Monday, February 15, 2010

Istanbul 2010 European Capital of Culture

Zoeller 507-0005 Basement Sentry Battery Backup Pump SystemIstanbul has been designated as a "2010 European Capital of Culture" by the European Union. There are a lot of cultural things to see and do in Istanbul, but you would be hard pressed to find them from the official web site. Most useful is the calendar of events. See also my Istanbul by Public Transport.

There are two official documents. Unfortunately, while these must be magnificent in printed format, with high quality photos of the city, they are too large and cumbersome when translated into PDF documents. It is a shame some of this effort was not put into making a more usable web site. The official web home page had 255 HTML Validation errors and is not mobile friendly.

One document is the "Istanbul 2010 2010 European Capital of Culture Program". This is 137 pages of PDF (15 Mbytes):
Hayati Yazıcı / 6
Hüsamettin Kavi / 7
Sekib Avdagiç / 8
Yılmaz Kurt / 9
Pécs / 16
Ruhr / 18
Vısual Arts / 22
Musıc / 40
Theatre and Performıng Arts / 62
Fılm Documentary Anımatıon / 76
Tradıtıonal Arts / 84
Internatıonal Relatıons / 92
Urban Culture / 108
Educatıon / 120
Lıterature / 126
Cultural Herıtage and Museums / 136
Urban Implementatıons / 150
Urban Projects / 166
Marıtıme / 184
Corporate Relatıons / 190
Promotıon / 198
Parallel Actıvıtıes Supported by Istanbul 2010 / 210
The second publication is the Istanbul 2010 Magazine (49 pages, 14 Mbytes of PDF):
10 Cultural and art events calendar
14 Private museums
20 Interview HAYAT‹ YAZICI, Minister of State:
“2010 is the year in which change begins”

28 Yenikap›: Istanbul 8,500 years ago
Discovering the future in the trails of the past
Tsunami and pickle effect
36 An ArcheoPark in Küçükyal›
40 Sur-i Sultani will be protected
The Story of the Strategic Plan for Sur-i Sultani
44 First city museum to be founded on the Islands
46 Interview ‹LBER ORTAYLI, President of Topkap› Palace Museum “2,000 Years of Common Heritage”

50 Interview
"Istanbul will be a stage for arts and life to act upon"
54 Interview PAUL MCMILLEN and HAKKI MISIRLIO⁄LU, creative directors of Istanbul 2010 ECOC Agency's domestic and international promotional campaings
60 Literature
40 books, 40 authors, 40 districts: “‹stanbulum”
64 Art is Everywhere!

Works and Lives in Istanbul
Portable Arts
Photography Parade
Kad›rga Art Production Centre
70 Cinema
1001 Istanbuls in My Binocular
Cinema Lies as the Heart of Istanbul
At›f Y›lmaz Studio
74 European Culture Award goes to “41º-29º ‹stanbul Network”
75 Istanbul’s Century-Long Transformation: 1910-2010 exhibition
76 Istanbul on the stage!
First Istanbul International Opera Festival
Seond Istanbul International Ballet Competition
Dance, theatre, music: Barbarossa
80 Classical Turkish Music is being archived
82 Inspired
84 Symbols of the City
90 Books and CDs on Istanbul
92 Leaving trails behind
EU Culture Capital is a well deserved honour, but curious as:
  1. There are three such capitals for 2010: the other two are Essen in Germany and Pécs in Hungary
  2. Istanbul is not a member of the EU
  3. Only half of Istanbul is geographically in Europe, the other half is in Asia.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

European Draft Environmental Handbook

The European Commission has invited Consultation on the International Reference Life Cycle Data System (ILCD) Handbook by 31 August 2009. Unfortunately the invitation to comment is written in almost unintelligible bureaucratic language. It was difficult to work out from the invitation what it was comments were being invited about. The documents themselves are much better written than the request for comment and are poorly served by it.

Five PDF files are provided, which appear to be the manual, although the word "manual" is not used:

  1. General guidance document for Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)
  2. Specific guidance document for generic or average Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) data sets
  3. Analysis of existing Environmental Impact Assessment methodologies for use in Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) - Background Document
  4. Framework and requirements for Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) models and indicators
  5. Review schemes for Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and annex on Reviewer qualification
Below is the executive summary of the general guidance document. While well written, it suffers from having been poorly formatted as large PDF files. The distribution of documents in this format is contrary to sound environmental practice. It should be replaced with an efficiently formatted web document which meets accessibility standards.

I have suggested the documents be reformatted to achieve 80/100 with the W3C mobileOK Checker and pass Priority 1 and 2 tests on a automated accessibility test. This will make it easier for people, and web search engines, to read the document and also reduce its carbon footprint by 90%.
Executive summary

Life Cycle Thinking (LCT) and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) are moving into the core of modern environmental policies and business decision support.

Life Cycle Assessment is a structured, internationally standardised method and management tool for quantifying the emissions, resources consumed, and environmental and health impacts that are associated with goods and services (“products”). LCAs take into account the product’s full life cycle: from the extraction of resources, production, use and recycling, up to the disposal of remaining waste. LCAs help thereby to avoid resolving one environmental problem while creating another: They avoid the so-called “shifting of burdens”, e.g. from one part of the life cycle to another, amongst different types of impacts on the natural environment and on human health, and amongst countries.

This guidance document is a component of the International Reference Life Cycle Data System (ILCD). It provides a detailed technical guidance to the ISO 14040 and 14044 standards on LCA, differentiated by four main decision contexts. The overall objective is to provide a common basis for consistent and quality-assured life cycle data and robust studies. These are required in support of coherent and reliable policies and robust decision support in the public and private sectors and related to products, resources and waste management.

Background / The International Reference Life Cycle Data System (ILCD)

The International Reference Life Cycle Data System (ILCD) has been established to support the use of consistent and quality-assured life cycle data and methods in the public and private sectors.

The ILCD consists primarily of the ILCD Handbook and the ILCD Data Network: The Handbook is a series of technical guidance documents in line with the ISO 14040 series and developed through peer review and public consultation. The Data Network is a web-based, decentralised network of consistent and quality-assured life cycle inventory (LCI) data sets. This is ensured through compliance with the requirements of the ILCD Handbook. It is open for all data providers to join under their own terms and conditions.
Purpose and Addressees of this Guidance Document
Today, no commonly accepted guidance exists that complements the general framework given in the ISO 14040 series for ensuring consistent and reproducible life cycle data and robust assessments. However, for use in policy context and for reliable decision support in the public and private sectors, such foundations are indispensable.

This document provides guidance for the planning, performance, review, and documentation of life cycle emission and resource consumption inventory (LCI) data sets and life cycle assessments, as defined in the ISO 14040 and 14044 standards. Such data sets and assessments are the basis for all types of applications, such as e.g. ecolabels, carbon footprint declarations, eco-design studies.
The main target audience for this technical guidance document is the LCA practitioner. This document also serves as an introduction to the main technical principles and requirements of Life Cycle Assessment, providing many illustrative in-line examples and graphics. It is however not meant to be a comprehensive and detailed introduction or training material for beginners.

Approach and principles followed

The relevant ISO 14040 and 14044 standards, existing LCA handbooks, and the general LCA literature have been analysed to compile a set of “needs for guidance” and to obtain input in form of approaches and arguments.

Reflecting the global nature of product life cycles and the necessity of having globally agreed methods and data, the ILCD is developed through consultation with UNEP and with non-European national authorities developing LCA databases. This is currently facilitated by the European Commission, including interactions with representatives of its 27 Member States. The consultation on first drafts equally included the about 40 members of the advisory groups of business associations, LCA software and database developers, as well as life cycle impact assessment method developers. The development and consultation procedures can be found at .

Building on this state-of-the-art analysis and ISO 14044 as main basis, this guidance document has been developed towards a practical guidance. The stakeholder process (up to the achieved status) is documented in Explanatory Memoranda for each ILCD System component; access via .

The uptake or endorsement of this document and the other ILCD System components by governments and businesses as well as other stakeholders is independent of this technical development.

Key Issues Addressed in this Guidance Document

This document provides a complete technical guidance, based on the ISO 14040 and 14044 standards. It is further detailing and specifying the ISO provisions along four main decision-context situations that were identified as being of relevance in LCA and in need of differentiated guidance:

• Situation I ("Short-term product decision support"): Decision support for near future: LCI data for EPDs and Type I Ecolabel, weak-point analysis for eco-design, background LCI data for generic use, etc.
• Situation II ("Future product decision support"): Decision support for more remote future, scenario based: System changes with none or small scale effects on the background system
• Situation III ("Future strategy decision support"): Decision support for more remote future, scenario based: System changes with effects in the background system at society or sector level
• Situation IV ("Monitoring"): Monitoring (typically of past or present situation): Documentation of what has happened, not for direct decision support or comparisons

Focus is on issues that give rise to differences in current practice of developing life cycle data sets and in assessments. Among these the two main issues are around the questions:
- How to model the life cycle of a product (i.e. depicting the supply-chain or analysing expected consequences associated with changes), and closely related
- How to share the environmental impacts of a process among co-products if it has more than one (e.g. by allocation of impacts based on allocation criteria or by crediting for avoided production of replaced alternative products).

A detailed discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of the related methods and approaches and their applicability in practice provides the basis for this guidance, including which option to use when.

In addition, the following issues that need guidance are worked out in more detail as well:
- the question which kinds of activities are to be included in LCA, how to relate them to the analysed product, and how to quantify the completeness of the data,
- how to avoid misleading LCA studies,
- how to meet the requirements of transparency and reproducibility in context of potentially sensitive or proprietary process data and information,
- when to use primary data from goods producers and service operators and when secondary data can be used, and
- how to capture and evaluate the quality of life cycle data and assessment results.

The sub-structure of this document reflects the practical work-flow of performing an LCA. “Actions” at the end of chapters condense the guidance to a check-list style practice guidance. References to the corresponding chapter in the ISO 14044 standard are given in each chapter.

Open issues

The condensation of this main guidance into specific guidance documents for different types of LCI and LCA studies is ongoing and will be completed after the consultations.

The summary of the outcome of the parallel work on review is to be integrated into the “Review” chapter of this document.
A “translation” of this guidance into sector-specific manuals could be beneficial. ...

From: General guidance document for Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), International Reference Life Cycle Data System (ILCD) Handbook, Draft for Public Consultation, 1 June 2009

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Life Cycle Assessment

The European Commission's Joint Research Centre, Institute for Environment and Sustainability, is looking for independent experts to reviewer reports and papers on Life Cycle Assessment. They pay €450 a day. You can register online. This might be one for people with an academic background.

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Monday, February 02, 2009

ICT for a Global Sustainable Future

The European Commission has issued a draft document on "ICT for a Global Sustainable Future", held a conference and are inviting comments as part of its PARADISO project. While well meaning it is a shame the EU did not produce an accessible HTML version of the PARADISO document. The PDF version will be hard to download and hard to read. As well has making it hard to access for people on slow links in developing nations, it will generate excessive greenhouse gas emissions due to its inefficient encoding. As an example of the flaws in the document, the Introduction (text appended) has a photo of people in suits sitting in a meeting room. Having to wait and pay money to download this useless photo is not going to be seen as useful by those the document is supposedly trying to help.

The PARADISO project (see WWW.PARADISO-FP7.EU) launched with the support of the European Commission (DG INFORMATION SOCIETY AND MEDIA) aims at identifying strategic research directions on network and service infrastructures suited to the perspective of a global (truly) sustainable future.

The European Union is undoubtedly one of the best placed world powers to proactively promote a new concept of progress, based on revised social, environmental and economic objectives: a true sustainable development, more sustainable economic growth, more equally shared resources, eventually the well-being of peoples around the world, measured through a new “beyond GDP” index related to the progress of societies.

Which ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) applications and services will be needed to support these new objectives? More precisely, which network and service infrastructures will have to be developed?

The PARADISO project, launched in March 2008 and run by SIGMA ORIONIS and the CLUB OF ROME (through its Italian Chapter: the Aurelio Peccei Foundation) will investigate this disruptive paradigm and identify the ICT research areas that have to be explored in this perspective.
The paradigm is being investigated - and the innovative research will be identified - through “The PARADISO reference document”, based to a large extent on the outputs of two international events organised by the project: a scientific workshop (on June 12-13, 2008 in Brussels) and an open conference (on January 22-23, 2009 in Brussels).

The present document is the very first version of the PARADISO reference document, prepared after the PARADISO scientific workshop. It will be extended in the second half of 2008, taking in particular into account the
feedback from the participants in this workshop (see attendee list on next page), and the inputs received from other individuals and organisations, since the document will be made available in the public area of the
PARADISO WEB SITE for open consultation. A more substantial document will thus be prepared before the end of 2008 and discussed on the occasion of the PARADISO open conference of January 2009.

The final version of the document will be released following this conference and widely disseminated so that the key PARADISO messages (a foreseeable paradigm shift worldwide in the definition of societal progress, the proactive role Europe can play to show the way to this better future, the central contribution ICT can bring to achieving revised economic, environmental and social objectives) can be conveyed to the widest possible community and eventually have an impact on the political agenda.

In the meantime, the PARADISO project stakeholders are considering options to build on these first modest achievements, and to further develop the activities of their cross-disciplinary and multi-stakeholder “think and action tank” addressing sustainable future issues with a focus on ICT. All options logically include a close connection with organisations involved in similar activities in Europe and worldwide, in order that synergies can be exploited and that the impact of all initiatives can be even greater and best serve the building of a true sustainable future for peoples around the world.

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