One Earth was a partner in the Gaining Ground conference (Resilient Cities: Urban Strategies for Transition Times, Vancouver, Oct 20-22), helping cities manage transition times. North American cities are facing transformational challenges in sustainability, economy, and urban management, leaving them scrambling to comprehend and manage the shift toward ecological practices and greater resilience. The conference advances thinking on innovation in sustainability governance and best current practices for managing sustainable urban systems; capturing opportunities in the green economy; building widespread sustainability collaborations that engage the community level. Bill Rees presented a keynote address in which he outlined a vision of a self-reliant, self-producing eco-regional city states which differ fundamentally from the parasitic modern city. One Earth hosted a workshop building on this keynote presentation entitled “Rethinking the Good Life in Cities” which featured Bill, Vanessa and Nicole from One Earth as well as Vincent Tan (VP, Ayala Land) and Mariken van Nimwegen (Graphic Recorder). The workshop addressed the question: how can we redesign our cities to be regenerative and resilient with healthy, vibrant communities, economies and lifestyles? It also explored ‘how’ we can work more effectively on complex, systemic issues like transforming our cities, including some cutting-edge methods and ‘social technologies’ currently being tested in the field.
Posts Tagged ‘2009’
One Earth’s Emmanuel Prinet and Bill Rees present their latest work at the SCORAI (Sustainable Consumption Research and Action Initiative) conference at Clark University on October 15-17. Emmanuel presented “Advancing Sustainable Household Consumption: Insights for Effective Policy Development” and Bill spoke about “What’s Blocking Sustainability? Human Nature, Cognition and Denial.” SCORAI explores sustainable consumption and the impact of changing individual household patterns, bringing together top academics and practitioners from the US and Canada. A central conclusion was that because of the scale and the urgency of the changes needed, households cannot significantly advance sustainable consumption on their own, but require systemic solutions and coordinated actions by many stakeholders, including grassroots initiatives, institutional changes, government policies, and political reforms.
One Earth Director Vanessa Timmer presented the closing address at the TTI Vanguard conference “More from Less” (1-2 October 2009, Jersey City, USA). She addressed the 150 technology leaders from the public and private sectors about the need to move beyond efficiency towards a transformative redesign of our technologies, lifestyles, economies and societies. She shared One Earth’s initiative, “Rethinking the Good Life,” a systemic change initiative to scale up, at the North American level, the pace of positive change on consumption and production issues.
On June 22, One Earth launched a report with key elements for a Canadian policy strategy on sustainable household consumption with partner, the Consumers Council of Canada. Examining what sustainable household consumption means in a Canadian context is important insofar as the average Ecological Footprint of Canadians is significantly larger than what the Earth can sustain in the long term; indeed, were everyone around the world to adopt a typical Canadian lifestyle, four Earth-like planets would be necessary to support this way of living. The challenge is great: to maintain–and even enhance–quality of life of all Canadian citizens, while reducing by some 80% their material and energy demands. Household consumption is at the heart of these concerns, and should therefore be an integral part of any national sustainability plan in Canada. The report makes a case for emphasis on collective solutions such as better public transportation to achieve greener consumer behaviour. This project is funded by Industry Canada’s Office of Consumer Affairs.
One Earth launched the Eco-Strata Guide for reducing the ecological footprint of existing multi-family dwellings in Metro Vancouver. The project is focused on the opportunities for advancing sustainability, particularly as a result of economies of scale. Launched in April 8th at a private event, the practical guidebook (and website) assists strata councils, cooperatives, developers and management companies. Partners include the Condominium Home Owners’ Association (CHOA) with funding from the Real Estate Foundation of BC. The action ideas outlined in the guide offer win-win solutions for existing apartments, townhouses and condos. They help conserve natural resources as well as provide significant economic savings. Download the PDF, 3.8MB or dialogue at www.eco-strata.com, a space for sharing insights, lessons and resources. For more information, contact Emmanuel Prinet.