Powering the future: 5 innovations of interest

A version of this article first appeared in a Special Report on ‘Powering the Future’, published in The Times, 1 May, 2013.

BIOFUELS FROM ALGAE

Lava lamp InstaA near-perfect poster child for sustainable energy, algae is both a biodegradable living organism and literally green. Cultivation is possible on lands unsuited to traditional agriculture and with minimal demand on freshwater resources.

Research and development funding for farming (algaculture) has flowed into institutions around the world, including the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the EnAlgae project, a strategic initiative supported by the INTERREG IVB North West Europe programme.
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Sustainable community: It’s a people thing

A version of this article first appeared on the Sustainability Talk & News website, published 23 April, 2013.

Fringe InstaWhat is a sustainable community? Some might say there is no such thing. I would counter, in fact, that there is no such thing as an unsustainable community: Once it becomes unsustainable, it is no longer a community. It is about people, not place. Once the people are socially disconnected, community is lost, regardless of proximity.

How we understand and use the word ‘community’ is more than simply a matter of semantics, it impacts on the systemics of sustainable development, especially in relation to the future of the built environment. So, what do we mean when we talk about community?
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