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Repair to redefine cities

Sustainia is an innovation platform where companies, NGOs, foundations and thought leaders come together to support and work with a tangible approach to sustainability. The Danish organization has come up with 10 sustainable ideas to transform cities – we at Plastic Surgeon, though, feel than our repair expertise could easily make us the eleventh …

So what is it all about? Sustainia 100 consists of a collection of ideas surrounding living in a manner that does not diminish the planet; mainly relying on solutions, facts or situations that already exist that can be capitalized on. For example, idea number one Climate Resilient Neighborhood relates to Copenhagen, which wants to create a green climate resilient neighborhood in the city’s Østerbro district. Here, planners want to prepare the city for heavy rain with green solutions at street level. The improvements will create lush, green urban spaces, while leading water from cloudbursts away from inhabited buildings to areas where it causes no damage. 

Across the Atlantic, Dynamic Parking Pricing is taking shape: SFpark is pioneering parking management using demand-responsive pricing to make parking easier for urban dwellers in San Francisco, while reducing emissions due to circling for parking. Under the slogan “Circle less, live more,” SFpark manages parking demand in the city by collecting and distributing real-time information about where parking is available, periodically adjusting meter and garage rates at the same time. The aim is to reduce double parking and at the same time, drivers circling looking for a space.

Here in the UK, meanwhile, Retrofitting an Inner-City District is happening (Sustainia idea no 10): In the heart of London, a 66 acre development at King’s Cross is creating 50 new buildings, 2,000 new homes, 20 new streets, and 10 new parks and public spaces. The cultural heritage of the area was given priority during the “retrofitting” process. Reuse of heritage buildings and programs to create affordable homes are in place in order to protect social and cultural diversity.

These are just three of the diverse ideals from Sustainia – you blogger will contribute what we feel idea number 11 would look like:

Title: Repairing Rather than Replacing

The mission statement here would read: “Plastic Surgeon is intervening in cities across the UK to help them reduce their carbon footprint and emissions. The repair specialist, in collaboration with local city councils, social housing providers, educational establishments, NHS and facilities management specialists is continuing to look at what can be mended rather than sent to landfill. In the first month this year, Plastic Surgeon repaired 120 sinks for St Barts Hospital, 4,320 windows and doors for a South-east London housing association and 147 public toilets in and around the city of London.

“Additionally, the company has repaired bus stops, repainted lamp posts and restored the façades of several historic buildings within the city’s centre – including damaged stonework at the V&A museum, a vandalized monument in Trafalgar Square and the column of the Grade II listed St Martins Church, which had been sprayed with graffiti.

“Plastic Surgeon has, this year, saved over 1,000 tonnes of waste being sent to landfill in the UK – at the same time, saving the taxpayer over £1.5 million that the replacement of these damaged items would have incurred, thanks to its repair ethos.”

You blogger could continue waxing lyrical for several more pages on the sustainability that our services offer. Though it may not be too long before you see my ideas listed in Sustainia’s transformative ideas top 100 strategies for making our cities better places to live.

 

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