Environment News

What will our cities look like in the future?

This is the question that Forum for the Future has explored in its Megacities on the move project. The report is a fascinating read. It explores a number of drivers influencing urbanisation and mobility in the future, including climate change, global resource constraints, changing family structures, personal mobility and ubiquitous connectivity. It then outlines four future scenarios:

  • planned-opolis: In a world of fossil fuels and expensive energy, the only solution is tightly planned and control...

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The Big Society: localism and a sustainability perspective part 2

This is part 2 of Chris Church's discussion paper (read the first half here).

Transparent and fair decision-making


The Big Society talks of

Making local decisions a normal part of everyday life, giving people more say, choice and ownership of their local facilities and services. 

Some people will want this, but equally others with busy lives may simply want services that work and deliver.

If this programme is to deliver fairness and environmental quality, and ensure that local action plays its par...

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The Big Society: localism and a sustainability perspective

This is a guest post from Chris Church, Director of Community Environment Associates (CEA) and Chair of the UK Low Carbon Communities Network.

It is the first half of his paper (reproduced here with his kind permission), so grab yourself a cuppa before you settle in to read. And then have a look at the concluding part of his paper.


‘Think Global, Act Local’ has been a core tenet of much environmental thinking for four decades. With that in mind new moves to localism and more community ...

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From Einstein to economics

If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left.

Such an apocalyptic view, from the mouth of a rather respected gentleman, has set many scientists, agriculture experts and others atwitter. For me it’s been a rather worrying thought, but one that I’ve trusted ‘the experts’ to sort out. Head in the sand approach maybe, but I don’t think I’d be alone in this. Similarly, there are many who see climate change and other environmental issues as being ...

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Is climate change a gendered problem?

Gender and the Climate Change Agenda

The Women’s Environmental Network certainly argue that it is. In their recently launched report ‘Gender and the Climate Change Agenda’ (PDF), WEN state that

because of prescribed gender roles, and the fact that, the world over, women are more likely to live in poverty than men, women are disproportionately affected by climate change

WEN argue that set gender roles, including responsibility for food production and preparation, water collection and health pr...

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Climate change enters the boardroom

You’d have thought that with the near-frenzy over Copenhagen, climate change has shouldered its way into mainstream alongside issues such as national debt or health provision. But the recent flurry of public mudslinging between ‘climate believers’ and ‘climate deniers’ (Glaciergate and Datagate, to name just two) has shown that it is still a divisive issue. This doesn’t bode well for prospects of decisive, effective action to reduce the impact of climate change, or to prepare society f...

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Wellbeing: a new paradigm or just a fad?

As someone with a long interest in language and how it is used, I am often fascinated by how changes of terminology take place. Suddenly people are using a new term, sometimes to refer to a new concept or approach, but sometimes the new term simply replaces an old one.  Well-being is not a new term or even a new concept, but it is certainly being used much more these days, and in different ways too.

I am a great believer in the idea of ‘confluence theory’, the notion that significant changes hap...

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Future of wellbeing: what does this mean for you and your organisation?

From debates on wellbeing as a political goal, to positive psychology 'wellbeing' is being used more and more. But what does this term mean? And more importantly, perhaps, what does it mean to civil society organisations?

Many charities have wellbeing at the heart of what they do, even if they don't realise it. The sector can play a vital role in this directing this issue to shape society into a good society.

Join us on 23 February for the Future of Wellbeing seminar (PM4) at NCVO's annual confere...

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The future is not what is used to be

This Autumn the latest in NCVO’s Third Sector Foresight free mini-guides, Future Focus 7, will study the future of campaigning. Here Nick Wilson, new Third Sector Foresight Officer and winner of a Sheila McKechnie Foundation Award for campaigning, looks at what the recent Camp for Climate Action tells us about that future.


Over the Bank Holiday weekend Climate Camp staged six days of protest in Blackheath, London, under the banner “The future is not what it used to be”. This was just the late...

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Community in times of adversity

Coming together

The Big Lunch 2009 437 by The Ginger Gourmand.

There’s been a lot in the news recently about shares and markets, but what about the price of a different type of share? The Eden Project’s recent Big Lunch initiative puts a high value on community sharing. A slightly hamfisted connection there, or one with some credence? Billed as an event ‘to put a smile on Britain's face’, the support for the Big Lunch may have been because of its timing. Several of those commenting (see for example Steve Bridger’s piece)  have drawn...

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