By Boyd Cohen, Ph.D., CO2 IMPACT and Co-Author, Climate Capitalism Resilient cities , those that are working to transition towards a low-carbon economy while also preparing to avert the worst of climate change, are gaining interest and attention from policy makers, city councils and others worldwide. In fact, today, leaders from the public and private sector, supported by ICLEI (see below) and the U.S. Green Building Council, are launching a National Leadership Speaker Series on Resiliency and Security in the 21 st Century.
“ Resilient Cities: Responding to Peak Oil and Climate Change,” published earlier this year, argues that cities need to plan their future development considering their ”resiliency” to changes in climate and the availability of fossil fuels. Authors Peter Newman (Curtin University, Australia), Timothy Beatley (University of Virginia), and Heather Boyer (Harvard University) predict that in the next couple years, energy demand will outmatch oil supplies worldwide, resulting in a situation exceeding the challenges of the OPEC oil embargo in the early 1970′s. The authors argue that expanded use of cars, ever-growing urban sprawl, and poorly managed urban development could lead to a twin energy and climate crisis for cities.
Just what is a sustainable city, exactly? The United Nations Global Compac t, which runs a program focused on creating of sustainable cities, has published a framework of management principles for urban planners and municipal managers that includes case studies for issues such as water management and slum rehabilitation. There’s a whole lot more than that in the roughly 137-page PDF, but those are two of the most profound problems that are addressed. The Global Compact Cities Program (or Programme, if prefer) currently works with 40 cities around the world.
Photo credit: Island Press This month, BookHugger presents Ideas That Matter: The Worlds of Jane Jacobs edited by Max Allen with an introduction by Mary Rowe. Readers can order a discounted copy today and join in a discussion with distinguished urban scholar Mary Rowe on October 20, 2011 at 3pm Eastern ."
The Center for Resilient Cities is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that practices sustainable community development, working with neighbors to build communities that are good for people and good for the environment. Our process starts by asking neighbors about the values, needs and priorities of the community. Then we lend our expertise and develop partnerships to address both current and future challenges within the neighborhood.
Melbourne has been in a drought since 1997, so water conservation is a major responsibility in any city planning project -- but the green building doesn't end there. In 2002, 2020 was named as Melbourne's target year for net zero carbon emissions. Also in 2002, the United Nations hosted a conference in the Australian city, drafting and eventually adopting the "Melbourne Principles": 1.