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"The urban ecosystem": How should we design cities to make the most of green space? Back in 1839, public health expert J F Murray published his article The Lungs of London, in Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine.

"The urban ecosystem": How should we design cities to make the most of green space?

Even then, city dwellers appreciated the advantages of open, green spaces. Murray described the benefits of the parks of London as “great vehicles of exercise, fresh air, health, and life to the myriads that congregate in the great metropolis”. Living in cities offers numerous advantages in terms of employment, education, healthcare and social communication, among others. But urban living also comes with its challenges: in particular, urban environments can put a strain on mental and physical health, because they tend to be noisy, polluted, overcrowded and hot. Ecologists are increasingly turning their attention to urban areas, in an effort to find solutions to these problems. Specifically, urban ecologists are considering how we can enhance “ecosystem services” for those living and working in cities.

Sharing or sparing? A bit of both. A third American city is now running entirely on renewable energy. Climate Progress The number of American cities that run entirely on renewable energy is growing.

A third American city is now running entirely on renewable energy

Last week, the city of Aspen, Colorado declared it had become the third municipality to receive all of its power from renewable sources. Aspen’s energy portfolio now primarily consists of wind power and hydroelectric, with smaller contributions from solar and geothermal. The announcement came after the city’s decade-long effort to shift toward renewable energy. David Hornbacher, Aspen’s Utilities and Environmental Initiatives Director, told the Aspen Timesthat “It was a very forward-thinking goal and truly remarkable achievement.” Sanctuary is a cute 100% recyclable mossarium perfect for small spaces. The European cities moving faster on clean energy than their governments.

When heads of state go to Paris at the end of the year to negotiate a deal to tackle climate change, global city mayors will also be there, arguing that since cities are responsible for 70% of CO2 emissions, the battle should be waged, street by street, at a city level.

The European cities moving faster on clean energy than their governments

More than 6,000 European cities have signed up to the Covenant of Mayors, a voluntary commitment to go faster and further than EU climate targets. Their climate action plans call for, on average, a 28% cut in CO2 emissions by 2020, 8% more than the EU’s 2020 target. Even Kiev, which came last of 30 cities in Siemen’s 2009 European Green City Index, is a signatory. Vitali Klitschko, elected mayor last May, said he wanted to end the Ukrainian capital’s dependency on oil and gas – though Kiev’s membership has been suspended until it files a sustainable energy action plan. Last year the Economist listed the Covenant of Mayors as one of most effective global initiatives to help mitigate climate change. World Economic Forum sur Twitter : "These are the world’s most polluted #cities #pollution #environment. Sustainable Cities and Learning from Others. Imitation is not just the sincerest form of flattery – it’s the sincerest form of learning. – Bernard Shaw The Spanish city of Vitoria-Gasteiz has recently transformed itself from a congested and car-dominated city into one of the most pedestrian and bicycle-friendly places in Europe.

Sustainable Cities and Learning from Others

It didn’t achieve this by going at it alone. Its key to success was learning from others. Cities today are faced with challenges like never before. Young People and Cities and Innovation. Squee Mobile App winning the Jakarta Urban Challenge, with Governor Ahok of Jakarta, Muhammad Yunus of Grameen Bank and John Rossant of New Cities Foundation.

Young People and Cities and Innovation

Given our increasingly complex and dynamic world, cities need to be continuously innovating in order to solve pressing social and environmental problems. Many cities worldwide are growing rapidly, and by 2050 it is estimated that 70 per cent of the world’s population will live in urban areas. This dramatic trend is greatly affecting natural resource availability—including access to clean drinking water—waste management, transport, and other aspects of modern cities. Furthermore, climate change is placing additional stress on urban environments. Increasingly extreme weather events, shifting resource availability, and rising sea levels are all testing the resilience of growing urban populations.

Engaging Youth from London to Jakarta More than ever, we need young people involved in creating sustainable cities. Squee the app screenshot. BEEx sur Twitter : "Our new post on Insight: Guest Blog: NYPA’s Daylight Hour... The Netherlands Could Soon Be Home To Roads Made Out Of Plastic. The Netherlands is already home to the world’s first solar road (or bike lane, technically).

The Netherlands Could Soon Be Home To Roads Made Out Of Plastic

Now, the country could soon be the first to use recycled plastic as pavement. The idea for plastic roads comes from VolkerWessels, a Netherlands-based construction firm. According to the company, plastic roads would be a “virtually maintenance free product” that’s “unaffected by corrosion and the weather.” The roads could handle temperatures as low as -40°F and as high as 176°F. The company says that this hardiness will make the roads’ lifespans three times as long as typical asphalt roads.

According to the company, any type of recycled plastic can be used. The idea for plastic roads came after the company took a look at all the different road-related problems cities face, said Simon Jorritsma from InfraLinq, a subdivision of VolkerWessels and KWS Infra that works specifically with asphalt. The Netherlands is no stranger to innovations in road technology. At Vatican, world's mayors vow to tackle climate change, poverty - National Catholic Reporter (blog)

At Vatican, world's mayors vow to tackle climate change, poverty - National Catholic Reporter (blog)