Are the world’s megacities too big? Are the world’s megacities becoming a sprawling, overfed, and uncontrollable mass that needs to be restrained for the good of society and the environment? This column suggests that policies aimed at reducing the dispersion in city sizes will hardly improve the wellbeing of the people who live there. If anything, in some developing countries, such as China, large cities may actually be too small. The trend in urbanisation is continuing unabated across the globe. According to the UN, by 2025 close to 5 billion people will live in urbanised areas. Many cities, especially in the developing world, are set to explode in size. An eco-city Our achievements We practice what we preach. After more than fifteen years of working to become one of the world’s most sustainable cities, our organisation became carbon neutral in 2012. We built Council House 2, Australia’s first 6 Star Green Star new office design in 2006. In 2014 Library at The Dock was completed through a unique partnership between Lend Lease, City of Melbourne and Places Victoria. Library at The Dock sets new environmental benchmarks, as Australian's first public building constructed primarily from cross laminated timber and recycled hardwood.
The 9 limits of our planet … and how we’ve raced past 4 of them Johan Rockström says humanity has already raced past four of the nine boundaries keeping our planet hospitable to modern life. Writer John Carey digs into the “planetary boundary” theory — and why Rockström says his isn’t, actually, a doomsday message.We’ve been lucky, we humans: For many millennia, we’ve been on a pretty stable — and resilient — planet. As our civilizations developed, we’ve transformed the landscape by cutting down forests and growing crops. We’ve created pollution, and driven plants and animals extinct. Yet our planet has kept spinning along, supporting us, more or less stable and in balance.
The French elite: where it went wrong ©Luis Grañena The French Stalinist Maurice Thorez spent the second world war in Moscow, where he called himself “Ivanov”. When France was liberated, he came home and entered government. Sustainable Cities: Challenges and Opportunities in Japan Thought leaders from across Japan’s energy sector gathered in Tokyo last week to discuss the role energy will play in adapting the country’s cities to a challenging environment of aging and declining population and increasing dependence on foreign sources for food and fuel. Tokyo-Yokohama, the world’s largest urban concentration, is already in many ways in the vanguard of the future of urban centers. What happens in this mega city is being watched closely across the planet for ideas to emulate or avoid. (Read more about the event here, and see video perspectives from the participants here.) Japan as a whole has demonstrated extraordinary determination and resilience to conserve energy after shutting down its nuclear facilities in the wake of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, but everyone in the country knows more needs to be done for long-term energy security. Cities have many issues.
Peak Everything: Eight Things We Are Running Out Of And Why Getty ImagesWhy is everything running out at the same time? We did a series on Planet Green where we looked at why those basic things that we take for granted, like water, food and fuel are getting expensive and scarce, all at once.Peak Corn: Blame Earl Butz. Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford's Secretary of Agriculture brought in the Farm Bill that dramatically increased the amount of corn produced in America.
Lunch with the FT: Xavier Niel The telecoms billionaire is called France’s Steve Jobs by some and a ‘peep-show man’ by others. In Paris, he talks to Simon Kuper about blocking Google’s ads and battling Sarkozy ©James Ferguson Not many people get to have lunch with Xavier Niel. “Each week,” explains the French telecoms billionaire, “I try to have three lunches with my children, one working lunch, and one lunch with mates.”
What Do We Need to Build Sustainable Cities? Every so often, I find it important to reset and to re-envision what a successful future looks like. This article seeks to take a step back and revisit the fundamentals of what the building of a sustainable city requires. The footprint of cities is a heavy contributor to the un-sustainability of life on the planet; each city takes much more than its total land area to support the population that lives, works, and plays there. It’s a mind boggling fact that over half of the world’s population lives in urban areas, and this number will increase to about two thirds of the world’s population by 2050.
1338: Land Mammals Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.  Explanation This comic may be a nerd snipe from Randall, challenging his readers to figure out the missing parts. The comic shows the total weight of mankind and all other land mammals. Only a few centuries ago, humans, their pets and livestock came to make up a great proportion of the earth's land mammal biomass. Note that only land-dwelling mammals are taken into account, so whales and other marine mammals are not included.
When a man is tired of Paris … ‘After more than a decade I can say: beneath the snooty unfriendly façade, Paris is a snooty, unfriendly city’ ©Luis Grañena As we all climbed off the Eurostar on to the platform at the Gare du Nord the other evening, an electric luggage-truck rattled straight at us, hooting angrily. Welcome to Paris. It’s the eternal paradox of Paris: why is the world’s most charming metropolis also the most unfriendly? As the universal phrase goes, “I love Paris.
8 Overarching Urban Systems That Make a City Sustainable Because cities are so complex - as complex, you might say, as a living organism - sustainable cities are much more difficult to achieve than green buildings or environmentally friendly cars. For example, it’s not enough to have sustainable buildings in your city if they are all really far apart and everyone has to drive long distances to get around -- that would be like eating a salad followed by fried chicken. Simply stated, one strategy on it’s own is simply not enough to make an entire city sustainable, rather what's needed is a series of strategies. According to author Timothy Beatley in his book Green Urbanism: Learning from European Cities, there are eight overarching systems that need to work together to make a city sustainable.
Local gabe village, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea Photo Local gabe village, Port Moresby Port Moresby is the capital and was named after Admiral Sir Fairfax Moresby. Another major center is Lae, the second largest city situated at the mouth of the Markham River. SOURCE: Courtesy of Papua New Guinea Tourism Promotion Authority, used with permission. To submit a photo for inclusion in this web site, please send e-mail for instructions. Decoding Streets: Secret Symbols of the Urban Underground Decoding Streets: Secret Symbols of the Urban Underground Article by Urbanist, filed under Urban Exploration in the Travel category. Somewhere between city signs and street graffiti lies a surprisingly rich and colorful language of secret messages, all hidden in plain sight on roads and sidewalks. This spray-painted slang we walk over and drive along every day is employed by infrastructure engineers, utility companies and other city workers.
Department of the Environment and Energy Latest news 2015-16 Solar Towns Programme (Round 2) successful applicants announced On 31 January 2016 Minister for the Environment announced the outcomes of the 2015-16 Solar Towns Programme (Round 2). 17 applications were successful under the round with a total value of $294,709 (GST exclusive). 2015-16 Solar Towns Programme (Round 2) - successful projects 2015-16 Solar Towns Programme (Round 3) now closed