The Future of Gulf Cities

© Suzanne Schenk

An expert hearing on regenerative urban development in the Gulf taking place in Dubai? Isn’t that a contradiction in itself? Well, 45 international participants from politics, practitioners, academia, business and civil society concluded after three days of intense discussion: there is no better place to discuss the future of Gulf cities than Dubai.

This city shows us both what can be done and what must be done. Its growth from a small trading port on the edge of the desert to a global city in just a few decades shows the power of visionary leadership. [Read more →]

September 26, 2012   Comments Off on The Future of Gulf Cities

Ice cream is helping power Cleveland

© Jackie Kever

Ice cream will be more than just a tasty treat in Cleveland this August. Leftover ice cream mix from Cleveland-based Pierre’s Ice Cream is now one of the fuels going into Cleveland’s new biomass anaerobic digestion power facility. Collinwood BioEnergy, like other biomass processing plants, produces renewable energy through digesting organic matter and producing biogas which is in turn converted into electricity. It is one of eleven projects that won federal stimulus funding under an Ohio state programme to turn municipal waste into energy. [Read more →]

August 13, 2012   2 Comments

5 cases of regenerative urbanisation

A new model of urbanisation, powered by renewable energy and defined by a regenerative, mutually beneficial relationship between cities, rural areas and ecosystems, is urgently needed. At the World Future Council we advocate going beyond sustainable cities to regenerative cities. The long term target for cities should be ‘regenerating’ the same amount of resources as they absorb. This refers to both their ecological footprint and the ecological burden of all materials used, for example, in buildings. Here are five examples where some aspect of regenerative urbanisation is already a reality.

1. Urban food and agriculture – Havana

© Toronto Green Community Garden

Producing food locally, even in an urban environment, means shorter transport routes and less processing and packaging. These parts of the value chain consume more than a third of all energy used for food production in the US. Limiting these activities can substantially reduce the carbon footprint of each meal. In response to severe shortages in food, pesticides and petroleum after the fall of the Soviet Union, Cubans began cultivating vegetables wherever they could, including lots in downtown Havana and other urban spaces throughout the island. The urban agriculture movement was first led by the people but [Read more →]

June 28, 2012   5 Comments