Developing Green Economies for Cities -APCEL News Report

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E/Prof Koh Kheng-Lian was invited by the United Nations for Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) & Finance Center for South-South Cooperation together with Ökostadt to present a paper, and an exhibition on Sino- Singapore Tianjin Eco-City. The title of her presentation was “The Sino- Singapore Tianjin Eco-City and the BRI ‘Bridge for Cities’ ”.
Her exhibition was one of the eight exhibitions, entitled, One-Belt-One-Road and Sustainable City Exhibition and Dialogue. There were over 400 participants which included representatives from 220 organizations/institutions/companies, 113 cities, and 50 countries. This is a significant conference & exhibition sponsored by the Peoples Republic of China which recently launched its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).  

Read more about APCEL News Report July to Dec 2017 Final

The unsustainable history  of SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle)

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SUVs (Sports Utility Vehicles) are becoming increasingly popular – a paradox!

Before US car companies developed the new car type- the SUV- there were ingenious constructions of cars with fuel consumption of about 1.2 liters per 100 km. This was in line with rising mobility demands, dwindling supplies of oil, and growing concerns about climate change. Although the SUVs required on average 10 times as much fuel, the US government favored the SUV, offered tax incentives and stopped promoting the further development of fuel-efficient and electric cars. The SUV was a triumphal development,  still not ending.  Moreover, the US government called on its citizens to buy a house outside the city and offered low down payment and interest on the loans. The author of this posting himself acquired a house near Philadelphia, where the bank granted him a 120% loan with a low-interest rate and, also, put a large tax-exempt SUV in front of the garage door. The author lived with the feeling of being able to afford everything in the USA. There were hardly any reasons to pay much attention to “sustainability” and environment. One looked fascinated at global finance capitalism and was annoyed only by the outrageous bonuses to the acrobats of the financial circus. These magicians wrapped the mortgages in Christmas paper and sold them on to banks around the world to reduce the risk of US state-owned mortgage lenders (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac). In 2007 and 2008, the mortgage bank crisis broke out, which in turn disrupted the global financial system. The investment banks, which were commissioned by the US government, bet for themselves that the mortgages become worthless. Back to SUV! The aforementioned urban sprawl and the tax-subsidized fuel-cutting SUV combined with the shock of crude oil prices in 2007 and 2008 and mortgage interest rates triggered the crisis, which can be outlined as follows (Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker, Factor Five, The Formula One sustained growth, 2009): 2007: world oil prices go crazy -> long-distance commuting becomes a nightmare in the US -> the pumped-up houses lose value -> subordinate mortgages turn into financial junk -> mortgage banks crash. This triggers an avalanche, many car stocks are scrap. Over the next 20 years, the shift to electric motors and digitization will lead to further economic upheavals that require a transformation of capitalism (destructive innovation, Joseph Schumpeter).

Roland Leithenmayr VfV


2nd BRI Event – Belt and Road Initiative: Developing Green Economies for Cities, 26 – 28 Sept 2017, Vienna, Austria

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APCEL NEWS Highlights: 1 July – 31 December 2017

E/Prof Koh Kheng-Lian was invited by the United Nations for Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO- Vienna-AUSTRIA) & Finance Center for South-South Cooperation together with Ökostadt to present a paper, and an exhibition on Sino- Singapore Tianjin Eco-City. The title of her presentation was “The Sino- Singapore Tianjin Eco-City and the BRI ‘Bridge for Cities’ ”. Her exhibition was one of the eight exhibitions, entitled, One-Belt-One-Road and Sustainable City Exhibition and Dialogue. There were over 400 participants which included representatives from 220 organizations/institutions/companies, 113 cities, and 50 countries. This is a significant conference & exhibition sponsored by the Peoples Republic of China which recently launched its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

E/Prof Koh Kheng-Lian 





Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City

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Many discussions arise about Eco-Cities sustainability. One of the more advanced is the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City. It was a pleasure to hear the presentation of Dr. KOH, Emeritus Professor, Faculty of Law, NUS; and Honorary Director, Asia-Pacific Centre for Environmental Law, National University of Singapore. Thank You Dr. KOH Kheng-Lian. 



Download in pdf: Tianjin Eco-City

“Business Call to Action” to achieve Sustainable Development Goals

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Enterprises want to open the huge underserved market of potential customers, – people with low incomes. To this end, businesses develop new business models reflecting customers, employees, suppliers respectively all affected stakeholders in their value chains. The concurrent inclusion of “poor people” in value-added chains dramatically improve their access to goods, services and income, and their situation. The goal is that companies contribute achieving the UN 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The United Nations program “Business Call to Action” supports enterprises in their application of “Inclusive Business Models” especially for developing and emerging countries,,

Roland Leithenmayr

Presentation: Bridge for Cities, Belt & Road Initiative: Developing Green Economies for Cities, 2nd BRI Event –, 26 to 28 September 2017, Vienna International Centre Vienna, Austria


Sustainable Cities and their Liveability

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The Global Liveability Report 2017

For the first time in a decade, global liveability is finally showing an improvement. The latest findings of The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Liveability Report (assessing which locations around the world provide the best or worst living conditions) reveal that after a decade recording a fall in global liveability, it has finally stabilized.  The current improvement does, however, come against a backdrop of some notable declines in livability, with recent terror attacks highlighting the continued threat of global terrorism.

What are the latest findings from this year’s report? And which cities feature in the rankings as this year’s most and least livable?  

Download the free report by clicking on the button below.


P.S.: For the seventh consecutive year, Melbourne in Australia is the most liveable urban centre of the 140 cities surveyed, closely followed by the Austrian capital, Vienna.

Kind regards,

Robert Ward

Editorial Director


Climate Change Denial

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Climate change is a serious threat! One of the primary causes is our current wealthy lifestyles affecting poor countries, human, animals, biodiversity and our future generation. Certain individuals want more evidence and deny the problem caused by climate change. Most of the arguments used in a climate change debate turn around giving up their own conveniences to help the poor or weak. This is not a convincing argument to someone who is tough-minded, suffers under close-mindedness and predisposition, and considers the world from a hierarchical view. It’s better to describe how everyone will benefit to battle against the climate change and don’t see it as a threat to their own economy or current social structure. The question is how the issue of climate change can best be presented to people to convince them of the need for action.(Kirsti Jylhä) 

Web source: accessed 7. July 2017 

Letter to Donald Trump

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 A note of concern

Logo of Congo

Mr. President, you have withdrawn from the Paris Agreement at your peril – and at the peril of humankind.

The main objective of the agreement is to protect our planet from environmental, economic and social catastrophe and so safeguard its future.

Global warming is a man-made threat to the Earth and its inhabitants. The global climate is changing, seas are rising and ice caps are melting. Our habitat and we are at enormous risk on account of greenhouse gas emissions.

All nations, developed and developing alike, have accepted those facts. They came to the negotiating table in Paris and brokered an honest and historic deal to prevent our planet from overheating to such an extent that it may never recover.

You, Mr. President, have elected misguidedly to break that deal. You have abandoned your country’s leadership role. Most regrettably, you have explicitly refused to do as much as you can to clean up the atmosphere that we all share. Sustainable energy and cleaner energy are key factors in the survival of humankind.

Mr. President, you have squandered an opportunity to pave the way in key emerging industries, thus creating a vacuum that China will waste no time in filling. You have also forgone the opportunity for your country’s industries and businesses to develop and profit from new solar and wind technologies. Moreover, you have wittingly ignored the growth potential for jobs in the related industrial sectors and the economic benefits of reduced emissions.

Overall, climate change will make it more difficult to grow crops, raise cattle and catch fish. Malnutrition and famine will follow in the wake of environmental collapse. Violent storms, warmer temperatures, and unrelenting drought will pose a threat to pastures and food supplies. Many of those most in need will lack the water and food essential to their survival. The children of the world and their children’s children are at an almost insurmountable risk.

Nothing, Mr. President, stands to be gained from ignoring climate change or hankering nostalgically for the past. For the sake of the world’s population, all countries must take up the challenges and seize the opportunities of the future. We must all make the world great again.

Logo of Congo

NGO Committee on Sustainable Development


Nursing School for Women in Afghanistan

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Hi there,

My name is Hana from the United Nations Development Programme, and I’m so glad you’re here! My job is to find great stories about the work we do, stories of amazing people around the world who fuel us with hope for the future.

A few days ago you gave us your email address, so we want to hear from you: what stories inspire you? Hit reply to this email and tell me.
I’m excited to share our stories with you, one story at a time. I hope you’ll find them just as compelling and inspiring as I do. Here’s your first one:

Afghanistan has one of the highest maternal and child mortality rates in the world. A lack of health facilities in rural areas, combined with a scarcity of female health workers, means that many women don’t receive the healthcare they desperately need.

But women like Abida are set to change this situation. Along with 200 classmates, she will graduate from nursing school this year and will go to work in some of the poorest villages in her home province.

“I’m here to learn something so I can serve my village and my country,” Abida explains. “I’m really proud to do this. I try to study as hard as I can.”

The nursing school in Jalalabad is one of six across the country that are training more than 200 nurses. Set up by the Afghan Ministry of Public Health with support from UNDP, the school is training a new generation of female healthcare workers. When the first class graduates, these new nurses will return to some of the most disadvantaged parts of Afghanistan, bringing much-needed health care to women in the hardest to reach communities.

“I don’t waste a single day without learning,” says Abida. “I don’t want to see a mother die on the way to a clinic, or see her child become an orphan.”

Check out this photo gallery of Abida and her classmate’s training to become nurses.

Stay tuned for more terrible stories like Abida’s that are inspiring hope around the world.


Hana and the UNDP team

Sustainable Development Goals – Development of Games and Quizes

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The World’s Future –  IIASA and the OECD team up to test a simulation game developed by IIASA researchers on Sustainable Development Goals With the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and 17 SDGs, the international community has created a comprehensive and indivisible set of goals attaching equal importance to environmental, social and economic concerns. This acknowledges for the first time that transformation to sustainable and resilient societies cannot happen with a “business as usual”, siloed approach and that a systems approach is a necessary condition for successful transformation.




‘2030 Hive Mind’, a Sustainable Development Goals game


Sustainable development quiz: what do you know about the global goals?

New mobile app launches to drive action on Sustainable Development Goals

The Global Goals – Memory Game

Do you know your Global Goals? What about the progress that has been made since 2000, and the challenges that still remain for our planet and its people until 2030? 

Test your memory skills and your expertise on sustainable development with this game!

Can you choose the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals?

SDG Game & Quiz – Miniaturansicht des ScreenshotsSDG Game & Quiz

SDG Game & Quiz enables all people to easily learn about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals – SDGs, invokes the importance of doing everything possible to achieve them and enables users to suggest solutions to achieve them.

The SDGs are the targets of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development announced on 25-27 September 2015 at the United Nations, New York.

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals are all featured in the comprehensive game, enabling users to obtain a full education on the SDGs while having fun playing the game and taking the quiz.

Board Game

The game aims to help teach children around the world about the Sustainable Development Goals in a simple and child-friendly way.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development