5 reasons why walking is good for physical and mental wellbeing — Wild about Scotland

It’s official: nature is good for you. In fact, according to England’s Chief Medical Officer in 2010: “If a medication existed which had a similar effect to physical activity, it would be regarded as a “wonder drug” or a “miracle cure”’. But nature isn’t just a remedy for a healthy body, it also nurtures a […]

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5 reasons why walking is good for physical and mental wellbeing — Wild about Scotland

Sustainability: in equilibrium … or pedalling squares?

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For me one of the best cycling reads of the year so far is Velo by Paul Fournel (review here) a collection of zen like thoughts on, well, all things cycling. And one I really do recommend for your summer readings.

From one of the brilliant posts, Circles:

To ride a bike is to make circles. You have to think about that when you pedal, as a little reminder the movement of the legs is circular,  you have to grant it this and turn the cranks roundly.

Cyclists have a sense of this.  As soon as the cadence falls and fatigue mounts they say they are peddling squares.

Cyclists have their own gyroscope, producing not only movement but equilibrium, the faster you turn your legs. the more harmonious this equilibrium becomes.

A cyclists equilibrium is a circular equilibrium

And so it is with sustainability, to keep moving forward, we need to keep circling think Edwards Deming Plan Do Check Act circle,

We need to keep pedalling, we need equilibrium,

The faster your progress, the greater your sustainability equilibrium, where all ‘competing influences are balanced’

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If you slow, become distracted or fatigue, sustainability efforts are no longer circular and become square, and if you stop you fall off …

Helping your sustainability stay circular

Celebrating social media in the built environment

Only two days left to our Be2Awards, 2012 Social Media awards event in London at the Building Centre,  kicking off at 1.30pm.  As with our 2011 awards, the event, part of Social Media London Week, will be an inspiring combination of TEDx style talks and a celebration of what is good in the world of built environment social media.

Recognition will be paid to the crowd-sourced winners from 12 categories, from best use of twitter, best sustainability blog, best use of media, and many many more. The Be2Talks presentations will cover BIM, Bikes, Social Hiking, Coffee, Green Deal and more.

The event will use the #be2awards  hashtag and will be live streamed, live blogged and tweeted. Check out our event page for more information.

Can there really be a better place to be on a wet Wednesday afternoon in London? Spaces still available here.

By the way, if you havent voted yet, you have under 12 hours left – so take a look at the excellent short-listings and be inspired as how social media is being used today.

And, if you are looking to make a day of social media in London – check out the Guardians Social Media for Sustainability event, taking place just up the road on the morning of the be2awards, with enough time to grab a drink and sandwiches you head over to the Building Center!

Be2Talks Presenters:

Richard Saxon CBE – “Growth through BIM”

Richard SaxonRichard Saxon is an architect and urban designer. He now works as a client adviser after a career at BDP (chairman 1996-2002), the RIBA (Vice-President 2002-8) and Be, Collaborating for the Built Environment (chairman, 1999-2005). He was made a CBE in 2001 for services to architecture and construction. He is on the board of the Construction Industry Council, is currently advising BIS on the growth potential of BIM and was recently appointed the CIC’s “BIM Ambassador”.

Carlton Reid – ”Cycling, the built environment and social media”

Carlton ReidCarlton Reid (@carltonreid) has been writing about bicycles and travel for 20 years. He has written for many cycling and travel magazines and UK newspapers including The Guardian and The Independent, and is the author of several books on travel and cycling. He is executive editor of BikeBiz.com, editor of Bikehub.co.ukQuickrelease.tv and iPayRoadTax.com. Author of the acclaimed Bike to Work Book, his latest project is Roads were not built for Cars. Carlton will present our Be2Bike Keynote on the growing application and importance of social media in the world of cycling.

Phil Sorrell – ”Geo-blogging”

Phil SorrellPhil Sorrell is the creator of Social Hiking – Share Your Adventure, a website for sharing outdoor adventures live using social media and GPS tracking. He is an experienced web developer, writes a blog about the outdoors and fundraises for Multiple Sclerosis charities. @daylightgambler

Liz Male – ”Why repair, maintenance and improvement is vital”

Liz MaleLiz Male (@LizMale) will talk about the rise of the RMI (repair, maintenance and improvement) sector – its new-found political, social, economic and environmental importance, and the opportunities and risks this creates for UK businesses in the built environment, including those linked to the imminent Green Deal initiative.

Liz is Chairman of TrustMark, a not-for-profit organisation licensed by Government and supported by consumer protection groups which helps people find reputable local tradesmen to do work on their homes. She is also a PR consultant with specialism in sustainability in the built environment.

Mark Stodgell – ”BIM, blogs, bikes and Pozzoni Architects”

Mark StodgellMark Stodgell was an early adopter of building information modelling and of social media, having used Twitter (he’s@Stodgeblog) and LinkedIn to raise the profile of Pozzoni in the BIM world. He will talk about how the technologies complement each other.

Mark works at Manchester-based architects’ practice Pozzoni Architects, and started using the internet to find about orienteering in Finland. In his spare time, he is a member of Great Britain’s mountain bike orienteering team.

Nick Katz – ”Honest Buildings”

Hear about Honest Buildings: a real estate network connecting professionals to new business opportunities and information for over 700,000 buildings across the US, and now with an office in London.

Honest Buildings was founded in 2011. Nick Katz (on Twitter, he’s @NicholasKatz), formerly at UK Green Building Council and then senior sustainability advisor for Colliers International, is associate director leading UK market development for Honest Buildings.  Nick believes that, through sharing information freely and showcasing great building projects delivered the world over, the bar for building performance will be raised globally.

BeAward Categories:

 

BE2 are the social media advocates behind the Be2camp movement. Since 2008, Be2camp has been championing the use of social media Web 2.0 in the Built Environment (hence Be2).

Since the first Be2camp unconference in London in October 2008, Be2camp people have organised more than 30 events focused on promoting collaboration and co-operation within a better, more sustainable built environment. Key topics have included education, building information modelling, property and real estate, facilities management, the Green Deal, marketing, and river basin management (among other things).

Founded by four practitioners (two in the UK, one in Australia and one in the US), the Be2camp online community is now nearly 700 strong with members around the world.

New wheels …

After a winter of browsing cycle web sites, magazines and brochures and of course visiting too many cycle stores, I finally picked up my new wheels on Wednesday from Ghyllside Cycles in Ambleside (Highly recommended for service and bike-chat)

Its a Genesis Equilibrium 20, and its gorgeous.

I only had a an hour or so for a maiden flight, but the Cumbria air was so clear, the fells looking so magnificent I couldn’t resist a spin out of Ambleside and around Little Langland by way of Blea Tarn.

A great chance to ‘test’ or experience the climbing and descent capabilities

And the stats from the Cyclemeter iphone app. (again highly recommended)

 Following the ride it was back to Ambleside for a quick coffee / meeting catch up and then lengthy phone chat with Paul @EEPaul re Be2camp and next weeks Green Build Expo event.

ConstructCO2 now records zero carbon travel

ConstructCO2, our construction carbon calculator now measures ‘zero’ carbon travel to and from job sites.

Recording and increasing the travel from managers, visitors and operatives who get to site under their own steam (eg walking and cycling) or via car sharing is an important element in reducing construction impact on the environment, travel miles and the associated carbon emissions

It is also an important KPI that measures the projects performance against any green travel or car share plans.

The Zero travel KPI is expressed as a percentage of all travel or can be broken down to percentage of zero carbon travel for managers, visitors or operatives.

It is very very early days as yet, but it looks as through zero carbon travel is below 1% of all people travel. More later when we have more data.

on bike sharing

Noted on the Bike-Share blog, (provided by MetroBike, LLC, based in Washington, US, providing information on the emerging public transportation mode of bike-sharing) the impressive statistics on how the Velib bike share programme in Paris is transorming the city, see below.

But the disappointing find on the Bike Share blog was the lack of schemes in the UK compared to the rest of Europe. (is this because there are no schemes or because they are not on the google map, or have a web presence – which is how Bike Share picks them up?)

We have a few (ok too many) bikes here which we would willingly share for anyone wanting to cycle around the Forest of Bowland !!

From Bike-Share:

The latest Velib’ survey results are available and posted on the Velib’ Website. Just in case you don’t parlez Français, here’s a summary:

  • Trips to date: 20 million
  • Average trips/day: 70,000
  • Average trip time: 18 minutes
  • 190,000 annual pass holders
  • 42% of users are female, 58% are male
  • 1/3 of users come from outside the central city
  • 17% of users are 46+ years old
  • 94% of users like the service

These results are highly impressive. The stats that amazed me the most are the number of trips to date and the percentage of female users. As Velib’ is not yet one year old, there are still about two months of trips still to be made which could equate to another 5 million trips, or a total of 25 million trips, before the anniversary of it’s launch date of July 15.

Having nearly the same percentage of female and male customers shows how mainstream bike-sharing has become in Paris. In cities where lesser bike cultures exist, such as those in North America, males tend to dominate bike usage by 3 to 1. Women are less likely to ride a bike when concerned about their safety compared to men. Men also tend to be generally more risk-taking and will ride in less safe street conditions. While not 50/50, this male/female customer demographic shows that women are using Velib’ confidently, so Paris has done a good job in creating safe bike facilities before the launch of the program.

Fantastique!

image credit: Velib’

isite radar and roundup monday 23rd june

Last week was a busy one so not too much posting here, but below are a few of the items that caught my eye

Bristol is to become the first cycle city with 11 others – York, Stoke, Blackpool, Cambridge, Chester, Colchester, Leighton Buzzard, Southend, Shrewsbury, Southport and Woking – named as demonstration areas for the scheme. They will be added to the current six demonstration areas – Aylesbury, Brighton, Darlington, Derby, Exeter and Lancaster.

Last Saturday I led a benchmarkwalks walk in the English Lake District for a group of Facilities Management people. Great discussions over usability, eco towns, fm sustainability, fm in Cape Town shanty towns and the future of fm.  An emerging topic from the conference earlier in the week, and continued on the walk – the need for Aggressive Facilities Management

On blogs, Mel’s excellent article over at Elemental on Global air conditioning while Phil at ZeroChampion has an interesting post on Should we carbonize interest rates? and Pam over at Public Works talks from the trenches on investing in infrastruture in the face of credit crunch.

The Guardians articles that ‘revealed‘ the UK Governments blue print plans for a tougher approach to climate change. Many of which involved housing or buildings. Now why was this not included within the UK Government Strategy for Sustainable Construction. Joined up thinking, just in time thinking?

On a similar line a German town forces homes to fix solar tiles

Eco towns seem to be never out of the news with google alerts working overtime – has the opposition changed, from ‘we cant build zero carbon’, to ‘nimbyism’ to what now seems to be the ‘tescopolising’ of eco-towns. Next weeks headline? Eco towns ate my cat.  But today the Guardian reports on the forthcoming report that criticizes eco town proposals:

The choice of sites put on a shortlist to be England’s first ecotowns has been strongly criticised for their lack of adequate public transport links and other shortcomings by a government advisory panel.

George Monbiot on coalWe must leave the fossil century behind to reach the golden age of renewable energy, Mr Brown – making the important comment that its not what we do but what we stop doing

And finally, for now, much blogging and twittering of the planned be2camp event in London in October. here here and here