Resource as a human right: ‘Future of Water’ in The Times

New writing… Pleased to say I have had another article published in The Times newspaper, as part of a special Raconteur report on the Future of Water.

For many, water scarcity is a problem in the post. By 2025, one in every two people on the planet will live with water stress. For one in nine, the problem is already here. The World Health Organization estimates 844 million people lack basic drinking water; some two billion use a source contaminated with faeces. In response, the United Nations made water and sanitation a matter of human rights, declared and defined, in 2010. My piece assesses progress against the aspirations of the SDGs and discusses the risks impacting the sustainability of our most precious resource, from climate to conflict, from Ethiopia to Ukraine:

‘Supporting the human right to water’.

The full 16-page Future of Water report is available to view/download here.

Building for climate resilience – from cold snap, to heatwave

New writing… My second piece for The Hub – the award-winning content platform curated by Mitsubishi Electric – tackles climate resilience in the built environment. It looks at how we can design, build and operate properties and places capable of coping with extreme weather – regardless of whether the forecast is for a Beast from the East, or a hosepipe-banning heatwave. Is it all just a question of adaptability? Should providing sustainable comfort in weather such as this sweltering summer actually be relatively straightforward? Is keeping cool only a matter of being adequately prepared? Well, not exactly… As cooling becomes the new heating, there is more to climate resilience than simply specifying extra kit, if we want ‘Buildings that won’t blow hot and cold’.

How does your workplace make you feel?

New writing… My first piece for The Hub – the award-winning content platform curated by Mitsubishi Electric – explores the idea of the user experience (UX) driving the design of the built environment, particularly our workplaces. It discusses how differently commercial developers and their clients might do things if tenants and employees were to start rating the likes of their office environment in the same way as they rank hotels, or restaurants – scoring with stars and posting reviews. It considers what the implications would be for sustainability if happiness and wellbeing provided the prime metrics for post-occupancy evaluation and the key performance question to ask was simply: ‘How does your workplace make you feel?’

Up on the Roof: Birds, Bees & Biosolar

New writing My latest piece for Eniday looks at the urban resilience opportunity to be found over our heads. Where clean meets green, it is as much about plant power as power plants and offers real-estate owners and property developers, architects and engineers, planners and ecologists the promise of smart-city biodiversity for the 21st-century. To learn more, read the full story of unrealised potential that is ‘Up on the Roof: Birds, Bees & Biosolar’.

Digital Energy Currencies: Blockchain Meets Cleantech

New writing… My new article for NRG Energy Stories is now live, asking whether blockchain and cleantech can combine to bring power to the people? It focuses on digital energy currencies – something of a crossover phenomenon. Bridging worlds of virtual networks and physical infrastructure, these cryptocurrencies inhabit a space where the emerging digital economy meets the evolving energy sector. They mark a commercial sweet-spot for innovation among both the tech community and the engineering profession. In particular, the piece looks at their rising rôle in collective energy models such as community solar, from Brooklyn, USA, to Perth in Australia.

For a fuller exploration of the trend, drivers and benefits, follow the link to read the story in detail: ‘How Digital Energy Currencies May Impact the Market’.

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