From OIL AGE financial crisis, to sustainable communities + COP 15

October 30, 2008

Now that the flawed financial system has taken its first fall due to absurd reliance on endless cheap energy, and the financial crisis has hit and is hitting further, now that the climate camp movement is growing, now that we are preparing for COP 15 in Denmark (cop15 call out + The Other call on COP – Nov 30 ’09 global day of action: 10 year aniversary from N30 @ Seattle), …

Id like to pass on healthy ideas that are moving about: that now is the time to build truly sustainable communities and cities.

As eco city guru Richard Register recently said: Build out, don’t Bail out. Ecologically tuned cities are the answer.

Problem: Our recent oil dependance has got us into a lot of trouble!


Hubberts secret: We are running out of oil!

Watch M King Hubbert explain the importance of this graph on this video from 1976


Oil age in terms of Irish Stout. 1900, 2000, 2100 – Colin Cambell

Watch Colin Cambell explain it on The Oil Age – A Turning Point for Mankind

view a powerpoint presentation of his here

We`re consuming 5 times more oil than we`re discovering

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Patcha Mama smiles again in Gracia

October 27, 2008

The Gracia Community Garden Radio Documentary (28 mins)

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.

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Transition Culture: radio shows about transition towns and more

October 16, 2008

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

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architecture and dissent

May 19, 2007

(Originally posted on EASA

Architecture and Dissent
(And from talking to action…)

The Berlage Institute (an architectural laboratory) have organised a series of Springtime public lectures on the theme of Architecture and Dissent.

This program of dialogues addresses the relations between architecture, power, and political dissent. By debating the cultural currents transforming contemporary daily life and, subsequently, shared spatial practices, this series of events promotes an open dialogue reflecting on today’s architectural condition.

Can architecture politically engage a global market-driven power structure? Is it possible to find alternative means of operating architecturally within this dominant system? How should architecture and urbanism address economic development, popular culture, and a design-driven consumerism? Does architecture—as both an intellectual discipline and a professional practice—contribute to stabilizing the inherent social inequalities of the contemporary city?

The talks can be viewed by live braodcast, heres the program

Tuesday 13 March – Instant City: The Rise of Dubai

Tuesday 27 March – Gated Communities in the Age of Extreme Individualism

Tuesday 17 April – The Cult of Celebrity: Superstars Architect in the Academy

Tuesday 8 May – Signs, Symbols, Spectacles: The Architecture of Global Corporations

Tuesday 15 May – Living Outside: Uneven Metropolitan Development

Tuesday 12 June – Beyond Degenerate Utopias?

Tuesday 19 June – The Power of Sprawl

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