Renewable Energy Powers Italian Town and Its Economy

Europeans believe that renewable energy will bring economic benefits. But in Varese, Italy that prosperity has already arrived.
by , Contributing Writer

Varese, Italy has added 140 jobs in the past ten years. That’s pretty good for a town with a population of only 2,400. The town, which is located in Liguria in the northern part of Italy, is experiencing an economic boom fueled by renewable energy.

The town has seen a six-fold increase in tourists in the last ten years, many coming just to see its renewable energy network.

Varese became the first municipality in Europe to get 100 percent of its power from renewable energy sources six years ago. It now generates three times more electricity than the people living in Varese need and there are plans in the pipeline for even more renewables.

Renewable Energy Powers Italian Town and Its Economy – renewable – Jane Burgermeister

Going green with a cycleway above the streets

LIKE the walkways built in the canopies above rainforests, North Sydney Council hopes to lift pedestrians and cyclists above the urban jungle, with an ambitious plan to build an elevated path running from the southern end of the Harbour Bridge to as far north as Falcon Street.

The path, still at the concept stage and estimated to cost up to $30 million, would run 2 kilometres from the deck level of the bridge to St Leonards Park and Falcon Street along the Warringah Freeway. The council hopes that by bypassing North Sydney’s hilly streets, traffic congestion and car pollution, many more people will walk or ride to work.

Going green with a cycleway above the streets – Environment – Sydney Morning Herald

Museum to focus on issues of the era

The American Revolution Center’s planned museum will serve as a critical link among Pennsylvania’s Revolutionary War sites, organizers say. When it opens in 2011, it also will serve as a model of green construction and environmental sensitivity.

The three-level museum will be built into a hillside on 78 acres near the north bank of the Schuylkill River. The land on which it will sit is within the boundaries of Valley Forge National Historical Park but will remain privately owned.

Museum to focus on issues of the era. Pittsburgh Post Gazette

Winners announced for Portland Courtyard Design Competition

The City of Portland invited designers to produce design possibilities of housing oriented to shared courtyards. Portland is promoting courtyard housing as an additional infill housing type that can provide a quality living environment at densities higher than conventional detached housing.

The winners of the Inner Site where Keith Rivera and Kristin Anderson of Santa Barbara, California and the winners of the Eastern Site where  Emory Baldwin, Shirley Tomita, Masumi Saito, Lara Normand, Jocelyn Freilinger, Shawna Sherman, and Clara Berridge of Seattle, Washington.

People can vote for their favorite design which will be close on December 28

The Winning Entries can be seen at the Competition Website

Portland Oregon’s Courtyard Housing Design Competition 

Banksia Environmental Foundation – Call for Entries for 2008 Awards

The Banksia Category Awards reflect those issues most relevant to today’s Australian in the ecological sustainability arenas.

Increasingly it is becoming more importandt for corporations, businesses, governments, communities and individuals, to be recognised for their environmental or sustainability credentials.

Entries must be submitted by Monday 5th May 2008. 

Banksia Environmental Foundation – Category Awards.

Launch Of Sustainable Transport

Transport Minister Annette King has launched Sustainable Transport, a draft Update of the New Zealand Transport Strategy that outlines a vision for a sustainable transport future.

Ms King released the document in Wellington as the first step toward updating the Government’s 2002 New Zealand Transport Strategy.

Scoop: Launch Of Sustainable Transport.

New terminal for Mumbai port faces criticism from urban planners | News | Down To Earth magazine

Mumbai port is set to expand. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given it the clearance to build an offshore container terminal, which will facilitate handling of large container vessels at the port. Mumbai Port Trust officials are happy because the Rs 1,228.39-crore project will add capacity of 9.6 million tonnes per annum to the port. Urban planners and activists, however, had hopes that some portion of the port land would be given to the city.

According to the Urban Design Research Institute (udri), a Mumbai-based ngo, the city has 0.01 ha of open space per 1,000 people, against the international norm of 1.6 ha per 1,000 people.

New terminal for Mumbai port faces criticism from urban planners | News | Down To Earth magazine.

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