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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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

UWA Students design Moongazing platform

Landscape Architecture students from the University of Western Australia created concept plans Meelup Regional Park commissioned by the Shire of Busselton. The idea of a Moongazers platform arose from these plans as the beach is one of few beaches where the moon can be seen rising over the Indian Ocean Horizon. The platform would include an interpretative plaque that shows the 13 dates each year that a full moon rises over the ocean.

The council have taken the idea of a Moongazers platform to the next step by councillors submitting the plan at a formal meeting with an approximate budget of $100,000AUD.

SOURCE: WAtoday.com.au – Meelup Beach moon viewing deck Busselton

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]

Scientists unveil plant DNA barcode

Telegraph reports

Scientists meeting at the third International Barcode of Life conference in Mexico City last week have agreed on a region of DNA that will be used to identify plants by genus in a new system of codification.

Although genetic “barcoding” of animals, which allows scientists to identify animals from a small section of their DNA, is already well-established, the system has until now not worked for plant species.

SOURCE: Telegraph – Scientists unveil plant DNA barcode

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