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Archive for October, 2008

Research on knowledge, food and place

Posted in Research by fedwards on October 30th, 2008

The information below was sourced from Tara Garnett at the Food Climate Research Network, Centre for Environmental Strategy University of Surrey, This is an excellent resource to receive updates on research and events on an international basis pertaining to sustainable food systems. To join the FCRN mailing list please email Tara at taragarnett

An article of interest for people in the local food production/ relocalisation area:
Forte, M. (2008). Knowledge, Food and Place. A Way of Producing, a Way of Knowing. Sociologica Ruralis. 48(3): 200-222.

This article examines the dynamics of knowledge in the valorisation of local food, drawing on the results from the CORASON project (A ‘cognitive approach to rural sustainable development the dynamics of expert and lay knowledge’). It is based on the analysis of several in-depth case studies on food relocalisation carried out in 10 European countries (Ireland, Scotland, Sweden, Germany, Norway, Poland, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Greece). In the different fields of rural studies (rural sociology, geography, anthropology) there is currently a wide debate about the relocalisation of food production and consumption.

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ABC News wants YOU to report from the future

Posted in Events by Devin Maeztri on October 28th, 2008

If you consider yourself as a citizen of the world and want to make contribution to the global community, ABC gives you the opportunity to make it happen! Roll your camera on and join the Earth2100 Project!

For more information on how to get involved visit the Earth2100.

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Bioneering ahead!

Posted in Visions by fedwards on October 28th, 2008

Posted recently on the excellent blog,, is a review of the Bioneers conference. Bioneers are “social and scientific innovators from all walks of life and disciplines who have peered deep into the heart of living systems to understand how nature operates, and to mimic “nature’s operating instructions” to serve human ends without harming the web of life“. Now in its 19th year the Bioneers conference had some fantastic speakers, including Janine Benyus, Ray Anderson, Bill McKibben, David Orr, Naomi Klein, and others. To view the review by author  Jeremy Faludi and get inspired by some innovative environmentally-engaged thought, click here.

Designing human-powered flight

Posted in Visions by fedwards on October 26th, 2008

Recently published on is the story of Paul MacCready, an aircraft designer who talks about what we all can do to preserve nature’s balance. His contribution: solar planes, superefficient gliders and the electric car. To view the footage click here.

RSVP now for the Sustainable Cities Round Table on Healthy Cities!

Posted in Uncategorized by fedwards on October 23rd, 2008 and the Victorian Eco-Innovation Lab (VEIL) invite you to:

The Sustainable Cities Round Table on Healthy Cities
Village Roadshow Theatrette, The State Library of Victoria
6-8pm, Wednesday12 November 2008
A free event!

In partnership with the Australasian Centre for the Governance and Management of Urban Transport (GAMUT) and the State Library of Victoria.

Register your attendance to by 7 November.
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New Food Ethics Council report: Food distribution: an ethical agenda

Posted in Research by fedwards on October 9th, 2008

The information below was sourced from Tara Garnett at the Food Climate Research Network, Centre for Environmental Strategy University of Surrey, This is an excellent resource to receive updates on research and events on an international basis pertaining to sustainable food systems. To join the FCRN mailing list please email Tara at taragarnett

This report by the Food Ethics Council examines the impact of food distribution networks on our environment, economy, culture and communities, and their contribution to climate change. It offers ‘a sustainable vision for the future of food distribution, and provides a roadmap for government, business and civil society to help get us there.’ The elements of the report’s vision for food in 2022 are as follows:

· The biggest cuts in greenhouse gas emissions come from changing what we eat and how it is produced rather than from cutting food miles. That means less meat and dairy, and more fruit and veg.
· We still trade food internationally but shift away from highly perishable produce to products that gain ‘added value’ and long-shelf life from basic processing near the point of production – fair trade chocolate or sun-dried fruit are examples where this happens already.
· Local food and urban farming flourish as efficient distribution hubs give small producers access to thriving independent high streets in towns and cities. This has the added benefits of giving shoppers the opportunity to support their local economy and engage with the people who grow and make their food.
· The weekly car trip to the supermarket gets replaced by well-stocked community convenience shops with direct delivery for the basics.

The report recommendations make interesting reading – see pages 7, 8 and 9 – and are directed at Government, the food industry and civil society.

You can download the report here: and read the press release here:

Do you have an idea to change the world – Project 10 to 100 – submission deadline 20 October!

Posted in Uncategorized by fedwards on October 9th, 2008

Google has launched Project 10100 – a project that calls for ideas to change the world by helping as many people as possible. Google believes the answers are already out there to help others – “Maybe in a lab, or a company, or a university — but maybe not. Maybe the answer that helps somebody is in your head, in something you’ve observed, some notion that you’ve been fiddling with, some small connection you’ve noticed, some old thing you have seen with new eyes”.

Google are also fully committed to funding the winning ideas. Time is running out for submissions – the deadline is 20 October – don’t miss out!

To learn more about Project 10100 visit their website.

Can Sustainable Cities Save The Planet?

Posted in Sustainable Cities by walter libby on October 8th, 2008

By Walter Libby

Can sustainable save the planet?
This is a good question and it deserves a good answer. But a more relevant question is, can sustainable cities save the United States? Our rising unemployment rate in the global economy has finally caught up with us—we are out of bubbles and are now a nation at risk. With nine straight months of job losses and a looming financial crisis, our prospects look grim—despite the efforts being made to prop up our financial system.

The problem is we are in liquidity trap. Here, despite low interest rates, the infusion of new blood, the cash that is being pumped into banks will just sit in their vaults as recession forces consumers to cut back on spending forcing firms to cut back on production, investments and workers perpetuating the cycle pushing the economy ever deeper into crisis.

The question now becomes, how do we get out the trap? We can’t look to a turn around in residential construction. But we can look to a turn around in our thinking as we shift from urban sprawl to the development of new cities designed along sustainable lines. So together with their development and the investments in renewable energy they will begin to pull us out of the trap.

The advent of peak oil has convinced venture capitalists to get busy in saving the planet. Now we have to sell the idea of new cities to investors, developers, and the people, and that requires a model that captures their imagination and investment dollars. So following in the footsteps of Ebenezer Howard, here’s how I see cities of tomorrow: clusters of neighborhoods (linked by elevated transportation arteries shared by electric vehicles, bikes, pedestrians and rapid transit systems) will form the city. These neighborhoods are large terraced multi-storied structures sheltering thousands. Here their terraces are reserved for greenhouses and homes and their centers for factories and fully controlled-environment farms.

So, as you walk out into your neighborhood you encounter not hallways but wide walkways, allies and breezeways lined with trees and plants, schools, hospitals, libraries, theaters, businesses, shops, and restaurants—all within walking distance, or a short elevator ride. And when you go to the first floor, at ground level you find barns (for pigs, beef and dairy cows, and chickens that are harvested next door) opening onto natural habitant mixed with organic farms, orchards, parks, playgrounds, and golf courses. Here, instead of sending our table and produce straps, our unwanted leftovers, dry bread, spoiled fruit to landfills, we recycle them to neighborhood barnyards or to community organic orchards and gardens.

Once there is a sufficient population, a larger central city is built. This is the cultural center of the whole. Here you have universities, the larger hospitals, museums, aquariums, zoos, sports stadiums, theaters for the performing arts, large central parks, plazas, street performers, and so on.

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Call for proposals: Addressing the climate vulnerabilities of urban Africa

Posted in Uncategorized by fedwards on October 2nd, 2008

To better prepare Africa’s urban settlements for climate variability and change, the Climate Change Adaptation in Africa (CCAA) program invites combined research and capacity building proposals that address the vulnerabilities of Africa’s urban centres to climate change, and will help urban stakeholders work together in developing adaptation options.

This call for proposals is co-funded by CCAA and IDRC’s Urban Poverty and Environment program. The application and project development process is led by CCAA.

Full details on this call can be found at: Completed applications, accompanied by full proposals, must be submitted no later than midnight, Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), November 30, 2008 to: ccaa-urbancall

The Climate Change Adaptation in Africa (CCAA) research and capacity development program is jointly funded by IDRC and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID).