As nations negotiated climate policy in Bali earlier this month, mayors and other representatives of local governments worked out their own agreement: the World Mayors and Local Governments Climate Protection Agreement. Their agreement recognizes the confluence of two major trends -- the urbanization of the human population, and climate change.
The Council for European Urbanism will hold its third international congress in Oslo, Norway from the 14 th to 16th September 2008. The congress will discuss the rapidly-evolving topic of "Climate Change and Urban Design". What is the latest science telling us? What are the consequences for urban development internationally? What are the practical solutions available to reduce climate gas emissions from urban settlements and transportation? What strategies are available to adapt to changing conditions? The congress will welcome government officials, planners, architects, social scientists, ecologists, developers, local community activists, and all other development stakeholders who feel a responsibility to contribute to more sustainable urban development.
Inspired by Braungart and McDonough's 'cradle-to-cradle' philosophy and the dictum that 'waste equals food,' the Dutch town of Venlo is launching a number of sustainability projects, including one that will take advantage of the region's strong horticulture industry. The plan will convert carbon dioxide to biofuels, by way of greenhouses growing algae.
This report looks at emissions rates for private vehicles versus public transportation and builds a solid case for the importance of public transportation in a strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It also considers land use ramifications, household emissions reduction, and scenarios of increased ridership.
Scientists expect that global warming will cause a variety of changes to precipitation patterns in the United States. Many areas will receive increased amounts of rain and snow over the course of a year; some areas will receive less. But scientists expect that, all across the country, the rainstorms and snowstorms that do occur will be more intense – increasing the risk of flooding and other impacts. This report evaluates trends in the frequency of storms with extreme levels of rainfall or snowfall across the contiguous United States over the last 60 years.
Record-setting rainstorms such as those that have recently deluged the Northwest are likely to become more common due to climate change, according to a report from the organization Environment Washington. Dealing with downpours in cities like Seattle requires both city-level infrastructure change and individual actions.
In Maasbommel, Netherlands, new homes are being designed that will float when flood waters rise above their foundations -- a prudent adaptation in a country that is already 50% below sea level. "In Holland we have always lived with this threat. We have to live with the water and not against it, so something needs to be done."
This touchstone book by James Howard Kunstler (author of The Geography of Nowhere)offers a vivid and uncomfortable vision of a post-oil future. As a result of artificially cheap fossil-fuel energy we have developed global models of industry, commerce, food production, and finance that are now threatened with collapse. Building on his previous work analyzing American suburban (i.e., energy-intensive) lifestyles, Kunstler sketches potential outcomes that may result from our current dysfunctional economic and cultural patterns.
Spurred to action by the predictions of local climate scientists, King County, Washington is pursuing both mitigation and adaptation strategies for dealing with the coming realities of climate change.