18 September 2014 - 4:00pm • Ecologic Institute

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.

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18 September 2014 - 2:00pm • Ecologic Institute

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.

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18 September 2014 - 9:45am • David Cadman, ICLEI President

World leaders are gathering in New York next week to attend the Climate Summit 2014. Convened by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the Summit aims to mobilize political will and galvanize climate action. Among its eight key action areas are cities a clear indication of the crucial role we have in fighting climate change.

For over two decades, ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability has been advocating for exactly that. We want that cities and local governments are appropriately recognized, engaged and empowered to tackle climate change. The Local Government Climate Roadmap maps out this journey which begun in 2007 in Bali.  The Summit this month marks another important milestone in this journey.

ICLEI will feed its rich experience, expertise and vision to the success of the Summit. We are proud to convey that we are core partners of one of the biggest announcements at the Summit the Compact of Mayors.  Born out of an unprecedented international collaboration between cities networks and supporters, the Compact is the largest effort for cities to slash its greenhouse gas emissions, report their progress, and prepare for the impacts of climate change.

We will also support a number of groundbreaking cities initiatives on finance, resilience, carbon pricing, buildings, energy and waste. Additionally, we will engage with various stakeholders in high level policy dialogues and networking events. The potential impacts of these initiatives and stakeholder collaboration are enormous.

We believe that to effectively tackle climate change, the world needs concerted climate action from all stakeholders, all levels of government and from civil society.  We will continue to engage in local climate action and connect with others to optimize our approach.  Join us in this journey! Together we can achieve a meaningful climate accord in Paris and beyond.

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