ICLEI Links: 9 October 2015

Welcome to the latest edition of ICLEI Links, our roundup of sustainability-related news and commentary from around the web!

City Stories

Paris’ day sans car shows us what our cities can be – on 27 September, at the instigation of Mayor Anne Hidalgo, Paris closed some of its most famous streets (including the Champs Elysees) to cars. This article argues that the tide is turning on car use in cities, with cities around the world giving their citizens regular glimpses of a possible car-free future.

Should cities invest in climate mitigation? – according to research by IIED, “the economic opportunities for climate action are ultimately limited in their scope”. Although the economic case for investing in mitigation is strong, cities must go beyond it to fully close the emissions gap.

Cities respond: Testing the urban SDG indicators – Mistra Urban Futures tested out the suggested indicators and targets for SDG 11 (the Urban SDG) in a pilot project involving five cities. The project showed that for the indicators to be useful, they cannot be general, and that local authorities must be directly involved.

Where is the world’s most stressful city? – Traffic, noise and overcrowding make our cities stressful. With the help of a new study, this Guardian article looks at the world’s most stressful cities, but also mentions ICLEI Member Bogota as an example of how to make our cities less stressful to live in.

Joburg Today TV report on EcoMobility World Festival (VIDEO)

Climate Change Stories

A story of hope: the Guardian launches phase II of its climate change campaign – following its “Keep it in the Ground” divestment campaign, the Guardian polled its readers, who indicated that they wanted to hear stories of hope in the run-up to COP21.

How to fight desertification and reverse climate change (TED Talk) – how “holistic management” can prevent the world’s grasslands turning to deserts (a change Allan Savory sees as the immediate cause of poverty, social breakdown, violence and cultural genocide).

Energy Stories

Solar and Wind Just Passed Another Big Turning Point – once a solar or wind project is built, it generates effectively free electricity. The more solar or wind projects that are built, the less economic sense it makes to build new fossil fuel power plants. This “virtuous cycle” has now begun.

Newcastle, home of coal, joins fossil fuel divestment push – the man behind the motion explained that the coal industry understands that “the coal is not going to be a leader long into the future”.

Coal, Which Built a Chinese City, Now Threatens to Bury It – the largest open coal mine in Asia has been heavily mined over the past 50 years. Because the appropriate measures have not been taken, nearby towns are slowly sinking, putting them at great risk of flooding.

G.E. to Spin Off New Energy Technologies in One Company – the move is apparently designed to allow components of the new business, including solar power and electric vehicles, to develop more quickly.


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