The ninth World Urban Forum opens on 7 February 2018, and I am here in Kuala Lumpur and will be reporting on it on this website and on other social media.
The Stern Report in 2006 seemed to signal a shift in attitudes to climate change. The article imagines a discussion between a Treasury mandarin and a businessman. Would this case convince Donald Trump or big business today?
The guest blog by Klaus Kunzmann reflecting on the likely impact of Trumps's victory prompted me to respond with some more ideas.
The international agreement reached in COP21 in Paris should provoke a wide ranging review of planning policies around the world.
Sweden has announced a big jump in spending (US$546 million) on renewable energy and climate change action in their 2016 budget, The aim is to become one of the world's first nations to end dependence on fossil fuels.
Urban planners need like-minded allies wherever we can find them. Canadian planning consultant Michel Frojmovic, in this Guest Blog says that if the 2015 report on Health and Climate Change is any indication, public health professionals seem to feel the same way.
I would like to award the prize for the best contribution to environmental sustainability for 2012 to Hurricane Sandy. Sandy single-handedly managed to convert more American citizens to the threats posed by climate change than any number of scientists, scientific publications or politicians. By dumping extreme weather on the US eastern seaboard, massively disrupting transport and business, and above all by providing great TV pictures, it made a strong case in many different ways.
Last week in Cyprus, I was able to get some insights into the development challenges facing this part of Europe. In a snapshot, Mediterranean islands like Cyprus were early cradles of urbanisation and often have a rich archaeological legacy. They were poor agricultural areas until mass tourism began in the 1970s. The boom saw the spread of urban uses along the coasts and around the villages, often undermining of the quality of the places that people were attracted to. Now these places face austerity and threats from climate change.
What are the issues that planners across the globe are grappling with? This week I attended a meeting in London of the Commonwealth Association of Planners (CAP). Representatives from Africa, the Caribbean and Americas, Asia, Australasia and the Pacific, and Europe gave fascinating presentations. In the space of an hour we were given a kaleidoscope of planners’ work and concerns – from post-earthquake Christchurch to crime and sprawl in Caribbean islands, from the “jobs and growth” agenda in Europe to the forced removal of people to make way for major infrastructure projects in dynamic African countries. Where does planning go from here?