AUTHOR

Karl Dickinson

134 POSTS
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Change matters. It takes courage. As a writer - and citizen - I am inspired by stories of those who challenge the 'we've always done it this way' attitude. We can do better - it's time to listen to those who go against the grain.

A Conundrum of Common Courtesy: How Can Decency Deliver Better Cities?

In 2015, a London cyclist clashed with a pedestrian, knocking her unconscious and leaving her with scars and broken teeth. It sent the media into a frenzy. Front and centre of the story was the negligence of the victim who was fixated on her smartphone as she stepped out into...

CityChanger Max Schade: Building a Future of Straw, Wood & Clay

With public demand for sustainability snowballing, it’s inevitable every sector will undergo a green transformation. Construction, however, may not be as advanced as we thought. Max Schade from STROHBOID acts as our guide today, busting the myths around building from natural materials and emphasising why there’s still a lot...

Young Leader Khate Torres: Using Environmental Psychology to Create Healthy Urban Spaces

Achieving climate and sustainability goals requires a willingness to change. Without this, the urban transformation would lack substance. We already have so much of the knowledge we need to make a significant impact, but, unless populations are suitably informed, they are unable to adopt the behaviours that make that...

Young Leader Fruzsina Nagy: How To Create Change Like A Sustainability Consultant

A new breed of professionals is using their hotly sought after skills to bring about social and environmental impact. Impact-oriented values are fast becoming the deciding factor in career choices, over more traditional drivers like working for the most prestigious companies. This is what led former Young Leader, Fruzsina...

Young Leader Eva de Bruijn: How Eindhoven’s ‘Idealists’ Are Saving City Politics

Politics is one realm that can open a lot of doors to sustainability in our cities. But whether it’s because they are disillusioned, disinterested, or feel excluded, many people do not use their voices to influence local decision-making. Eva de Bruijn, leader of the GroenLinks party in the Dutch...

Do the Right Thing: Who’s Responsible for Climate Action?

It’s not always easy being responsible. As the (delayed) train journey home from the Urban Future conference in Stuttgart entered its eleventh hour, a creeping thought formed: had we taken a flight, we could have been home hours ago. So why didn’t we? As a company that makes sustainability its business, we’re...

Young Leader Omar Zahran: Architecture as a Tool for People-Centred Cities

How does so much historic architecture endure the ravages of time? It’s because the architects of yore knew how to build cities to suit their environment, and they did so to meet the needs of the people. Omar Zahran, a Young Leader from the 2023 cohort, explains what lessons...

Building a Better Housing Model with the European Community Land Trust Network

Fulfilling the need for quality, affordable, future-proofed housing is one of our cities’ biggest challenges. Marginalised and low-income populations need the current system to change the most. Community Land Trusts offer an equitable and affordable alternative to traditional housing models, giving rise to their growing popularity in Europe. With...

Overpopulation Is No Laughing Matter

One of the rules of comedy, so I've been told, is to talk about what you know. That's why many stand-up routines over the past couple of years are based on personal accounts of COVID-19. I watched one recently, during which the performer joked how they'd 'solved' that one crisis and...

CityChanger Panchali Saikia: Guardian of Urban Water Governance

Water democracy has implications for health, safety, and life opportunities. Nowhere is this more apparent than among the large informal settlements in Indian cities. This is where the work of Panchali Saikia makes a massive impact. She tells us about the barriers to resilient urban water systems, how cities...

Young Leader Kelly Delaney: Regulation’s Role in Effective Energy Efficiency Financing

For all the benefits it offers, retrofitting is still the poor cousin of actions that cut emissions. There seems to be just too little of the interest and energy efficiency financing needed to meet our goals for a more sustainable built environment. But not in California. Former Young Leader...

Young Leaders Academy: Applying Transformational Knowledge as a Catalyst for Change

Sharing knowledge is integral to scaling and speeding up the sustainability transformation. But are we doing it effectively? There’s a new generation of change-makers on the scene intent on improving the way knowhow is exchanged, fully aware that it’s their futures this affects. We speak to two of the...

CityChanger Safaa Charafi: Creating Fair & Sustainable Cities with Intersectionality

Cities aren’t inclusive. It’s evident in how they’re laid out, the policies that govern us, and the mindsets of inhabitants. There’s a way to change this. Mainstreaming gender and intersectionality results in more inclusive, fairer, safer, and more prosperous cities. We ask a consultant in the field, Safaa Charafi,...

Climate What? Choose Your Words Carefully

In the realm of climate change and sustainability, how much do the words we use matter? A lot. As any linguist will tell you, language shapes our relationship with the world around us. Recently, a colleague made me aware of research into the phrases and tone of voice that holds people’s...

CityChanger Chris Kaiser: Putting the Elephant into Entrepreneurship

What links an elephant habitat and sustainable cities? Today we’re challenging the way we look at urban sustainability by standing at the vantage point of outwards looking in – from the forest to the city. Chris Kaiser, founder of Click A Tree and reforestation entrepreneur, walks us through the...

Revitalising Inner City Districts: Brussels’ Many Faces of Circularity

Economic hardship drives many struggling city centres to relent and force manufacturing and commerce to give way to residential developments. But some cities are resisting. The historic Abattoir site in Brussels is proof of how we can revive historic districts with modern concepts like circularity, diversification, and public participation. Found...

Sharing is Caring – So Why Do Pedestrians Lose the Fight for Space?

As a pedestrian, have you ever crossed the road and waved in appreciation to the driver who stopped to let you go, despite it being you right of way? And how many times have you approached a similar crossing only for the traffic to speed by with scant regard for...

Young Leader Jamie Wylie: How to Build Prosperous Cities Through Creative Mobility Solutions

Sustainable urban mobility is about so much more than halting climate change. Cities are rife with societal and economic challenges; finding better ways to move offers chances to level the playing field. We spoke to a former Young Leader and expert in the field, Jamie Wylie, about the practical...