17 episodes

Join Lee Evans (not that one) as we look at the pioneering people, products, ideas and initiatives building the better world we need right now, before they've made it into the mainstream
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The Making Good Podcast Making Good

    • Technology
    • 5.0, 1 Rating

Join Lee Evans (not that one) as we look at the pioneering people, products, ideas and initiatives building the better world we need right now, before they've made it into the mainstream
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    Nature & culture in rapidly densifying Indian cities, with Prof Harini Nagendra

    Nature & culture in rapidly densifying Indian cities, with Prof Harini Nagendra

    Harini Nagendra is Professor of Sustainability at Azim Premji University in Karnataka, India. Her work explores the evolving relationship between people and nature in Indian cities, with publications including Nature in the City, Bengalaru in the Past, Present and Future (2016) and Cities and Canopies: Trees in Indian Cities(2019). We explored the way that ancient and more recent human activity helped shape the region's ecology and in particular the way that Bangalore's development has been informed by the need to manage scarce water resources - but also how the particularities of indigenous culture have lent a deeper everyday connection with and understanding of nature - and what (and how) we can learn from the way these challenges are being met.
    Talking points
    - the role nature in rapidly urbanising countries/densifying cities
    - animism and the spiritual connection with nature
    - how to engage with indigenous approaches to ecology, and how they improve upon colonial attitudes 
    - ecological memory and forgetting in indian cities
    - how resource (water) scarcity and human activity to compensate for it has shaped Karnataka’s ecology and the regions’ priorities for modern GI interventions
    - medicine, food and scent as drivers of our experience of nature in the city
    - why citizen restoration movements rather than municipalities are the key drivers of ecological enhancement 
    - how the pandemic story is unfolding in India, and the implications for social urban development

    LINKS
    Prof Harini Nagendra - @HariniNagendra
    Robin Hobbs - Farseer Trilogy via bookshop.org
    The Nature of Cities

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    • 1 hr 6 min
    Healthy habitats: neuroscience & built environment, with Araceli Camargo

    Healthy habitats: neuroscience & built environment, with Araceli Camargo

    This week’s guest is Araceli Camargo (@aracelicamargo_), cognitive neuroscientist with @TheCentricLab in London. Araceli joined me to talk about the emerging role of neuroscience in explaining how built environments can create pathologies in the people that live in them and what that means for the people affected. We talked about how every planner, architect, consultant and developer working in ways that shape the built environment are also - whether they know it or not - healthcare practitioners, and how this can and will increasingly shape the way we design and build the places that we live. 
    Talking points:

    What exactly is neuroscience, and how does it help us understand how people experience their (built) environment
    What is biological inequality, how has it arisen and what are strategies for tackling it?
    Why health isnt only (or even mainly) the absence of illness
    Why construction phase is as critical as post-occupancy
    Blame and self-esteem: what the pandemic has revealed about the role of authority and infrastructure in health outcomes, and what that suggests about personal responsibility for health outcomes
    Links
    The Centric Lab
    Red Nation podcast and Twitter @The_Red_Nation
    Ibram X Kendi - How to be an Antiracist via bookshop.org



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    • 1 hr 21 min
    Green Infrastructure before and after the pandemic, with Peter Massini

    Green Infrastructure before and after the pandemic, with Peter Massini

    This weeks guest is Peter Massini, green infrastructure policy and practice lead for the Greater London Authority (GLA). We discussed what green infrastructure comprises and why it should be seen as comparable in importance to transport, energy and sewage networks, as well its history in the parks movement and more recently nature conservation (particularly rare species of birds who's adopted habitats in brownfield sites around the city were endangered by urban regneration)
    We also unpacked how its funded and regulated in London and the way that national frameworks might interact (and sometimes conflict) with local initiatives. And of course we spent some time thinking through how what we know about the pandemic so far might indicate some of the opportunities and obstacles we’ll see being thrown up green infrastructure.  
    LINKS
    Future Nature by Bill Adams - shop via bookshop.org https://bookshop.org/books/future-nature-a-vision-for-conservation/9781853839986
    Song of the Dodo by David Quammen - shop via bookshop.org https://bookshop.org/books/the-song-of-the-dodo-island-biogeography-in-an-age-of-extinctions/9780684827124
    @grassroofco - The Grass Roof Company



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    • 1 hr
    Urban & rural rewilding: nature recovery networks, with Dr Tony Whitbread

    Urban & rural rewilding: nature recovery networks, with Dr Tony Whitbread

    This week's guest is Dr Tony Whitbread, independent ecologist and former Chief Executive of Sussex Wildlife Trust. Tony joined me to talk about rewilding - what wild means in a modern 21st country, and how it relates to other kinds of nature conservation that continue and which have gone before. We explored the various scales at which we can think about rewilding, the difference between applying in urban and non-urban areas, the obstacles we’ll face in linking up the core areas of wild space and bringing them into our cities - and how we can overcome them, both practically and in terms of how to communicate the benefits with the wider population.
    Talking points include:
    -Rethinking value
    -What ragwort can tell us about how to communicate rewilding 
    -How far does a policy like biodiversity net gain get us without enforcement?
    -Nature recovery networks as a framework for thinking about outcomes
    -Regenerative economics as a guide to post-CV recovery
    -What George Monbiot gets wrong about rewilding
    Tony's 3 good things:
    Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari - via bookstore.org
    George Monbiot on Twitter - https://twitter.com/georgemonbiot
    The Mens and Ebernoe Common nature reserves

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    • 1 hr 4 min
    Biomimicry with Lydia Fraaije

    Biomimicry with Lydia Fraaije

    This week's guest is biomimicry expert and architect Lydia Fraaije, who joined me to discuss the application of biology - and especially the study of nanostructures - to building and product design, and how explain how insights from the study of ecosystems can improve the resilience and output of social groups including public and commercial organisations.
    Lydia has three companies in this field working - Bio^Mi, Fraaije Architecten and Spinwaves. We talked about how biomimicry relates to the more familiar disciplines of 'biophilic' and closed loop design, material passports, libraries and harvest masters, and how close biomimicry is to becoming a mainstream discipline.
    LINKS
    Janine Benyus - Biomimicry in action
    Frans de Waal - Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?
    Tamsin Woolley-Barker - Teeming: How Superorganisms Work Together To Build Wealth On A Finite Planet
    Cascading Sustainability business consultants

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    • 56 min
    Clean energy transition, with Kayla Ente

    Clean energy transition, with Kayla Ente

    This week's guest is Kayla Ente, founder and CEO of BHESCO, who joined me to talk about the politics and economics of the clean energy transition. We covered a lot of ground, and there's lots here to inspire and encourage as well as a deep dive into the complexities, obstacles and opportunities in the landscape at the moment. Topics include

    How the margins involved in PV hamper traditional financial investors from supporting uptake
    Property ownership mix in generation rent as a drag on retrofit and the move to reduce energy use and decarbonising fuel 
    How property owners can get involved, and why the new retrofit coordinator role is so important in our net zero strategy 
    How homes of the future will be heated and powered, and how fast the changes are happening
    The psychology of clean growth
    The failure of the green new deal and the impact on the ecosystem of expertise needed to undertake the clean energy transition
    The opportunities for British higher education to pivot to clean energy training
    Stacking the benefits of decarbonising gas-dependent villages
    The political economy of nuclear power vs renewables
    Biomethane and fuel from food & agricultural waste
    LINKS
    BHESCO
    Retrofit Works
    Energy Vault
    Community Energy South
    Community Energy England
    This Changes Everything - Naomi Klein
    Energy Revoution - Howard Johns
    Resurgence Magazine
    Satish Kumar

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    • 1 hr 16 min

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