and now for my next trick

Posts Tagged ‘sustainability

abandoned at sea

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What happens when the rig made at enormous expense in the gulf of Mexico delivers its final barrel of crude and the company packs up and heads off to fairer pastures?  Make a luxury hotel say Morris Architects.  These are images that show some of their ideas which include floating pod condos and the refurbished rig.  It’s an extravagant idea:  living on a mechanical island with nothing but sea around you:  extravagant in terms of the extreme environment and too, in terms of its cost.

For a construction that is in the sea, this project is remarkably separated from it.  Perhaps it’s an American sensibility; a fear of the water, an inability to swim.  On the new rig hotel, you are either in your pod in the air with the sea way below or you are in the dive bell submerged below the water line.  There is a small marina, but aside from that no substantial connection between life on the rig and the water body that supports it:  I think a reminder of how we build, grounded in fear and without an understanding of genius locii – the spirit of the place.

Written by Peter Rudd

May 10, 2009 at 8:14 pm


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Velowala is a site that documents mostly through photos bicycle commerce in India.  A wala is someone who does something and a velo is a bike.  Wala is a common tag put on the end of a job title.  Like – a dishwala is a guy who washes dishes, a dhabba walla is a guy who delivers dhabba (lunch) and a sodabottleopenerwala is someone who opens soda bottles.  You get the picture.

Written by Peter Rudd

April 20, 2009 at 10:39 pm

5 planets to support us

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From Sustainable Cities, a clear definition of what sustainability is.  It is tied to per capita energy consumption; the idea is that there is only so much earth and resource to go around. If everyone in the world consumed at the current level of Americans consumption, we would need 5 planets to support us.

From the article, Ecological Footprint: Humanities killing Nature:

Ecological footprints may be used to argue that many current lifestyles are not sustainable. In 2003, the average person’s ecological footprint was 2.2 global hectares, while there is only 1.8 global hectares of biological productive area per person available on the planet. Such a global comparison also clearly shows the inequalities of resource used. The smallest footprint is 0.1 global hectares per capita in Afghanistan, whereas the largest are 11.9 global hectares per capita in the United Arab Emirates. The US footprint in 2003 was 9.6 global hectares per capita. This means that if we were all Americans, we would need 5 planets to support us and Americans would, on average, need a reduction of five-sixths (83%) to be sustainable.

Written by Peter Rudd

March 20, 2009 at 9:33 am

what a city is

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Here are some videos of experts speaking on what it means to have a sustainable city.  Notice noone is talking about having a sustainable suburb?  A sustainable city is a complex and fantastic mix of beauty, walkability, minimum per capita energy consumption and of course much more.  You simply can’t talk about sustainable life without committing to the city.

From the site:

Sustainable cities are cities that are pedestrian paradises, where anybody would want to live downtown, says Mathis Wackernagel.

With half the world’s population living in cities, there can be no solutions to environmental, social or economic problems without major reconstructions and reconfigurations of urban living, says David Harvey.

Sustainability starts with people and a truly sustainable city will put people first, says Barabara Southworth. 

Written by Peter Rudd

March 9, 2009 at 11:17 pm

Posted in energy, the city

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compost creates income

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Sustainable cities looks like an interesting website – it seems less manipulative and eager to sell and broader than most.

From the article Nairobi: Compost creates income for park maintenance:

Lack of toilet facilities and waste dominating public places is a reality in many places all over the world. A slum in Nairobi, Kenya, has come up with a possible answer to the challenge by creating parks that contain toilets and compost facilities. The compostable waste of the area is used to produce compost, which is sold locally as fertilizer and generates income used to maintain the park and toilets. The case may inspire others to bring sustainable economy into waste management systems and parks.

Written by Peter Rudd

March 9, 2009 at 10:27 pm

Posted in energy

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