Innovative urban responses to the challenge of climate and energy change

14 mins

Modern construction methods to cut carbon

The growing use of modular and prefabricated units in construction promises to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the built environment, but commercialising the practice remains a challenge
12 mins

Edinburgh’s communities shift their city from policy to practice

Community groups trying to improve the green credentials of Edinburgh’s historic buildings, while battling lethargic public authorities and high upfront costs, are hoping small changes can make a big difference
3 min

Our top five articles from 2022

A tumultuous past 12 months has seen energy security placed firmly at the centre of many discussions around the world. Improving security takes many forms from low-carbon generation to greater energy efficiency in a bid to lower demand. These topics feature in FORESIGHT's top articles of 2022
3 min

Our top five opinions from 2022

Take a read of our most popular opinions from 2022
3 min

Our top five podcasts from 2022

Entering the audio sphere in 2022, FORESIGHT Climate & Energy's podcasts have given our listeners a chance to hear directly from key personalities in the energy sector and discuss how to achieve a decarbonised economy in the most expedient way. Take a listen to our top episodes from 2022
11 min

A new direction for transport electrification

Cutting emissions from road transportation is a major part of the energy transition. Electrification promises to transform the way we move people and things around

Section Partners

Supporting the focus on innovative urban responses to the challenge of climate and energy change

12 min

How to maximise energy efficiency investments

Sudden spikes in the cost of energy have pushed energy efficiency higher up the public and political agenda. Building renovations can be costly, but there could be ways of making energy efficiency itself more efficient
3 min

Our top ten from 2021

Take a read of our most popular articles from 2021
11 min

All aboard

Cities are increasingly buying electric buses to decarbonise public transport services, a key element in many decarbonisation plans that also reduces air and noise pollution. For an effective transition, municipalities must work with transport firms, bus and charging infrastructure providers and energy suppliers to make sure the switch to a sustainable fleet is achieved without too many bumps in the road
8 min

Power to the public

Municipal electricity utilities have a long history in Europe, with more emerging as cities look to lead the energy transition. The model has obvious advantages but has also suffered setbacks in some markets. In an increasingly competitive landscape, using the benefits of private partners may be the way forward
8 min

Decarbonising heat at city scale

Cities are taking the lead on the decarbonisation of district heating and cooling networks, with the use of heat pumps on the rise
12 min

Cities battle to beat the heat

Cities are feeling the heat more than outlying areas. The increased use of vegetation, reflective surfaces, building codes promoting ambitious energy efficiency standards and district cooling are being employed to provide heat relief and facilitate sustainable cooling for urban dwellers
13 min

Trusted messengers

Governments are increasingly legislating for the building of new net-zero housing. But improving the green credentials of the existing housing stock is a much more difficult path to navigate. Now communities are being empowered to clean up their homes through collective action
12 min

The neighbourhood approach to decarbonisation

Thousands of buildings across Europe will need to be renovated on an unprecedented scale if climate and greenhouse gas reduction targets are to be met. Lawmakers’ minds are turning to how best to undertake the Herculean task
11 min

Source new information from old data

Advocates of so-called digital twins—simulated computer modelling of technologies at work—see them as vital tools for managing the complexity of multi-level electricity systems and the digital control of energy-efficient buildings
16 min

What net zero looks like around the world

Cities are key enablers of the energy transition. But each city in every area of the world will have a different set of priorities and ideas of how to achieve net-zero by 2050. FORESIGHT examines a city from each continent—and a research station—to show what this global action looks like from seven different perspectives
13 min

Cities warmed by heated market for power contracts

Once regarded as a high risk gamble, buying green electricity directly from generators under a mutually agreed power purchase agreement (PPA) has become big business in the commercial and industrial sector. City authorities eager to cut their electricity bills and buy renewable are looking to get into the market. The new demand is set to drive big growth in renewables
10 min

A different kind of vehicle charging to cut emissions

Low-emissions zones are a popular feature in many European cities, with more than 260 schemes in operation across the continent. But with questions over their efficacy, authorities are turning to other approaches to curb emissions from city centres and promote the use of transport that uses clean energy
9 min.

Denmark pays the price of poor decisions in public transport procurement

Transport is the only sector in Denmark that has seen emissions increase since 1990. New regulation for public procurement and investment in some larger cities has helped to electrify more buses, but electrification of Denmark’s railway network connecting those urban areas is lagging behind
3 min.

Norway – where materials matter

Oslo, the capital of Norway, has big climate action ambitions. Among initiatives to achieve them it is instigating regulations to cut carbon emissions associated with buildings under construction and during their operational life spans
3 min.

Vancouver trailblazes on embodied carbon

The Canadian city of Vancouver is leading efforts in North America to slash emissions released in the production of building construction materials, setting itself a 40% by 2030 reduction target
12 min.

Embodied carbon the new frontier

The world’s building stock is forecast to double in size by 2050 to house a global population of 11 billion. If climate neutrality is also to be met by this date, the construction industry will have to significantly slash emissions from the materials it uses
7 min.

Swedish public housing project goes off-grid

Energy expert Brian Vad Mathiesen from Aalborg University in Denmark describes Vårgårda’s system as a “limousine solution”
5 min.

A common language can unite energy saving efforts

New York City has been testing a pilot version of a tool developed to estimate emissions from its buildings, potential refits, costs and benefits
4 min.

Mayors have a duty to respond to climate change

In an interview with FORESIGHT Climate & Energy, Frank Jensen, mayor of Copenhagen, explains why mayors and local authorities are uniquely positioned to lead the energy transition and implement measures to proof their cities against extreme weather
10 min.

Copenhagen struggles to clear the capital of carbon

A goal to become the first carbon neutral capital city as early as 2025 is at least partly dependent on Denmark’s new national government throwing its weight behind Copenhagen’s aspirations
9 min.

Put consumption at heart of urban energy transition

Even if many cities are finding it a challenge to meet decarbonisation targets, they have made progress over the last decade and are becoming increasingly ambitious
11 min.

Size is everything

Beijing determined to slash energy use in buildings
8 min.

Mission possible: Leuven’s strategy for carbon neutrality

Cooperation and social justice are at the heart of plans by the historic university city of Leuven, Belgium to become carbon neutral, as is the radical idea of giving owners no choice but to energy-renovate their homes
13 min.

The bumpy road to urban electric buses

The economic argument for switching from diesel to electric is gaining strength
6 min.
The deep retrofit of the Empire State Building showcases efficient use of energy, but more will be needed26/September/2019

Better to dance with than challenge an 800 pound gorilla

The deep retrofit of the Empire State Building showcases efficient use of energy, but more will be needed
15 min.

New York legislates to end era of dirty big buildings

City achieves global first with aggressive retroactive climate rules for building stock
6 min.
Research by Siemens shows the way forward to make district heating in Denmark run on clean energy sources26/April/2019

The path to emissions-free district heating in Denmark

Research by Siemens shows the way forward to make district heating in Denmark run on clean energy sources
15 min.
As the world’s fifth largest economy and a pioneer of environmental laws and policy, all eyes are on California as it turns its attention to freeing its buildings of emissions. Ensuring new houses are equipped with solar panels and that they use no more renewable energy than they consume over the course of the year are top of the list, but existing houses and commercial buildings are also in line for an overhaul as part of the state’s bid to be carbon neutral by 204518/April/2019

World watches as California goes for net zero buildings

California’s policies on the decarbonisation of buildings can become a model of what works in a thriving economy and what measures should be adopted more broadly in the US and beyond
8-9 min.
After achieving its own clean energy transition, the Danish island of Samsø is now advising towns and regions worldwide how to follow in its footsteps, and sees its next role as a test ground for innovative energy solutions02/November/2018

Lessons from an island go around the world

After achieving its own clean energy transition, the Danish island of Samsø is now advising towns and regions worldwide how to follow in its footsteps, and sees its next role as a test ground for innovative energy solutions
4-5 min.
Ensuring land use planning and transport policies are on the same page is vital if Auckland, New Zealand is to reduce emissions and meet its low carbon goals10/October/2018

Driving the transition

Ensuring land use planning and transport policies are on the same page is vital if Auckland, New Zealand is to reduce emissions and meet its low carbon goals
7-8 min.

Tübingen gives rooftop solar an extra nudge

Despite the massive amount of solar power output in Europe this summer and the technology’s falling prices, building owners are still reluctant to put panels on their roofs. Tübingen, Germany is introducing legislation to force change
4-5 min.
Climate adaptation has become an integrated part of urban planning in Vejle, where water is seen as a positive asset rather than a problem to solve18/June/2018

Positive thinking

Vejle, one of Denmark’s largest towns, has decided to work with, rather than against, the water that surrounds it and the increased threat of flooding from climate change through projects focused on environmental and social goals
6-7 min.
District heating the Danish way11/April/2018

Europe heads for low carbon heating the Danish way

District heating, where heat from a central generator is distributed underground to warm a network of homes or businesses, is commonplace in Denmark and other Nordic and Baltic countries, but, until now, it has remained a rarity elsewhere in Europe
4-5 min.
Despite an increase in sales in recent years, electric cars remain a novelty in many countries. One street in Norway, however, is miles ahead04/April/2018

Electric avenue

Despite an increase in sales in recent years, electric cars remain a novelty in many countries. One street in Norway, however, is miles ahead. Out of the 150 families living on Søndre Vei, a street outside Oslo, nearly 90% of them drive electric cars.
1-2 min.
In Copenhagen EnergyLab Nordhavn are experimenting with batteries14/November/2017

An urban energy battery trial

A dockland regeneration in Copenhagen is doubling up as a full scale energy laboratory, complete with an integrated battery bank
6-7 min.
Coastal protection can pay for itself14/November/2017

Coastal protection can pay for itself

Coastal protection is expensive, but as a warming climate increases the risk of violent storms and floods, those living by the sea have little choice but to pay out. The Netherlands is leading the way with innovative solutions that stop the tide and boost business. Such an approach could also inspire the funding of climate change adaptation measures more generally.
4-5 min.

A waste incinerator with a rooftop ski run

A unique engineering project has raised the bar for efficient energy capture from incineration of garbage and provided a sports facility in an urban location
2-3 min.

Circular funding of energy savings

The value of energy-saving improvements at a shopping mall is sufficient to pay back the loan from the contractor that carried out the work and financed it
3-4 min.

Cloudburst management the Copenhagen way

Splitting the bill between water utilities and the city budget made financing Copenhagen’s cloudburst plan possible
5-6 min.

Learning by sharing

Instead of reinventing the wheel, just learn from those who have already done it. Cities are busy doing just that as they look for ways to adapt to climate change and build more liveable urban spaces.
6-7 min.

Keeping it cool

First there was district heating, now there is district cooling and in Copenhagen it comes from seawater
5-6 min.

Every drop counts

Tough legislation in Denmark has prompted development of highly advanced technology to detect leaks from the water mains
6-7 min.

Copenhagen firms up a fluffy concept

Collecting and mining data lies at the heart of making cities smarter
3-4 min.

Self sufficient sewage

Turning muck into money is no problem for this sewage treatment plant, which produces more energy than it consumes
5-6 min.

A big green house

Development of sustainable buildings is moving fast, pushing them to being energy producers rather than energy consumers. One example is UN City in Denmark
5-6 min.

Urban landscapes for a wetter future

Shallow drainage architecture can save money. And teach children about the Fibonacci spiral
8-9 min.

India takes bumpy road to smartness

The future is urban and India wants to pave the way by building 100 new smart cities by 2020