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Sustainable Communities

TOPIC: How do you tackle sustainability in the community?

Re: How do you tackle sustainability in the community? 5 days, 19 hours ago #31

Here at London Remade (www.londonremade.com) we act as a forum for debate on sustainability in the capital and we discuss on how to make London a better city. Our aim is to independently promote sustainability in all areas of life across the whole London and to advice communities and Londoners on how to become more sustainable. Therefore, we seek to engage, encourage and include communities and ordinary Londoners in our sustainability discussions, to value and act upon their opinions and suggestions.
We have been investigating specific environmental issues such as clean air, water and waste management, sustainable shopping, transport or buildings’ energy efficiency issues; inspired debate on them, had interesting articles written for us by people at the top of their fields, produced a monthly newsletter, tweeted, and generally kept people up to date with news and information from London and the world of ‘sustainability’.

While the country is facing a ‘triple crisis’ of financial meltdown, dwindling oil supplies and climate change, its capital continues to grow. Some of us prosper in this exciting, historic and vibrant city. But London is also a resource hungry, rich and wasteful metropolis of haves and have-nots. A small number of people are incredibly well off and enjoy much leisure time– but millions work very long hours, and still struggle to make ends meet. We believe that London can be run better, run more cheaply and waste less of the world’s resources. It can also be a place where we can all afford to live. Our issues, articles and reports explore how we can do this and what it means. Together we can make a difference. We want London to be: a city that is prosperous, careful, caring and clean; a city of mutual respect for people and things – a real and practical experience for everyone, everyday. Some would call this a sustainable city: a civilised city setting the benchmark for the twenty first century. We want London to be a more sustainable city, and we want our readers to be a part of that change.

There are many wonderful things about London; but too much that is simply unacceptable, simply unjust. London Remade celebrates the wonderful; but we are furious about the injustice.
So far, we have built a network of institutions, academics, experts at the top of their field and students that participate to our work and contribute essays, think pieces, articles and comment. We have a rolling programme of themes to guide our work and we’re currently discussing “London’s transport, travel and mobility” (londonremade.com/londons-transport-travel-and-mobility/) and “Sustainability and everyday life” (londonremade.com/sustainability-and-everyday-life/). In the New Year, we will focus our attention on housing, affordability and equity.

Our strategy for the future is to increase the interaction and engagement with our readers and to facilitate a place for provocative discussions where communities and Londoners can share their experience and opinions.

You can read all our articles here: www.londonremade.com and you can subscribe to our newsletters to find out more about our work. You can access our latest newsletter here: londonremade.com/newsletters/). You can follow us on twitter (@londonremade1) and on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/LondonRemade
Last Edit: 5 days, 18 hours ago by Anca Giurgiu. Reason: Updated twitter address

Re: How do you tackle sustainability in the community? 4 days, 19 hours ago #32

"Sustainability" is about more than just climate change and carbon credits. It is about understanding the impacts of our actions on our environment including (but not limited to) those related to energy, water, and land.

In terms of tackling sustainability in our homes - information and understanding are the first steps. We need to first understand what our impacts are today before we can make efficient and informed choices. This means gathering information and data, for example with regards to how much electricity, natural gas, and water we use each day (and for what activities). After we have this information, we can develop an understanding on what it means to reduce our impacts.

Only then can we begin to make informed choices based on our individual set of priorities in order to achieve community sustainability goals. Almost certainly, these choices will include improvements in efficiency. But, how and when will be specific to our individual situations.

Re: How do you tackle sustainability in the community? 4 days, 19 hours ago #33

I think a lot can be achieved to improve the energy efficiency of older properties by introducing an air testing regime and remedial sealing measures to reduce the air leakage rate of older properties. Most older properties have an air permeability in excess of 10 M³/(h/m²) which allows excessive heat loss and excess energy consumption (the leaks like a sieve effect). Reducing this figure by 50% would significantly reduce heat loss and this would reduce energy bills for those facing fuel poverty. It would bring the existing housing stock up to a standard that will help to secure energy for future generations. This is possibly the easiest and most cost effective improvement giving a very quick win to help those facing fuel poverty. This is a fundamental consideration of improving energy efficiency that should be tacked at the earliest opportunity. A Reduction in Air Leakage = Reduced Bills, Reduced, Energy Use, Reduced Carbon Emissions.

Re: How do you tackle sustainability in the community? 4 days, 18 hours ago #34

Globally, demand for energy is rising. At the same time, UK production of oil and gas is falling, making us increasingly dependent on imported fossil fuel and exposed to international fuel price volatility.

The sustainable use of energy is therefore critical in keeping bills low, maintaining energy security and tackling dangerous climate change.

Re: How do you tackle sustainability in the community? 4 days, 17 hours ago #35

Collaboration is the key here – and collaboration that fast tracks to the most simple, immediate actions which can be delivered swiftly at grassroots level. I’m excited about Social Enterprise Kent CIC running a BESN ( Big Energy Saving Network) on behalf of DECC in East Kent and hope to prove that working with social enterprises is an extremely effective and resourceful way to reach vulnerable consumers.

In my local authority role, and attending conferences like “Sustainable Communities 2013” I can learn about projects that are working in other local authorities. We can all help each other to be able to navigate the business case, legal and procurement aspects of various approaches and we perhaps need to get better at sharing our learning. Then, it is my belief, that the quicker we hand things over to the community and get out of the way, the faster and more effective we will be at reducing deaths, addressing fuel poverty and creating sustainable approaches to the energy related challenges we all understand so well.

Re: How do you tackle sustainability in the community? 4 days, 17 hours ago #36

The SuperHomes Network harnesses the enthusiasm of energy saving pioneers to bring examples of successful sustainable refurbishment to the widest possible audience. SuperHome owners are motivated to retrofit their older properties to increase their energy efficiency. While other motivations also revolve around comfort and fuel costs, the outcomes are the same: houses with increased energy efficiency that produce lower carbon emissions. Lots of houses also utilise recycled and recyclable materials, ensuring their retrofits are as sustainable as possible.

To encourage sustainability in their local communities, SuperHomers open their houses to the public as well as contributing to the SuperHomes website (www.superhomes.org.uk) providing information on retrofitting for energy efficiency
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