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[Episode #28] – Transition in Cities

It is widely assumed that the ongoing migration of rural peoples to mega-cities all over the world will help reduce humanity’s per-capita energy footprint, while giving people a higher standard of living and accelerating energy transition. But the world is full of old, inefficient cities in desperate need of an eco-makeover, and of experts who understand the principles of “smart urbanization” and who can help identify how to transform a city from brown and dumb to smart and green. What’s the potential for replacing concrete with living things in cities? How can autonomous and electric vehicles help make cities cleaner and more livable? Why isn’t China promoting its phenomenal success with e-bikes to the rest of the world? Is China’s commodity demand going to continue to weaken as it moves away from a manufacturing economy? And will the emissions it was generating just move elsewhere when it does? All these questions and more are answered in this wide-ranging conversation with an expert on smart urbanization and China.

Geek rating: 3

Guest: CC Huang works to advance sustainable development in the United States and China. She is currently working with Equilibrium Capital to accelerate investment in sustainable technologies and the Energy Foundation China on urban development strategy. She led the creation of the Green and Smart Urban Development Guidelines, which are now being used to train government officials and guide large-scale urban development projects in China, inform urban planning in Mexico City, and to promote sustainability principles in Sweden. She has written for or been featured in Science, Forbes, Fortune China, Next City, and Caijing, among others. She has also worked at Energy Innovation, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and the Natural Resources Defense Council. She obtained her MPA from Princeton University and completed her BA at George Washington University.

On Twitter: @cc_huang

On the Web: http://energyinnovation.org/greensmart/

Recording date: October 13, 2016

Air date: October 19, 2016

Links

V. Aggarwal et al., “Rural Energy Alternatives in India: Opportunities in Financing and Community Engagement for Renewable Energy Microgrid Projects,” Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University. (Feb 2014)

CC Huang, “Discussing Green and Smart Cities,” The Paper. [Chinese]
[English: “Green And Smart (1) – Discussing Green And Smart Cities,” Energy Innovation. (Dec 28, 2016)]

CC Huang et al., “12 Green Guidelines – CDBC’s Green and Smart Urban Development Guidelines,” China Development Bank Capital. (Oct 2015)

CC Huang and Hallie Kennan, “8 Ways China is ‘Winning’ on Transportation,” Medium. (Jul 14, 2016)

CC Huang and Lily Qiu, “Three Steps to Making the New Urban Agenda Implementable,” Next City. (May 20, 2016)

CC Huang and Hal Harvey, “China’s Green and Smart Opportunity,” C40 Cities blog. (Jan 26, 2016)

CC Huang, “5 Things to Know About China’s New Urbanization Guidelines,” Paulson Institute. (Mar 4, 2016)

CC Huang, “Three of the World’s Best Cities for People,” Sustainable Cities. (Jan 13, 2015)

Wade Shepard, “New Urbanization Guidelines Set to Fix China’s Cities,” Forbes. (Jan 22, 2016)

Yu Yajie, “Chengdu’s Yulin District: A District of Small Blocks,” The Paper. (Jul 3, 2016) [Chinese]
[English: “Green And Smart (4) – Chengdu’s Yulin District: A District Of Small Blocks,” Energy Innovation. (Mar 8, 2016)]

Wade Shepard, “Why Chinese Cities are Banning the Biggest Adoption of Green Transportation in History,” Forbes. (May 18, 2016)

Elliot Fishman and Christopher Cherry, “E-bikes in the Mainstream: Reviewing a Decade of Research,” Transport Reviews Vol. 36, Iss. 1 (Jul 2015)

Chris Cherry, “Electric powered two-wheelers (e-bikes): a welcome game-changer?” Transforming Transportation. (Jan 2015)

Christopher Cherry, “Electric bikes: what experiences in China can tell us,” The Guardian. (Nov 2013)

Katherine Tweed, "ABB Sells First Order for 15-Second Bus Charging," Greentech Media. (Jul 26, 2016)

ABB technology for flash-charging electric buses

Chris Nelder, James Newcomb, and Garrett Fitzgerald, “Electric Vehicles as Distributed Energy Resources,” Rocky Mountain Institute. (Jun 2016)

Julia Pyper, “Cities Could See $45B in Benefits From Electric, Shared and Autonomous Cars,” Greentech Media. (Oct 12, 2016)

Sophie Yeo, “IEA: There are now more than one million electric cars on the world’s roads,” CarbonBrief. (Jun 2, 2016)

Damian Carrington, “Electric cars set to pass 2m landmark globally by end of 2016,” The Guardian. (Oct 13, 2016)

Jess Staufenberg, “Norway to 'completely ban petrol powered cars by 2025',” The Independent. (Jun 4, 2016)

Rishi Iyengar, “The Netherlands Just Got One Step Closer to Eliminating Polluting Vehicles,” Time. (Apr 19, 2016)

Jonathan Gitlin, “Germany’s Bundesrat votes to ban the internal combustion engine by 2030,” Ars Technica. (Oct 10, 2016)

United Nations: Paris Agreement – Status of Ratification

Blanca Diaz and Christian Roselund, “Renewables come in at $33.47/MWh in Mexico's second auction,” PV Magazine. (Sep 23, 2016)

LeAnne Graves, “Record low bids submitted for Abu Dhabi’s 350MW solar plant in Sweihan,” The National. (Sep 19, 2016)

Carbon Tracker, “The end of the load for coal and gas.” (Sep 19, 2016)