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The majority of the people in the world now live in cities and that will probably only increase as this century goes on.  We need to imagine cities that are sustainable and, even more, regenerative, restorative, ecological.  

"The good news is that there are more and more examples from around the world where the principles of regenerative development are being put into practice, and thanks in part to Professor Girardet's work as a ‘Thinker In Residence' in Adelaide ten years ago, South Australia has become a shining example. In Greater Adelaide, a city region of 1.2 million people, more than 26% of the city's electricity is produced by wind turbines and solar PV panels. There are over 200,000 houses in the city with photovoltaic roofs, making some of them into net electricity generators. Efficient energy use is now mandated for all municipal buildings, reducing their carbon emissions by up to 60%. There has been a large-scale retrofit throughout the city to ensure high standards of energy efficiency in people's homes, and a new-build solar village with 110 homes has been designed to the highest sustainable standards. These initiatives have reduced overall carbon emissions from the city by 15% since 2003.

"In and around Adelaide, nearly 3 million trees have been planted on 2,000 hectares of land, providing carbon dioxide absorption services, as well as countering soil erosion and increasing biodiversity. An ambitious zero-waste policy has been implemented that has enabled the production of 180,000 tonnes of compost a year, made from the city's organic waste. This is then used to improve the fertility and soil structure of 20,000 hectares of land near the city that produces most of the fruit and vegetables the populous consumes. This land is also irrigated with reclaimed waste-water. And to top all of this, Adelaide has the world's first solar powered bus service!"


Herbert Girardet is one of the leading proponents of regenerative cities and regenerative development and here is a presentation by him on Creating Regenerative Cities [pdf alert]:

Towards Regenerative Urbanism (
) from the World Future Council proposes the adoption of a 100 per cent renewable energy target and

is intended to help policy makers, city planners and administrators, and other users to minimise urban climate impacts and to maximise the use of renewable energy in cities. The proposals follow a holistic approach which also takes other environmental and social aspects into account.
Model cities discussed include Adelaide, Calgary, Copenhagen, Guessing, Masdar, Moura, Munich, Oakland, Rizhao, San José, Seville, Sonoma County, Thisted….

Much more on Thisted at (Only 2 comments on this diary, a real disappointment to me.)

Towards The Regenerative City [pdf alert] is a policy paper from the UN Human Settlements Programme, UN-HABITAT:

Fujisawa "sustainable smart town" is a Japanese development from Panasonic, a redevelopment of one of their old factory sites, and will include "1000 homes built to be more energy independent than any other modern town."

In the US, Palo Alto, CA has announced it is going 100% renewable

Here in Cambridge, MA, there is a proposal by citizens to make our development and zoning standard zero net carbon ( calling for periodic reporting of energy usage, greenhouse gas mitigation plans, and net zero carbon emissions in the daily operation of all large, new buildings greater than 25,000 square feet.

An upcoming event for those who are serious about this idea is Future of Cities:  A Forum for Regenerative Urban Development
4th – 7th September 2013 – Hamburg, Germany

Originally posted to gmoke on Sun Aug 04, 2013 at 11:35 AM PDT.

Also republished by Ecocities Emerging and Systems Thinking.


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