The Fukushima reactors and their associated buildings have been exploding, melting and burning for not quite a week yet, but already the sense of déjà vu is inescapable.
In this lavishly produced, beautifully illustrated but somewhat self-edifying book, His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales argues that most of our global crises -- from climate change to poverty to our soulless built environments -- are owed to our disconnection from Nature (which he capitalizes).
While the veterans themselves are silent, Manitoba historian Jim Blanchard reminds us in his new book Winnipeg's Great War that the city of Winnipeg has its own story to tell about the First World War.
Recently, a Briton armed with a metal detector uncovered a trove of more than 50,000 Roman coins, which archeologists believe was an ancient farming community's offering to the gods to ensure a bountiful harvest. Our own agricultural practices have moved past any pleas to the gods to incorporate instead an industrial-scale arsenal of petrochemical fertilizers, pesticides and genetic modification.
In a recent Planetizen post I argued that the unfolding oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico may be perhaps our last warning to move more aggressively on renewable energy and a less energy-dependent built environment. What follows is an effort to outline additional implications for planning, to gain an understanding of the scale of this emergency and how it may impact planning in the months and years to come. Ecologically, economically and socially this is going to be like nothing we’ve ever seen before.
Resilience is generally understood as the degree to which a complex system is flexible enough to respond and adapt to an externally-imposed force or change and thus persist over time while retaining its structure and functions. Conversely, a vulnerable system would be one in which conditions are inflexible, key resources comprise a monoculture, there is little learning capacity, and choices for addressing crises are constrained.