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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Construction Week (Middle East) releases Salary survey

Construction Week (Middle East) have just published the results of a salary survey held from April to September this year. The main findings of the survey is that most people are experienced and the UAE is not a place for first-jobbers. People consistently worked longer than 40 hour per week and have salaries in construction(including Architects) on average between $4500-$6047 (USD) month across the six GCC countries. The results also outline expectations for pay rises, housing, current pressures and other interesting information.

For more information go to the two articles at the [SOURCE: Construction Week (Middle East)]

1. Survey Analysis – Construction Week (Middle East)
2. Detailed Results – Construction Week (Middle East)

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

aqua_300

Aquaculture Canal_New Orleans

St. Patrick’s Bridge (Calgary) shortlist announced

The Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) and its 10 member advisory committee today announced the three design submissions selected to move forward to the next stage of the competition for the new St. Patrick’s Island pedestrian bridge in East Village. The bridge will link St. Patrick’s Island with East Village to the south and the Bow River pathway system to the north. It will provide improved linkages to many different nearby communities including East Village, Inglewood and Bridgeland, and when combined with the improved pedestrian and cyclist connectivity of the Fourth Street Underpass, will play an important role in improving sustainable transportation and recreational linkages throughout the east end of downtown and the Beltline.

The call for preliminary concepts attracted international attention. The finalists were chosen from 33 submissions received from around the world, and displayed a wide variety of ideas and concepts for consideration. The finalists are:

• Submission #7 by Buckland and Taylor Ltd. (Vancouver) and Kitchell – Architecture + Design (Victoria, BC)
• Submission #15 by ARUP with Falco Schmitt Architects (London, UK)
• Submission #29 by RFR (Paris, France) and Halsall (Calgary).

The advisory committee is comprised of community residents from East Village, Inglewood and Bridgeland, Calgary business leaders, architects, engineers and CMLC management. The group found the six-week process of determining a shortlist for CMLC’s Board of Directors quite engaging and challenging. Over 2000, public comments solicited through a website blog and three open house events, played an important role in informing the committee’s recommendation.

The next step in the selection process requires each team to advance its concept to the next level by January 29, 2010.

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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

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