Archive for July 2011
Hamburg has vision, measurable goals and definitive strategies to get, keep it on track and ultimately reach its enironmental goals. All cities can achieve that if they aspire to and enforce their collective will.
“Taking over the crown from Stockholm, Hamburg has emerged the European Green Capital 2011 in the competition organised by the European Commission. The European Commission believes that the future of European environmental protection lies in the hands of its cities who have to manage its resources of energy and combat issues of climate change since they have the most potential to develop and apply solutions to battling matters that harm the environment.
That’s why its creation of the title European Green Capital has a three fold objective of rewarding cities who have shown environmental awareness and a consistency in green practices, to encourage them to act as role models to other cities in Europe and set plans to achieve optimum environmentally friendly standards of living and functioning. Hamburg with its population of about 1.8 million has aimed to reduce its green house gas emissions by at least 80% by 2050. Its climate change combat plan for 2010 was a comprehensive one. Hamburg’s long term vision and future strategies for its environmental initiatives saw it emerge a winner.
More than rewards
But winning here isn’t just about prizes. The city now has to frame and implement intelligent solutions to its issues of urban living, development of its renewable energies and aim to increase sustainable consumption.”
via Hamburg is the European Green Capital 2011 | Going Green | The Earth Times.
The concept that greenspace and urban_forests can act as a carbon sink in cities is helpful to consider . Any promotion of greenspace and additional tree plantings in cities should be encouraged.
“Urban sinks are not by themselves a solution to the billions of tonnes of carbon emitted globally, but can help mitigate their impact, especially if gardeners grow trees, which absorb far more CO2 than grass and shrubs, she says.In the case of Leicester, most of the publicly-owned or -managed land in the city comprises lawns. But if just 10 per cent of this land were planted with trees, the citys carbon storage would leap by 12 per cent.”If more trees are planted in urban areas for their carbon storage value, they must be the right kind of tree planted in the right place so that they have a long, productive lifespan, and when trees die they should be replaced,” says Davies.”
via Cities can be carbon sinks too: study › News in Science ABC Science.
Dynamic Spanish guitar style duet cover of ” Stairway to Heaven “.
Rodrigo Y Gabriela | Stairway to Heaven | Live – YouTube.
A facinating story of two cities , Cheonggyecheon , S. Korea and Los Angeles California , transforming a freeway back into a waterway.
“Today, cities have started to realize the importance of coexisting with nature, moving towards more livable, green urban areas. Theres a popular push to restore neglected aspects of local environment like rivers in order to promote public space, tourism, and healthier living. In cities like Seoul, the “modern” solutions were only in place a few decades before they began to threaten the safety of citizens. By 2000, the elevated Cheonggyecheon Freeways supports and structure were cracking and beyond repair. What was left of the Cheonggyecheon riverbed was polluted with heavy metals like lead and chromium, while carbon monoxide, methane and other underground gases were accelerating the breakdown of the freeway structures. The area surrounding the freeway river was shabby and industrial. No longer a marvel of engineering in Seoul, the covered river was an eyesore–and a dangerous one at that.”
via From Freeways to Waterways: What Los Angeles Can Learn From Seoul | Production Notes | Departures | KCET.
New tools for archaeology …space satellite imagry . Tested and proven in Egypt.
“… Dr Parcak said the most exciting moment was visiting the excavations at Tanis.
“They’d excavated a 3,000-year-old house that the satellite imagery had shown and the outline of the structure matched the satellite imagery almost perfectly. That was real validation of the technology.”
The Egyptian authorities plan to use the technology to help – among other things – protect the country’s antiquities in the future.
During the recent revolution, looters accessed some well-known archaeological site .
She also hopes the new technology will help engage young people in science and will be a major help for archaeologists around the world.
“It allows us to be more focused and selective in the work we do. Faced with a massive site, you don’t know where to start.
“It’s an important tool to focus where we’re excavating. It gives us a much bigger perspective on archaeological sites. We have to think bigger and that’s what the satellites allow us to do.” ”
via BBC News – Egyptian pyramids found by infra-red satellite images.
Dig deeper into permaculture ….
“Fourteen of us had assembled to learn permaculture, a simple system for designing sustainable human settlements, restoring soil, planting year-round food landscapes, conserving water, redirecting the waste stream, forming more companionable communities and, if everything went according to plan, turning the earth’s looming resource crisis into a new age of happiness.
It was going to have to be a pretty awesome ditch.
That was the sense I took away from auditing four days of a weeklong Permaculture Design Certificate course led by Wayne Weiseman, 58, the director of the Permaculture Project, in Carbondale, Ill.
The movement’s founders, Bill Mollison and David Holmgren, coined the term permaculture in the mid-1970s, as a portmanteau of permanent agriculture and permanent culture.
In practice, permaculture is a growing and influential movement that runs deep beneath sustainable farming and urban food gardening. You can find permaculturists setting up worm trays and bee boxes, aquaponics ponds and chicken roosts, composting toilets and rain barrels, solar panels and earth houses.”
via The Permaculture Movement Grows From Underground.
Testing your vertigo on the new Toronto CN Tower EdgeWalk.
“There was a time when simply riding the exterior glass elevator to the top of the CN Tower was considered something of a daredevil act. That was before bungee-jumping and swimming with sharks became pastimes for the adrenaline-addicted. On Wednesday, CN Tower staff raised the stakes, allowing members of the media to experience the new EdgeWalk attraction. The Post’s Steve Murray must have annoyed someone in the newsroom, because he was chosen to take a walk on a thin ledge high above Toronto. He lived to tell the tale.”
via Steve Murray: My Spidey sense above Toronto | Posted Toronto | National Post.