New EEA report on impact of land use changes on Europe’s urban areas

Land take and the sealing of soil with asphalt, concrete or buildings increased in Europe’s urban areas from 2012 to 2018, according to a European Environment Agency (EEA) assessment, published recently. Increasing land take and soil sealing make Europe’s ecosystems less resilient, with negative impacts on biodiversity and weaker potential for climate change adaptation.   … Continue reading New EEA report on impact of land use changes on Europe’s urban areas

The dream of the climate-neutral city, with very low to zero emissions, is within reach, say experts

Spewing most of the world's heat-trapping gases, fast-growing cities need to be transformed into clean, low emissions ecosystems in the struggle against climate breakdown. Stuart Braun writes on the Deutsche Welle website how cities can be a microcosm of successful climate mitigation.   Cities are major polluters: Can we make them climate neutral? Around 85% … Continue reading The dream of the climate-neutral city, with very low to zero emissions, is within reach, say experts

New publication from OECD: Decarbonising Buildings in Cities and Regions

Accounting for nearly 40% of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, and sometimes up to 70% in large cities, buildings are central to the low-carbon transition. Decarbonising buildings, especially older stock, through energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy use not only reduces carbon emissions, but also generates co-benefits in health, energy affordability and the labour market. … Continue reading New publication from OECD: Decarbonising Buildings in Cities and Regions

One German village prepares for climate-friendly future

While Germany mulls over better solutions for a climate-friendly future, one northern village has already made the transition. And its residents say the benefits are worth every penny. Gero Rueter of Deutsche Welle paid a visit to Sprakebüll.   Sprakebüll: A German village embraces a solar future "I am proud of Sprakebüll. It's great to … Continue reading One German village prepares for climate-friendly future

With heat being an emergency for cities globally, Athens becomes the second city to appoint a chief heat officer to find ways to cool the city, beyond the obvious air conditioning in buildings

Heat is a particular problem for people in cities because built-up areas and concrete store heat from the sun, while energy use and transport create its own excess heat that adds to the natural warming effect, and there is less of the natural cooling effect of trees, vegetation and water. Athens has followed Miami-Date county … Continue reading With heat being an emergency for cities globally, Athens becomes the second city to appoint a chief heat officer to find ways to cool the city, beyond the obvious air conditioning in buildings

With urbanisation exacerbating the risks of non-communicable diseases, new approaches to urban planning can make a difference

Tolullah Oni, Clinical Senior Research Associate, MRC Epidemiology Unit and Rizka Maulida, PhD researcher in behavioural epidemiology and urban health, both from  University of Cambridge write on The Conversation website how better urban planning can help reduce serious health effects.   Heart health: design cities differently and it can help us live longer By 2050, … Continue reading With urbanisation exacerbating the risks of non-communicable diseases, new approaches to urban planning can make a difference

A policy paper for fossil-free districts and cities from Energy Cities now available

A new report by Energy Cities details the key drivers and solutions to ensure that cities can deliver heat planning if required and drive the transition toward a fossil-free future. Good practices that cities are already implementing to phase out natural gas are also showcased.   Why and how fossil fuels in buildings will be … Continue reading A policy paper for fossil-free districts and cities from Energy Cities now available

Smart traffic lights could cut emissions by a quarter

Is this the future for better traffic flow in urban areas? Smart traffic lights are now being tested in Britain. Graeme Paton discusses latest developments in an article on The Times website.   Smart traffic lights get green light for cutting emissions by a quarter A new generation of smart traffic lights could be introduced … Continue reading Smart traffic lights could cut emissions by a quarter

Leaded fuels, banned 20 years ago, still have impact on our environment

A study shows that 32-43% of the lead in the London air was originally from leaded fuels, banned 20 years ago. The concern is that most cities likely to be affected by the pollutant, which is particularly harmful to children’s brains. Damian Carrington discusses the issue in an article on The Guardian website.   Legacy … Continue reading Leaded fuels, banned 20 years ago, still have impact on our environment

Urban sustainability – preparing for post-COVID tourism

Johannes Novy, Senior Lecturer in Urban Planning, School of Architecture and Cities at the University of Westminster discusses in an article on the Conversation website what urban tourism should look like after COVID, using Amsterdam as an important model.   Amsterdam is laying down a model for what tourism should look like after COVID When … Continue reading Urban sustainability – preparing for post-COVID tourism