The Ecocity World Summit in Abu Dhabi will take place October 11-13th of 2015
Philip is Director of Graphical Memes (http://graphicalmemes.com ), the creators of innovative information visualization and modelling software used to further our understanding of resource flows in urban systems. He is also Adjunct Professor at the Centre for Digital Media (http://thecdm.ca ) in Vancouver.At Graphical Memes, he continues to apply original mathematical techniques toward the solution of important practical problems. Naturally, this includes the most important problem of all: reducing our impact on planet Earth and safeguarding the human race!
1. What do you find most interesting about the Ecocity concept (cities in balance with nature and culture)?
Global warming, mass extinction and other environmental catastrophes threaten the continuation of the human race. To survive, we will have to figure out how to live sustainably on this planet. This starts with local solutions — sustainable, ecologically-sensitive cities in particular. If we can develop successful Ecocity blueprints, then we can avert a global crisis by reproducing these designs throughout the world.
2. What are you going to be talking about at Ecocity World Summit ’15 in Abu Dhabi?
I will be talking about software tools that facilitate the development of Ecocities by allowing us to understand and communicate complex urban metabolism.
3. What do you hope to learn about at Ecocity World Summit ’15?
I hope to come to understand where I can have the biggest impact through the further development of software solutions.
4. What are some ecocity elements in the city you live in?
Widespread car sharing, many newly-added bicycle lanes, pilot renewable energy solutions powering city blocks (e.g. geothermal, solar, waste recovery), carbon tax, run-of-river hydroelectric projects.
5. What is your definition of “eco-citizenship” (being an ecocitizen)?
Ecocitizens take responsibility for their own ecological footprint and that of their community. They educate themselves on the problems of sustainability, observe the ecological issues in their own neighbourhood or city, and proactively lead efforts to reduce footprint, engage their communities, and design for a future in harmony with other citizens and nature.
6. What is your advice to young people who want to make their cities and neighborhoods more ecologically and socially healthy?
Start local. Find a doable project in which you can participate. You don’t need to change the world, just set an example for the rest of the world to follow. Good new ideas eventually become widespread public policy. For example, recycling became the norm within a couple of decades.
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