by Dean Fantazzini, Moscow School of Economics, Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia
The Deepwater Horizon incident demonstrated that most of the oil left is deep offshore or in other locations difficult to reach. Moreover, to obtain the oil remaining in currently producing reservoirs requires additional equipment and technology that comes at a higher price in both capital and energy. In this regard, the physical limitations on producing ever-increasing quantities of oil are highlighted, as well as the possibility of the peak of production occurring this decade. The economics of oil supply and demand are also briefly discussed, showing why the available supply is basically fixed in the short to medium term. Also, an alarm bell for economic recessions is raised when energy takes a disproportionate amount of total consumer expenditures. In this context, risk mitigation practices in government and business are called for. As for the former, early education of the citizenry about the risk of economic contraction is a prudent policy to minimize potential future social discord. As for the latter, all business operations should be examined with the aim of building in resilience and preparing for a scenario in which capital and energy are much more expensive than in the business-as-usual one.
By Pietro Pagliardini (1), Sergio Porta (2) & Nikos A. Salingaros (3).
Chapter 17 in: Bin Jiang and Xiaobai Angela Yao, Editors, Geospatial Analysis and Modeling of Urban Structure and Dynamics, Springer, New York, 2010, pages 331-353.
(1) Pagliardini Rupi Andreoni & Gazzabin, Studio d’Architettura, Via Eritrea 9, 52100 Arezzo, ITALY.
(2) Urban Design Studies Unit, University of Strathclyde, 131 Rottenrow, Glasgow G4 0NG, UK.
(3) Department of Mathematics, University of Texas at San Antonio, One UTSA Circle, San Antonio, Texas 78249, USA.
This essay outlines how to incorporate morphological rules within the exigencies of our technological age. We propose using the current evolution of GIS (Geographical Information Systems) technologies beyond their original representational domain, towards predictive and dynamic spatial models that help in constructing the new discipline of “urban seeding”. We condemn the high-rise tower block as an unsuitable typology for a living city, and propose to re-establish human-scale urban fabric that resembles the traditional city. Pedestrian presence, density, and movement all reveal that open space between modernist buildings is not urban at all, but neither is the open space found in today’s sprawling suburbs. True urban space contains and encourages pedestrian interactions, and has to be designed and built according to specific rules. The opposition between traditional self-organized versus modernist planned cities challenges the very core of the urban planning discipline. Planning has to be re-framed from being a tool creating a fixed future to become a visionary adaptive tool of dynamic states in evolution.
Editor’s Note: I want to congratulate Ryan and the UMass team on this significant milestone, and also wish to thank all of our readers who took a moment to vote to help ensure it came to pass. Onwards!
The White House honors five young leaders as Champions of Change for outstanding leadership on their college campuses, chosen by the public for their projects that embody the President’s goal to win the future.
The past few weeks have been life changing for me, and for many others who are part of the permaculture community at UMass Amherst. Possibly others from around the world, too. Together, we successfully brought permaculture to the national stage, and by we I mean the entire global network of permaculturists who live by the ethics “Earth Care”, “People Care”, “Share of Surplus”.
What do you do with an old church car park? Turn it into a community garden, of course! And that’s how the Ridley Grove Community Garden — a child, pet and disabled person friendly garden in the Adelaide suburb of Woodville Gardens — came into being.
The first thing they did was to bring in the experts to help clear the grass… a herd of hard working, hungry goats! Now that’s chemical free weed control… with built in fertiliser! Next came the soil building, with lots of compost and mulch, which turned a compacted surface of gravel and dolomite into fertile, productive garden beds.
The Kingfisher and indigenous people methods of fishing have one commonality — they are sustainable. No fish is wasted and there is always fish for tomorrow.
Traditional lowland indigenous peoples of South America most often fish daily and tend to fish only for the family and maybe other vulnerable members of the community, e.g. the elderly. Sometimes fish is preserved for future use, but fresh fish is always preferred. An advantage of daily fishing is that the catch is at its freshest. One important sustainable way to fish is to use a cell-type fish trap.
The small community of Mullumbimby in the Byron Shire of northern NSW, Australia, is currently in the process of determining their own food supply future by purchasing their local supermarket.
This movement, which is gaining momentum daily at an amazing rate, began by chance, fate, serendipity — call it what you will. Greg Dutton, president of the local community garden approached Richard Storie, the proprietor of the local IGA supermarket, about selling the community garden organic seedlings outside the store. During this conversation he quipped, "If the seedling sale goes well I’ll be back to buy the store". That’s a lot of seedlings. Nevertheless an idea was conceived and now after a five month gestation period a movement has been born.
I’ve been wanting to do a hugelkultur bed ever since I saw an article about a village store garden where people could walk around these really tall raised beds picking their veggies without bending.
Hugelkultur is a Central European-style raised bed which uses rotting wood as its foundation. Toby Hemenway mentions it in Gaia’s Garden, offering the hot tip that he can start potatoes a month early in this kind of bed. The hugelkultur raised bed can be built in many different ways, towering as high as you can reach or in a deep trench so that the planting surface is more or less level with the ground.
This is an interview with Rob Hopkins, the founder of the Transition Town movement founded in Totnes, United Kingdom. The interview is about what Transition Towns mean, and how he came up with this idea as a permaculture teacher. The interview also covers how is this concept important now, during the present global crisis, and how the Transition Town movement can get involved in educating people to cope with a future in energy descent, which is starting not tomorrow, but right now! It ends with his prediction for the near future.
Curious what goes on at the PRI Zaytuna Farm? If you live close to the farm, or are passing by, you're welcome to book yourself on a farm tour (Wednesdays at 10am only). Contact the farm manager and we'll see you soon.
We will take a minimum of 3 people at $35 p/p (groups of less than 3 adults are $50 p/p). Large groups please call to discuss pricing (at least 48 hours prior required).