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WEBCAST: Herbert Girardet on Regenerative Cities Part 2

This is the second part of an interview with Herbert Girardet, co-founder of the World Future Council and author of 11 books on sustainable cities.

Watch the first part here.

Creating regenerative cities by Herbert Girardet book coverIn this part he discusses the second half of his book Creating Regenerative Cities and explores the concept of Ecopolis, a fictional city which embodies these ideals.

In Ecopolis all energy is renewably generated and water is supplied in a sustainable manner. Food is by and large grown organically, or, before the water is discharged into the environment, potential pollutants such as phosphates and nitrates are removed. Much food is also grown near to the city if not within it

Integrated transport is the norm with zero air pollution, much cycling and walking. Above all, Ecopolis returns back to nature at least as much as it takes, since this is the meaning of regenerative.

Herbert discusses whether or not he is optimistic that Ecopolis is a feasible proposition. He describes cities where he has already worked to try to realise his vision, including Copenhagen, Adelaide and now Bristol, and the failed projects of Dongtan and Masdar.

He discusses the kind of policies which will be necessary. He was, for example, influential in Britain adopting feed in tariffs for renewable electricity.

At the same time he despairs of cities in the Middle East such as Abu Dhabi where fossil fuels are priced so low that their value is not appreciated.

Creating Regenerative Cities is an inspirational and pioneering work, concise and easy to read. It betrays Herbert's impatience that cities are not adopting sustainable and inclusive policies fast enough.

He recognises that cities do not have the full capability required: this often falls in the hands of national governments or the capitalist system itself, for the real enemy of the ideal of regenerative cities is high consumption levels.

You can purchase Creating Regenerative Cities here.