Climate Reality

I should confess that when it first came out, I dozed off during the Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth.  That's not the kind of admission you'd expect from someone who spends their days (and many nights) working on urban climate policies. But, influential as it was, there just seemed to be something missing from that first effort to communicate the urgency of responding to climate change.

What ever it was, Gore's new Climate Reality presentation figured it out. The worldwide marathon of presentations that began in Mexico yesterday and concluded in New York tonight was a true success. 24 hours and 24 presentations in 13 languages later, over 8 million viewers tuned in. Andrew Revkin, over on the NYT's Dot Earth blog makes some good points about what the broadcast doesn't do.

But while it may not solve the politicization of climate science, or our dependence on fossil fuels, it does do two simple but important things.

EcoCity 2011 - Networked Urban Sustainability: Breaking the Integration Barrier

September hit with the usually flurry of activity, which means that I'm only now putting up this version of one of the two talks that I gave at the 2011 EcoCity World Summit. The Summit was hosted in Montreal this year, and was a huge success all around.  This presentation is something I put together for a general audience. It's jargon free, and aims to get across a few key points that have emerged in my research over the past four years.

It all centers around one question: "How  can we go from small scale changes in  urban processes, to large scale sustainability shifts that take place across a city as a whole." Or, to say it another way, it is about how an English/French Dictionary, Bowling, and Duke Ellington can help citiesr espond to the enormous challenges posed by climate change. The full text is below, or you can listen to a Slidecast with slides and audio on the embedded player below.



This is a blog for news and views on the future of sustainable cites. A major revamp is in the works. Until then I am keeping this version up as an archive of my past writing.

You can expect occasional updates, but not with the same frequency as in the past.

You can also find my writing on urban redesign and sustainability in ReNew Canada, The Mark, Sustainable Cities Canada, WorldChanging, and other more specialized academic publications.

Info on my consulting work, c.v. and current research focus is all here.