THE SELF-SUFFICIENT CITY: Envisioning the habitat of the future was a recent open competition from IAAC(Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia). We have subsequently been invited to submit work for their upcoming book and a 1 minute film as part of expo in CCCB. Below are the 3 A3 panels we submitted, click on each panel to view in PDF. Underrneath is a summary of the ideas examined. Our proposal was entitled:
Towards a healthier, happier, eco-effective Barcelona.
Greening the city, connecting communities, C2C city
PANEL 1 (1,76 MB)
PANEL 2 (1,06 MB)
PANEL 3 (2,98 MB)
150 word Summary -
Greening the city, connecting communities, C2C Barcelona
Create urban greenway / CPUL mesh
Develop more bikeways/ walkways to easily connect from within city centre to nature: rivers, sea, surrounding hills. Allow all abandoned spaces to become indefinite temporary gardens. Specify strategic zones as permanent community gardens, including within all existing public parks and schools. Connect these nodes by greenways. Turn greenways into CPULS (Continuous Productive Urban Landscapes), Plant fruit and nut trees, berry hedges, diverse vegetation, food. These bio threads allow nature into the city; butterflies, song birds, pollen. Use city roofspace(s) as one vast CPUL, solar energy harvest, water collection zone and new Public Park. As private car use diminishes turn old “car lanes” into “food lanes”. Create mixed use clusters around gardens, part of the urban fabric: play area, sport complex, café. Make spaces experimental, adaptable and open to everyone. Let all life adapt and grow.
As we still fight WTO in Geneva today, as we prepare for COP15 in Copenhagen
“The day the political landscape changed forever“, was how Fritjof Capra referred to events of N30, Tuesday 30th of November 1999, in his book The Hidden Connections. He was referring to the day when 1000´s of global justice activists came together and succeeded in shutting down the first WTO (World Trade Organisation) talks in the US using (mostly) non violent direct actions (NVDA) in the north western US city of Seattle. This was the event which brought the “globalisation” debate to the mainstream. It has been misleadingly described as anti-globalisation, what it should be accurately described as is anti corporate globalisation.
10 years on and again there is rubber bullets, tear gas and flames in the streets. This time in Geneva, as people from all over the world converge in the lead up to COP15, the climate change talks in Copenhagen… amongst others, the Social and Climate justice caravan.
A thing born once in Seattle amidst tear gas and protest > happy birthday indymedia
10 years later – attempts to shut down the WTO in Geneva
From rubber bullets, tear gas and flames in the streets of Seattle to the streets of Geneva today
This Is What Democracy Looks Like – the story of the battle of Seattle
Anti-WTO demonstration in Geneva (euronews- no comment)
This week (monday 2 – friday 6) the Barcelona International Climate Change Talks are happening, five days of formal negotiations, in the lead up to COP 15. Since Saturday there have been a series of actions in the cities streets as well as at the conference centre to raise awereness, to unite eco movements and to try to force change during this window of opportunity in the conference centre at the far side of Montjuic. But will it be enough to get us out of our AGE OF STUPID? Perhaps not, news has just come through today that African countries have abandoned the talks. Talks Timeline
Join us at the U.S. Green Building Council’s Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in Boston November 19-21, 2008. Boston is the historic cradle of the American Revolution and home to innovations that have far-reaching impact. It is the perfect place to celebrate Greenbuild 2008’s theme of “Revolutionary Green: Innovations for Global Sustainability.”
In a new chapter in the BOLD urban history of Barcelona, a few days ago it was announced that there are plans to construct a new Ecobarri in the area of Vallbona.That being an eco neighbourhood on the banks of the river Besos, alongside the motorway and rail approach to the city from France. Jordi Portabella, the head of ERC (Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya – republican left party of Catalunya) is confident that the project will be ready by 2011.
(View original in PDF in Catalan in newspaper AVUI 15 Nov 08 or scroll below for English translation)
Here is an interview in Català with Jordi Portabella about the plan
Els espais buits no fan Gràcia : The empty spaces are not funny
So read the new banner that now hangs on the end wall of the new Hort Comunitari, or community garden in Catalan, that was opened in Gracia on Saturday morning. From just being another quite and dry street, theres now a hive of activity in Caller Banyoles; people, laughter, color, sounds, music, dancing, kids playing. Being there one knows that Patcha Mama smiles again in Gracia.
Well over a hundred people entered a site that had been left derelict for the last 5 years. The concrete ground was smashed apart and the soil underneath was broken open with pics, forks, spades and hoes. People arrived in with recycled large construction bags with soil inside, once inside these bags had young plants put into them and were watered. that was lovely and brown and full of nutrientsdue to having horse manure mixed into it. Other soil was added to the freshly broken red earth and new plants were inserted here too. a large heap of soil at the end wall gave endless hours of healthy mucky enjoyment to kids who dug tunnells and rolled around, laughing and shrieking with delight as they did so.
The advent of Peak oil and solutions to it are perhaps one of the most critical issues we are facing today. A recent movement has exploded in Britain, transition towns. It began in Kinsale in Ireland with Rob Hopkins who set up the Permaculture college there. They set up the Kinsale Energy descent plan, looking at how their town could make the transition to less oil dependancy over a 20 year time frame. From there Rob went back to Witness in the UK and from there the model has exploded. You can find out whats going on on their WIKI (with translations) and they have set up a fantastic website Transition Culture.
Here is an excellent short video made by —- as part of the Lewes Transition town movement. It was shown in the local cinema of Lewes before all the films. It starts by asking the townspeople what are the causes of climate change and finishes with a rap about how oil is now used for the production of nearly everything we use
Rob Hopkins elaborates on the origins, the growth of and the future of the transition towns movement
As part of the last few days of GEF 08 (Global Eco Forum) there will be a gathering in La Teixadora (a squatted social centre in the Poble Nou barrio (neighbourhood) of Barcelona) during which we will talk about the origins and very successful growth of the Climate Camp movement that originated in the UK 2 years ago and whats being talked about for Copenhagen in December 2009, COP 15
Peaceful protestors meet heavy handed police??? see 2.45 of following