The Great Debate UK
By Andy van den Dobbelsteen and Nico Tillie
– Andy van den Dobbelsteen is a Professor of Architecture and Nico Tillie is a PhD candidate at Delft University of Technology. Tillie also works for the City of Rotterdam. The opinions expressed are their own. –
This year’s World Town Planning Day, on November 8, was held in 30 countries on four continents. It is a recognition and celebration of the contributions that sound planning has made to the quality of the human environment and provides recognition of the ideals of community planning among the profession and the general public worldwide.
In recent times, World Town Planning Day has been strongly influenced by environmental themes and this year was no different with much of the world’s eyes on the upcoming Cancun U.N. climate change summit. However, our own view is that planners have yet to fully grasp the fundamental question at the heart of the global warming challenge in urban areas: how can cities and towns become far more autonomous and possibly even free from fossil fuels?
In Europe, until now, architects and urban planners have often followed three steps when designing a sustainable built environment. Reducing energy consumption, utilising sustainable energy, and using fossil fuels as efficiently and cleanly as possible. However, to date at least, this approach has not led to substantially more sustainable towns and cities.
- Juliet Davenport is founder and CEO of Good Energy, a renewable electricity supplier. She is unique in being the only female founder in the UK of an energy supply business, traditionally a male-dominated sector. The opinions expressed are her own. Reuters will host a “follow-the-sun” live blog on Monday, March 8, 2010, International Women’s Day. Please tune in. -
Regardless of their views on climate change and man’s contribution to it, most business leaders agree on one point – as fossil fuels get scarcer and the UK decarbonises our economy, our energy prices will continue to rise.
from The Great Debate:
-- Paul Taylor is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own --
Investment in wind, wave and solar power should be booming after the European Union last year adopted an ambitious goal to draw 20 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020 to help fight global warming, and U.S. President Barack Obama made green power a central plank of his government's policy.