Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Creating sustainable neighbourhoods (book)

The Hidden Potential of Sustainable Neighbourhoods: Lessons from Low-Carbon Communities

How do you achieve effective low-carbon design beyond the building level? How do you create a community that is both livable and sustainable? More importantly, how do you know if you have succeeded? Harrison Fraker goes beyond abstract principles to provide a clear, in-depth evaluation of four first generation low-carbon neighborhoods in Europe, and shows how those lessons can be applied to the U.S. The four case studies are: Bo01 and Hammarby in Sweden, and Kronsberg and Vauban in Germany. Each was built deliberately to conserve resources: all are mixed-used, contain at least 1,000 units, and have aggressive goals for energy and water efficiency, recycling, and waste treatment.

Stories of enviromental mediation (book)

Common Ground on Hostile Turf: Stories from an Environmental Mediator

In our increasingly polarized society, there are constant calls for compromise, for coming together. For many, these are empty talking points—for Lucy Moore, they are a life's work. As an environmental mediator, she has spent the past quarter century resolving conflicts that appeared utterly intractable. Here, she shares the most compelling stories of her career, offering insight and inspiration to anyone caught in a seemingly hopeless dispute.

Transport beyond oil (book)

Transport Beyond Oil: Policy Choices for a Multimodal Future 

Seventy percent of the oil America uses each year goes to transportation. That means that the national oil addiction and all its consequences, from climate change to disastrous spills to dependence on foreign markets, can be greatly reduced by changing the way we move. In Transport Beyond Oil, leading experts in transportation, planning, development, and policy show how to achieve this fundamental shift. The authors demonstrate that smarter development and land-use decisions, paired with better transportation systems, can slash energy consumption.

Empathic green building design (book)

Design for an Empathic World: Reconnecting People, Nature, and Self

Despite an uncertain economy, the market for green building is exploding. The US green building market has expanded dramatically since 2008 and is projected to double in size by 2015. But green-building pioneer Sim Van der Ryn says, “greening” our buildings is not enough.  He advocates for “empathic design”, in which a designer not only works in concert with nature, but with an understanding of and empathy for the end user and for ones self.  It is not just one of these connections, but all three that are necessary to design for a future that is more humane, equitable, and resilient.

Bokashi Composting (book)

Bokashi Composting: Scraps to Soil in Weeks

Bokashi is Japanese for "fermented organic matter." Bokashi composting is a safe, quick, and convenient way to compost in your kitchen, garage, or apartment, using a specific group of microorganisms to anaerobically ferment all food waste (including meat and dairy). Since the process takes place in a closed system, insects and smell are controlled, making it ideal for urban or business settings. The process is very fast, with compost usually ready to be integrated into your soil or garden in around two weeks. While bokashi has enjoyed great popularity in many parts of the world, it is still relatively unknown in North America. From scraps to soil, Bokashi Composting is the complete, step-by-step, do-it-yourself guide to this amazing process.

Research review on urban green infrastructure (report)

Urban Green Infrastructure - POST Note

Urban green infrastructure is a network of green spaces, water and other natural features within urban areas. A green infrastructure approach uses natural processes to deliver multiple functions, such as reducing the risk of flooding and cooling high urban temperatures. This POSTnote summarises research evidence of the effectiveness of green infrastructure, and challenges to its implementation.

Doing sustanability science requires organisational change (#journal)

Sustainability research: Organizational challenge for intermediary research institutes

This paper compares strategies for agricultural sustainability based on natural sciences with alternatives captured under the umbrella of sustainability sciences, based on systems and mixed sciences approaches. It is argued that intermediary research institutes by their position in between academia, practice and between government and society are well positioned to incorporate sustainability science. This requires boundary management beyond the traditional boundaries of biological and technical disciplines and their fields of application and retention of methodology and knowledge within with units of scientists with complementary knowledge and skills. To become effective doing sustainability science can probably only be achieved after a prolonged period of experimentation and evaluation, while the shared base of theories, methods and networks form the core of such a knowledge system, as contrasted to disciplinary groups.

Livestock farming with care (#journal)

Livestock Farming with Care: towards sustainable production of animal-source food

This paper introduces a concept for sustainable production of animal-source food. This concept of “Livestock Farming with Care” is founded on care ethics with an integrated approach based on four principles: One Health (i.e. healthy and safe for animals and humans); Customized Care (i.e. from the individual animal's perspective and integrity); No Nuisance (i.e. from an environmental and societal perspective) and Credible Performance (i.e. from an economic and public prospect). It is acknowledged that the diversity in farming systems ranging from typical smallholder practices to high output production systems requires integrated and customized solutions based on this general concept. Emerging technologies as included in “Precision Livestock Farming” can be beneficial to the implementation.

Agro-ecology special issue (#journal)

Agricultural Ecology Research: its role in delivering sustainable farm systems 

We face major global challenges to improve food security whilst recovering and maintaining those aspects of production systems which are known as ecological services. These services underpin the environmental and economic fitness of our food production system, and are supported by those primary producers - arable plants. Arable plants include crop and wild species, and their essential roles must be both understood and exploited in a more sustainable fashion, as success in this regard will underpin our capability to eliminate food insecurity. It is therefore anticipated that cropland management and food culture will be altered considerably. 

Biomass research special issue (#journal)

Biomass and Energy Crops IV

This journal tracks the development of perennial and annual biomass crops and the use of food crops for energetic applications, primarily focusing on developments in the UK and Europe. It provides an opportunity to gain an understanding of the progress and achievements being made in this rapidly developing sector and the drivers for further development. It also highlights areas where there is still further work to be done to increase the productivity of biomass, a necessity in order to minimise impacts on the amount of land that will be required to meet ambitious targets for biomass production.

Restoring diverse grasslands special issue (#journal)

Restoring diverse grassland: What can be achieved where, and what it will it do for us?

Grassland is a major feature of the landscape, and the major resource for livestock production, in the UK and across much of Europe. It is also of vital importance for wildlife and the wider natural environment and many hundreds of millions of pounds have been spent within agri-environment schemes  attempting to restore grassland with a diversity of plants, invertebrates and birds. Restoration of coherent ecological networks is a high priority. Climate change mitigation and adaptation are also imperatives, as is resource protection, and grassland can play a major role by improving soil structure and infiltration, preventing erosion and storing carbon. And food security is a further driver – grassland must support livestock, ideally producing more and of higher quality.

Crop rotation special issue (#journal)

Making Crop Rotations Fit for the Future

Crop rotations play an important role in maintaining crop productivity and soil health in a wide range of farming systems. They are important for sustaining crop yield and fertility building, as well as weed, pest and disease control. UK farming systems have tended to adopt simplified rotations; however, more crops are now available to farmers and there is support to diversify rotations through the inclusion of cover crops as well as new market opportunities for non-food crops. Increased crop diversity is also known to support increased biodiversity on farm. It has also been suggested that increased crop diversity will give added resilience to farming systems in the light of climate change