The idea of a beautiful small place suggests two paths of experience for people over the next several decades. One path will offer catastrophic transformations, most will have an engineered cause. As a consequence of the inevitability of technical transformations, a second and parallel path will engage the renewable transformations with the opportunity to focus on the tools, skills, and practices required to increased mobility and flexibility in the acquisition of essential resources.
In the mid-1960s New York City was in urban shock. It was one of the only two “megacities” globally, the other being Tokyo. Yet, the sheer mass of it rose well into a place that would replicate until megacities consume every continent.
The blunt force of regional construction authorities for planes, trains, bridges, tunnels, and all forms of surface transport respond to one need — move goods and people successfully. New communication systems, on the other hand, transfer information at the speed of light. The meaning of that super-fast flow of information is in people, but if they have to move to acquire something as basic as an eye-to-eye handshake or hug, they are poorly, often dangerously served.
Putting transit and communications together is moving to a place at the top of the urban development agenda for two reasons. The megacity encloses instant access to the basics in small walkable places. Engaging the creative movement of people from these places to other places strengthens density, but the handshake needs to catch up with the digital experience.
The internet offers open, low-cost access to questions you might have, but the larger the area of inquiry, the more difficult it is to obtain reliable destinations for answers to questions developed by others. The opportunity to go anywhere, acquire anything with physical mass or a simple experience is limited by the disruptions of a single modality — wheels with axles. Following, a practical look at one system.
The lowest-paid workers pay the highest percentage of their income for housing and essential travel. The MTA in NY presents the cost details of travel in NYC in a typical “retail maze” of choices (here). It is promoted as special flexibility, however, it hides the subsidies from those who need them for one reason. By law, the MTA is required to be substantially “fare-supported.” Reduced fare programs are available and can help New Yorkers who don’t use banks or mobile devices with the use of “contactless payment” systems, but they are obscure and difficult to acquire. Even reduced fare for senior citizens requires a notarized application and multiple ID documents delivered personally.
A sizeable percentage of NYC households did not have bank accounts, estimated at around 12% in comparison to a national average of about eight percent. Those who reject a car or other private transit are not powerful advocates. Even essential workers are unable to sustain public investment in a low-cost fare. The New York Times explains how the system fell apart in the post-Sandy Hurricane flood, but the pre-pandemic condition in this 2018 story (here).
Agreed, the transit system’s management and maintenance costs involve 665 miles of track, 472 stations, and 27 distinct subway lines. It has the poorest on-time transit performance in the world. Public investment in private infrastructure occurs when the innovations of a system such as an urban subway become broken for the lack of profitability. If the service is essential, a public takeover is offered, and the public London Metro or the NYC subway system is born. On the other hand, privatization occurs in ideological systems lessening government roles and is regularly promoted by cash-strapped governments. In these cases, the prices are no longer fixed or regulated. The capital expands the number of private shareholders by the millions, prisons, roads, public housing, social security, and even water.
The urban system provides the “critical mass” needed to create the vehicular pedestrian. In NYC, when many people on bikes realized they needed to get more room on the road, they were digitally organized and demonstrated in mass and eventually acquired bike lanes. This resulted from two things: lives saved, and recognition of a new social change capacity through social connectivity, and collaborations. They develop rapidly, and the change (good or bad) occurs in the speed of light communications era.
Data delivers information for change in the same way demand creates supply. In the data market, the truth becomes a product for the moment. Information yields new and changing levels of activity per location given a unit of product or service. Having data to define everything from the demand for material goods to the need for spiritual enrichment offers the illusion of progress.
Maybe it is progress. Getting across every street intersection safely and forever is actual progress. Think of how quickly the NYC “bike messengers” or “Uber” businesses or Citibike ideas have occupied the streets. As Google and others demonstrate, self-driving, destination-finding vehicles for Amazon and many others want to put a product ordered online at your doorstep in less than two hours from fulfillment centers. Is this the new agora, is the long-term product sans people, pro robotic?
Data streams determine location value in point-to-point densities. The use of a purchasing device for gasoline includes a zip code to complete a secure transaction. It also points to a detailed geographic zip code demography of the buyer and the seller. Density shows how consumption companies use data to predict the “when and where” for a combination of products at least cost, minimal distance, and “just in time.” Market “winners” are those systems that locate and serve with innovative flow solutions.
Density is good for 2-hour gratification services – a great meal, a package delivered, or a meet-up for any of a thousand reasons. It is even better to fine-tune the information needed to make the experience of living in the city with data exchangers. Negotiations for control over this exchange are the first steps of any new kind of existence.
Density in the digital environment contextualizes the human experience into components. Whether it is consumption or otherworldliness, the definition of humanness extends into these digital copies of ourselves. It adds to self-awareness and grows continuously as complex combinations of community self-awareness. Sometimes digital relationships will take on the vitality of cancer in an old body. Altering demand for stuff toward high “sustainable good” ratings tends to lack push. The digital realm is largely a response mechanism. for example, acquisitions can create growth without killing the host. It is a challenge people will eventually understand as their soul in relation to the company store.
As anxious and loosely organized programmers build communication platforms, the power to ask questions, assemble and disseminate information expands exponentially. The beauty is how this power could minimize or maximize every imaginable facet of consumption. Four aspects overlap:
- Black Friday and Cyber Monday platforms change consumption toward a sustainable end. But…
- Places change when “click” substitutes for “brick.”
- Retail space shifts toward community experiences and pleasures.
- The definition of problems defined will grow with rich data-sets describing human appetites established per year and decade during this change.
What management elements miss are the ways environmental concerns do not outweigh the pressures of economic gain. A brief review of the historical record on this issue provides the answers and the proof.
The 1962 Rachael Carson’s Silent Spring is recognized as a world changer. Carson’s biography describes a writer, poet, and scientist whose active investigation into a world saturated with bio-accumulative pesticides (DDT and chlordane) required unparalleled levels of courage.
Carson’s dot-to-dot observations warned of an environmental tipping point. In this same regard, Hans Rosling’s’ creation of the Gap Minder for planet-wide analysis dates from 1960 onward. Both Carson and Rosling layout layer upon layer of detail to illustrate the importance of legacy data and the need to mine it. Rachael is not alone anymore.
Massive data sets are defined with a similar “parts per million” approach to getting to the bottom-line measure for all forms of matter.1 The quest for environmental knowledge as super interconnected brought Janice Benyus’ and her collaborators to the creation of Ask Nature.org is yet another iteration.
First, a little background on why resolving urban environmental quality problems provides the third leg to the emerging digital/transit duality.
Historians point to Babylonian, Egyptian, and the Greek use of straight, smooth roads that Rome developed as necessary for power. Architecture historians also note the attention Aristotle paid to how shared space (the agora) organized other economic and social uses that produced trade knowledge.
Around 493 BC, Hippodamus of Miletus, an architect, mathematician, philosopher, designed and fortified the Port of Piraeus. In 86 BC, a Roman commander destroyed the city but not the port for its tactical distribution uses.
A millennium and a half later, the strategic power of on-time delivery (big boat to small) continues as an enduring practice and a central source of economic power.
During this very long development period, the distribution systems separate into distinct functions (cruise/shipping and small pleasure craft), but the grid remains the best A to B route with built-in alternatives ever designed.
The Chicago School of Economics focuses on space and urban mechanisms very powerfully and influentially. They describe the city as a design for metro-wealth distribution. The facilitating form created by roads, city blocks, and structures also describes the city as an entity with a metaphorical metabolism leading to an association with urban functions as biological functions.
Like our bodies, the metabolic function occurs without thought, like breathing. More recently, the idea of an ecological city (one that mimics natural systems) and does not produce poisons or irreparable disturbances draws in the spatial and metabolic views toward unified urban development. The importance of doing no harm demands more science (and less law) clear the way for an entirely new development paradigm.
The science regarding the efficient use of space and energy is developing well. Best of all, science gives life a progressively knowable quality. The possibility of understanding “all of life” and making that knowledge accessible for generations of questions is the most enticing idea of our time. One of those questions is whether the city in all its forms is destroying much of that life.
Urbanized places establish a basis for a vague link between human activity and natural systems. Metropolitan regions demand resources, some unique to their functions, but it correlates with all other ecosystem environments. The long-term ecological research network (LTER) (www.lternet.edu) use five core areas for analysis listed as follows:2
- Primary Production Plant growth in most ecosystems forms the base or “primary” component of the food web. The amount and type of plant growth in an ecosystem determine the amount and kind of animals (or “secondary” productivity) that survive there.
- Population Studies – A population is a group of organisms of the same species. Like coalmine canaries, changes in populations of organisms can be important indicators of environmental change.
- Movement of Organic Matter – The entire ecosystem relies on recycling organic matter (and the nutrients it contains), including dead plants, animals, and other organisms. The decomposition of organic matter and its movement through the ecosystem is a major component of the food web.
- Movement of Inorganic Matter – Nitrogen, phosphorus, and other mineral nutrients cycle through the ecosystem with decay and disruptions such as fire and flood. In excessive quantities, nitrogen and other nutrients can have far-reaching and harmful effects on the environment.
- Disturbance Patterns – Disturbances often shape ecosystems by periodically reorganizing structure, allowing for significant changes in plant and animal populations and communities.
In 2003, LTER added urban areas to bring physical and social science investigations to their understanding of urban ecological change (Phoenix, AZ, and Baltimore, MD). Adding cities to their long-term analysis of ecosystem environments will integrate with other data sources such as the GHCN (Global Historical Climate Network) database. The effects of urbanization on ecosystems and climate changes result from expanding populations and associated land-surface modifications. The ability to make comparisons of urban and rural temperature changes and thousands of other factors over the long term will reveal aspects conducive to improved urban design and development that does no harm.
Janine Benyus speaks eloquently (TED) about heeding nature’s genius as the product of millions of years and vast diversity. Nature is the principal teacher of people who live on the earth far better and far more safely than we recognize currently. Benyus is a top observer of the natural world, but unlike those who cry about land-use policies that promote “sprawl,” she forces us to see how the loss of wilderness is like losing the keys to your house and car every day. Her arguments are exact with examples and a perfect summary of the issue.
The natural world runs on sunlight, uses the energy it needs, and no more; it fits form to function; recycles everything; rewards cooperation; banks on diversity; demands local expertise; curbs excesses from within; and taps the power of limits. Her book Biomimicry describes each of these in detail, pointing to the positive expectations needed.3
As the 21st century began, a jury came into a large courtroom and agreed to a verdict. Although the defendant was an apex predator and a super provider, the regard for limits became universal. The “limits-decision” marks the end of the individual/tribe survival phase. Still, as the lack of limits continues like an object in motion to threaten the earth’s systems, the counterbalance of cooperation has barely begun. Nevertheless, our tragic knowledge of “curbing excess within” remains the unstoppable natural force.
Absorbing this knowledge is intellectually revolutionary. In the late 1990s Conference, “Ideas that Matter,” Jane Jacobs distributed Biomimicry as a Christmas gift. In just a few years, it stands as the most critical introduction of environmental issues to the public since Rachael Carson’s Silent Spring. Jane Jacobs appreciated Biomimicry for its representation of limits as an opportunity. Benyus sees the capacity to borrow the idea of every organism on the earth. All of them represent the intricacies of evolutionary life far more than humans. The intellectual world has a voracious Type I bacteria-like nature. It needs to push into the city-building world and radically alter the behaviors and architectural norms they now function.
The first new value to embed into the human culture is almost too simple to get across to the people it needs to surround, but here it is:
After four billion years of life before our few million years, millions of species have come and gone. The genius of time itself is the formation of the most recent change — knowledgeable humans capable of building a near-perfect urban world generous with the earth.
Joining the natural world occurs in moments of pure stillness that engulfs your heart with kindness. It stills you at the sea’s edge and says you are of this place and as it changes so do we all. The transformation of the current urban form into something entirely new is a compelling alternative. It is possible to avoid human extinction-like events and the foreboding of being a causal agent.4
In 1989 when Bill McKibben’s insisted on the end of nature, many like-minded observers have tried to find a way to make life a better teacher. In Slate and subsequent book on the post-wild world, Emma Harris’s article made an argument for the wildness of nature in daily life. (TED) When Bill McKibben decided there is no future in Nature’s loving, it was because of a loss.
The Earth is gone where the scent of other humans and their chemical traces is not omnipresent. That Earth is gone. The movement to sustain “the wilderness” as untouched today requires the irony of an enormous management system for our “special places” so that “all may experience our natural heritage” with assisted migration plans, culling a species, opening and closing, and promotions of rewilding. Urbanized areas will make way for novel ecosystems but not without first defragmenting the wild.
Institutions understand tapping limits as a source of power by organizing and controlling groups with a specific interest. It is also evident that these groups’ sizes affect their ability to be sufficiently reflective and prevent tragic decisions. Sustaining silos of knowledge is a fundamental problem. Human life is a learning life, but institutions’ actions in preserving their interests occur as if they decided to abandon sunlight. Turning to trusted, external data sources and remote sensing may be the only alternative.
William J. Mitchell’s book Me ++ The Cyborg Self and the Networked City (2003) and previous explorations such as City of Bits (1995) examine the architect’s early fascination with a smart city within a digital/physical interface. Cybercities by Christine Boyer (1995) also explored the impacts of digital exchange on the urban planning agenda. How will the mobility of data alter the use of urban space? The intent of Mitchell in 2003 as (MIT) and Boyer (Princeton) and others perceive the spatial effect of this new interface as a “field of presence” and a super-alterable nonphysical space for solving integration problems.
The injection of information into objects and from those objects to people is an ancient practice. The sensate connection element to objects has always been there. The transfer “out of your culture” to everywhere will be danced on the head of every intellect’s pin. It is as if university education expanded its services to everything in every room of an endless hallway with embedded information in every object. The addition of devices to measure a building’s sensitivity to pressure, temperature, time, dust particles, organic compounds, rent, value, people per square kilometer., ad infinitum builds a nervous system into the space around us. Architectural space becomes a multitude of digital signatures, eventually biometric in substance. Adding a nervous system turns “all space” with a boundary into “identity devices.” These are appendages that we “plug” into our surroundings and never expect to unplug. Should there be biblical warnings, something like the path to our better selves is inward, toward oneness or something?
Adding identity to rooms verified in a series of exchanges re-emerge as gateways with multiple levels of access. It provokes the use of a private to public space with many keepers. Blockchain is running the tag on this idea first. How space forms to link privileges (instead of money) into a cohesive whole require a set of universal rules. The spatial dimension suggests passageways, portals, and thresholds through which people purchase and experience, followed by the acquisition of goods and services. The return in the form of data must pass and, in doing so, prove something, possibly everything.
The movement of data from private to public space invents new forms of exchange. Mitchell refers to these areas as global “agoras,” Boyer sees the agorist idea as a system capable of instructing itself on its conditions with such speed; it would have the capacity to prevent problems or to define the resource implications well in advance.
Many exceptions obscure this position, but again, the consequence of not finding ways to value prevention means the continuation of devastating and cascading injuries without a Rachael Carson observation. The city, its buildings, and regional structures define the human pollution problem. They also offer the only life-affirming solution to the material resource dilemmas they cause.
Data analysts such as Hans Rosling will analyze using planetary averages. The disaggregation of this data, block by block, will also be available by us and us. The phrase “the street belongs to the people” needs to remain genuine and expanded to include its many new platforms—Se si Puede.
Catastrophy and Apocalypse Fatigue
The western world remains prosperous and damaged but resilient. The old sayings about “the bigger they are” or references to “Goliath” are parables that speak to weak threat awareness, not size. In most cases, the damage is absorbed and, thus, dismissed. The spring continues to chirp and sing in the northern hemisphere. In contrast, the stress associated with other forms of potential silence has continued well south along with the earth’s equatorial rain forests and atmosphere.
A global evolutionary “mash-up” of the world as a giant Galapagos Island has begun. Combinations of natural disasters, terror, and extinction events produce direct bodily threats to family and community survival. It is the emotional toll for most people, expressed as a “there for the grace of God” experience. The trend toward increased hazard includes a benign neglect quality where the resources to eliminate complacency await social unrest. It is a sporadic but predictable policy. Vehicles for the peaceful resolution of grievances expose this uneasy sense of power. Acute upgrades in crowd control (i.e., penning-in of protesters) persist with each occurrence. Both sides build on the need to increase their powers.
A Pew Research Center study defines “apocalypse fatigue.” (See Statistics 2009 to 2020). The World Watch Institute is said to position solutions that cause intellectual fatigue. Minimize consumption? Who? How? An effective response would be far more useful with the promise and proof of a new kind of abundance, freedom from fear, and a confident way to choose correctly with every human act.
Two brief entries in the October 2005 issue of APA’s monthly magazine – Planning, drew attention to those who understand catastrophe and those that fail to do so. The cover observes a large Huey helicopter repairing the levee that helped destroy New Orleans, LA lowlands via Katrina, a late-season hurricane. The cover photo is tied to a letter from the APA president David Siegel asking APA’s membership to send cash while telling victims that “we do not give up,” and adding somewhat awkwardly, “we do not discriminate.”
The other brief entry in this issue was about Rokko, transit-oriented development, and “new town” on a landfill island outside of Kobe, Japan. This construction project started during the late 80s, with the first phase completed in 1991. It withstood that city’s severe 1995 earthquake.5
New Orleans and Rokko illustrate disaster recovery. One due to significant investments in high density, walkable qualities, and affordability for all income ranges that learning from its previous errors. The other continues to re-invest in shanty-style ready-worker housing to sustain the illusion of a musical paradise.
The recovery of Rokko was affordable. The earthquake stalled developer interest in completing the plan, but the public role in infrastructure recovery was short-term. The recovery of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast remains unaffordable and long-term. If people want (or must) live in the lowland of Louisiana or the barrier islands of New York and New Jersey, they do so in the absence of a national land-use policy that would inhibit building at the edge of the ocean. The densities and locations selected with this kind of exposure have assigned risk levels, yet unseparated from the pool of all risk and adjusted to income levels. A policy for minimizing consumption is implied with implementation. The argument is lost on the meaning of well-being.
It is unacceptable to cause damage so severe that bird eggs crumble to ban DDT, or for a river to turn ablaze to get the Clean Water Act or to choke in respiratory failure to get a Clean Air Act or poison a neighborhood or the Gulf of Mexico to get national brownfield clean-up legislation and permanent accountability.
The challenge of change is more threatening than the next disaster. There are ways to awaken indifference to large, slow-moving problems and too few ways to limit obstruction and outright hedging of facts or truth. In 2016, Kyoto City attracted the interest of the Global Footprint Network and the WWF to set a path to this truth using the analytical framework of the Ecological Footprint. Kyoto has a relatively temperate climate to measure energy consumption.
Kyoto’s island density supports walking to essential services and a mass transit system to access citywide services. The report finds carbon emissions at 64% of the larger Kyoto City’s Ecological Footprint and highlights a deduction worthy of the continuing interest. Within the last half-century, the demand for concrete measures (EBODPM) of sustainability has risen with grand force. The earthquake also signaled the costs of falling back to measures of resilience. Sustainability and resilience no longer suggest a world of wealth as “have vs. have not” just “the knowing vs. the unknowing.” The idea of a “transdisciplinary” exchange of knowledge attempts to achieve greater openness aimed at a more excellent kind of knowing.6
Hundreds of cities throughout the world are in ‘retrofit.’ In How to Design a Sustainable City, Rachel Cooper, Graeme Evans, and Christopher Boyko introduce design practices that deal with improving a thing unplanned beyond tiny boundaries. The authors argue the obvious. It is possible to create dense and walkable places where train stations are used to be and where development waits in parking lots.
If this good solution has a future, it will attract developers to improve regional integration by eliminating tiny boundaries.
Alternatives to urban mobility stall in Simmons B. Buntin’s 2013 assessment. He is the author of Unsprawl and examines development categories such as 1) new towns, 2) gray field renewal, 3) downtowns, and 4) greening promotions. The task of “suburb fixing” and the “stop sprawl” idea connects to the revolution in information technology, but the lack of political awareness among designers is staggering. In the vast retrofit-complexity of the urban landscape, the observer can find the “seeds of change” phenomena, the so-called demonstration projects that reveal a weak commitment. Inertia builds because of a general belief in the exponential effect of individual inhuman inaction. Much of it is built in the silent racial compositions of the suburban racist approach to change. The subtext is unspoken; trains equal poor people, blacks are poor, no transit-based development around stations.
Promoting retrofits sharing experiences in short periods. In a matter of months, small groups of people confront the immediate demand for the construction of the simplest things, such as a small house, a place to learn, or sell goods. An initiative called Changemakers.net documents and shares hundreds of “transformations” worldwide. Connecting the maximize well-being also requires a deep understanding of the people (the beings) involved.
A young enthusiastic architect, Cameron Sinclair began a modest, startup community technical aid practice named Architecture for Humanity (AFH) along with the idea of political change-making. It became global very quickly because he adjusted his business model to become an open-access information network. He formed a group to share simple design solutions and advance the use of a universal commons license. His public astonishment at this model’s growth draws from his $700 in start-up capital and a modest website. In a brief time, he acquired a digitally enlarged design community by focusing directly on people’s needs in need of something that design could either provide or politically resolve.
Adding new integrating parts to older places serves designers who work for a large unserved population without enough household income to own or control a space’s design. Cameron and Kate Stohr tapped into something Muhammad Yunus, founder of the Grameen Bank, discovered. The idea of unlearning leads to new opportunities through the eyes of the forgotten. AFH created a lateral or “flat” distribution of ideas and adapted easily to the use of mechanisms such as a creative commons license. Revenues went from $2M to $12M quickly, and suddenly well-being in the world of “noble obligation” began to collapse. Its exponential growth from individual to collective political change fell into the “restricted vs. unrestricted” use of capital, resulting in a lawsuit.
One side of their effort exposed important facilitating tools in place-making. A boost from the Jolie-Pitt Foundation helped reform AFH in bankruptcy into the Open Architecture Collaborative (Garrett Jacobs). The other side of the story is in the fog of the attack that exposes the deficiency of political sensitivity among well-trained architects and designers.
Another group, Design Corps organized by another young architect, Bryan Bell, managed to capture a Loeb Fellowship and establish an idea parallel to LEED known as SEED. In this case, and largely due to the Loeb community, an alternative the silver to platinum pat on the back model of LEED, SEED’s principles took direct aim at the hypocrisy in the business model and easily pointed out the real problem, tech is good. Still, it will, without a doubt, be too little too late without a major change in value systems.
All these groups follow one established in 1968 as the Association for Community Design, recently buoyed by Rose Fellowship collection of hopeful and marginally talented architects that might help major developers find workable projects outside of their range of vision.
The issues outlined in this chapter describe the demand for transformation, but little of it. Some are individually inspirational people who know what to do face to face with the problem. The insight embedded in their growing precision of work brought to a high-level professional network can connect all of these “small work” solutions, which is the route to well-being.
The big problem of establishing a firm, dense concentration of continuously self-renewing urban centers is coming of age in this work to save lives with improved physical environments. The central challenge will be to find ways to build this as a density of thought and place. Taking this direction produces a level of complexity that is incapable of damaging the environment or people.
We already know that complexity incorporated into the brilliant, amazing cities on the earth is a pale scrap of knowledge compared to what the forests and oceans of the Earth provide. The complexity is a thing before history, a balance of existence that wastes nothing, and we know little of it.
To lose the secrets of this vast wilderness might mean we lose everything. If a significant urban transformation on the earth occurs, then an equivalent place for the wild must be part of it. The next chapter examines this possibility. Find ways to keep the wilderness in every part of our earth. It is a challenge the next century must accept.
- The ‘parts per million’ idea is a major area of investment by the Federal Government. The investment of billions in the research holds promises that may take twenty or thirty years to yield practical contributions. Nanotechnology is one of these areas. It involves the understanding and control of matter at dimensions between 1and 100 nanometers. Here, unique phenomena enable novel applications in science, engineering, and technology. The technology involves imaging, measuring, modeling, and manipulating matter in nanometers or one-billionth of a meter. A sheet of paper is about 100,000 nanometers thick; a single gold atom is about a third of a nanometer in diameter. The smallpox virus is 300 nanometers. Dimensions between approximately 1 and 100 nanometers are known as the nanoscale. At this scale, unusual physical, chemical, and biological properties can emerge in materials. These properties may differ in important ways from the properties of bulk materials and single atoms or molecules. Major areas of investment are as follows: Nanomedicine (e.g., imaging, diagnostics, and therapeutics; antibiotics; gene regulation) Energy storage, generation, and conversion (library of congress in a sugar cube) Environmental diagnostics and cleanup (breaking oil, biomimicry) Structural and multi-functional nanocomposites (steel at a tenth the weight) Homeland security (e.g., chemical and biological detection and pathogenesis monitoring)
- Core Research Areas – Lter – Lternet.edu, https://lternet.edu/core-research-areas/ (accessed January 28, 2019).
- Benyus, Janice M 1997: Biomimicry – Innovation Inspired by Nature, Wm Morrow, New York. Benyrus links to the Paul Ehrlich school to argue for human development’s organic nature through land use.
- The Benyus link to Reinhold Niebuhr calls on the natural order of the intellect. See Niebuhr, Reinhold 1941:The Nature and Destiny of Man, Vol. 1 Human Nature, Nisbet, London: 194-6.
- The Rokko description was written by Robert Olshansky on a sabbatical out of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Rokko Island is 1,432 acres; housing was built at 75 units per acre to produce about 17,000 residents. It is a human-made island built from 120 million cubic meters of fill taken from Osaka Bay to make the bay suitable for shipping. Ikuo Kobayashi and Kazuyoshi Ohnishi provided details of the development in a sidebar article. Both have lived on Rokko Island since 1992. The shock absorption capacity of the island remains of key interest to this day. On the American side of the issue, the irony continues. The two main articles’ thrust examined the crisis in affordable housing and inclusionary zoning methods’ insufficiency.
- A group of authors, led by Nef, presented the needs in existential categories (to have, to do) and axiological categories. These are: 1) subsistence, 2) affection, 3) protection, 4) understanding, 5) participation, 6) resting time, 7) creation, 8) identity, and 9) freedom). The full spectrum of things, services, relations, and activities considered satisfiers are presented in 5 tables (Max Nef 1988, p.42). An example would be the stars of from the “big bang” theory of physics or “sparks from the fire” mythology of Australian aboriginals. Both instructive observations— from insight of Maslow to the instructions of Nef.