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Looking at Russia, Pakistan or China this summer, we can bet environment will come back on people radars and political agendas.

Let’s face it: no viable and timely global solution exist for current population and CO2 emissions. But as population growth is part of the risk, I am curious how Europe is positioned to building new environmentally-friendly neighbourhoods and sustained behaviours. That experience and reputation will be critical to bright in tomorrow’s world.

Read also: We can’t stand regions

Take Greater London. According to LDA, Greater London will have to accommodate an extra 4 million inhabitants in the next ten years. In the south, the Borough of Sutton has developed a sustainable model with zero CO2 emission in compliance of the Kyoto Protocol. The district, called BedZED, groups homes, work space and services, with integrated public transports in order to make individual car redundant. Building encompasses strong isolation, water recycling, solar energy to feed electric cars and the overall plan is maximized for passive natural lightening and heating.

Quick reminder: the principles for environmentally-friendly city established by WWF for the initiative One Planet Living are based on three pillars:

  • environment: zero carbon emission, renewable energy, water and waste recycling.
  • economy: use of local materials for constructions, favour local food and services.
  • social: social interaction on common projects developed by and for the habitants.

BedZED is the One Planet Living role model. It scores well on the first of the three pillars but it accommodates no more than 250 habitants. In addition, no food production has been foreseen within the district and this entrepreneur project has grown with no input from future residents. One out of three is not a bad score those days…

Next, we will look at an area of Malmo which green renovation has been pilot by its habitants themselves.

Go to: Cities, problem or solution to the environment crisis? 2/2

David Mekkaoui (19AUG10)
Author :
EurActiv Network