Paving the way for electric cars? Estonia introduces 165 charging stations and halves vehicle purchase price

Source: Estonia's Electric Mobility Plan (ELMO)

Source: Estonia’s Electric Mobility Plan (ELMO)

Last month, Estonia launched a nationwide network of quick-charging stations for electric vehicles powered by 100% renewable energies. Each station is located at most within 60 km of another and there is one in every town with over 5,000 residents. Charging stations are placed in accessible locations such as gas stations, banks, cafes, parking lots and shopping centres, where the average electric vehicle can recharge to 90% of capacity in half an hour. [Read more →]

March 6, 2013   1 Comment

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

Calgary’s zero waste metabolism

Photo credit: City of Calgary

When one thinks of Calgary, the first thing that comes to mind has to be the world-renowned Calgary Stampede, never more so than this summer when it celebrates its centennial. A lesser-known fact about the city, but one that should give Calgarians as much pride as the annual rodeo, is the ‘zero waste’ metabolism exhibited by the city’s wastewater management scheme. [Read more →]

May 7, 2012   Comments Off on Calgary’s zero waste metabolism