Sustainable Cities: 21st May 2015

I am excited about our next Green-Thinkers discussion on 21st May 2015: Sustainable Cities (see booking details below*). It is a topic that directly affects us all in our day to day lives – whether that is in Sunderland, Newcastle or elsewhere.

In the UK most cities have recently put forward transformational housing development plans to meet projected population growth targets, but do you feel that these plans incorporated a spacial vision for green infrastructure, nature, and health and wellbeing?

We will be asking questions such as:

  • What makes a city sustainable?
  • Does the green-belt as it is support, or hinder, sustainable cities?
  • Which city would you most want to live in and why?

We have no core text for this meeting partly because it is a rapidly evolving area; however I would encourage you to read around the subject, and / or watch a few of the TED talks listed below – as well as bringing the benefits of your existing knowledge and experience to the meeting:

Example TED Talks:
Majora Carter, South Bronx:
Normon Foster, Green Agenda:
Jaime Lerner, Curitiba Brazil Case Study: and by Gareth Kane


  • Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design by Charles Montgomery  £10-15
  • Ecovillages: New Frontiers for Sustainability (Schumacher Briefings) – Jonathan Dawson £6 (new) 96pp
  • Creating Sustainable Cities (Schumacher Briefings) – Herbert Giradet £5 (new) 80pp
  • EcoCities: Rebuilding Cities in Balance with Nature – Richard Register (from £10)
  • Cities as Sustainable Ecosystems: Principles and Practices – Peter Newman (from £8.50)
  • The Environmental Advantages of Cities: Countering Commonsense Antiurbanism (Urban and Industrial Environments)  – William Meyer (from £9.00)
  • Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia – Anthony Townsend (from £8)
  • The Vertical Farm: Feeding the World in the 21st Century – Dickson Despommier (from £3)

Academic Paper:

*The meeting will be at the Jazz Cafe, Newcastle (upstairs room). If you wish to attend please confirm by 14th May 2015 by email to

Note that we have changed venues for this meeting. As a result, there is a reduction in the meeting cost to £3.75 – but no food will be provided. The kitchen will be kept open downstairs for people to buy food from 6-7pm. There is a selection on offer such as jacket potatoes, chilli, soup etc see:, so I suggest that if you want to eat, gather from 6.15 to order food.

Marek Bidwell

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