do, too.  But we make that mistake at our – and the planet’s – peril.  The increased development and maintenance of strong, sustainable cities and towns will not happen without a concerted effort.

A lot is riding on the outcome:  83 percent of America’s population – some 259 million people – live in cities and their surrounding metropolitan areas.  Somewhat astoundingly (and as I have written previously), Alexandria, VA (by: Chad Connell, creative commons license)37 of the world’s 100 largest economies are US metros.  New York, for example, ranks 13th, with a $1.8 trillion economy equivalent to that of Switzerland and the Netherlands combined; Los Angeles (18th) has an economy that is bigger than Turkey’s; Chicago’s (21st) is larger than Switzerland’s, Poland’s or Belgium’s.

With so much population and economic activity, it can be no wonder that our working and living patterns in cities and suburbs have enormous environmental consequences, both for community residents and for the planet.  And the implications are going to intensify:  over the next 25 years, America’s population will increase by 70 million people and 50 million households, the equivalent of adding France or Germany to the US.  With a combination of building new homes, workplaces, shops and schools and replacing those that will reach the end of their functional lives, fully half the built environment that we will have on the ground in 25 years does not now exist.

These circumstances provide not just a formidable challenge but also a tremendous opportunity to get things right.  Unfortunately, past practices have done a lot of damage, particularly in the latter half of the 20th century, when America severely disinvested our inner cities and traditional towns while population, investment and tax base fled for (quite literally) greener pastures.  The result, as we now know all too well, has been desecration of the natural and rural landscape while leaving behind decaying infrastructure, polluted air and waterways, and distressed populations.

  Virginia, US 29 (c2011 FK Benfield)  Indianapolis (courtesy American Institute of Architects)

Older cities and towns with shrinking revenues did what they could, but critical issues such as waste, public transportation, street and sidewalk maintenance, parks, libraries, and neighborhood schools – issues where attention and investment could have made a difference – were back-burnered or neglected altogether.  Meanwhile, sprawl caused driving rates to grow three times faster than population, sending carbon and other emissions through the roof while requiring still more costly new infrastructure that was built while we neglected the old.

We cannot allow the future to mimic the recent past.  We need our inner cities and traditional communities to absorb as much of our anticipated growth as possible, to keep the impacts per increment of growth as low as possible.  And, to do that, we need cities to be brought back to life, with great neighborhoods and complete streets, with walkability and well-functioning public transit, with clean parks and rivers, with air that is safe to breathe and water that is safe to drink.

  Melrose area of South Bronx, NYC, before revitalization (via MAP-iiSBE)  rendering of Melrose Commons revitalization, South Bronx (via MAP-iiSBE)

This, I believe, leads to some imperatives:  where cities have been disinvested, we must rebuild them; where populations have been neglected, we must provide them with opportunity; where suburbs have been allowed to sprawl nonsensically, we must retrofit them and make them better.  These are not just economic and social matters:  these are environmental issues, every bit as deserving of the environmental community’s attention as the preservation of nature.
This is the first in a series of posts that will introduce NRDC’s agenda for sustainable communities.

 Implementing sustainable practices on key urban issues

Chicago River (by: John Picken, creative commons license)
NRDC’s work for sustainable communities at the neighborhood scale and on regional planning is designed to address multiple environmental issues simultaneously.  But, at the same time, moving toward sustainability requires work on selected individual issues in a focused way, bringing significant resources to bear on a limited number of key challenges faced by American cities.  At NRDC, we approach the task by taking advantage of the opportunities and experience our staff enjoys in America’s largest cities: New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, where we have offices, and Philadelphia.
In particular, for four decades, NRDC has used our strengths in policy development and advocacy to advance environmental initiatives in the greater New York City region and to create models of sustainability that can be replicated in other urban areas.  We have done the same for over two decades in Los Angeles, and more recently we have begun to do the same in Chicago.  These initiatives have involved a range of major regional issues – such as protecting New York City’s drinking water supply and working to improve air quality around Southern California ports – that have helped bring important progress in governmental or business practices.
This work continues to involve a range of environmental issues.  But, as a result of a strategic planning process for our sustainable communities initiative, we have chosen three for special emphasis.  In each case, our work will seek to influence environmental quality not just in the particular places in which we are operating but, by example, also in cities all over the country.

Sustainable regional food systems

First, our communities team in New York City has begun to address large-scale legal and policy changes that can help increase the amount of local, sustainable food produced and distributed in the greater New York City region – inside the Hunts Point Food Market (by: Bryan Pace via City Spoonful)with a special focus on creating food-related jobs in and outside the City and addressing the pernicious problem of food equity.  This effort is aided by our long history of collaboration with government agencies in the City as well as our decades-long work to protect rural land in the nearby Catskills Mountains, where farming provides a critical food resource in the region.
In particular, our New York-based food work focuses on three key related efforts:
  • Modernization of Hunts Point Food Distribution Center.   Virtually every local food stakeholder in the New York region agrees that a major obstacle to increasing supply of local food is the lack of a “wholesale farmers market” where small- and medium-sized growers can sell directly to supermarkets and other food outlets.  The best New York City location at which to create such a facility is the massive Hunts Point Food Market in the South Bronx, which is slated for modernization.  This facility is the largest produce market in the world and supplies food to 22 million people within a 50-mile radius.  Unfortunately, only two percent of the produce sold at the market comes from local farmers, despite strong retail interest in buying locally grown food.  To make matters especially complicated and sensitive, the Market sits adjacent to one of the most impoverished neighborhoods in the nation, where residents are exposed to serious air pollution from more than 70,000 vehicles, including diesel trucks, entering the area every day.
Hunts Point Market (via Google Earth)
Hunts Point Market (via  trucks docked at Hunts Point Produce Market (by: Bryan Pace via City Spoonful)
NRDC will work with City and neighborhood partners to help ensure a range of environmental and community benefits from the modernization of this 50-year-old facility, including the inclusion of a wholesale farmers market at Hunts Point; greater community access to fresh, local food flowing through the facility; new jobs for local South Bronx residents at the Market; and reduced transportation and air quality impacts in the community.
  • Catskills-New York City food initiative.   At the regional scale, we will work with conservation and community partners in the Catskill Mountains to help strengthen the economic base and market for local, sustainably-grown Catskills food.  While improving the sustainability of the regional food supply, we hope also to improve economic opportunities for farmers as an alternative to less sustainable development options, such as natural gas drilling or large-scale development projects, in this sensitive area.
Catskills farm (by: Neill Cleneghan, creative commons license)  Union Square Farmers Market, NYC (by: Mat McDermott, creative commons license)
  • New York City food purchasing.  The third prong of this effort seeks to leverage the enormous purchasing power of New York City and State government to boost demand for local, healthy food from the Catskills, Long Island, New Jersey, and other nearby areas.  The New York City school system alone serves daily meals at 1200 locations, and various policy options that begin to address the sustainability of local government food procurement are already being considered by the City Council.  NRDC believes it critical that emerging law and policy emphasize local, healthy food sources, especially because the models adopted in New York are likely to be influential as other regions consider the issue.
For a good overview of issues related to the sustainability of New York City’s food supply, see this 2010 report from Columbia University.

Sustainable urban water systems

Another of the most pressing environmental challenges facing cities and suburbs in the United States is the impact of stormwater runoff from developed land – highways, parking lots, rooftops and other impermeable surfaces – as a significant source of coastal, freshwater and Great Lakes pollution.  The federal EPA estimates that more than 10 trillion gallons of untreated urban and suburban stormwater runoff makes its way into our surface waters each year.  In many communities, polluted urban and suburban runoff is the major source of water quality impairment - degrading recreation, destroying fish habitat, and altering stream ecology and hydrology.  

Smart growth – developing in more compact patterns – helps, because it reduces the spread of new pavement into previously undeveloped areas.  But it is not enough, because we need waterways near our existing developed areas to become cleaner and safer.  Many cities and suburbs are now undergoing more intensive development, in part to address other environmental concerns such as transportation efficiency and land conservation.  If the development does not proceed in a manner that accounts for the potential of runoff, some waterways could become even more polluted.

  illustration of green infrastructure (courtesy of American Institute of Architects, Indianapolis SDAT)
The good news is that these problems can be addressed with green infrastructure, which prevents rainwater from running off in the first place. Green infrastructure (also known as low impact development) is a set of urban design techniques that replicate the way nature deals with rainwater – using vegetation and soils as natural sponges for runoff – rather than relying exclusively on the concrete pipes and holding tanks of the past.

Green infrastructure techniques such as green roofs, roadside plantings, rain gardens, and rainwater harvesting not only improve water quality; they also transform rainwater from a source of pollution into a valuable community resource.  Done well, low impact development helps to literally green the urban landscape, cool and cleanse the air, reduce asthma and heat-related illnesses, cut heating and cooling energy costs, create urban oases of open space, and generate green landscaping and construction jobs.  NRDC is working in Philadelphia and Chicago to make these practices the norm rather than the exception.
  • Philadelphia.  In Philadelphia, we have been helping the city develop and implement a first-of-its-kind, 20-year plan for more than $1 billion of green infrastructure investments. Through a combination of incentives to private property owners, requirements for new buildings, and public investments to retrofit city streets, parks, and other public property, Philadelphia aims to deploy the most comprehensive network of stormwater green infrastructure found in any U.S. city. 
Philadelphia neighborhood (by: Philadelphia Water Dept)  the neighborhood re-imagined with green infrastructure (by: Philadelphia Water Dept)
In particular, we have been providing assistance to the Philadelphia Water Department, as well as state and federal environmental agencies that oversee the city’s clean water programs, on how these methods can be used to meet the city’s federal Clean Water Act obligations.  Under a formal plan approved in June of this year, Philadelphia has now agreed to transform at least one-third of the impervious areas served by its sewer system into “greened acres” -- spaces that use green infrastructure to infiltrate, or otherwise collect, the first inch of runoff from any storm.  That amounts to keeping 80-90% of annual rainfall from these areas out of the city’s over-burdened sewer system. 
Still, many challenges lie ahead, especially for the city’s Water Department, which bears primary responsibility for implementing this visionary program.  The plan’s long-term success will hinge on active participation by community organizations, businesses, private property owners, and, especially, a wide range of other city agencies.  (For a great summary of what’s going on in Philadelphia, and NRDC’s involvement, see this post from my colleague Larry Levine.)
  • Chicago.  Beyond Philadelphia, NRDC’s Chicago-based Midwest Office is advocating a comprehensive redesign of Chicago’s waterway system in order to address multiple community issues related to outmoded infrastructure, including urgent threats to the Great Lakes from invasive species.  In particular, we are pursuing major investments – including green infrastructure on a large scale – in the city’s transportation, water and sewer infrastructure in order to move toward more sustainable movement of goods, water quality improvements from green infrastructure, and increased recreational opportunities for underserved neighborhoods.

Sustainable urban and regional transportation systems

NRDC’s communities team in Southern California is focused on transportation.  Southern Californians are notorious for addiction to their cars, and for decades Los Angeles’ substandard public transportation system has failed to cure that addiction.  Although the region is notorious for its clogged highways, building and widening roads is not a sustainable solution:  history and a growing body of research teach that building more highway lanes only promotes more vehicle use, resulting in still more congestion, carbon emissions and air pollution.

  traffic in LA (by: Jeff Turner, creative commons license)
But today, at last, the city of Los Angeles has a new commitment to substantial expansion of both rail and bus transit.  We believe there is renewed opportunity to make the region’s patterns of getting around more sustainable, while also revitalizing key neighborhoods around transit.

In collaboration with NRDC staff working on California’s state planning law, SB 375 (discussed in my previous post on regional planning), our staff in Los Angeles is targeting local, site-specific projects that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase investment in public transportation, infrastructure for walking and bicycling, and smart growth planning. We are placing a special focus on advocating for equitable transportation services, and on developing models of transit-oriented revitalization of distressed neighborhoods in the city’s underrepresented areas.  For the latter, we are working with community groups to ensure that new development brings the benefits of neighborhood renewal without gentrification.

light rail in LA (by: ExpoLightRail, creative commons license)We are also working to apply a recent court decision under the federal Clean Air Act (NRDC served as counsel in the case) that will require the region to reduce smog-forming pollution in an amount equivalent to taking a quarter of the Los Angeles region’s passenger vehicles off the road.  We are identifying measures to meet this mandate, including promotion of non-auto infrastructure, public transit investments (including bus-only lanes), bicycling infrastructure, and efficient land use development.  We are also working on criteria for transit-oriented development that will protect the health of residents moving into new communities built near highways.

At the same time that we are working to establish model practices for sustainable transportation at the local level, NRDC has been seeking to help reform federal transportation policy through a campaign built on a sophisticated program of concerted partnership, analysis, advocacy, and education.

Unfortunately, a flagging economy and general partisan gridlock has dampened the immediate prospects for passing a reformed federal transportation bill.  Looking ahead, it is likely that these circumstances will yield a future legislative and political landscape that will continue to be challenging.

It will remain essential that we and our partners work to protect our air, water and communities in any federal transportation that does move in Congress.  We will also work with partners to strengthen the base for future reform at the federal level while seizing opportunities to make progress at the state and local levels.
We know that these are not the only issues facing our communities.  NRDC is just one organization with limited resources, and these are not even the only issues NRDC is addressing:  we have staff active in pursuing sustainable solutions to urban waste, developing better city parks, and retrofitting buildings for energy efficiency, for example.

But we choose, for now, to emphasize these three because we see opportunity to work with partners to establish replicable models, while taking advantage of specific expertise that we have in-house in key locations.  Combined with our work to develop models for neighborhood revitalization and sustainability, and sustainable regional planning, we hope that we and other fellow travelers can work together to make a difference for the places where Americans live, work, go to school, and play.

Strengthening community through interactive street art

by Kaid Benfield 

 Before I Die house before (via Google Earth)   Before I Die house before 2 (courtesy of Candy Chang)
  Before I Die house transformed into community art (courtesy of Candy Chang)
Okay, this is merely one of the most creative community projects ever.  In post-Katrina New Orleans, a badly degraded house about a mile or so east of the Tremé district looked like the photos you see at the top, above.  The image on the right was taken later than the one on the left.  As you can see, it has changed.
  Before I Die house writing on the wall (courtesy of Candy Chang)
Artist Candy Chang had an idea to turn the property into a sort of collective performance-art piece in which all are invited to participate, simply by declaring what is important to them.  Chang has provided chalk, a large-scale blackboard, and the necessary permits.
  Before I Die I Want To (courtesy of Candy Chang)
The house has been purchased and will be renovated but, until then, it serves as a living testament to community, inclusion, creativity and purpose.
  location of Before I Die house (via Google Earth)
Chang, who describes herself on her web site as “a public installation artist, designer, urban planner, and co-founder of Civic Center who likes to make cities more comfortable for people,” lives in the neighborhood.  She explains:
“With support from old and new friends, I turned the side of an abandoned house in my neighborhood into a giant chalkboard to invite my neighbors to share what is important to them. Before I Die transforms neglected spaces into constructive ones where we can learn the hopes and aspirations of the people around us. This process (including obtaining official approval from many entities) has been a great lesson – more on that later. If you’re in New Orleans, stop by the corner of Marigny and Burgundy (900 Marigny Street) to add your thoughts to the wall and discover what matters most to your neighbors. I believe the design of our public spaces can better reflect what’s important to us as residents and as human beings. The responses and stories from passersby while we were installing it have already hit me hard in the heart.”  
  Before I Die I Want To (courtesy of Candy Chang)
The project commenced in February of this year, and has received a tremendous response, the spaces for writing sometimes filling up in as little as one day.  When the board fills, it is washed so people can start over.
  Before I Die house chalk (courtesy of Candy Chang)
Chang is working on a kit that will enable the project to be replicated in other communities, starting with another neighborhood in New Orleans.
  Before I Die house wall filled (courtesy of Candy Chang)
There are many more excellent and fascinating photos on Chang’s web site, which I urge you to visit.  The site describes the project as “self-initiated with permission from the property owner, residents of the block, the neighborhood association’s blight committee, the Historic District Landmarks Commission, the Arts Council, and the City Planning Commission.”  Wow.
I’m planning on stopping by and perhaps chalking up a few words of my own.  Big-time props to the artist for a great concept, very well executed.
New Orleans resilience series
Part 1:  What does post-Katrina New Orleans say about cities? About America?
Part 2:  Strengthening community through interactive street art
Part 3:  New Orleanians, rebuilding with sustainability
Many thanks to Joel Mills for pointing me to Candy Chang's fascinating work.  All images are courtesy of Candy Chang, except for the one at top left and the satellite image, both from Google Earth.
Kaid Benfield writes (almost) daily about community, development, and the environment.  For more posts, see his blog's home page.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Kick The Habit, A UN guide to climate neutrality

"Addiction is a terrible thing. It consumes and controls us, makes us deny important truths and blinds us to the consequences of our actions. Our society is in the grip of a dangerous greenhouse gas habit.

The message of this book is that we are all part of the solution. Whether you are an individual, a business, an organization or a government, there are many steps you can take to reduce your climate footprint."

Ban Ki-moon
Secretary-General of the United Nations
>> Download the book
Full publication (22.2 Mb.)

  1. Foreword (508 Kb.)
  2. Introduction (683 Kb.)
  3. The problem (1.7 Mb.)
  4. The actors (1.8 Mb.)
  5. The reduction cycle
    1. Count and Analyse (2.9 Mb.)
    2. Act (2.1 Mb.)
    3. Reduce (7.6 Mb.)
    4. Offset (5.6 Mb.)
    5. Evaluate (1.4 Mb.)
  6. Annex (256 Kb.)

Sustainable Coastal Tourism - An integrated planning and management approach

Sustainable Coastal Tourism - An integrated planning and management approach

This handbook was conceived as a practical tool to be used by decision- makers and practitioners in both tourism sector and ICZM (Integrated Coastal Zone Management). It provides a kind of "two-way" scheme allowing for the integration of tourism strategic planning into the wider process of ICZM on one hand and, on the other, for the application of the ICZM approach in tourism development. The handbook has two main parts. Its main body tackles all important issues related to coastal tourism and its positive and negative impacts on natural environment and society, as well as various planning and management schemes for tourism, with particular reference to ICZM. Individual steps of the proposed process of strategic planning for coastal tourism, based on the concept of Carrying Capacity Assessment (CCA), are presented in an Annex with all the details indicating when, how and by whom to undertake these steps.
 Year of Publication: 2009
 Author: UNEP
 ISBN No: -
 Price US $: 0.00
 Stock Number: DTI/1091/PA
 PDF Available at: Sustainable Coastal Tourism - An integrated planning and management approach
 Number of Pages: 155

Sustainability through Sport

Sport presents broad opportunities to promote environmental awareness, capacity building and far-reaching actions for environmental, social and economic development across society. It also can be a means of achieving peace and reconciliation as a fundamental prerequisite for sustainability principles to be shared and applied and here the Olympic Movement plays a key role.
The Olympic Movement has raised the bar for future sustainable mass spectator events, and the United Nations Environment Programme is delighted and privileged to have taken this journey with the International Olympic Committee.
Achim Steiner
Executive Director, UNEP
The IOC is committed to promoting sustainable development and respect for the environment in and through sport. Our efforts are driven by two considerations: the impact that a degraded environment can have on sport, and the effects that sport – and, in particular, the Olympic Games – can have on the environment, as well as on individuals and communities.
Jacques Rogge,
President, International Olympic Committee (IOC)

Sustainability through sport

Climate Change Adaptation




Ong Van Sinh/UNEP

Roger LeMoyne/UNEP

‘Unprecedented in the history of mankind’ – were the thoughts of engineer, Dr Alison Cooke, from the University of Cambridge as she observed at first hand her first UN Conference of the Parties (COP) meeting in Cancun, Mexico. ‘The Cancun Conference restored confidence in the UNFCCC process which had been so badly damaged at Copenhagen’, said environment consultant, Claire Parker, because it identified the topics on which an agreement is in sight, and the technical issues that need to be resolved to bring that about.
Sir Crispin Tickell, former UK Ambassador to the UN, and an outsider at Cancun, felt that ‘if Copenhagen mostly failed, Cancun partly succeeded. Negotiations to set up arrangements to manage the enormous and growing problems our society faces over issues ranging from climate change (or as I prefer to call it climate destabilization) to destruction of forests, were at least put back on track for the next round at Durban’.
However, Professor Mike Hulme writing from the University of East Anglia, was concerned that ‘without a more generous and decisive spirit from industrialised countries, with legally-binding commitments backed up by sanctions, Cancun does very little to raise the hopes of the world’s two billion poorest people’.
Certainly, adaptation to climate change remains high on the international agenda as will be seen in current and future papers from exp


NEW: LIVING WITH CHANGE: adaptation and innovation in Ladakh
S. Daultry, Visiting Research Associate, Ladakh Renewable Energy Development Agency, India; ACSIS Collaborating Fellow, University of Melbourne; and Associate, University of Cambridge Central Asia Forum, and
R. Gergan, Project Engineer, Ladakh Renewable Energy Development Agency, India
Dr Gerry Wolff PhD CEng
Coordinator of Desertec-UK
Kevin Chika Urama and Nicholas Ozor
African Technology Policy Studies Network (ATPS)
Nairobi, Kenya
Peter Dawe
Wash Tidal Barrier Corp plc, Cambridge, UK
Dr. Julian Wright and Dr. Phil IrvingThe Environment Agency
David Arkell

SmartLIFE Project Director and Head of Innovation Partnerships, Cambridgeshire County Council
Martin Parry

Grantham Institute and Centre for Environmental Policy, Imperial College London
Connecting Regional Climate Change Assessments to Local Action
C.F. Kennel
Sustainability Solutions Institute and Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego; Global Water Initiative, University of Cambridge/UCSD
S. Daultrey
Global Water Initiative, University of Cambridge/UCSD
M.J. Kelly

Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge
Malcolm Potts and Leah Marsh

Bixby Center for Population, Health and Sustainability, University
of California, Berkeleyerts presented on this website.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Prosperity of Cities - Sustainable Energy and Sustainable Housing

Sustainable Housing for Sustainable Cities , A policy framework for developing cities
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  • Sustainable Urban Energy
    The concept of housing requires a new understanding to effectively address the pressing issues of slums, the urban divide, economic and human development, and climate change. No longer regarded as simply a roof over one's head, housing today plays a crucial role in achieving sustainable development. Sustainable Housing for Sustainable Cities outlines key concepts and considerations underpinning the idea of sustainable housing and provides a comprehensive framework for designing sustainable housing policies and practical actions. Although sustainable housing is often considered from a predominantly green perspective this book advocates a more holistic approach, which recognises the multiple functions of housing  as both a physical and socio-cultural system  and which seeks to enhance and harmonise the environmental, social, cultural, and economic dimensions of housing sustainability to ensure prosperous residential neighbourhoods and equitable cities.

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    Sustainable Urban Energy
    For cities to confront the challenges of fossil fuel depletion, increasing energy costs and rapid climate change, it is inevitable to develop and implement urban energy management solutions for their sustainable future. This publication is a training companion developed originally for training courses at the International Urban Training Centre in the Republic of Korea.
    This Sourcebook addresses sustainable urban energy solutions from a system’s perspective, as a three-step process - energy conservation, energy efficiency and renewable energy. Energy conservation asks the question, “do we need to consume a given good/service?” Energy efficiency asks, “what would be the best possible way to consume the same good/service”, while renewable energy asks, “could there be sustainable renewable energy alternatives for fossil fuels”.

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    The City is the Home of Prosperity. It is the place where human beings find satisfaction of basic needs and access to essential public goods. The city is also where ambitions, aspirations and other material and immaterial aspects of life are realized, providing contentment and happiness. It is a locus at which the prospects of prosperity and individual and collective well-being can be increased.
    What this new edition of State of the World's Cities shows is that prosperity for all has been compromised by a narrow focus on economic growth. UN-Habitat suggests a fresh approach to prosperity beyond the solely economic emphasis, including other vital dimensions such as quality of life, adequate infrastructures, equity and environmental sustainability. The Report proposes a new tool – the City Prosperity Index – together with a conceptual matrix, the Wheel of Prosperity, both of which are meant to assist decision makers to design clear policy interventions.
    The Report advocates for the need of cities to enhance the public realm, expand public goods and consolidate rights to the 'commons' for all as a way to expand prosperity. This comes in response to the observed trend of enclosing or restricting these goods and commons in enclaves of prosperity, or depleting them through unsustainable use.
    Other titles in the State of the World's Cities Series:
    • The State of the World’s Cities Report2001
    • Globalization and Urban Culture:2004/2005
    • The Millenium Development Goals and Urban Sustainability: 2006/2007
    • Harmonious Cities: 2008/2009
    • Cities for All: Bridging the Urban Divide: 2010/2011
    • Prosperity of Cities: 2012/2013

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    ISBN Series Number: 978-92-1-133397-8
    ISBN: 978-92-1-132494-5
    HS Number: HS/080/12E
    Series Title: Prosperity of Cities
    Pages: 152
    Year: 2012
    Publisher: UN-HABITAT