Fundamentally, sustainability is about keeping things the same. However, in current contexts, to ‘sustain’ a tolerable human occupation of planet earth requires extensive and prompt change.
This may not be an environmental revolution but it is certainly a fast evolution. In other sectors we are seeing such fast evolutions over the last two decades in matters such as digital, security, retail and media industries – as complete change-overs. It has (only) taken 25 years to achieve the COP Paris agreement in 2015 – which provides a cohesive launch pad. In this time and going forward there will be further developments and realisations related to technical, political, social and financial attitudes to the environment to address and hopefully remedy the otherwise inevitable climate related catastrophe.
London certainly has its challenges related to the environment as a dense, urban conglomeration with an aging infrastructure.
Local efforts to deal with these challenges through projects for global mitigation, local adaptation and national crisis include:
the Congestion Charge; bicycle routes; the Thames Barrier (1982), E16; pollution control; low energy housing schemes; The Crystal, a sustainable cities initiative by Siemens, E16 1GB; Thamesmead; passive house examples; BedZed (2002), CR4 4HS, etc..
And other aspects notably for energy, vehicles and transport.
Plus Green Sky Thinking events – in May; EcoBuild in March as trade fair for sustainable construction, at ExCel, E16 1XL.