Showing Tag: "sustainability" (Show all posts)

British Doctors May Soon Prescribe Art, Music, Dance, Singing Lessons

Posted by Maria Spiliotopoulou on Sunday, December 30, 2018, In : Sustainable Development 
British Doctors May Soon Prescribe Art, Music, Dance, Singing Lessons

Campaign is expected to launch across the entire U.K. by 2023

An ambitious initiative unveiled this week by British Health Secretary Matt Hancock may soon enable the country’s doctors to prescribe therapeutic art- or hobby-based treatments for ailments ranging from dementia to psychosis, lung conditions and mental health issues. Writing for the Times, Kat Lay explains...

Continue reading ...

Why sustainability is no longer enough, yet still very important on the road to regeneration

Posted by Maria Spiliotopoulou on Wednesday, December 5, 2018, In : Sustainable Development 
The regenerative (r)evolution is well underway. The Re-generation is rising to transform business as usual profoundly and just in time to avoid a global cataclysm.

By Daniel Christian Wahl. Published on September 19, 2018.

Please find the full article @

Continue reading ...

Food for thought: Why some of us believe a sustainable-farming revolution is underway in Ontario

Posted by Maria Spiliotopoulou on Wednesday, September 27, 2017, In : Canada 
By Stephen Le. From Ottawa Citizen. Published on June 23, 2017.

Somewhere else in Ottawa, a folk singer is serenading a crowd. Farmers display baskets of freshly picked produce. Sheep’s milk yogurt is sold here, alongside honey and wild boar meat. These farmers know where their food comes from, how it was sown and grown. Of course, farmers’ market prices will “surely always forever be beat” by supermarkets, but wedged within that price differential lie stirring exploits and a profound ...

Continue reading ...

‘Social urbanism’ experiment breathes new life into Colombia’s Medellin

Posted by Maria Spiliotopoulou on Monday, January 30, 2017, In : Sustainable cities 
By Stephanie Nollen

Published in The Globe and Mail, on Monday, Dec. 22, 2014

The transformation of Medellin must rank as the most remarkable urban redemption project in modern history. Two decades ago this city’s very name was a one-word synonym for “murderous-drug-and-crime-ridden-Latin-American-hellhole.” The drug baron Pablo Escobar ruled from a hilltop fortress, and his henchmen set off bombs in the middle of the city and executed police in their beds.

And today, in that same neighbo...

Continue reading ...

New paper: "Converging Urban Agendas: Toward Healthy and Sustainable Communities"

Posted by Maria Spiliotopoulou on Wednesday, July 6, 2016, In : Sustainable cities 
Just published in the journal Social Sciences! Find it here.


In light of recent developments such as the COP21 Paris climate agreement, the UN adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals for 2030, and the Habitat III Conference, there is increasing recognition of the role of human settlements as key components of both global challenges and global solutions. “Urban sustainability” under various names has matured over the last three decades not only in planning and related fields, ...
Continue reading ...

How fragile are our cities? [new research]

Posted by Maria Spiliotopoulou on Friday, February 19, 2016, In : Cities and urban issues 

The world is urbanizing at a breakneck pace. But not all regions are moving at the same speed. Most population growth today and tomorrow will occur in the sprawling cities and slums of Africa and Asia. Just three countries — China, India and Nigeria — will account for 40% of global growth over the next decade. Meanwhile, many cities in North America and Western Europe are actually shrinking.

The pace of this urban revolution is mesmerizing. Just 3% of the world’s population lived in citi...

Continue reading ...

Telling sustainable stories (useful resources)

Posted by Maria Spiliotopoulou on Friday, November 14, 2014, In : Various interesting stuff 
What do a successful presenter and an interested audience have in common?
The story!
The presenter tells an engaging story and the audience is eager to listen to this story all the way to the end!

How to convey your sustainability message through a story?
Here are some handy resources with tips on successful storytelling for sustainability.


Sustainable storytelling is a powerful tool that communicates vision | from: The Guardian

Sustainability Storytelling: Creating a Narrative that Matters...
Continue reading ...

Food Wastage Footprint 2 - a video from the UN FAO

Posted by Maria Spiliotopoulou on Sunday, October 19, 2014, In : Sustainable Development 

Published on Sep 9, 2014

Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations

The full economic, environmental and social costs of food loss and waste.

Continue reading ...

SD? SCD? SDGs? Post-2015? Focus on communities? YES!

Posted by Maria Spiliotopoulou on Sunday, September 21, 2014, In : Sustainable Development 
I'm back with some excellent resources and initiatives directly related to the ongoing discussions for the UN post-2015 development agenda and particularly the goals that promote sustainable community development.


Sustainable Development Solutions Network
Communitas Coalition for Sustainable Cities and Regions
PANDO | Sustainable Communities (collaboration network for researchers and practitioners)
ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability
UN Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform

Continue reading ...

Rewilding a City: The Vancouver Example

Posted by Maria Spiliotopoulou on Monday, May 5, 2014, In : Sustainable cities 

As a relatively young, modern city nestled between the North Shore mountains and surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, it is not hard to imagine Vancouver’s wild roots.

Even today, black bears still roam people’s backyards on the city’s North Shore, bald eagles nest around the University of British Columbia and whales have been spotted in False Creek on several occasions in the last few years - just last weekend, 100 dolphins and 15 orcas were spotted in H...

Continue reading ...

Forests are crucial to green growth and sustainable societies (new UN report)

Posted by Maria Spiliotopoulou on Monday, March 31, 2014, In : Forests & Land Management 
Reproduced from:

The value of forests and tree-based ecosystems extends far beyond carbon sequestration; they are the foundation of sustainable societies. (Photo credit: Maria Spiliotopoulou, Nymfeo 2007)

A new report, launched in Jakarta, Indonesia on 21 March - the International Day of Forests – promotes REDD+ (*) and the Green Economy as together providing a new pathway to sustainable development that can benefit all nations. I...

Continue reading ...

Do ancient cities hold the key to equal, sustainable urban access? (ongoing research)

Posted by Maria Spiliotopoulou on Wednesday, February 5, 2014, In : Sustainable Development 
How far away is your school? Are there more fast food joints than farmers markets in your neighborhood? Is your doctor close enough to help you in an emergency?

Today, more than half of the world's population – that's more than 3.5 billion people – lives in cities, and cities contain the majority of services like schools, markets, and hospitals. Experts predict that by 2030, urban area will double worldwide, shifting more people into cities. However, to some, access to urban services is no...

Continue reading ...

Does suburbanization undermine greenhouse gas benefits of urban population density?

Posted by Maria Spiliotopoulou on Tuesday, January 21, 2014, In : Energy & Sustainability 
This is a brief presentation of a new study on suburbanization and carbon footprint in dense cities. I read it on and, although I don't have access to the full journal article, I think that these results are very important in terms of sustainable development of urban areas. We shouldn't however jump to opposite conclusions ("what? now they tell us to build high and densely?"), because obviously sustainable city dwelling doesn't correspond to what we see in many cities such as Athens ...

Continue reading ...

The Venus Project (something to think about...)

Posted by Maria Spiliotopoulou on Monday, January 13, 2014, In : Activities and Proposals 
The Venus Project is an organization that proposes a feasible plan of action for social change, one that works towards a peaceful and sustainable global civilization. It outlines an alternative to strive toward where human rights are no longer paper proclamations but a way of life.

You can find more information on the project's website and several videos on the project's Youtube channel!

So, what is the Venus Project?

Continue reading ...

The difference between green and sustainable construction materials

Posted by Maria Spiliotopoulou on Saturday, January 11, 2014, In : Energy & Sustainability 
Here is another interesting article on construction materials which are green, but not sustainable, and on how a sustainable building would be the norm in a few years.  
(reproduced from this website)

A building is green when it helps reduce the footprint it leaves on the natural environment and on the health of its inhabitants.

Green home design includes building for energy efficiency, including the use of renewable energy sources such as wind, water, or solar; creating a healthy indoor environ...

Continue reading ...

Business Innovation in a Living Economy, from Worldwatch Europe (Reports V)

Posted by Maria Spiliotopoulou on Sunday, December 29, 2013, In : Activities and Proposals 
One of the main puzzles of our time is how to avoid climate change and safeguard ecosystem health while simultaneously improving human wellbeing and enhancing social justice without destabilizing the economy.

Businesses have a very important role in the road towards a Living Economy – an economy that has as a goal to improve human wellbeing and quality of life, moving away from pointless consumerism, without compromising natural resources. How can business promote environmental and social su...

Continue reading ...

Turn Down the Heat - World Bank, June 2013 (Reports I)

Posted by Maria Spiliotopoulou on Thursday, December 12, 2013, In : Climate change 
With the report "Turn Down the Heat: Climate Extremes, Regional Impacts and the Case for Resilience", launched by the World Bank in June 2013, I'd like to initiate a series of blog posts presenting reports on environmental and sustainability issues, important for the whole world or a part of it.

In the report Turn Down the Heat: Climate Extremes, Regional Impacts, and the Case for Resilience, launched in June 2013, scientists look at the likely impacts on three vulnerable regions if the world ...

Continue reading ...

OASIS Project: an urban farm at a church

Posted by Maria Spiliotopoulou on Thursday, November 28, 2013, In : Activities and Proposals 
OASIS PROJECT: The goal is to create an urban farm at a church

Prince of Peace Lutheran Church was looking for a mission.
N.C. A&T (North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University) was seeking real-world experience for its horticulture students.
UNCG professor Marianne LeGreco wanted to expand the Warnersville Farmers Market.
The Guilford County Department of Public Health wanted to bring fresh food to one of the city’s worst food deserts.
Matthew King...

Continue reading ...

The ultimate guide to green walls!

Posted by Maria Spiliotopoulou on Monday, November 25, 2013, In : Environment 

The Ultimate Guide To Living Green Walls

 by Sean Heffernan, for

Living green walls. You may have heard of them and thought they were no more than the latest design fad. However in truth, the concept dates back to the 1930′s and they are science fiction made fact!
No longer just of interest to architectural companies trying to win design awards, they are gaining attention from businesses of all sizes looking to improve their green credentials. This ultimate guide will introduce ...

Continue reading ...

Overfishing, the EU, me, you, all of us... (short animated film)

Posted by Maria Spiliotopoulou on Tuesday, November 19, 2013, In : Environment 

The issue of overfishing – An animated film that will open your eyes
Despite an increased awareness of overfishing, the majority of people still know very little about the scale of the destruction being wrought on the oceans. This film presents an unquestionable case for why overfishing needs to end and shows that there is still an opportunity for change.
(Thank you,

Continue reading ...

8 Must-See Environmental & Food Documentaries

Posted by Maria Spiliotopoulou on Saturday, November 16, 2013, In : Activities and Proposals 

These eight documentaries explore issues concerning the environment, ecosystem and our societal role in it all. You can watch most of them online. I’d love to have your opinion afterwards!

No Impact Man: The Documentary
This documentary can be accessed through Netflix Instant for a pretty reasonable price and is really worth watching. The documentary follows a New York family as husband and writer Colin Beavan leads his wife, Michelle Conlin, and their baby daughter on a mission to generat...

Continue reading ...

Pando | sustainable communities. A world-wide network for sustainable community development!

Posted by Maria Spiliotopoulou on Wednesday, November 13, 2013, In : Environment is an online community with a professional focus, where researchers, academics, and public and private-sector practitioners share knowledge, network, and collaborate on sustainability solutions that can be enacted at the community level - such as green building, reduction and recycling of local waste, water management, participatory democracy, land use, and much more. 

Pando is a collaboration between:

Continue reading ...

A certified community forest enterprise in Oaxaca, Mexico

Posted by Maria Spiliotopoulou on Tuesday, November 12, 2013, In : Forests & Land Management 
This video tells the story of Ixtlán de Juárez, an indigenous community in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico. The community is operating its own forestry company and was awarded FSC certification in 2011. The video celebrates the success of the community and shows the benefits brought by FSC.
Certification has built confidence within the community and improved workers conditions with regard to salaries, social security and safety. Ixtlán has also developed impact assessment plans and enhanced th...

Continue reading ...

Success stories from the EU's "The World you Like" Challenge!

Posted by Maria Spiliotopoulou on Sunday, November 10, 2013, In : Environment 

Across Europe, there are many initiatives on the ground contributing to a world we like, with a climate we like. They are truly inspirational and having a real impact in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It is time to reward them. 

The World You Like Challenge wants creative and innovative minds from across the EU to put their low-carbon initiatives to the test and inspire others to follow suit.

The Challenge was launched in February 2013 and the winners have just been announced! Here are tw...

Continue reading ...

Anávra. A Model village in Greece.

Posted by Maria Spiliotopoulou on Tuesday, October 15, 2013, In : Environment 

Anavra (Greek: Ανάβρα) is a village and a former community in Magnesia, Thessaly, Greece. According to the census of 2001 the population of Anavra was 987 citizens. The village of Anavra is located on the West side of Mount Othrys, at a height of 900 metres above the sea level. Visitors will be delighted by the natural environment, with its dense vegetation and clear waters. The Enipeas river, which is a tributary of the Pineios, starts at the springs of Anavra and passes through the vi...

Continue reading ...

Sustainability images - part 1

Posted by Maria Spiliotopoulou on Saturday, September 7, 2013, In : Environment 
This is the first part of my collection of photos or other images that I have found online and thought I'd share with you!

Click on the titles below and enjoy the images.

A super sustainable house...

A living walls house...

A tiger breaking free... no words, huge message...

A "clean beach"?....

Tap water Vs bottled water...

Continue reading ...

Estimated decomposition rates of common sea garbage!

Posted by Maria Spiliotopoulou on Thursday, August 29, 2013, In : Global 
How long does it take a plastic bag or a wool sock or a fishing line to decompose in the sea?
Let us think twice before just throwing our garbage away...

In this link you can find a larger version of this image!

Source: US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
More info on marine debris:

Continue reading ...

Should we turn deserts into carbon-sucking tree plantations?

Posted by Maria Spiliotopoulou on Wednesday, August 21, 2013, In : Climate change 
Not all scientists agree that planting more and more trees can help with the climate change and CO2 problems, but here is an interesting idea about tree planting in deserts, presented at by John Upton.

To fight climate change, some scientists think we should vegetate the hell out of deserts. The latest such idea calls for large plantations of a hardy species of Central American tree to be planted in near-coastal desert areas and irrigated with desalinated water.

While forests soak up ...

Continue reading ...

Going Green (a must-watch short animation film!)

Posted by Maria Spiliotopoulou on Monday, July 29, 2013, In : Environment 

CG animated short film by Thiago S. Aranha.
Made for the Digital Film and Animation MA at the London Metropolitan University.

Continue reading ...

ICLEI - the global cities network

Posted by Maria Spiliotopoulou on Friday, July 26, 2013, In : Global 

"ICLEI is the world's leading association of cities and local governments dedicated to sustainable development.

We are a powerful movement of 12 mega-cities, 100 super-cities and urban regions, 450 large cities as well as 450 medium-sized cities and towns in 84 countries. 

We promote local action for global sustainability and supports cities to become sustainable, resilient, resource-efficient, biodiverse, low-carbon; to build a smart infrastructure; and to develop an inclusive, green urban eco...

Continue reading ...

Forests, health and climate change: what is the way forward?

Posted by Maria Spiliotopoulou on Tuesday, July 2, 2013, In : Climate change 

Forests are essential to our survival and well-being. Forests clean our air, our water, our soil and they regulate our climate, amongst many other things. Trees and forests are not always associated with urban landscapes. However, there too they provide invaluable, often invisible, services. Simply by acting as 'green oasis' in our concrete jungles, they offer recreation and health services for many European citizens.

How many of us love strolling through parks and green spaces in cities, te...

Continue reading ...

Climate change negotiations in 84 seconds (VERY worth watching)!

Posted by Maria Spiliotopoulou on Monday, June 24, 2013, In : Climate change 

The History of Climate Change Negotiations in 84 seconds!

An animation developed and produced in collaboration between the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research - Oslo and PetPunk with support from The Research Council of Norway.
I found it absolutely to the point (even the music is a perfect match)!!

Continue reading ...

Vertical gardening: plenty of advantages...

Posted by Maria Spiliotopoulou on Thursday, June 6, 2013, In : Environment 
A Vertical Garden – also known as a Green Wall – is either free-standing or part of a building that is partially or completely covered with vegetation. The modern Vertical Garden, with integrated hydroponics was invented by Stanley Hart White at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 1931-38. White conceptualized this new garden type as a solution to the problem of modern garden design.

There are many advantages of having a vertical garden, including:

- A dynamic way to green a vert...

Continue reading ...

The world's largest solar boat crossed the Atlantic in 22 days!!

Posted by Maria Spiliotopoulou on Wednesday, May 22, 2013, In : Environment 
MS Tûranor PlanetSolar, the world’s largest solar boat, set a new record for the fastest transatlantic crossing by a vessel powered entirely by solar energy, smashing its own 2010 record by four days.
The 115-foot Swiss catamaran traveled 2,867 miles (5,310 kilometers) across the Atlantic Ocean in 22 days, conducting experiments along the Gulf Stream as part of the PlanetSolar DeepWater expedition.

(Thank you Design For Need)

Continue reading ...

How to make your carbon footprint ...slimmer!! (a low carbon diet!)

Posted by Maria Spiliotopoulou on Saturday, May 18, 2013, In : Environment 
Here is the review and an excerpt from a new - and apparently interesting book which, I believe, makes the reduction of our carbon footprint easier than we imagined!
Although it's based on British everyday life, it can be an excellent and perfectly comprehensible guide for every one of us to follow. Enjoy and ACT!

Fancy making yourself slimmer and fitter?
Not your body, for once we’ll leave that alone, but your carbon footprint. In other words, the amount of carbon dioxide that all the diffe...

Continue reading ...

The Science Of Survival: Your Planet Needs You! (interactive exhibition)

Posted by Maria Spiliotopoulou on Friday, May 17, 2013, In : Global 
I'd like to present a wonderful exhibition I visited recently. I enjoyed myself so much that I forgot I had just played like a child! I recommend that all Athenians go a.s.a.p.! 

Can you imagine what life will be like in the year 2050?
What will you eat?
How will you travel?
What kind of house will you live in?
With a changing climate and dwindling resources to deal with, we’ll need to get more creative about how we live, work and play to ensure that we and our planet survive.

The Science o...

Continue reading ...

Think for yourself. Question everything.

Posted by Maria Spiliotopoulou on Friday, May 17, 2013, In : Various interesting stuff 
Intelligence; not because you think you know everything without questioning, but rather because you question everything you think you know.

“A wise man makes his own decisions, an ignorant man follows public opinion” 
Chinese Proverb

“The one who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The one who walks alone is likely to find himself in places no one has ever been before.” 
Albert Einstein

Also watch an enlightening video from an interesting website (www.knowledgeofto...
Continue reading ...

The myths of sustainable consumption

Posted by Maria Spiliotopoulou on Thursday, March 7, 2013, In : Activities and Proposals 

 The myths of sustainable consumption, by Alison Singer

Across the globe the concept of sustainable consumption is being touted as the way of the future, a change in lifestyle and values that promises “green growth”– economic growth that doesn’t hurt the environment. Though not without obstacles and controversy, this concept has been embraced by policymakers, consumers, and industry.

The idea is that, by providing consumers with a choice of products reflecting their new environmental...

Continue reading ...

About Me

Maria Spiliotopoulou Home is where the heart is. May the forest be with us.

Make a free website with Yola