AUTHOR

Karl Dickinson

55 POSTS
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Enthusiastic about real change that impacts real lives. Believer in the power of the individual; it can make all the difference. I enjoy connecting with people who have the wildest ideas and the enthusiasm to bring them to life.

How to Make Energy Use More Efficient

Using fossil fuels emits a lot of carbon dioxide. This enters the atmosphere and traps heat, warming the climate. Unless we curb our energy use, temperatures will rise beyond the 1.5 degree-maximum we’ve set ourselves. Retrofitting is a key tool in decarbonising human activity and therefore preserving the environment....

How to Make Water Use More Efficient

Showering, cleaning, drinking, flushing, and washing clothes all use water. A lot of water! As the climate changes and populations increase, supply is struggling to keep up with demand. Making our city’s buildings more sustainable conserves vital drops. But what exactly can we do to make our water use...

The Art of Persuasion: How to Involve Residents in Retrofitting

Why aren’t we retrofitting more? There’s an unarguable case in favour, after all. Something must be holding us back. The problem is that property owners are just not that engaged in the movement. It has to change. So, what methods have been proven to work for engaging residents in...

The Challenges of Psychology in Retrofitting

At CityChangers, we value the learning we can gain from bottlenecks, problems, and conundrums. Knowing the challenges and discovering the blockages provides a ground on which we can search for solutions. We’ve noticed a bunch of barriers around psychology in retrofitting that seem to block progress. Anyone considering setting...

Leveraging Social Media for Environmental Justice: Gia Chinchilla

If you’re looking for inspiration, look no further! Meet Gianella Chinchilla, a 24-year-old climate activist and clean energy consultant from Los Angeles, USA. We can learn a lot from this founder of a popular environmental justice digital media platform and are proud to have her as an Urban Future...

Notable City: Decarbonising Vienna

Vienna is a pragmatic city, bursting with exuberance, diversity, and political action. In terms of decarbonising, it’s a place where people are making definite, positive urban change at the street and policy levels. We caught up with Peter Kraus, City Council Member for the Vienna Green Party (Die Grünen,...

Vienna’s Green Voice: Peter Kraus

As a City Council Member for the Green Party, Peter Kraus makes waves in the Austrian capital Vienna with his persistent campaigning for climate-friendly, people-focussed policy. At just 34, he is already a non-executive city councillor and a member of the Viennese state government. As an Urban Future 2020...

Do It Yourself: How to Start Retrofitting

The decarbonising effects of retrofitting older buildings will do a lot to slow or even prevent the global heating process. But where do we start? How do we know what measures individual properties require, what really works, or when each step should be taken? Never fear, CityChangers is here!...

Decarbonising Cities to Reverse Climate Change

Cities emit seemingly endless cascades of greenhouse gasses. Carbon dioxide is the number one offender. Rectifying this is pivotal to halting global warming and preventing irreversible climate damage. But decarbonising cities at a mass scale is an unprecedented task with an unforgiving deadline. So, how can it be achieved?...

The Challenges of Retrofitting

Telling the average person on the street to upgrade their draughty, crumbling home to save energy and, ergo, the planet might be too abstract to inspire action, met with responses like: “What difference can I really make? Why should I when countries and corporations continue to pollute so heavily?”...

Retrofitting: Facts & Figures

Populations are rising. We cannot build fast enough to accommodate everyone. We need to utilise older buildings for our living, working, and leisure needs. Retrofitting makes them future-proof, efficient, and climate-friendly, shaping the urban landscape for decades to come. Our tally of retrofitting facts and figures is a sobering...

Shallow & Deep – Different Dives into Retrofitting

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to decarbonising older properties. Each building has its own character, history, and flaws that need to be considered when choosing appropriate measures to make them energy efficient. These can be done in one go or piecemeal. That’s the fundamental, but not only, difference between...

Be Happy With What You’ve Got: The Case for Retrofitting

What would your dream home look like? Some people will be lucky enough to build fanciful follies from scratch. The rest of us get to pick the choice cuts from pre-existing stock; but older constructions may need a little bit of sprucing up. Beyond a lick of paint to...

Sustainable Buildings Glossary: Key Terms & Technologies

In case the world of sustainable buildings, planning, retrofitting, and construction is new to you, the CityChangers team has put together a quick-reference glossary to help you navigate some of the most common and technical terms used in our articles. A B C D E F G H I J...

What Is Retrofitting? – Unlocking A Building’s Potential

Ever-greener attitudes and regulations ensure new builds, that accommodate growing populations, are efficient and climate-ready. But what about the plethora of existing ones? We can’t just bulldoze them all and start again. So, how can we equip pre-standing stock for the future, to serve our needs and be less...

Addis Ababa: Lessons in Multimodal Transport from an African Capital

America and Europe are awash with cities putting multimodal transport at the forefront of cities’ policy and design. The voice of Africa doesn’t feel so prominent, but that’s misleading: Addis Ababa’s progressive transport plans are proof that the continent is far from lagging. We spoke with Iman Abubaker from...

Stroll the City: How to Get Communities Walking

Cities are still failing to cater for pedestrians and we’re struggling to get communities walking as a result. When it comes to implementing change, stakeholder backing greases the wheels and a coordinated bunch of folks can be an unstoppable force. But how can we harness this potential? In this...

Building Better Neighbourhoods: The Benefits of Walkable Cities

All of us are pedestrians. We’re born with all we need – legs – to participate and use them throughout our lives without even thinking. Walking makes our lives more convenient, enjoyable, affluent, and worry-free. With so much to gain, the benefits of walkable cities are about more than...