Book Review: Designed For the Future: 80 Practical Ideas for A Sustainable World

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Practical ideas is the key way of describing Designed For the Future: 80 Practical Ideas for A Sustainable World.

Edited by Jared Green, this simple yet intriguing book offers good solutions from top world sustainability experts in building a greener future for everyone.

80 Practical Ideas Cover Photo

There are many ideas which will catch people’s eyes as they read through this book. Some recommendations are straight forward (wind farms and green houses). However, what caught my attention was the interesting mix of high and low tech ideas in transforming a sustainable world.

I was particularly impressed by contributor Christoph Gielen’s discussion on solar roadways, which has gained steam. Gielen argues solar roadways can help reduce carbon emissions while changing how we look at infrastructure. Gielen notes Scott and Julie Brusaw’s Solar Roadways campaign, which made an initial splash online and received a very positive response. While the first expenses are around 50% to 300% more than standard roadways, a one-mile-stretch of road could pay itself off in twelve years.

In the Netherlands, we are seeing the benefits. One 70 meter solar bicycle path is creating 3,000 kWh, which is equal to providing a one-year supply of clean energy for a small household.

Emphasis was also made by many contributors on how cities are critical in moving towards a sustainable world.

Rome, Italy, by implementing car free zones, has helped to make this historic city cleaner and safer, according to architect Jack Sullivan, who noted this shift is “Palpable and much appreciated.”

While high tech ideas like electric vehicles, solar, and wind have captured the public’s imagination, it is the simple ideas, including car free zones, which are just as critical in sustainable development. It’s these types of ideas that help in creating an environmentally friendly world.

Worth a read if you are looking for a mix of ideas in pushing a sustainable development agenda forward.

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Adam Johnston

is expected to complete the Professional Development Certificate in Renewable Energy from the University of Toronto by December 2017. Adam recently completed his Social Media Certificate from Algonquin College Continuing & Online Learning. Adam also graduated from the University of Winnipeg with a three-year B.A. combined major in Economics and Rhetoric, Writing & Communications in 2011. Adam owns a part-time tax preparation business. He also recently started up Salay Consulting and Social Media services, a part-time business which provides cleantech writing, analysis, and social media services. His eventual goal is to be a cleantech policy analyst. You can follow him on Twitter @adamjohnstonwpg or check out his business

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