Climate change is inevitable and there is little doubt that green house gases from human activities are causing temperatures around the world to rise causing dangerous irreversible effects on humans and the natural environment we live in. Many cities around the world are taking steps in the... Read more
Climate change is inevitable and there is little doubt that green house gases from human activities are causing temperatures around the world to rise causing dangerous irreversible effects on humans and the natural environment we live in. Many cities around the world are taking steps in the right direction to not only reduce their emissions levels but transition into carbon-neutral societies all together. However, what has been missing is a global, transparent tool that allows us to see how our actions are affecting the climate.
On October 6th, Climate-KIC launched a web-based CO2 meter, a transparent instrument which informs any interested party of the current atmospheric pressure. This can serve as an important tool for stakeholders around the world interested in climate change reduction and mitigation, particularly as demographic and economic changes threaten to magnify the consequences of climate change. Data for this meter comes from Europe’s top research station, Mace Head, located off the coast of Ireland. By allowing people and nations to view current climate data in an easy-to-understand way, perhaps it will encourage efforts towards a post-carbon society.
As we transition into post-carbon societies, one way city-dwellers can reduce their carbon foot-print is to give up their car and take public transportation. An even better solution both in terms of carbon reduction and health is to take up cycling. Not only is the transition away from the automobile important, but so is the planning process on how to accommodate and prepare for change.
Bicycles offer a fast, easy, inexpensive, environmentally-friendly way of getting around your city. However as more people adopt this mode of transportation our infrastructure needs to evolve with this societal switch.
Just this last week, the 11th annual Cycling & Society Symposium was held in Newcastle. This conference was co-organized by Northumbria University, Newcastle Cycling Campaign and Newcastle City Council to bring together world-leading cycling researchers to discuss important topics surrounding how to transition cities to accommodate for future cyclists. Topics that were discussed at this symposium ranged from design, demographics, society and attitudes. One interesting topic, a case study still in the early years, funded by the EPSRC and presented by Dr. Tim Jones of Oxford Brookes University, seeks to explore cycling adoption and journey of the elderly population, 65 years and older.
Newcastle Cycling Campaign as well as the Newcastle City Council also played an important role not only this conference but for transitioning the town towards their post-carbon future. By the year 2021 the city wishes to have at least a minimum of 20% of commuters riding their bikes for distances less than 5 miles. A design plan drawn up by the Newcastle City Council concerning sustainable safety calls for integrating priority needs of the cyclist and the transformation of road-ways to become priorities of the city. Although Newcastle is just in the beginning stages of their transition to a more bicycle-friendly community, it could provide another best-practices model that could be applied to other cities.
Monica Ridgway from Ecologic Institute represented POCACITO throughout a series of events during the 9th ASEAN Science and Technology Week held in Bogor, Indonesia from 19-23 August 2014. Sponsored by the EU FP7 project SUSTAIN EU-ASEAN, the events included a cities cluster meeting, public science workshop, media training workshop and science and technology exhibition. Representatives of projects from both regions met and discussed state-of-the-art research as well as potential synergies, partnerships and future research collaborations. Insights from POCACITO were presented during the public science workshop as well as the science and technology exhibition.