Ecological Agriculture: can it feed the world?

The latest edition of the Monthly Review (November 2009, Volume 61, Number 6) includes a paper from Jules Pretty is professor of environment and society at the University of Essex, UK. titled Can Ecological Agriculture Feed Nine Billion People?

Below is an extract from the paper

Something is wrong with our agricultural and food systems.Despite great progress in increasing productivity in the last century, hundreds of millions of people remain hungry and malnourished. Further hundreds of millions eat too much, or consume the wrong sorts of food, and it is making them ill. The health of the environment suffers too, as degradation of soil and water seems to accompany many of the agricultural systems we have developed in recent years. Can nothing be done, or is it time for the expansion of an agriculture founded more on ecological principles and in harmony with people, their societies, and cultures?

Read the full paper at the [SOURCE: MonthlyReview – Can Ecological Agriculture Feed Nine Billion People?]

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The Rooftop Garden Climbs Down a Wall

Ken Belson of the New York Times has written an interesting piece about green walls which looks at the green wall as a source of food production. Belson talks to a varied number of designers, universities and manufacturers about the green walls as food production. He also states that at $500 a panel they aren’t for everyone.

Belson has a great quote he cites from Paul Mankiewicz, the executive director of the Gaia Institute in New York.

“We have 30 miles of rooftop in New York City and maybe 3,000 miles of walls,”

Read the article at the SOURCE: New York Times – The Rooftop Garden Climbs Down a Wall

Canada’s biggest green roof was technically challenging: LA

Journal of Commerce reports

The biggest living roof in Canada is surrounded by water on three sides, and the marine deck on which the building sits is supported by stilt-like piles. It also features slopes of up to 53 per cent.

Bruce Hemstock, of PWL Partnership, a Vancouver landscape architecture and consulting firm that worked on the project, said the roof portion of the job was one of the most technically challenging assignments his firm has taken on in its 35 years in the business.

Read the full article at the SOURCE: Journal of CommerceCreating Vancouver Convention Centre’s green roof no simple task

WPA 2.0 & WPA 2.0 SE winners announced

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Carbon T.A.P. // Tunnel Algae Park

PORT, Andrew Moddrell and Christopher Marcinkoski, from Chicago and New York for their project, Carbon T.A.P. // Tunnel Algae Park. The jury of Elizabeth Diller, Cecil Balmond, Marilyn Taylor, Walter Hood, Stan Allen, and Thom Mayne was unanimous in its decision citing two primary qualities: The floating, carbon-capturing bridge between Brooklyn and Manhattan would be an index for the otherwise invisible tunnel below, and the periodic rotation of the parkway across the river had the power to reshape the image of the city.

In addition to the professional prize, the jury selected two first-prize winners from among the student finalists: R_Ignite by four graduate students of the Manchester School of Architecture – Peter Millar, Jamie Potter, Andy Wilde and Stuart Wheeler, and Aquaculture Canal_New Orleans by Fadi Masoud, a Master of Landscape Architecture student from the University of Toronto. From the recycling of ships and oil rigs to create vital port districts, to a New Orleans aquaculture canal, the jury noted that the winning submissions were ideal as a pair, representing the range of innovative ideas relevant to WPA2.0.

In his keynote address, White House Director of Urban Affairs, Adolfo Carrion, praised all the finalists for imaginatively engaging the future of American cities. His words were echoed by HUD Deputy Secretary Ron Sims who called on designers to “Take us places where we have never gone before.” cityLAB at UCLA is committed to doing just that, so stay tuned for new collaborations among universities, professionals, and policymakers in federal government who will devise WPA 2.1 and beyond.

Animations by the finalists, along with more information on the winning schemes, the symposium, and WPA 2.0’s prospects will be available shortly at www.WPA2.aud.ucla.edu

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R_Ignite

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Aquaculture Canal_New Orleans

Michigan school creates sustainable architecture program

design-training.com reports

Michigan”s Ferris State University has announced plans to introduce a new undergraduate degree program in sustainable design.

Beginning in fall 2010, the Bachelor of Science in architecture and sustainability program, a degree offered through the school”s College of Engineering Technology, will create nine new courses focusing exclusively on ecological building strategies and implementation in addition to the traditional architectural course curriculum.

[SOURCE: design-training.com]

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