Building the World We Want
24 Nov 2008
The Green Cities Foundation has just launched a brand new website,offering an agenda to create beautiful cities that are harmless to thePlanet and a pleasure to live and work in.
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The Green Cities Foundation has just launched a brand new website, offering an agenda to create beautiful cities that are harmless to the Planet and a pleasure to live and work in.
Green Cities founder, Ashley Dobbs, says: ‘We know if we do not radically alter the way we live, we will destroy the Earth’s ecosystem and thus jeopardise the future existence of all living creatures. It is therefore vital that we break the pattern of unsustainable development so tenaciously prompted worldwide.’
Ashley continues: ‘There is an urgent need for decent housing. Over 80 per cent of the world’s population lives in developing countries within rapidly expanding cities, in conditions of extreme poverty. The remainders live in homes the planet cannot afford to support. In nations, rich and poor, it is high house prices that prevent many from owning their own home.
‘Given the growing need for new city homes, a key objective must be to make them affordable. We do not claim to have all the answers but we believe that Green City homes can be made affordable to many of those citizens previously unable to get a decent home.’
Green Cities hope to achieve this not only by reducing the cost of construction but also by reducing or eliminating interest payments. This will allow the homes to be bought in whole or in part with the Foundation’s own currency.
Green Cities say that as a species we are living beyond our means financially and environmentally. Given the general consensus that we must radically alter the way we live to preserve a biosphere fit for mankind, it seems obvious that we need to start living again in a manner that does not harm the Earth.
‘We’re not so arrogant as to claim that all the solutions to our current problems can be found,’ says Ashley. ‘Like never before, the internet enables mankind to pull together.’
Green Cities are making full use of today’s social networking technologies and are seeking to achieve a membership of a million founders. Already, they have attracted support from many age groups and diverse backgrounds, from right across the globe.
Among the initial founders are: green icons, entrepreneurs, graphic designers, charity bosses, full-time mums, artists, poets, photographers, visionaries, architects, academics, economists, hoteliers, campaigners, professional fundraisers, university students and school children, logistics managers, adventurers, medics, scientists, professional golfers and a graduate in global consciousness. Some of these core founders are real movers and shakers’, with an impressive record of making things happen.
Ashley Dobbs is the creator of the world’s first televillage in Crickhowell, that lies in the Brecon Beacons National Park. The scheme won the Royal Town Planning Institute Award for Innovative Sustainable Housing Development.
Other members of the original founding group include: Tim Smit, famous for his work on the Lost Gardens of Heligan and for creating the Eden Project, both of which are in Cornwall; the architect Nicholas Browne, who has considerable experience in designing and building housing programmes; James Skinner, a pragmatic businessman with a range of creative and innovative business developments, who is also involved with several influential Think Tanks.
If you would like to help make Green Cities happen and become one of the early founders, send an email with a few paragraphs about yourself and include a photograph. There are no obligations; it will not cost you anything and you can resign at anytime. You can also become a founder by joining the Facebook group.
As Herbert Girardet, author of Creating Sustainable Cities, said: ‘If we get things right, our cities of the new millennium will be the centre for a culture of sustainability. They will be energy and resource efficient, people friendly and culturally rich, with active democracies assuring the best use of human energies.’
Let’s make it happen!
Contact: The Green Cities Foundation,
Green House, The Warren, Polperro,
Looe, Cornwall, PL13 2RD
Tel: +44 (0)1503 272 830
Ashley Dobbs, founder
of the Green Cities Foundation
Photo: © Ashley Dobbs
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