Healthy cities: Is economic growth a partner or a problem?


A high level of life satisfaction in cities is achievable through policies that encourage interaction, equality, and human development, but not necessarily economic growth.

While we lament that our country’s growth rate can’t seem to climb higher than 2%, the obvious eludes us: continued GDP growth has failed miserably to benefit anyone but a slim margin of the population. Growth achieved through improved productivity (meaning more automation and fewer workers), outsourcing and technological innovations is translating into excellent numbers at the top (higher corporate profits, stock market growth, and higher executive pay) and very marginal benefits for those at the bottom or even the middle.

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Psychology and the city: why the inner-workings of our minds is the greatest obstacle to a sustainable planet

psychology picture

By: Pierre Herman

Psychological barriers and prejudices within the human mind are destroying any chance for individual, and consumer-led action. Can cities be re-designed to overcome them?

The number of times I’ve heard people say they don’t give a damn about the environment and climate change is countless. Hardly born out of ignorance though, they are displaying what is in fact a normal, human psychological reaction to a seemingly distant problem that does not have immediate ramifications in their lives. It’s also an immensely stubborn obstacle to environmental progress that sustainable-lifestyle advocates cannot afford to overlook.

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Is energy-efficiency the key to a sustainable world? Not on your life.


The idea that energy efficiency is inherently a good thing for the environment is deeply embedded within the sustainability movement. But a new NASA-funded study has its doubts.

If there’s a term that’s become sacrosanct in any discussion about the environment, quasi synonymous with sustainable living, it’s energy efficiency. Fuel-efficient cars and airplanes, energy-efficient homes and domestic appliances, and LED bulbs everywhere we’re told, is the solution to living in harmony with a planet that’s got finite resources and a lot of people and nature to divvy it up it with.

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