Get involved and become a sponsor for Ecopreneurs for the Climate in Reading

@ECO4CLIM_Rdg Join the Ecopreneurs for the Climate in Reading “Glocal Week of Green Business for #Climate, #Innovation + #Jobs OCT 24-30”


This is going live in the U.K. in October 28th!

Whether you are a student or an Ecopreneur, whether you are a free-lancer or work in an SME, or even in a large company, as long as you believe change is possible; our contribution makes a true difference for the people and the planet. This is your movement – Inclusive, diverse, fun and transformative. Your generous contribution to this campaign will, in a few years, develop 50 labs across the world / empower more than 500 ecopreneurs / generate 3,000 green jobs and directly avoid hundreds of tons of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere.

How can you join?

The 2016 edition “ECO4CLIM_Rdg” will take place on October 24-30, 2016. It will comprise of multi-stakeholder eco-innovation workshops and the Climate Champion Awards. **Save the Date28 Oct** ECO4CLIM_Rdg’s coordinators, climate-champion ecopreneurs and global partners participate in prestigious international forums the likes of CLIMATE CHANCE WORLD SUMMIT in France, the Women Leaders and the Global Transformation Summit, the #COP22 Climate Summit in Morocco, or SwitchMed Connect 2016 in Barcelona. Now is the time, participate, add your city or join our ecosystem of partners:

Looking to unlock Reading’s green potential. We will, in three weeks, seek to locate and highlight eight local climate innovations (Eco-preneurs)! Do not hesitate to put forward to us yours or any local low-carbon Innovation that can reduce Reading’s Greenhouse gas emissions footprint!

!Green entrepreneurs for the #Climate, the Global Week of Green Business and the Climate Movement – October 24-30, 2016 #ECO4CLIM16 Climate organiser for #ECO4CLIM_Rdg Please let us know if you like to be trans-boundary involved. We are looking for – Space partner, – Media partners, – Sponsors and – Enablers for Reading Climate Champion Awards 2016 – Email eco4clim @ cccrdg .org .uk

We warmly welcome you to participate in the ECO4CLIM_Rdg Event – Climate, Innovation +Jobs “Glocal Week of Green Business and the #ClimateMovement” Friday 28th October.

eco4clim16

 

Feel free to pledge-as-you-feel to get UK’s first Climate LAB started 🙂

https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/join-the-ecopreneurs-for-the-climate-in-reading

 

Planners – White LED Blue Light and its effect on Humans and Wildlife Habitat

WORLDWIDE LED RESPONSIBILITY

Light affects our health and well-being in many ways. White LED’s with blue-rich spectra are being rolled out over the country at an alarming pace, often without proper health or environmental impact assessments. These white LED’s are detrimental to human and wildlife circadian rhythms as well as the view of our night sky. 1,2,3 , Urgent action is needed to ensure installation of LED lights use a warm-white Correlated Colour Temperature (CCT) ideally 2700K for the benefit of Public Health, Ecology, Road Safety, and Sky Glow.

BLUE_LIGHT

“Lighting planners and policymakers in local government nowadays need to be very careful in choosing the light class as low as possible, in order to avoid unnecessary over sizing, in using Constant Light Output for luminaires, avoiding cold temperature of LEDs and, above all, seizing the importance of using lighting control systems. The good thing about LEDs is that you can dim and switch on/off easily, and this raises the importance of sensors.”~#Alan2016

There are currently very few solutions that successfully combine an understanding of the physiological effects of light with efficiency and aesthetics. Recently, a number of governmental and non-governmental organisations have provided interesting publications which should be taken into consideration to help ensure benign, safe, and pleasant lighting in our outdoor environment. 4,5,6

The American Planning Association (APA) recommends outdoor LED lighting exclude wavelengths below 500 nanometers. The International Dark Sky Association (IDA) recommends a CCT of maximum 3000K to minimise sky glow and the American Medical Association (AMA) has issued guidelines recommending that blue-rich light is reduced as far as possible in order to protect Public Health.

The American Planning Association (APA) recommends outdoor LED lighting exclude wavelengths below 500 nanometers. 5 The International Dark Sky Association (IDA) recommends a CCT of maximum 3000K to minimise sky glow and the American Medical Association (AMA) has issued guidelines recommending that blue-rich light is reduced as far as possible in order to protect Public Health. 7,8,9,10 In the UK, Public Health England are recommending that councils use a warm colour temperature for street lights to miminise glare and discomfort. 4 Unfortunately, street lighting is currently exempt from the UK nuisance regulations which limit the effects of light and noise on people. Due to a lack of clear guidelines from Central Government, notably the Department for Transport, councils often opt for blue-rich white LED street lights, thus increasing light pollution.

An example may be taken from the situation on the Isle of Wight, where high CCT LED outdoor lighting has been installed, and there was little or no public consultation nor any trials prior to implementation. 11 Reading Borough Council is currently planning to install streetlights with a CCT of 4000K, which is above the recommended level of 2700K, despite awareness of Public Health England having advised otherwise. 12 In contrast, best practice of lighting implementation can be found in Cardiff and Westminster Council. In 2014, the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) sent out a survey which collected responses from over 80 local authorities. CPRE has published a document which provides 9 key recommendations based on this evidence and other evidence directly collected by CPRE. 6

The scientific understanding on the visual and non-visual effects of light forms a strong basis of the recommendations to minimise glare and to minimise spectral intensity below 500nm from artificial night time light.1,2,3,13,14,15,16

In 2014, the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) sent out a survey which collected responses from over 80 local authorities. CPRE has published a document which provides key recommendations based on this evidence and other evidence directly collected by CPRE:

“It should be clear to planners that outdoor lighting has a multitude of often detrimental effects on the built and natural environments as well as on our health. If existing standards are not adjusted to account for the spectral characteristics of the LED lighting being created and promoted by the lighting industry today, we could, ironically, be faced with higher levels of light pollution, glare, and overlighting…The choice is clear: we can use responsible standards to guide lighting design, or we can continue to allow uncontrolled lighting to degrade our quality of life and negatively impact human health and ecology. Planners have important roles to play in making the former scenario a reality in their communities.” – Bob Parks, APA 5

“Local authorities should give careful consideration to the type of LED lighting they use and consider the potential impacts that higher temperature blue rich lighting has on ecology and on human health… New street lighting should be tested ‘in situ’ before a lighting scheme is rolled out across a wider area to ensure that it is the minimum required for the task and does not cause a nuisance to residents.” – Emma Marington, CPRE 6

The scientific understanding on the visual and non-visual effects of light forms a strong basis of the recommendations to minimise glare and to minimise spectral intensity below 500nm from artificial night time light.

“A National Policy to curb blue-rich light pollution is urgently required”~

 

– Ms Tanja Rebel and Mr Enrico Petrucco, Reading UK

 

All references have been provided as free, full access, internet-accessible sources wherever possible.

  1. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0067798
  2. http://www.dynamics.org/~altenber/PROJECTS/MAUI/STARRY_NIGHTS/ARTICLES/Falchi+Cinzano++Haim_limiting.2011.pdf
  3. http://www.johanneroby.net/uploads/3/0/8/8/30887717/lptmm2015-manage-roby.pdf
  4. Public Health England, http://www.lightmare.org/docs/PHE-CIBSE-SLL_LED_report_May2016HRLBL-b.pdf
  5. APA, http://volt.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/PAS-Memo_MayJune2014_cr.pdf
  6. CPRE,  http://www.cpre.org.uk/resources/countryside/dark-skies/item/download/3497
  7. IDA, http://bit.ly/28L65Us
  8. IDA guide, http://darksky.org/lighting/led-practical-guide
  9. AMA, http://bit.ly/1XZzsz3
  10. AMA statement, http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/news/news/2016/2016-06-14-community-guidance-street-lighting.page
  11. https://isleofwight.greenparty.org.uk/files/IsleOfWight/Street-lighting-are-we-in-the-dark.pdf
  12. http://www.reading.gov.uk/media/5523/Item-1A/pdf/Item01A.pdf
  13. http://www.sps.ch/en/articles/various-articles/ueber-den-einfluss-des-lichtes-auf-den-menschen/lighting-application-for-non-visual-effects-of-light
  14. http://m.pnas.org/content/112/4/1232.full
  15. http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/2/6/e1600377.full
  16. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022407313004792

Regional Government of Andalusia [PDF]
DECLARATION ON THE USE OF BLUE-RICH WHITE LIGHT SOURCES FOR NIGHTTIME LIGHTING

 

Additional Internet Links and Public Opinion:

https://fluxometer.com/rainbow/#!id=iPad%20Pro/6500K-iPad%20Pro<https://fluxometer.com/rainbow/#%21id=iPad%20Pro/6500K-iPad%20Pro

http://bizled.co.in/bright-bluish-white-leds-disrupt-sleep-says-us-medical-body

http://www.iac.es/adjuntos/otpc/International_Declaration_on_Blue-Rich_Light.pdf

http://www.concordmonitor.com/s-2985214

http://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/opposition-calls-for-suspension-of-montreals-led-streetlights-project<http://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/opposition-calls-for-suspension-of-montreals-led-streetlights-project

http://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/montreals-push-for-outdoor-led-lights-isnt-just-a-night-sky-problem-its-unhealthy-scientists-warn

http://spie.org/newsroom/technical-articles/1015-led-light-pollution

http://www.getreading.co.uk/news/reading-berkshire-news/tilehurst-dog-walker-says-new-11220460

http://www.flagstaffdarkskies.org/for-wonks/lamp-spectrum-light-pollution

http://www.ledsmagazine.com/articles/print/volume-12/issue-10/features/street-lights/light-pollution-depends-on-the-light-source-cct.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/streetlights-disrupt-sleep_us_56d51092e4b03260bf780136?ncid=tweetlnkushpmg00000067

http://uk.businessinsider.com/astronaut-photos-light-polution-led-nasa-esa-2015-8

#Goal13 City Levels Green, Amber or even Red

#Goal13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

The highly developed industrialized nations’ responsibility to combat climate change is obvious and cannot be overestimated. Similar to the issue of sustainable consumption and production patterns, the rich countries need to become leading examples if the goal of combating climate change and its consequences is not to remain mere lip service. Effectively reducing CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions is imperative in this regard. The data displayed in figures 13.1 and 13.2 show how far many OECD countries are still lagging behind compared to the respective benchmark countries of the sample.

13_1

Click on the picture to enlarge

Figure 13.1 provides information on production-based CO2 emissions per capita. “Production-based” means that emissions refer to gross direct CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion, emitted within the national territory excluding bunkers, sinks, and indirect effects. In the fi ve leading countries, Mexico, Turkey, Sweden, Portugal, and Hungary, as well as in sixth-ranked Chile, production based CO2 emissions are below 5 tons per capita. These countries’ performances stand in stark contrast to the respective emission levels of countries placed at the bottom of the list, such as Canada, the United States, Australia, and Luxembourg. Here, CO2 emissions range from 15.3 (Canada) to 19.47 tons per capita (Luxembourg).

13_2

Click on the picture to enlarge

The second snapshot indicator links emission levels to the size of a country’s economy, and refers to total greenhouse gas emissions per GDP. Greenhouse gas emissions include land use, land-use change, and forestry, and are measured in CO2 equivalents as a percentage of GDP (tons per million constant 2005 int. USD PPP). The findings are remarkable: While Sweden is by far the top-performing country with an amount of 66.75 tons, Estonia comes in last place with 680 tons – more than ten times as much as in the case of the leading country. Moreover, Sweden is the only country ranked among the top five on both indicators chosen here.

With regard to greenhouse gas emissions per GDP, Norway, Switzerland, Finland, and France follow in places two to five. In fifth-ranked France, however, emissions are already nearly four times as high as in Sweden. At the negative end of the spectrum, Canada and Australia again find themselves in the bottom group. Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions per GDP amount to 641 tons, which means that the country ranks second to last on both indicators of goal 13.

Source: SDG Index and Dashboards – Global Report

Prague to host the United Nations’ European Habitat Conference #habitat3

Prague

Climate Change Centre Reading, is honored to participate at the UN regional meeting European Habitat Conference as a climate advocate for natural weather shelter / protection of #urbanthinkers. The conference will take place in the Prague Congress Centre, Prague, Czech Republic between March 16 to 18, 2016

Habitat III Europe Regional Meeting “European Habitat” will involve a wide range of participants, that will debate regional priorities for the New Urban Agenda, and policy recommendations in the form of a final regional participants’ declaration. The “European Habitat”, is an international regional conference organised within the framework of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). It is one of five regional commissions of the United Nations, bringing together 56 member countries from Europe, the Balkans, North America and a part of Asia. The event is an official part of preparations for the third global UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development “Habitat III”. Based on a decision of the UN General Assembly adopted in December 2014, this conference should be held in Ecuador in October 2016. The event is being prepared by the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat). UNO regional conferences are organised by individual regional economic commissions – and it is UNECE that covers the 56 above mentioned member countries (UNECE Member States).

In this regard, “European Habitat” will gather recommendations reflecting the consensus reached at the regional level on sustainable housing and other topics from the spectrum of a proposed New #UrbanAgenda.

Join us at this exciting opportunity to discuss the challenges of Sustainable “Housing in Liveable Cities”.

In the process towards a New Urban Agenda, Habitat III Europe Regional Meeting “European Habitat” will discuss how to ensure access to decent, adequate, affordable and healthy housing for all, with due attention to reducing the impact of the housing sector on the environment. Final declaration from “European Habitat” will be considered official inputs to the Habitat III process. Join us at this exciting opportunity to discuss the challenges of Sustainable Housing in Liveable Cities.

The official outcome of the European Habitat conference will be the Prague Declaration whose draft was discussed in December 2015 at the plenary session of the UNECE Committee on Housing and Land Management, the UNECE executive body for housing and urban development. In October 2014, the Committee discussed and adopted the Geneva UN Charter on Sustainable Housing, which was then approved by UNECE’s Plenary in April 2015 as the official contribution of the relevant region to the Habitat III conference. The Geneva UN Charter on Sustainable Housing is an essential strategic document which the Prague Declaration develops further. The European Habitat is one of the first UN implementing conferences reflecting the goals of UN post-2015 Development Agenda.

Final “Prague Declaration” from “European Habitat” will be considered official inputs to the Habitat III process.

The #UN European Habitat Conference, is part of the roadmap to #Habitat3 in QUITO – OCTOBER 2016.

#TheWorldWeWant #TheCityWeNeed #Futureofplaces #Placemaking #SDG13 #SDGs #FutureofPlaces #COP21 #COP22 #Habitat3 #NewUrbanAgenda #PublicSpace #WUC #TheFutureWeWant #TheCityWeNeed #UrbanSDG #UrbanAction #UrbanThinkers #Youngplacemakers #ClimateAction #OpenSpace

Background

Based on a decision of the UN General Assembly, the city of Quito, Ecuador, will host the third global UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (the “Habitat III conference”) from 17 to 20 October, 2016. These summits take place every twenty years; the first one was organised in June 1976 in Vancouver, Canada, the second summit “Habitat II” took place in June 1996 in Istanbul, Turkey.

The official outcome of the Habitat III summit will be the adoption of the discussed document (New Urban Agenda), responding to development in urban areas, with respect to the ever increasing share of the world’s population living in towns and cities (by 2050 the share will be 70%).

Preparations for the Habitat III summit are carried out according to the procedure approved by UN General Assembly; the process is managed by the Steering Committee of Habitat III.

(UN–Habitat) is the United Nations agency for human settlements and sustainable urban development. It was established in 1978 as an outcome of the First UN Conference on Human Settlements and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat I) held in Vancouver, Canada in 1976. UN-Habitat maintains its headquarters at the United Nations Office at Nairobi, Kenya. It is mandated by the United Nations General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all. It is a member of the United Nations Development Group. The mandate of UN-Habitat derives from the Habitat Agenda, adopted by the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) in Istanbul, Turkey, in 1996. The twin goals of the Habitat Agenda are adequate shelter for all and the development of sustainable human settlements in an urbanizing world.

Cycle to #COP21 – Ride for #ClimateJusticeJobs and a livable planet #Bike4Climate

BREAKING The date has arrived it’s #TimetoCycle to #COP21

TimetoCycle

Sustainable Transport Now!
System Change Now!

London to Paris, 6th – 10th December 2015

The 21st Conference Of the Parties (COP21) taking place in Paris at the end of 2015 is going to be BIG!
Those in power will gather at this environmental summit but, unfortunately, the hope to get a working and legal binding agreement by the end of it is once again quite small.

We therefore must take the power into our own hands! In hundred of thousands, people will mobilise in Paris to speak out, show solidarity with front line communities already affected by climate change and take action.

What better way to get there than by showing the alternative to our fossil fuel dependent culture?

———- PLAN ———-

Over 5-days and about 200miles, we will cycle from London to Paris starting off with 150 people and building in numbers along the way.

We will be cycling in smaller groups in order to make the ride more feasible and to help develop affinities and trust amongst people. By the end of each day, we will all gather for communal meals, as well as activities and workshops to be able to share our skills and prepare for taking action in Paris.

The Climate Games will be one element and way to take part in the mass day of mobilisation on the 12th December. The cycle ride will therefore provide space and information along the way for you to arrive prepared for your time in Paris.

The ride also has a jump on/jump off system, so if you do not want to or can not take part in the whole ride, you may join some of its sections.

Symbolically, this project will be much more than a cycle ride. By going in to school and social enters before and on the way, we will gather stories and dreams about the effect of climate change on people and how they would imagine a world where we stop it. As messengers of a much broader community, we will bring them to Paris and display them loud and clear.

Whether you are an experienced cyclist or a novice, on an electric bike or a tandem, young or old, there is a place for everyone.

Ride with us for #ClimateJusticeJobs and a livable planet

Find out more through the Time to Cycle website: www.timetocycle.org

#Climat21 #1000initiatives

 

TRANSFORMING OUR WORLD: THE 2030 AGENDA FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

All, this might catch some interest, 31 July 2015 a magic deal on a magic date! #Climate21 +++

#FutureofPlaces #COP21 #Habitat3 #NewUrbanAgenda #PublicSpace #WUC #TheFutureWeWant #TheCityWeNeed #UrbanSDG #UrbanAction #UrbanThinkers #Youngplacemakers #ClimateAction

TRANSFORMING OUR WORLD: THE 2030 AGENDA FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Planet We are determined to protect the planet from degradation, including through sustainable consumption and production, sustainably managing its natural resources and taking urgent action on climate change, so that it can support the needs of the present and future generations;
Goal 11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable 11.1 By 2030, ensure access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services and upgrade slums 11.2 By 2030, provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, women, children, persons with disabilities and older persons

Goal 13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts* 13.1 Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries 13.2 Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning 13.3 Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning 13.a Implement the commitment undertaken by developed-country parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to a goal of mobilizing jointly $100 billion annually by 2020 from all sources to address the needs of developing countries in the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation and fully operationalize the Green Climate Fund through its capitalization as soon as possible 13.b Promote mechanisms for raising capacity for effective climate change-related planning and management in least developed countries, including focusing on women, youth and local and marginalized communities * Acknowledging that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is the primary international, intergovernmental forum for negotiating the global response to climate change.

Vision 7. In these Goals and targets, we are setting out a supremely ambitious and transformational vision. We envisage a world free of poverty, hunger, disease and want, where all life can thrive. We envisage a world free of fear and violence. A world with universal literacy. A world with equitable and universal access to quality education at all levels, to health care and social protection, where physical, mental and social well-being are assured. A world where human rights relating to safe drinking water and sanitation are promoted and realised, with improved hygiene; and where food is sufficient, safe, affordable and nutritious. A world where human habitats are safe, resilient and sustainable and where there is universal access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy.

Read the final version of the Post-2015 Development Agenda here; https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/7891TRANSFORMING%20OUR%20WORLD.pdf

#InterGov2015 #post2015 #SDGs #unitednations

CCCRdg´s Issue Papers comments on Habitat III Issue Papers

The Habitat III Issue Papers are summary documents that address one or more research areas, highlight general findings, and identify research needs on topics related to housing and sustainable urban development.

The Issue Papers provides in depth review and analysis of specific issues relevant to the discussions of the Conference.

The Issue Papers are the departing point for the work of the Policy Units.

placemaking3The Issue Papers are prepared by the UN agencies and programmes (UN Task Team on Habitat III), as well as several experts and organizations related to the different topics.

The methodology of elaboration of the Issue Papers is in line with the elaboration of the compendium of issues briefs prepared by the United Nations inter-agency Technical Support Team for the United Nations General Assembly Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals.

The Issue Papers provide with a background on each area analyzed, key challenges and recommendations on next steps.

Please find below Climate Change Centre Reading´s (CCCRdg) Issue Papers comments on Habitat III Issue Papers pre PrepCom3 regarding – Issue papers;
1 – Inclusive cities (a.o. Pro Poor, Gender, Youth, Ageing)
6 – Urban Governance
8 – Urban and Spatial Planning and Design
11 – Public Space
17 – Cities and climate change and disaster risk management
21 – Transport and Mobility

1. Campaigning for secure urban public space and ambient air quality
YOUTH DISTRICT LEARNING (YDL) – WORLDS GREATEST PLACEMAKING PROJECT******
CCCRdg-Issue-Paper_Habitat-III-1-6-11-17-PrepCom3-Secure-Urban-Public-Space.pdf

2. Campaigning for public space and ambient air quality (Urban Action)
TRANSPORT AND CLIMATE CHANGE******
CCCRdg-Issues-Paper_Habitat-III-8-11-17-21-PrepCom3-Transport-and-climate-change.pdf

 

#FutureofPlaces #COP21 #Habitat3 #NewUrbanAgenda #PublicSpace #WUC #TheFutureWeWant #TheCityWeNeed #UrbanSDG #UrbanAction #UrbanThinkers #Youngplacemakers #ClimateAction

UN HABITAT3 – SDG 11. 7 PUBLIC SPACE GOALS AND CHALLENGES

Key Messages from the Future of Places:

1.     People-centered approach to planning

As an arena for public use and social interaction, public spaces are most often developed, managed and maintained by municipal government. If the municipal government adopts a people-centered approach to urban planning, they will more effectively achieve sustainable development. Emphasis needs to be placed on a shared responsibility between community and private entities with regard to the localized planning and maintenance of public space.

2.     Inclusive public space for all, particularly vulnerable groups

Attention needs to be given to vulnerable members of the population, including the elderly, the disabled, youth, and low income groups, to ensure their social and political inclusion in the allocation and design of public spaces. Public space has a responsibility to be flexible and open enough to serve a variety of users and uses, ranging from informal to formal settlements. Well-designed public spaces not only contribute to improve the visual and spatial character of a city, but also stimulate and enhance intergenerational, social and economic activities.

3.     Public space that respects human scale and behavior

All public space needs to be of a human scale and respond to a variety of functions and patterns of use based on an understanding of human behavior, health, needs, sensibilities and aspirations. Spaces are defined by their shape and the quality of their edges. Simple temporary and tactical interventions can test and promote more permanent changes.

4.     A citywide network of connected streets and public spaces

A holistic, evidence-based approach to the city is necessary with attention focused not only on the space itself, but its form, function and connectivity.  Streets should serve as multimodal networks of social and economic exchange, forming the urban framework of interconnected public space. Walkability, social interaction, multimodal mobility and accessibility should be supported by a fine-grained block and street network lined with buildings providing amenities and services with a mix of uses and sizes.

5.     Economic productivity of public space

Investing in public space can have powerful social, economic, cultural and health benefits. If people are committed to their future in a specific place, they invest more time and capital in that place, which has a positive impact on the local economy and creates a virtuous cycle of economic growth. Public space stimulates the small scale, local and informal economy, as well as generates tax revenue.

6.     Access to public space – public and private spheres

In many places there has been a reduction of urban public space, a lack of clear boundaries between the public and private spheres and diminished freedom of expression and movement. The market alone cannot always provide a variety of public and private open spaces. A more nuanced range that provides a variety of open places, including semi-public and semi-private space is needed.

7.     Sustainable public spaces that are healthy, safe, resilient, energy-conserving and resource efficient

Public space and the buildings that surround and define it need to be socially, economically and environmentally sustainable. Social sustainability requires security, equity and justice; economic sustainability benefits from affordable capital and operating budgets; environmental sustainability addresses ecological and health issues. These include clean air, water and soil, green micro-climates and the mitigation and adaptation to the Urban Heat Island Effect and Climate Change. Effective use should be made of green technologies and systems. Architecture and urban design that is adaptable and appreciated is cared for and sustained for a longer time.

8.     Culture and context of public space

Public space is made unique through cultural and contextual elements that complement and enrich its identity. Spaces should be flexible and respond to the geography, climate, culture and heritage specific to its locality. Public arts can be an effective method for celebrating community identity and belonging in open spaces.

 

Action and Implementation:

There is a need for action and implementation mechanisms that support and protect public space and its users.

Advocacy and Mobilization
Raise awareness and create movements to mobilize stakeholders in the pursuit to build community. Promotion of discussions, forums, workshops, pop-up projects and public space prizes will further mobilize and increase awareness of and sense of belonging.

Measurement and Monitoring
Establish policy and frameworks at the national level for cities to allocate an appropriate percentage of the land to public space. An inventory of public space assets in a city will reveal the availability of public space typologies, allowing city-builders to address shortfalls and encourage a balance of public spaces throughout a city.

Public Space Financing Solutions
Examination of creative financing solutions such as public land acquisition, conversion of private space to public space or land value capture will be effective in producing greater amounts of economically sustainable public space.

Policies and Legislation for Public Space
Establish policies, legislation, and regulatory mechanisms for the provision, design, management and use of public spaces. Long-term structures, management mechanisms and partnerships at the national, regional and local level can align governments and other stakeholder’s interests. Open feedback and accountability mechanisms can ensure two-way discussions among stakeholders.

Empowerment of Marginalized Groups
Set in place processes for the inclusion of all ages, the vulnerable, and the disadvantaged. Establish a legal framework to ensure the inclusion of disadvantaged groups in public space discussion and processes. Special emphasis should be placed on job creation, livelihoods and quality of life for low-income groups.

Tools and Knowledge Management
Establish open-source knowledge management platforms with training workshops, capacity building, tools, best practices, model legislation, statistics, and methodologies for creating and managing public space. Empirical evidence-based research on the practice and theory of public space needs to be made widely available.

FoP Agenda Cover

Future of Places, Stockholm

1 July 2015

Where’s Reading Heading?

In August 2014, Reading Museum secured a second round of funding from the Happy Museum Project.

Our new project, ‘Where’s Reading Heading?’ looks at the past, present and future development of Reading. It seeks to provoke debate about how Reading will sustain a growing population and build a successful low carbon economy whilst ‘Narrowing the Gaps’ between different sectors in our communities.

Current work being led by the University of Reading, Reading UK CIC and Barton Wilmore, through the Reading 2050 initiative, envisages a smart and sustainable future for Reading. This will involve communities coming together to influence how the town will evolve in the decades ahead.

To promote debate the Museum asked Russell Alsop of local production company Ginger & Pickles to make a short documentary film, drawing together the views and knowledge of a widespread group of Reading people. This has included school pupils, academics, local politicians, business people, ecologists, architects, and residents from our local neighbourhoods.

As part of the project, radio style interviews were conducted. Within them are many views and learnings from experts and active citizens which enabled the film-maker to shape the documentary. You can listen to these on the museum’s SoundCloud (follow the link at the bottom of the page).

We hope our ‘Where’s Reading Heading’ film may encourage you to get involved.

The organisations that took part in the film-making process include:

  • Reading International Solidarity Centre (RISC)
  • Berkshire Local Nature Partnership (LNP)
  • Greater Reading Environmental Network (GREN)
  • Nature Nurture
  • Reading Climate Change Centre
  • Reading Sustainability Centre
  • Reading Voluntary Action (RVA)
  • The Walker Institute, Reading University

Each of these local organisations provides opportunities for Reading residents to become active in initiatives influencing Reading’s future environment. Click on the links below to go to their websites and find out more – the LNP and GREN sites also include directories of other local groups.

Source: Reading Museum • Where’s Reading Heading?

Everything you wanted to know about the UN climate talks but were afraid to ask

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COP 21: Road to ParisEditor’s note: 2015 is shaping up to be a pivotal year with respect to climate change as growing concern about impacts converges with a critical stage in the decades-long process of shaping an international agreement to change our trajectory. To help us all prepare for the potentially game-changing 21st gathering of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 21) in Paris beginning Nov. 30, by reporter Fiona Harvey. This first installment answers some basic questions about the U.N. talks.

Why 2015 could be the most important year ever for curbing climate change

Climate change negotiations seem to crawl along interminably at the pace of the glaciers they are meant to protect, with little perceptible progress as meeting follows meeting and conference follows lackluster conference. But this year we are seeing remarkable momentum building toward a historic conference in Paris in the closing days of 2015, by the end of which we will either have a new international agreement on cutting greenhouse gas emissions, or we will have seen the last of truly global efforts to strike a deal on saving our planet.

We began the year with the outcome of Lima, last December’s United Nations gathering at which delegates drafted the outline of such an agreement that would come into force starting in 2020. That in turn followed a landmark deal between the U.S. and China in November to set limits on their greenhouse gas output. By the end of spring, all of the world’s major economies should be coming up with similar plans. Then, after some months of considering these proposals, and as 2015 ends, Paris will host COP 21 — the most important meeting on global warming since the Copenhagen talks six years earlier. What is decided there will determine the future of Earth’s climate for decades to come.

What is supposed to happen in Paris?

Governments will meet for two weeks to hammer out a new global agreement that will establish targets for bringing down global greenhouse gas emissions after 2020. Both developed and developing countries are expected to bring stringent goals to the table: absolute cuts in greenhouse gas emissions for industrialized countries, and curbs or relative reductions — such as cuts in CO2 produced per unit of GDP — in the case of poorer nations.

Why after 2020?

The world’s major economies, and many smaller ones, already have agreed on targets on their emissions up to 2020. These were settled at the Copenhagen climate summit in 2009, which marked the first time both developed and developing countries had agreed on such aims at the U.N. But that meeting was overshadowed by scenes of chaos and bitter fighting, so the 2020 targets — while still valid — could not at that time take the form of a full international and legally binding pact. The hope is that Paris will see less discord and a more constructive approach to continuing action on emissions to 2030 and beyond.

What is at stake?

With the publication of the fifth report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2013–14, we know more about the science of climate change than ever before, and what we know is troubling. The research embodied in that report put it beyond doubt that the climate is changing under human influence, and warned of the dire consequences — in the form of widespread droughts, floods, heat waves and other weather extremes — if greenhouse gases are left unchecked.

What is also at stake is the future of international action on global warming. As the Copenhagen summit showed, there are deep rifts among leading countries and among populous blocs over what action should be taken, by whom and how quickly, and how to pay for it.

The U.N. process of negotiations on a global accord has been going on for more than 20 years, since the first IPCC report in 1990 summed up our knowledge of climate science and concluded the world should be seriously concerned. That led to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, signed by virtually all countries in 1992 and committing them to make efforts toward “preventing dangerous anthropogenic interference with Earth’s climate system” without specifying what or how much they should do. The Kyoto protocol of 1997 was intended to flesh out those preventive actions by stipulating cuts in emissions from industrialized nations, but that collapsed when the U.S. Congress refused to ratify the protocol because it did not impose emissions targets on developing countries such as China. There followed years of stagnation in the talks, until at Copenhagen in 2009 major developed and developing economies agreed jointly for the first time to cut their emissions or curb their rise, respectively.

After the damage done at Copenhagen, the talks limped on. But the process is fragile. If Paris witnesses scenes of discord and high drama anything like those of 2009, and if there is no clear outcome, it is hard to see that faith in the U.N.’s ability to hold nations together on this issue could survive.

What should governments agree on?

They should agree on post-2020 emissions targets for all the leading economies, and less stringent actions on emissions for all nations. Three of the leading players have already set out their intended emissions targets, which bodes well for the outcome of Paris. The European Union has pledged to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent, compared with 1990 levels, by 2030. By 2025, the U.S. will cut by 26 to 28 percent, compared with 2005 levels. And China will ensure that its emissions peak by no later than 2030.

Will these targets be enough?

No. After nations have submitted their proposals for cuts or curbs, due to the U.N. in April, the plans will be subject to close scrutiny for several months to give all countries a chance to judge them. There is a degree of gamesmanship here: No country wants to pledge too much too soon, lest it give away a competitive advantage. The results of the scrutiny will be a key part of the talks in Paris and could be a stumbling block to agreement.

This all sounds depressingly familiar. Haven’t we been here before with Copenhagen?

There are some reasons to be cheerful. Copenhagen did produce an agreement, though not in the full legal form many countries would have liked. Officially, at least, the world is committed to meeting those aims by 2020. So if Paris produces a fresh agreement lasting into the 2020s, it is a step forward.

What legal form will an agreement take?

We don’t yet know. There are three main options on the table, laid out at the U.N. conference in Durban in 2011 at which it was agreed that the Paris meeting should take place: “a protocol, another legal instrument, or an agreed outcome with legal force under the convention applicable to all parties.” The third is the most likely.

What does that mean?

We don’t quite know that, either. Some countries take it to mean that any targets agreed at Paris will be legally binding on the countries adopting them, so countries could be subject to international penalties if they are not met. Others argue that the framework agreement — a core agreement setting out the principle that countries must take on post-2020 targets — could be legally binding at an international level, while the targets themselves would be recorded separately and so not strictly binding under law.

The question of the legal form of an agreement has been a vexed one at these talks, and has a checkered history. The Kyoto Protocol of 1997 was fully legally binding under the foundation treaty, the UNFCCC, and signed by the U.S. and nearly every other country. But that meant nothing in practice when the U.S. Congress immediately refused to ratify it and left the protocol in limbo. Other nations that did ratify later reneged on their commitments. None has suffered any sanctions as a result.

Copenhagen’s “political declaration,” outlining the pledges on emissions made by the world’s biggest economies, had to be relegated to an unofficial appendix in the legal outcome of that summit, and so was derided by some. But, though technically it had less legal force than Kyoto, it is at least still in place six years later and countries are still committed to meeting those pledges by 2020. It also forms the basis of the Paris talks.

Paris will not produce a fully articulated treaty like the UNFCCC — there is not enough time or appetite for that — but as long as it produces a definite outcome, with all of the major parties agreeing to targets even if they are not legally enforceable in the strictest sense, then it will represent significant progress and should be enough to keep the U.N. process intact.

What if the talks collapse at Paris?

That is likely to mark the effective end of international action on the climate coordinated by the U.N.

There are divergent views on the centrality of the U.N. talks to preventing dangerous climate change. These are “top-down” talks: Governments decide at an international level how much of an emissions reduction they will contribute and draft national policies to cascade this through their economies. An alternative is the “bottom-up” strategy, which posits that businesses and civil society organizations are more effective in taking prompt action and will do so in their own interests while governments still argue over semicolons in an international treaty.

Ultimately, these two approaches are closely linked. Top-down targets can spur bottom-up actions, while successes in bottom-up projects can encourage governments to be more courageous in setting national climate strategies. The reverse is also true: Without top-down negotiations, some companies are likely to see a commercial advantage in acting as a free rider, stalling on emissions cuts and refusing to take part in bottom-up actions.

So it is likely that some element of both will be necessary. The U.N. is not the only top-down forum: the U.S. leads the Major Economies Forum, and the G7 and the G20 also discuss climate actions. But the U.N. is the only arena that draws all developed and developing countries together and gives small nations a voice to challenge the biggest.

And after Paris?

That is anybody’s guess. No sooner had President Obama, late last year, toasted his deal on emissions with the Chinese president than Republicans vowed to strike it down. Any commitment made now for action until 2025 or beyond, in any country, runs that risk.

What can go wrong?

Lots. Although China has set forth its commitment, other key developing countries — India chief among them — have yet to do so, and may stretch the deadline. The process by which countries will review each other’s targets between now and the Paris gathering is also fraught with uncertainty, and it is not clear what will happen if countries cannot agree how to judge the targets.

Another key question is over finance. Developing countries were promised at Copenhagen at least $30 billion in “fast-start financing” by 2012 to help them make the investments needed in low-carbon infrastructure and begin adapting to the effects of climate change. That promise was broadly achieved — but by 2020, those finance flows are supposed to reach $100 billion per year. Where will the money come from? Rich countries are adamant that only a minor amount will come from their taxpayers, and the rest from the private sector. Poor countries are demanding more, and not cash redirected from existing aid budgets. It may be possible to find some middle ground, but this could be a breaking point.

Paris will be a crunch conference in every sense. The fragile U.N. process could emerge resurgent if nations can come together, or it could be battered to an effective end. Either way, global emissions are likely to continue rising for years more, increasing the risk that warming will exceed the 2 C mark that scientists posit as the threshold beyond which climate change becomes irreversible. Paris will not be enough in itself to prevent that, but it could go a long way to deciding our fate. View Ensia homepage

 

This article originally appeared at Ensia.com.