Carbon Zero: Imagining Cities that can Save the Planet

Alex Steffen, the man behind the excellent inertia defying and inspiring WorldChanging blog, has just released his new book.

Carbon Zero: Imagining Cities that can Save the Planet is a short punchy introduction to some of the most important ideas that are shaping how we are thinking about, and creating, green cities.

I worked with Alex on (the now sadly defunct) WorldChanging, and I also had a chance to give some feedback on early stages of CarbonZero. After almost two years of work the book is done, and it's a real success.

Look at what discussions of "green cities" focused on in the 1990s and compare that to today and you'll see a huge shift. We've gone from talking about one-off projects (think LED traffic lights) to complex and interconnected visions of cites that are simultaneously livable, efficient, and productive (economically, socially, and environmentally).

It's been an exciting transition, and one that (finally) is getting us closer to realizing the transformative potential of city-regions. Anyone wanting a quick but still insightful flyover of this new way of looking at urban sustainability should take a look at CarbonZero.

The full text is up over at Grist, and you can also buy the digital version here.



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.