Smart CitiesSmart Cities Method

From ‘Smart City’ to ‘collective intelligence’: radical change in Barcelona

Barcelona en Comú party celebrates in Barcelona during a press conference following the results in Spain’s municipal and regional elections on May 24. by Kate Shea Baird On May 24, Barcelona went to the polls and, by a narrow margin, elected the radical new citizen platform, Barcelona en Comú (Barcelona in …

Green EducationSmart CitiesWebinars

Webinar Round-up: What Makes a Smart City?

Commuter cycling to work in a suit. by David Thorpe Last week’s webinar on Smart Cities by Sustainable Cities Collective was a successful discussion of many of the controversial aspects of smart cities. Here you can read the Twitter record (Storify) and below is the podcast and slide show. Listen here As …


High Alert for Environmental Threats in World Economic Forum’s Global Risks 2015 Report

By David Thorpe Today marks the release of the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks 2015 report. While international conflict tops the list of concerns, the experts whose opinions were solicited rated environmental risks more prominently than economic ones, including water shortages, climate change and fast urbanization. While the biggest threat to the …


Now Is the Time for Cities to End Reliance on Fossil Fuels

The price of oil continues to fall, making investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency less economically attractive. But this is all the more reason why now is the time to switch. A recent post on our sister site, The Energy Collective, argues that the Saudis are willing to let the …

EnergySmart CitiesSolutions

New Study Identifies How Cities Can Cut Energy Use by 25% by 2050

A new study of the energy use of 274 cities shows how different tactics will be necessary to reduce energy consumption in different cities. It adds that a particular effort to reduce consumption in fast-urbanising cities in Asia could potentially reduce total global energy use in cities by more than 25%. The analysis …

Smart Cities

Living the One Planet Life at the UK’s 15 year old Sustainable Community

By David Thorpe The view from the south looking over the lake towards the terrace. Not far from the minster town of Southwell, Nottinghamshire, in England’s Midlands (Robin Hood country to you) Hockerton housing cooperative is one of the UK’s best-known example of communal one planet living. Five households have …

PlanetSustainable Development

UK Government is Undermining Progress Towards the UN’s New Sustainable Development Goals

How is the UK doing an increasing its resilience and sustainability? Not good, according to a new report from the Environmental Audit Committee, a cross-party group of British MPs. In September next year, world leaders under the United Nations will set the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to replace the …

Green BuildingMethodologies

How to Save Millions on Air Conditioning by Designing Passively Cooled Buildings

By David Thorpe Air conditioning is by far the greatest consumer of electricity in buildings in hot countries, but it needn’t be so. Back in the warm days of August (at least in my part of the world) I wrote about how buildings in sunbelt countries could save millions by using …

Green BuildingMethodologies

4 Steps to Winning the Business Case for Energy Saving Projects

By David Thorpe Suppose you are a visionary in an organisation, be it a project manager or a policy head, and you have an idea for a project – it could be a low energy building, an eco-retrofit, or a piece of energy-saving equipment – that you know will save the …

EnergyGreen BuildingLiving Building ChallengesMethodologiesSolutions

10 Stages to a Passive Solar Building from Design to Build

By David Thorpe Some aspects of a zero carbon building in the northern hemisphere, temperate zone. Passive solar architectural principles have come of age. They have given rise to thousands of buildings of all sizes and purposes around the world, in all climate types, to demonstrate how buildings don’t need to …