Current Issues on Urban Metabolism & Harvard University Graduate School of Design Lectures, Part 3 of 3.


Source: Youtube. This video is not owned by Earthniversity but by Harvard University Graduate School of Design in connection with their lectures on Projective Views on Urban Metabolism which they uploaded and published on youtube on February 14, 2014. Thank you HUGSD for sharing this video/lectures with all interested people on planet Earth.

Comment:

Urban Metabolism has always fascinated me. I came to know about this in 2000 when I was attending a short course on Designing Sustainable Development under the Master in Urban Management Program in the University of Canberra in Australia. Since then, I got hooked by it because of its relevance to urban planning and design. Its idea of treating urban area or as I would like to use it – human settlement – like a human body that metabolizes, is really relevant in the development, planning and designing of cities and urban areas. But what is Urban Metabolism?

WHAT IS URBAN?
The word urban refers to or pertains to a city, or belonging to a city. (Wikipedia)

WHAT IS METABOLISM?

“Metabolism (from Greek: μεταβολή metabolē, “change”) is the set of life-sustaining chemical transformations within the cells of living organisms. These enzyme-catalyzed reactions allow organisms to grow and reproduce, maintain their structures, and respond to their environments. The word metabolism can also refer to all chemical reactions that occur in living organisms, including digestion and the transport of substances into and between different cells, in which case the set of reactions within the cells is called intermediary metabolism or intermediate metabolism.” (Wikipedia)

WHAT IS URBAN METABOLISM? The Wikipedia has a nice explanation on this:

“Urban metabolism is a model to facilitate the description and analysis of the flows of the materials and energy within cities, such as undertaken in a Material flow analysis of a city. It provides researchers with a metaphorical framework to study the interactions of natural and human systems in specific regions.[1] From the beginning, researchers have tweaked and altered the parameters of the urban metabolism model. C. Kennedy and fellow researchers have produced a clear definition in the 2007 paper ‘’The Changing Metabolism of Cities’’ claiming that urban metabolism is “the sum total of the technical and socio-economic process that occur in cities, resulting in growth, production of energy and elimination of waste.” [2] With the growing concern of climate change and atmospheric degradation, the use of the urban metabolism model has become a key element in determining and maintaining levels of sustainability and health in cities around the world. Urban metabolism provides a unified or holistic viewpoint to encompass all of the activities of a city in a single model.”

THE HARVARD UNIVERSITY GRADUATE SCHOOL OF DESIGN VIDEO ON URBAN METABOLISM

In my research about Urban Metabolism, I encountered this video on youtube about “Projective Views on Urban Metabolism” presented by the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. It caught my attention very greatly that I wish to share this to our readers. I do not claim to be an expert on this topic because I am also a “student”, a searcher just like the rest of us.

This is the explanation of HUGSD on this video which focuses on the main topic entitled: The Agency of Design.

“DDes Conference: Projective Views on Urban Metabolism (Part 3)In the last two decades, the concept of urban metabolism, aiming to grasp the continuous processes of energy, material and population exchange within and between cities and their extensive hinterlands, has been subject of both extensive empirical research and, increasingly, critical discussion within the social and natural sciences. However, these interdisciplinary challenges have not yet been met with a synthetic response from the design disciplines. The goals of this one-day conference are, through the lens of urban metabolism, to: generally reassess the planetary rescaling of contemporary urbanization processes; unpack the transformation of spatial forms and structures and subsequently, the emergence of new operative territories for design; explore the agency of design in confronting these challenges.”

This is the last part (Part 3 of 3) of the lectures conducted by HUGSD on Projective Views on Urban Metabolism. This portion is about The Agency of Design. The speakers are the following:

1. Dr. Mitchell Joachim. He is Co-Founder of TerreForm One. He is also an Associate Professor at New York University. He will talk about their research on TerreForm One.

2. Chris Reed is an Associate Professor in Practice of Landscape Architecture at HUGSD. His research interest includes The Impact of Ecological Science on Design Thinking and City Making Strategies in Form by Landscape Systems and Dynamics.

3. Ila Berman is connected with the University of Waterloo College of Architecture. She is a Doctor of Design Graduate from HUGSD. Her research topic is: Investigate the Relationship Between Culture and Evolution of Contemporary Materials and Spatial Practices.

Moderator: Hashim Sarkis

Toastmasters are: Daniel, Nickos and Pablo.

Citations:

Earthniversity would like to thank the Harvard University Graduate School of Design for uploading this video on youtube. We hope our followers and team members have gained so much knowledge from this sharing on the topic about Projective Views on Urban Metabolism. Again thank you HUGSD and youtube. These videos, Part I, II, and III are available here at Earthniversity blogsite and these are also available on youtube. Thank you everyone….

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Current Issues on Urban Metabolism & Harvard University Graduate School of Design Lectures, Part 2 of 3.

Urban Metabolism has always fascinated me. I came to know about this in 2000 when I was attending a short course on Designing Sustainable Development under the Master in Urban Management Program in the University of Canberra in Australia. Since then, I got hooked by it because of its relevance to urban planning and design. Its idea of treating urban area or as I would like to use it – human settlement – like a human body that metabolizes, is really relevant in the development, planning and designing of cities and urban areas. But what is Urban Metabolism?

WHAT IS URBAN?
The word urban refers to or pertains to a city, or belonging to a city. (Wikipedia)

WHAT IS METABOLISM?

“Metabolism (from Greek: μεταβολή metabolē, “change”) is the set of life-sustaining chemical transformations within the cells of living organisms. These enzyme-catalyzed reactions allow organisms to grow and reproduce, maintain their structures, and respond to their environments. The word metabolism can also refer to all chemical reactions that occur in living organisms, including digestion and the transport of substances into and between different cells, in which case the set of reactions within the cells is called intermediary metabolism or intermediate metabolism.” (Wikipedia)

WHAT IS URBAN METABOLISM? The Wikipedia has a nice explanation on this:

“Urban metabolism is a model to facilitate the description and analysis of the flows of the materials and energy within cities, such as undertaken in a Material flow analysis of a city. It provides researchers with a metaphorical framework to study the interactions of natural and human systems in specific regions.[1] From the beginning, researchers have tweaked and altered the parameters of the urban metabolism model. C. Kennedy and fellow researchers have produced a clear definition in the 2007 paper ‘’The Changing Metabolism of Cities’’ claiming that urban metabolism is “the sum total of the technical and socio-economic process that occur in cities, resulting in growth, production of energy and elimination of waste.” [2] With the growing concern of climate change and atmospheric degradation, the use of the urban metabolism model has become a key element in determining and maintaining levels of sustainability and health in cities around the world. Urban metabolism provides a unified or holistic viewpoint to encompass all of the activities of a city in a single model.”

THE HARVARD UNIVERSITY GRADUATE SCHOOL OF DESIGN VIDEO ON URBAN METABOLISM

In my research about Urban Metabolism, I encountered this video on youtube about “Projective Views on Urban Metabolism” presented by the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. It caught my attention very greatly that I wish to share this to our readers. I do not claim to be an expert on this topic because I am also a “student”, a searcher just like the rest of us.

Earthniversity does not own this video but is thankful to Harvard University Graduate School of Design for uploading and sharing this on youtube, so that interested people around the planet could learn from this topic – Urban Metabolism. This video was published on youtube on February 14, 2014.

This is the description of the video according to HUGSD.
Published on Feb 14, 2014

“DDes Conference: Projective Views on Urban Metabolism (Part 2)In the last two decades, the concept of urban metabolism, aiming to grasp the continuous processes of energy, material and population exchange within and between cities and their extensive hinterlands, has been subject of both extensive empirical research and, increasingly, critical discussion within the social and natural sciences. However, these interdisciplinary challenges have not yet been met with a synthetic response from the design disciplines. The goals of this one-day conference are, through the lens of urban metabolism, to: generally reassess the planetary rescaling of contemporary urbanization processes; unpack the transformation of spatial forms and structures and subsequently, the emergence of new operative territories for design; explore the agency of design in confronting these challenges.”

This is Part 2 of the lecture series and the following are the speakers for this session – Territorial Transformation:

1. Lola Sheppard – Topic: Territorial Metabolisms: Far Flung Metabolisms. Lola is Partner Lateral Office and Associate Professor, University of Waterloo
2. Salvador Rueda – Topic: Urban Metabolism. Salvador is Urban Ecologist. He is Founder and Director of Urban and Ecology Agency of Barcelona. He specializes in Planning and Analysis of Complex Systems.
3. Jane Hutton and Kiel Moe – “Material and Energy Ecologies”. Jane and Kiel are Asst. Professors of Harvard University, Graduate School of Design. Jane is with Landscape Architecture Department while Kiel is with Architecture Department. Both co-Direct, Energy Environment and Design Research Lab.
4. Moderator – Pierre Belanger

Toastmasters: Daniel, Nickus and Pablo

Citations:
1. Harvard University Graduate School of Design for uploading this video on youtube for all the people of the world to watch.

Comment:

This post comes in 3 parts. This is Part 2, so the next part will be part 3 of 3. Please watch for it here at Earthniversity under the label “Classroom”. These are also available on youtube.

Current Issues on Urban Metabolism & Harvard University Graduate School of Design Lectures, Part 1 of 3.

Urban Metabolism has always fascinated me. I came to know about this in 2000 when I was attending a short course on Designing Sustainable Development under the Master in Urban Management Program in the University of Canberra in Australia. Since then, I got hooked by it because of how it was used in urban planning and design. Its idea of treating urban area or as I would like to use it – human settlement – like a human body that metabolizes, is really relevant in the development, planning and designing of cities and urban areas. But what is Urban Metabolism?

WHAT IS URBAN?
The word urban refers to or pertains to a city, or belonging to a city. (Wikipedia)

WHAT IS METABOLISM?

“Metabolism (from Greek: μεταβολή metabolē, “change”) is the set of life-sustaining chemical transformations within the cells of living organisms. These enzyme-catalyzed reactions allow organisms to grow and reproduce, maintain their structures, and respond to their environments. The word metabolism can also refer to all chemical reactions that occur in living organisms, including digestion and the transport of substances into and between different cells, in which case the set of reactions within the cells is called intermediary metabolism or intermediate metabolism.” (Wikipedia)

WHAT IS URBAN METABOLISM? The Wikipedia has a nice explanation on this:

“Urban metabolism is a model to facilitate the description and analysis of the flows of the materials and energy within cities, such as undertaken in a Material flow analysis of a city. It provides researchers with a metaphorical framework to study the interactions of natural and human systems in specific regions.[1] From the beginning, researchers have tweaked and altered the parameters of the urban metabolism model. C. Kennedy and fellow researchers have produced a clear definition in the 2007 paper ‘’The Changing Metabolism of Cities’’ claiming that urban metabolism is “the sum total of the technical and socio-economic process that occur in cities, resulting in growth, production of energy and elimination of waste.” [2] With the growing concern of climate change and atmospheric degradation, the use of the urban metabolism model has become a key element in determining and maintaining levels of sustainability and health in cities around the world. Urban metabolism provides a unified or holistic viewpoint to encompass all of the activities of a city in a single model.”

THE HARVARD UNIVERSITY GRADUATE SCHOOL OF DESIGN VIDEO ON URBAN METABOLISM

In my research about Urban Metabolism, I encountered this video on youtube about “Projective Views on Urban Metabolism” presented by the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. It caught my attention very greatly that I wish to share this to our readers. I do not claim to be an expert on this topic because I am also a “student”, a searcher just like the rest of us.

Earthniversity does not own this video but is thankful to Harvard University Graduate School of Design for uploading and sharing this on youtube, so that interested people around the planet could learn from this topic – Urban Metabolism. This video was published on youtube on February 14, 2014.

This is the description of the video according to HUGSD.

“DDes Conference: Projective Views on Urban Metabolism (Part 1)
In the last two decades, the concept of urban metabolism, aiming to grasp the continuous processes of energy, material and population exchange within and between cities and their extensive hinterlands, has been subject of both extensive empirical research and, increasingly, critical discussion within the social and natural sciences. However, these interdisciplinary challenges have not yet been met with a synthetic response from the design disciplines. The goals of this one-day conference are, through the lens of urban metabolism, to: generally reassess the planetary rescaling of contemporary urbanization processes; unpack the transformation of spatial forms and structures and subsequently, the emergence of new operative territories for design; explore the agency of design in confronting these challenges.”

There are several speakers who will tackle various topics. The videos come in three parts. This is Part I – Metabolic Upscaling. Hereunder is the list of Speakers and their Topics:

1. Jason W. Moore – “Metabolic Shift or Metabolic Rift”.
Moore is connected with the Department of Sociology, Fernand Braudel Center, Birmingham University.

2. Erle Ellis – “Ecologies of the Anthropocene, Global Upscaling of Social-Ecological Infrastructures”. Ellis is connected with Geography & Environmental Systems, University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

3. Timothy W. Luke will deliver a Commentary on Urban Metabolism. Luke is Distinguished Professor and Chair, Department of Political, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Virginia.

4. Matthew Gandy will talk about Circulations of Metabolisms. Gandy is Professor of Geography at the University College of London and many other connections.

5. Moderator: Neil Brenner
Toastmasters: Daniel and Nickus.

Citations:
1. Harvard University Graduate School of Design for uploading this video on youtube for all people of the world to watch.

Comment:

This post comes in 3 parts. This is Part 1, so the next post will be parts 2 and 3. Please watch for the next post here at Earthniversity and also labeled under “Classroom”. These are also available on youtube.

Human Settlements and Urban Metabolism, Lecture Series #7

DSCF0131

HUMAN SETTLEMENTS in the Philippines have started to evolve from a small cluster of households, during the Pre-Spanish Period, near the banks of the river, on the coastal area, or where the nearest source of water was located.

It was not only for ease and accessibility in terms of daily household activities but also important for the settlers’ agricultural activities. So, there were settlements around creeks, lakes, waterfalls and others. To those who were far from the rivers, creeks and other sources of water, they made use of the ground water source through wells and springs.

This is what happened in the Philippines several hundred years ago, specially along the areas of the islands of Negros and Panay in the central Visayas, where my ancestors lived.

Our history books revealed a settlement built near the river or “Ilog” in Pilipino. The people living around this settlement were called “Taga Ilog”. “Taga” means “living around or near” and “Ilog” means river. Those who settled in the coastal areas (“baybay” or sea) were called “Taga Baybay”. Those who settled in the upland or near the hills or mountains (“Bukid” or “Bundok”) were called “Taga Bukid” or “Taga Bundok”.

This happened before the Spanish colonizers came to the Philippines on March 16, 1521. That settlement became the earliest form of political unit in the country. It was called a “Barangay” or village. It was composed of 30 households and each village has a local leader called a “Datu” or Chieftain.

As Philippine society progressed, these small settlements became bigger. It was called a “municipio” or a town. The town gradually grew bigger and as more houses were built to accommodate more people living in the settlement, it was converted into a “ciudad” or city.

Each town was popular as the source of certain agricultural products in the island. For example, one village was known as the source of rice, another as the source of corn, or sweet mangoes, fresh vegetables, carrots, onions, garlic, pepper, sugar, and many more. So, as progressed was felt in the settlement, more people “migrate” or “immigrate”.

The Spanish rule continued and it embedded a strong Spanish influence on the islands’ urban planning and design, infrastructure, architecture, agricultural development, use of energy, and many others.

When America defeated Spain in the Battle of Manila Bay, May 1, 1898, during the Spanish-American War, Spain ceded the Philippines to the United States by virtue of the Treaty of Paris signed on December 10, 1898.

Spain, however, left behind a well planned communities. Some of these settlements are still existing to this day. But changes were on-going during the American Period which began technically speaking on December 10, 1898 and lasted on July 4, 1946 when the U.S. Congress granted the Philippines her independence.

Nothing much has changed during the few years of Japanese occupation of the country from 1941-1945.

THE PASSAGE OF REPUBLIC ACT (R.A.) 7160 or the Local Government Code of the Philippines provided a uniform guidelines in the country on the creation of settlements as town or city.

In 1991, the Congress of the Philippines passed a law – Republic Act No. 7160 enacting the Local Government Code of the Philippines. This Code also set the criteria on how a village or Barangay, town, city, provinces shall be created. A move that continued to change the face of Settlements.

HOW THE BARANGAY OR VILLAGE, TOWN, CITY, AND PROVINCE ARE CREATED

1. A BARANGAY is composed of smaller units of settlement called locally as “Sitio” or “Purok”. A Barangay shall be created if it has a population of 2,000 to 5,000. Section 385 of the Local Government Code states the manner of creating the Barangay. A barangay may be created, divided, merged, abolished, or its boundary substantially altered, by law or by an ordinance of the sangguniang panlalawigan (provincial board) or panlungsod (city council), subject to approval by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite to be conducted by the COMELEC (Commission on Election) in the local government unit or units directly affected within such period of time as may be determined by the law or ordinance creating said barangay. In the case of the creation of barangays by the sangguniang panlalawigan, the recommendation of the sangguniang bayan concerned shall be necessary. (Source: RA 7160, The Local Government Code of the Philippines, 1991)

2. A TOWN is composed of several Barangay. For example in one Town, there can be 20 or more Barangays. Section 441. Manner of Creation. – A municipality may be created, divided, merged, abolished, or its boundary substantially altered only by an Act of Congress and subject to the approval by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite to be conducted by the COMELEC in the local government unit or units directly affected. Except as may otherwise be provided in the said Act, the plebiscite shall be held within one hundred twenty (120) days from the date of its effectivity.

Section 442. Requisites for the Creation of the Municipality or Town

(a) A municipality may be created if it has an average annual income, as certified by the provincial treasurer, of at least Two million five hundred thousand pesos (P2,500,000.00) for the last two (2) consecutive years based on the 1991 constant prices; a population of at least twenty-five thousand (25,000) inhabitants as certified by the National Statistics Office; and a contiguous territory of at least fifty (50) square kilometers as certified by the Lands Management Bureau: Provided, That the creation thereof shall not reduce the land area, population or income of the original municipality or municipalities at the time of said creation to less than the minimum requirements prescribed herein.

(b) The territorial jurisdiction of a newly-created municipality shall be properly identified by metes and bounds. The requirement on land area shall not apply where the municipality proposed to be created is composed of one (1) or more islands. The territory need not be contiguous if it comprises two (2) or more islands.

(c) The average annual income shall include the income accruing to the general fund of the municipality concerned, exclusive of special funds, transfers and non-recurring income.

(d) Municipalities existing as of the date of the effectivity of this Code shall continue to exist and operate as such. Existing municipal districts organized pursuant to presidential issuances or executive orders and which have their respective set of elective municipal officials holding office at the time of the effectivity of this Code shall henceforth be considered as regular municipalities. (Source: RA 7160)

3. CREATION OF A CITY.

Section 449. Manner of Creation.

A city may be created, divided, merged, abolished, or its boundary substantially altered, only by an Act of Congress, and subject to approval by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite to be conducted by the COMELEC in the local government unit or units directly affected. Except as may otherwise be provided in such Act. the plebiscite shall be held within one hundred twenty (120) days from the date of its effectivity.

Section 450. Requisites for the Creation of a City.

(a) A municipality or a cluster of barangays may be converted into a component city if it has an average annual income, as certified by the Department of Finance, of at least Twenty million (P20,000,000.00) for the last two (2) consecutive years based on 1991 constant prices, and if it has either of the following requisites:

(i) a contiguous territory of at least one hundred (100) square kilometers, as certified by the Lands Management Bureau; or

(ii) a population of not less than one hundred fifty thousand (150,000) inhabitants, as certified by the National Statistics Office:

Provided, That, the creation thereof shall not reduce the land area, population, and income of the original unit or units at the time of said creation to less than the minimum requirements prescribed herein.

(b) The territorial jurisdiction of a newly-created city shall be properly identified by metes and bounds. The requirement on land area shall not apply where the city proposed to be created is composed of one (1) or more islands. The territory need not be contiguous if it comprises two (2) or more islands.

(c) The average annual income shall include the income accruing to the general fund, exclusive of specific funds, transfers, and non-recurring income. (Source: RA 7160)Section 460. Manner of Creation. – A province may be created, divided, merged, abolished, or its boundary substantially altered, only by an Act of Congress and subject to approval by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite to be conducted by the COMELEC in the local government unit or units directly affected. The plebiscite shall be held within one hundred twenty (120) days from the date of effectivity of said Act, unless otherwise provided therein.

4. CREATION OF A PROVINCE.

Section 461. Requisites for Creation.

(a) A province may be created if it has an average annual income, as certified by the Department of Finance, of not less than Twenty million pesos (P20,000,000.00) based on 1991 constant prices and either of the following requisites:

(i) a contiguous territory of at least two thousand (2,000) square kilometers, as certified by the Lands Management Bureau; or

(ii) a population of not less than two hundred fifty thousand (250,000) inhabitants as certified by the National Statistics Office:

Provided, That, the creation thereof shall not reduce the land area, population, and income of the original unit or units at the time of said creation to less than the minimum requirements prescribed herein.

(b) The territory need not be contiguous if it comprise two (2) or more islands or is separated by a chartered city or cities which do not contribute to the income of the province.

(c) The average annual income shall include the income accruing to the general fund, exclusive of special funds, trust funds, transfers and non-recurring income. (Source: RA 7160)

Comments:

The Local Government Code or R.A. 7160 became the bible of Local Government Units as far as creating a Barangay, town, or city. Human Settlements continued to grow as population increases. Its location, however, is no longer contained in the areas near water sources. From small urban centers, new growth centers emerge in the suburbs which may soon continue to expand in the next neighboring towns or cities.

So, a metropolitan center will also emerge. For example, the city of Bacolod, the capital of our province Negros Occidental. Bacolod is considered an urban center. Its growth radiated through the neighboring towns and cities. The local government officials agreed to create a metropolitan area to be composed of the cities of Bacolod, Talisay, Silay, Bago and the town of Murcia.

This was done to coordinate and strengthen its development efforts on infrastructure, landfill, peace and order, and to improve on its shared resources like water supply, among others.

Human Settlements, therefore, existed as an active organism. It can also be likened to a human body. It exists, needs food, energy, and all the other things that could make its existence meaningful, healthy and sprite.

Now, the video that I attached here is about Urban Metabolism but the focus is on Food which is one area in Urban Metabolism. Others are water, electricity or energy, garbage, fossil fuel or gasoline, construction materials like wood or lumber, bricks, cement, steel and so many others.


This lecture by Architect Anna Maria Orru was made available through youtube. Earthniversity would like to acknowledge Architect Orru and youtube for this post. Also to KTH, the one who uploaded this video. We hope that this site will be able to help our cities and communities through this video. The focus of this lecture is on FOOD – as one of the areas in Urban Metabolism. Others are: water supply, energy or electricity, garbage, transportation, land uses, and many others.

SETTLEMENTS AS A LIVING ORGANISM

Once upon a time, about 2,300 years ago, Aristotle has already regarded urban society as a single organism functioning as a whole. He described cities as a “super organism”. He likens it to a complex living body with a variety of interacting organs similar to our human body. (Girardet, Herbert, Cities People Planet in a lecture delivered by Architect Anna Maria Orru, a youtube video is herein provided.)

So in relation to this, Girardet enumerated these interacting organs as the following:

1. Human Body is liken to an Urban Body (or shall I say, a settlement
2. Arteries/Veins – roads, railways, waterways
3. Stomach – Food Markets
4. Digestive Systems – garbage, dumps, sewage pipes
5. Brain – universities, libraries, schools
6. Nervous System – communication network
7. Lungs – parks and gardens
8. Immune System – Legislation, Police

In this case, a human body as in Urban Body, undergoes a process of metabolism which is defined as – “the sum of all biological, chemical and physical processes that occur within an organism or an ecosystem that enable it to exist, infinitely”. (Anna Maria Orru Lecture)

So, as the settlement which is now likened to a human body that undergoes metabolism, continues to exist, it consumes or uses goods and services. It produces garbage and wastes, use fuel, gasoline, food such as rice, corn, potato, wheat and many others. The settlement also uses construction materials like bricks, stones, cement, steel and many others. It uses water, electricity, telecommunication facilities and others. The settlement also gets sick or losses its sense of equilibrium and so it needs hospital, legislation and police, among others. The settlement uses road networks, bridges, waterways, boats, airplanes, etcetera and so on and so forth.

The question now is: are these things used or consumed by the Settlement or Urban Body, replaced? Most settlements do not produce the food, as one example, that it consumes. Food came from other sources outside of the settlement. If I live here in New Jersey, the rice that I cook came from Thailand, bananas came from Colombia, mangoes came from Mexico or Puerto Rico, and so many other consumer goods that came from outside of where I live.

Do I take part in planting the rice, fruits, vegetables etcetera? No, I don’t, but farmers there at the source do the planting and I guess they are planting more. Is there a need for me to lessen my food footprints? In my personal experience, I think there is a need for me to lessen my food footprints. Preparing food that is just enough for the day’s or week’s consumption and planting vegetables in my garden would also help refurbish those that I consumed.

We can also advocate that Green Design of buildings and homes can be practiced by incorporating vegetable garden or food production area in its construction. This has been done in other countries like Singapore.

Are the trees cut for housing purposes replaced with new ones, somewhere out there? Maybe, the countries that produces these have a “replacement” scheme so that new trees can be planted, mountains will not go bald and watershed areas will be protected. The latter is an accompanying input for continued water supply based on my personal experience in one project area -Managaksak – the watershed area of Metropolitan Bacolod comprising the cities of Bacolod, Bago, Talisay, Silay and the town of Murcia, in Central Visayas, Philippines.

Is the settlement trying to lessen its consumption of fossil fuel or does it increased the level of its fossil fuel footprints? Maybe, we should. As I have said earlier, green design in buildings and homes can be adopted and make use of natural lighting and ventilation as the case maybe applicable in a specific country or settlement. Using solar energy is good because it is not affected so much by the four (4) seasons for as long as the sun shines, the house can be lighted and the appliances work. Using cars that are energy efficient and installing high quality pollution control gadgets can lessen the production of carbon dioxide.

Does the settlement produce more carbon dioxide and other pollutants to create more greenhouse gases that influence the changes in climate? The UN says that human activities is the main cause of climate change. That is why, there is a need for human settlements to modify its lifestyle.

The question of sustainability as far as the consumption of Settlements or Urban Body is concerned, needs our concern as members of this Settlement and Urban Body. It can boil down to a single idea, the idea of sustainable development. According to Brundtland Report in “Our Common Future” at Adams, Green Development, page 5, Sustainable Development is “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”.

Along this line, replenishing what had been consumed or used by Settlements or Urban Body is a must so that the future generations can also meet their own needs. The responsibility lies in all stakeholders coming from the South and the North. It has been observed in the past that most producers are countries located in the south of planet earth and the consumers are located in the north of the planet. Both have the moral obligation to contribute its share in addressing the issue of sustainable development that, I think, begins with settlements.

Urban planning now shall be vibrant by injecting green ideas and self-sufficiency among its residents, so that sources of what the settlement needs may not be entirely coming from without but from within. The idea presented by Anna Maria Orru in her lecture about Food Footprints is worth revisiting. Check this out here in the attached video.

Indeed, human settlement is like a living organism that needs to survive. The things that it needs and used. however, should be replenished. For example, the trees and lumber that are used for housing construction. There must be tree planting at the source where trees were cut.

Now, if you have some ideas to contribute, please feel free to connect with us so that we can give you space here.

CITATIONS & REFERENCES:
1. Thank you youtube for sharing the lectures on Urban Metabolism by Architect Anna Maria Orru
2. Thank you Architect Anna Maria Orru for sharing your lecture on youtube.
3. Thank you to KTH, the uploader of Architect Orru’s lecture.
4. Herbert Girardet, Cities People Planet, as mentioned by Anna Maria Orru.
6. The Local Government Code of the Philippines or Republic Act 7160 of 1991 by Wikipedia.
Photo by Henry Libo-on, coastal area of El Nido Township, Palawan, Philippines.