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A panel discussion on the upcoming Metro Vancouver transportation referendum
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A smart grid-solar-energy storage project in Albuquerque, New Mexico is attempting to harness mass-market solar to balance the grid inside and outside the neighbourhood’s borders. This decades-long project is taking place in Mesa Del Sol, a mixed-use redevelopment project with plans for both commercial space and approximately 37,000 homes. The first piece of the development was unveiled just last week – a 78,000 square-foot event center, which has been set up to run its own solar power. The technology and funding come from Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), which has invested about $10 million in the Mesa Del Sol project. The goal for this solar-powered microgrid is to smoothly connect and disconnect from the city’s grid, as well as to provide its power to smooth out the grid during times of peak stress. More information on the project can be found at http://t.co/Y0jLoSnO.
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Levi Strauss & Co., Nike, Canon, Kraft Foods and Mazda are a handful of companies that have adopted life-cycle assessment (LCA) tools as a means to measure and track the impacts of products from the design stage to end-of-life. Rather than utilizing external LCA software, these companies have built their own unique data management systems to incorporate into the day-to-day product design. For example, designers at Levi Strauss & Co. use their LCA program, Evaluate, to understand the environmental impacts of fabric choices, washes and dyes before the design process. Other companies like Canon were able to reduce their carbon emission in its newer product lines by 30 percent, and reduce energy usage by up to 75 percent. Nike’s Considered program takes LCA tools a step further by making various versions of their assessment tools open to the public. More examples of LCA systems can be found at http://www.greenbiz.com/blog/2012/05/22/how-levis-made-life-cycle-assessment-part-its-fabric.
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Carbon Talks

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Carbon Talks

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A panel discussion on the upcoming Metro Vancouver transportation referendum
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To improve the pedestrian and cycle experience in the Beijing metro area, the World Bank and the Beijing Transport Research Institute (BTRC) have launched a novel web-based project utilizing Ushahidi, an open-source platform that allows any person or organization to gather, collect and visualize information in real-time. The project aims to utilize this platform and crowdsourcing methodology to provide cyclists and pedestrians a way to deliver user feedback to transport planners. This then allows transport planners to identify and prioritize system improvements. Currently, the Ushahidi platform is a smart phone app for both Android and the iPhone, but the Bank and the BTRC hope that in the near future, users will be able to collect information on cycling and walking infrastructure and report them to the transport planners via SMS, social media, or web. These mini-reports will then be mapped and visualized, available for others to view and comment on.  This innovative form of public engagement can be found more at http://goo.gl/El5vg. 
[Guest blog post written by Anahi Ayala Iacucci, Innovation and New Technologies advisor. Anahi was the Ushahidi strategy consultant for the Beijing project in 2011. She blogs at Diary of a Crisis Map...
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Check this TED talks with Rachel Armstrong on architecture that can repair itself.

Armstrong convinces that all buildings that we see and use today are made using Victorian technologies. This involves blueprints, industrial manufacturing and construction using teams of workers. This process results in an inert object and that means that there is a one-way transfer of energy from the environment into homes and cities. Armstrong believes that this top-down approach is not genuinely sustainable. She explains that metabolic materials can be used for the practice of architecture as smart ‘living’ building materials.

The example that she provides in the video lecture is about preserving the historical city of Venice with protocells that “grow” into limestone, while creating ecological systems for the marine life under the city. Watch the full video at http://goo.gl/Dw4Yy.
http://www.ted.com Venice, Italy is sinking. To save it, Rachel Armstrong says we need to outgrow architecture made of inert materials and, well, make archit...
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Vienna is another European city that has become a “smart and sustainable region”. There has been a surge in renewable investment, and drastic changes have been made in the cityscape with new bike lanes and modern trams, and retrofitted historic buildings that reduce energy consumption. The reason for this dramatic redevelopment seems to begin and end with the city’s aggressive carbon reduction policies – 80 percent carbon emission reductions by 2050, as compared to their 1990 levels. These reductions are being targeted by city agencies, and they have developed several innovative approaches to achieve their performance goals. Data investments have been one of the tools for smarter decision-making. For example, Vienna has updated their data infrastructure by establishing environmentally-friendly data centers and mandating common data platforms between local agencies. Moreover, these data investments have created a 3D mapping database, which enables city official to measure exactly how many solar panels city roofs could support.
http://www.urenio.org/2012/05/11/vienna-a-city-on-the-cutting-edge-of-the-smart-city-movement/
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Have them in circles
142 people
eo2's profile photo
vanam a pleasure grove's profile photo
Quick Lingo's profile photo
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Scott Cooksey's profile photo
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Amid Sedghi's profile photo
Dominic Ciampa's profile photo
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Solutions for a low-carbon economy
Introduction
Carbon Talks accelerates the shift to a low-carbon economy. We look for those windows of opportunities where “carbon shifts“ are possible. These could be opportunities identified by a business, an industrial association or a government department but where all the pieces might not be in place to move to concerted action. Carbon Talks convenes the right people around the table to put the pieces together. We are the glue that moves groups from intent to action to reduce green house gas emissions.

The transition to a low carbon economy is inevitable. If Canada is to remain globally competitive, it must accelerate the shift from a carbon intensive economy to an economy that is more diversified and recognizes the costs of natural capital.

Government cannot be expected to engineer this shift alone. The climate conferences in Copenhagen and Cancun have demonstrated that governments cannot deliver the decisive action necessary to reduce global GHG emissions. We need to develop new forms of leadership within business, civil society and academia to work with government to create the enabling environment for moving forward.

Carbon Talks provides the platform to discuss, define and manage the transition to a low-carbon economy. It creates spaces for dialogue – not debate – spaces which help people to think creatively, consider alternatives, and develop practical solutions that are viable, cost-effective and sustainable.