Posted on 19/11/2012
Mr and Mrs Preston Bryant Jr (left) with Principal Layzell and his wife
In the Annual Sustainability Lecture at Royal Holloway last week, alumnus and Chairman of the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) in America, Mr L. Preston Bryant Jr, spoke about the advances both capital cities have made in addressing environmental challenges and achieving tangible results.
Quoting figures from the International Energy Agency (IEA), which estimate that urban areas could account for 74% of energy-related global greenhouse gases by 2030 (currently it stands at over 67%), Mr Bryant Jr impressed how vital it is that these issues are urgently addressed, to an audience of staff, students and members of the public.
Mr Bryant then looked at what the future holds, with both cities setting aggressive targets and creating roadmaps for achieving these targets in energy conservation, water quality improvement, public transportation, and waste reduction.
He explained that the key in achieving these targets, and a better future, lies with the programmes the cities are implementing. He held up the congestion charge and the development of the Olympic Park as examples of transformation in London, while Washington’s District Transit Programmes are helping to minimise parking and maximise ‘walkability’ through the Capitol Bike Share Programme, Zipcar car-share program and expanded metro line.
The lecture, organised jointly by the Centre for Research into Sustainability (CRIS) and Politics, Development and Sustainability Group, aims to put a spotlight on environmental issues and has included a number of high profile speakers including Lord May, former Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government and President of The Royal Society.
Professor Laura Spence is Director of CRIS, and Professor of Business Ethics at the School of Management.