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The State of Australian Cities 2011 report, released on 20 October, builds on the knowledge contained in the first report published last year and also brings together a raft of new data that compares Australian cities with each other and cities internationally. State of Australian Cities 2011 provides an evidence base to support the national urban policy released earlier this year.
The Gwangiu Cities Declaration sets the way forward towards the greening of cities through improved planning and intelligent management. Released at the conclusion of the Summit of the Urban Environmental Accords held in Korea on 11-13 October, the Declaration calls for the development of an Urban Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) under the UN Convention for Climate Change. It also recommends the development of metrics to measure and report urban sustainability and to encourage the development of policies, regulations and innovative market mechanisms to accelerate the transition towards greener urban development. The Declaration calls for action across five major sectors:
The Guardian The future of urban living site is dedicated to the future of the built environment. As well as articles exploring the philosophy of the way we will live in the future, it will also report on a debate featuring high profile names from the world of architecture and building planning. At the heart of the discussion is a challenge to develop new ways of thinking and working, analysing the political, economic, social and technological aspects of the urban spaces of tomorrow.
The Green Savings Calculator is a free online tool that helps you work out the cost benefit of sustainable improvements to your home. With methods and data verified by RMIT’s Centre for Design, it covers popular eco-friendly building options including water saving, construction materials and energy efficiency. It can calculate potential dollar savings and carbon savings over one year or ten years, for a typical new or established house.
In August 2011 the Waite Research Institute in Adelaide hosted a debate on food security and what is needed to feed our rapidly growing population. The motion in question was this: Increasing agricultural production is the only sure way to feed 9 billion people by 2050. The affirmative and negative arguments presented are summarised in the COSMOS magazine feature article Food security for 9 billion.
Statistically speaking, people over fifteen years old are the worst offenders when it comes to littering. For reasons unknown, once people turn fifteen they begin to litter more heavily and continue to do so for the rest of their lives. That’s why Keep Australia Beautiful has put The LITTLE Committee in charge of fixing the problem. They’re all kids under fifteen, hand picked to join The LITTLE Committee, determined to put an end to adults littering in Australia. Their job is to become the new face of litter in Australia though advertising campaigns, in the media and by meeting with important people. Members of The LITTLE Committee are available to speak at events and functions, and are available for media comment on issues relating to litter.
At the Australasian Waste and Recycling Expo industry experts will discuss new legislation, technologies and innovations in resource recovery. You can attend one of the low-cost half-day conferences, free workshops or free networking functions, and view the latest products and services.
WhichEnergy promotes solar energy consumer choice by providing the information consumers need – including ratings of solar products and retailers. For retailers it promotes best products and best practice – as ranked independently by consumers.
London’s new Blackfriars station – which is being built on a bridge spanning the River Thames – is on its way to becoming the world’s largest solar bridge as the installation of over 4,400 solar photovoltaic (PV) panels begins. The only other known solar bridge known in the world is the Kurilpa Footbridge constructed in 2009 in Brisbane, Australia. An 1886 Victorian-era bridge is the foundation for the new Blackfriars station. A new roof will incorporate over 6,000m² of PV panels, creating the biggest solar array in London by mid 2012. The solar panels will generate an estimated 900,000kWh of electricity every year, providing 50% of the station’s energy and reducing CO2 emissions by an estimated 511 tonnes per year. In addition to solar panels, other energy saving measures at the new station will include rain harvesting systems and sun pipes for natural lighting.
The Productivity Commission’s final inquiry report into Australia’s Urban Water Sector was released on 12 October 2011. In undertaking the inquiry, the Commission identified opportunities for efficiency gains in the structural, institutional, regulatory and other arrangements that govern the sector.
© Bruce Boyes 2008-2013
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