Archive for June, 2008
Posted in Events by fedwards on June 30th, 2008
Please find a snapshot below of one of the more recent posts from SustainableMelbourne.com. To view the original post visit http://www.sustainablemelbourne.com/urban-design-and-built-form/resource-introduction-to-the-sustainable-cities-round-table-on-sustainable-food-systems-28-may/
Please find a brief abstract of an article in The Sunday Times below about the for and against’s about ecotowns. Comments are welcome below!
From The Sunday Times
June 15, 2008
Ecotowns: for and against
Ten new clean, green â€˜eco-townsâ€™ will be built by 2020. And pigs might fly, say critics. They argue that the government is bulldozing through a programme that will create the slum estates of the future
This is how it will be. Across the fair face of Albion, to the ringing of bells and the soft murmur of doves, appears a leafy flush of eco-towns. They are sun-dappled utopias, urban dreamworlds in which no human need is unfulfilled. Wildlife romps through bird-loud glades. People work at home or in business parks to which they can stroll or cycle. Public transport is swift, efficient and free, so cars are not needed. Community sports hubs, leisure and cultural facilities are so abundant that nobody wants to leave the town anyway. Children walk safely to schools in which the most popular subject is environmentalism. There are superstores for convenience, and farmersâ€™ markets for friends of the planet. Allotments, too, for those who want to grow their own. Energy is renewable, insulation total and the carbon footprint zero.
Nothing is wasted. Grey water goes onto the gardens. Rainwater is dispersed via permeable pavements, swales and ponds into wetland habitats, which channel it safely back into the aquifers and rivers where it belongs. The town never floods. There are no dustcarts. Residents put their rubbish into cylinders that discharge straight into underground vacuum tubes, which whisk it to the local recycling centre, where at least 50% of it finds new economic use. The rest of it is converted into heat or energy. Ill health and unfitness are rare aberrations.
Please find below a report about the ‘Edible Cities’ movement which was based on some urban agriculture projects a delegation from London, UK, visited in the US, supported by the US Embassy, as part of an exchange trip with Growing Power, Milwaukee.
The ‘Edible Cities’ report can be found here: http://www.sustainweb.org/page.php?id=432, and is available for free download.
A local network of home gardens = A community of food producers!
Victory Gardens 2008+
(VG2008+) is a program of Garden for the Environment and the City of San Francisco’s Department for the Environment. A two-year pilot project to support the transition of backyard, front yard, window boxes, rooftops and unused land into organic food production areas, Victory Gardens 2008+ derives its title from, and build on, the successful nationwide Victory Garden programs of WWI and WWII. Victory Gardens 2008+, however, redefines “Victory” in the pressing context of urban sustainability. “Victory” is growing food at home for increased local food security and reducing the food miles associated with the average American meal.
Victory Gardens 2008+ was ideated by San Francisco based artist and designer Amy Franceschini in the Fall of 2006, for which she received the 2006 SECA award from the SF MOMA. Amy Franceschini partnered with Garden for the Environment for the planting of three initial Victory Gardens, and to develop and operate a citywide Victory Gardens program in San Francisco.
Please find information about The Chatham House Food Supply Project published in May 2008.
Chatham House Food Supply Project, May 2008
Demand for food is increasing because the global population is rising and major developing economies are expanding. Global supply capacity, meanwhile, is struggling to keep up with changing requirements. Four global food supply scenarios have been developed by the Chatham House Food Supply Project to consider the challenges created and their impact on the EU/UK:
- ‘Just a Blip': what if the present high price of food proves to be a brief spike with a return to cheap food at some point soon?
- ‘Food Inflation': what if food prices remain high for a decade or more?
- ‘Into a New Era': what if today’s food system has reached its limits and must change?
- ‘Food in Crisis': what if a major world food crisis develops?
Across the world the responses to change will be conditioned by uncertainties surrounding the availability of sufficient energy, water, land and skills. EU/UK stakeholders need to start planning now to develop new food supply systems that are up to the task.
More about this project: UK Food Supply in the 21st Century: The New Dynamic.
Event – Growing Communitiesâ€™ Australian School Gardens Network Gathering and the Learning in the Garden Seminar, Brisbane, Australia – 13-15 July
A reminder of Growing Communitiesâ€™ Australian School Gardens Network Gathering and the Learning in the Garden Seminar, happening in Brisbane on 13th, 14th & 15 July 2008. With less than 4 weeks to go, make sure your registration is in by the 6th July to secure a place both at the gathering and at the seminar. To download full program and registration form go to http://www.growingcommunities.org.au/litg2008.htm
Since we started promoting the idea of gathering the school gardens community together, we found that there are many people and organisations around Australia working in some capacity in or with school gardens. Many of these people donâ€™t know of or have not heard of one anotherâ€™s work. We have also found that there is a growing interest in school gardens by NGOs, government and private bodies manifested with, in some cases, increasing support for school gardens initiatives at local, state and federal levels.
As a result Growing Communities see it as crucial that those working in this field should come together to look at these issues. It is of great value to explore ways of working cooperatively and examine the important role that school gardens will have in addressing pressing environmental, health and food security issues affecting Australia today.
We hope to see as many of you coming to Brisbane in July.
192 Boundary Street, West End, Qld 4101
Growing Communities is a community based cooperative enterprise working to promote the establishment, development and on-going support of school gardens, community gardens and city farms in South East Queensland and beyond.
Please find some information and a link about the new website, WorldChanging Seattle below. This fantastic site which originated from the very popular WorldChanging site, is based in place at Seattle which reminds me of many other sustainable-city related sites, namely SustainableMelbourne.com and SustainableRotterdam.com. Read on to learn more!
Who is Worldchanging?
Worldchanging is a solutions-based online magazine that works from a simple premise: that the tools, models and ideas for building a better future lie all around us. That plenty of people are working on tools for change, but the fields in which they work remain unconnected. That the motive, means and opportunity for profound positive change are already present. That another world is not just possible, it’s here. We only need to put the pieces together. Informed by that premise, we do our best to bring you the most important and innovative new tools, models and ideas for building a bright green future.
Worldchanging is part of a global conversation, but we’re also based in a place. Our headquarters are in Seattle, Washington, and we decided that our hometown was the best possible starting point for trying to bridge the global and local conversations. For many reasons, Seattle is an ideal basecamp for our conversation about how to create a sustainable city. We believe that its wealth of natural resources give Seattle policymakers a unique challenge when it comes to smart management. Seattle’s exploding population (if current rates continue, Washington state may double its population in less than 50 years) presents new challenges: Can we engineer a compact, efficient, appealing urban environment that will attract people into the city and help curb destructive sprawl? Can we create an infrastructure for moving people and goods that puts the needs of pedestrians and public transportation above those of personal vehicles? Can we take Seattle into the future?
Posted in Models by fedwards on June 24th, 2008
Please find below an interview about The GreenHouse project based in South Africa from Inhabitat.
The GreenHouse Project: Sustainable Living in Johannesburg
by Kate Andrews
In the heart of South African city Johannesburg, a green focused community is transforming one urban park into a seedbed for sustainable living. Directed by Dorah Lebelo, The GreenHouse Project takes a holistic approach to integrating green building and design, efficient and renewable energy, recycling and organic farming into the cityâ€™s mindset. The Global Oneness Project recently interviewed Dorah to find out her motivations and intentions for this fantastic sustainable initiative.
Copyright photo courtesy of The Global Oneness Project
Posted in Visions by fedwards on June 23rd, 2008
Please find an abstract below from a post listed on the blogsite: “A Town Square: Conversations about where we live“. I thought it would be interesting to SustainableCitiesNet.com readers.
The Next City?
June 13, 2008 by aandh
This past weekend the New York Times Magazine was devoted to architecture and urban design, and the issue was entitled â€œThe Next City.â€ I was crestfallen to see that the title of our project here had been scooped up. I was certain that we had been rendered obsolete – surely the NYT would get great journalists to talk about all of the issues facing the next city, and they would do so in a provocative and insightful way. They would spend time, and column inches, talking about making cities, even new and exploding cities in the developing world, sustainable and green and fit for their burgeoning populations. I was really bummed.
Until I read the magazine. At first I was puzzled, and then, as I began to reflect on what I had read, I started to get angry. Really angry.
Posted in Uncategorized by fedwards on June 19th, 2008
Please see a message below from Ami at Idealist.org.
“My name is Ami, and I am the director of Idealist.org. I am writing to ask you a favor. This month we are doing something special at Idealist, and we need your help to spread the word.
Here is the story. Posting a job on Idealist usually costs $60 (we are a nonprofit ourselves, and this small fee keeps us afloat) but starting today, and through the end of June, all job postings on Idealist are free for any nonprofit organization.
We are doing this so that any organization can try us at no cost, and our ultimate goal is to bring you every nonprofit job
that’s open around the country (as well as internships and volunteer opportunities, which are always free).
Lastly, here is a video we produced for this month, that describes why Idealist is the best place to post a nonprofit job: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-BQYIPILUU”