Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Creating Sustainable Cities for 2040

13.08.2003


The year 2040 could see many people working from home several days a week staying in touch with colleagues through videophone and internet connections. When planning a holiday, people will be limited to a certain number of air miles per year, although additional air miles may be purchased from others at auctions. This will reflect the true environmental cost of air travel.



This is one possible vision of people who participated in research at the University of Surrey’s Psychology Department, which as part of the pan-european ToolSust project, aims to promote sustainable consumption in the European cities of tomorrow.

“Europe’s future economic development faces a fundamental challenge to simultaneously balance the demands of global economic competition with progress in ‘green’ innovation and technology. Although technological advances offer promising solutions to environmental problems, the potential of these solutions will only be realised when consumers adopt them and use new products and technologies in sustainable ways,” Leanne Tite, Research Fellow at the University of Surrey explained.


Most of the residents surveyed for the study considered environmental problems to be serious and thought recycling and household energy conservation to be the most important. Local authorities saw traffic and transport as the most pressing environmental problem, although reducing car use only featured third on residents’ list of most important economic activities, according to research carried out by Dr Birgitta Gatersleben, also of the Psychology Department.

Only a quarter of the consumers interviewed linked shopping choices to environmental problems. Although many shoppers would like to buy more organic food, seasonal variations, poor availability and higher prices deterred them. The various eco household products and appliances have also not tempted many consumers to part with their money and are unlikely to do so in the near future. Key barriers to purchase of these products include high prices, lack of availability, lack of information and labelling, uncertainties about the quality of products, difficulty in locating them in supermarkets, lack of range and inconvenient quantity of goods sold in packages.

Changes to protect the environment are most widely adopted when they fit easily into the everyday lifestyles of consumers. Different lifestyle changes require different degrees of effort, for example substituting conventional products with eco-products when shopping is easier than changes requiring revised daily routines such as using public transport.

So what would a sustainable European city be like? According to Leanne, there are many ways to achieve this, but some of the ideas generated at a series of workshops included:

* Government intervention and market forces to create a more environmentally sustainable economy and society.

* Taxation shifts from labour to non-renewable materials.

* Resources polluting enterprises could be heavily taxed.

* Specific taxes could apply to non-nutritious fast food sales and on air travel to reflect their true environmental costs.

* Money raised from green taxes could be ploughed back into research and development of green technologies such as hydrogen powered zero-emission cars, improvements and extensions to rail and water networks which could be used for freight transportation.

“We envisage that the growth of local economies could be encouraged through legislation stating that all shops must stock at least 50% locally produced goods. This may encourage manufacturers to downsize production scales and relocate production facilities, bringing local jobs to more communities.

“Waste could be minimised through re-use and renovation of goods, consumption values may need to change, with people buying fewer new products and more money being spent on services.”

Liezel Tipper | alfa
Further information:
http://www.surrey.ac.uk

More articles from Interdisciplinary Research:

nachricht X-shape Bio-inspired Structures
29.09.2016 | The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

nachricht Body Talk: A New Crowdshaping Technology Uses Words to Create Accurate 3D Body Models
27.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Intelligente Systeme

All articles from Interdisciplinary Research >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New welding process joins dissimilar sheets better

Friction stir welding is a still-young and thus often unfamiliar pressure welding process for joining flat components and semi-finished components made of light metals.
Scientists at the University of Stuttgart have now developed two new process variants that will considerably expand the areas of application for friction stir welding.
Technologie-Lizenz-Büro (TLB) GmbH supports the University of Stuttgart in patenting and marketing its innovations.

Friction stir welding is a still-young and thus often unfamiliar pressure welding process for joining flat components and semi-finished components made of...

Im Focus: First quantum photonic circuit with electrically driven light source

Optical quantum computers can revolutionize computer technology. A team of researchers led by scientists from Münster University and KIT now succeeded in putting a quantum optical experimental set-up onto a chip. In doing so, they have met one of the requirements for making it possible to use photonic circuits for optical quantum computers.

Optical quantum computers are what people are pinning their hopes on for tomorrow’s computer technology – whether for tap-proof data encryption, ultrafast...

Im Focus: OLED microdisplays in data glasses for improved human-machine interaction

The Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP has been developing various applications for OLED microdisplays based on organic semiconductors. By integrating the capabilities of an image sensor directly into the microdisplay, eye movements can be recorded by the smart glasses and utilized for guidance and control functions, as one example. The new design will be debuted at Augmented World Expo Europe (AWE) in Berlin at Booth B25, October 18th – 19th.

“Augmented-reality” and “wearables” have become terms we encounter almost daily. Both can make daily life a little simpler and provide valuable assistance for...

Im Focus: Artificial Intelligence Helps in the Discovery of New Materials

With the help of artificial intelligence, chemists from the University of Basel in Switzerland have computed the characteristics of about two million crystals made up of four chemical elements. The researchers were able to identify 90 previously unknown thermodynamically stable crystals that can be regarded as new materials. They report on their findings in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.

Elpasolite is a glassy, transparent, shiny and soft mineral with a cubic crystal structure. First discovered in El Paso County (Colorado, USA), it can also be...

Im Focus: Complex hardmetal tools out of the 3D printer

For the first time, Fraunhofer IKTS shows additively manufactured hardmetal tools at WorldPM 2016 in Hamburg. Mechanical, chemical as well as a high heat resistance and extreme hardness are required from tools that are used in mechanical and automotive engineering or in plastics and building materials industry. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS in Dresden managed the production of complex hardmetal tools via 3D printing in a quality that are in no way inferior to conventionally produced high-performance tools.

Fraunhofer IKTS counts decades of proven expertise in the development of hardmetals. To date, reliable cutting, drilling, pressing and stamping tools made of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

HLF: From an experiment to an establishment

29.09.2016 | Event News

European Health Forum Gastein 2016 kicks off today

28.09.2016 | Event News

Laser use for neurosurgery and biofabrication - LaserForum 2016 focuses on medical technology

27.09.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

New Multiferroic Materials from Building Blocks

29.09.2016 | Materials Sciences

Silicon Fluorescent Material Developed Enabling Observations under a Bright “Biological Optical Window”

29.09.2016 | Materials Sciences

X-shape Bio-inspired Structures

29.09.2016 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>