Can Renewables Really Power our Cities?

Over the course of history, the city has evolved from an “agropolis” based on surrounding resources to a “petropolis” reliant on far-away food and fossil fuels. Now, with those environmentally-dangerous energy needs becoming harder to meet, can we make another transition to the “ecopolis?”

In this podcast, we’ll look at the economic and logistical challenges in powering our cities with renewable energies. Some say it can be done – but only with a major re-evaluation of our current growth patterns.


Herbert Girardet, co-founder of the World Future Council and author of the book “Cities, People, Planet,” talks about the historic transformation the world’s cities have undergone. He’ll also describe the latest transformation, driven by rapid technological change, environmental concerns and energy supply constraints.

We’ll also speak with Nate Hagens of the Post Carbon Institute about the uphill battle that renewables face in the transition to a clean energy future. He’ll talk about the concept of Net Energy and why it may be more difficult to overtake fossil energies than we’d like to admit.

Finally, we’ll chat with our contributor Denis Dubois of Energy Priorities Magazine about the sustainable neighborhood at the Vancouver Olympics this year. Dubois had the chance to tour the site, and we’ll speak to him about what the project means for the cause of sustainable urban planning.

Inside Renewable Energy is a weekly audio news program featuring stories and interviews on all the latest developments in the renewable energy industries.


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I am a reporter with, a blog published by the Center for American Progress. I am former editor and producer for, where I contributed stories and hosted the Inside Renewable Energy Podcast. Keep in touch through twitter! My profile name is: Stphn_Lacey

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