USP 514 Session 14 Notes

November 16th
Session Fourteen:  
Green New Deal 

REQUIRED READING FOR SESSION FOURTEEN

 

  1. Blueprint for Europe’s Just Transition – https://report.gndforeurope.com/
    • Austerity is not a solution to the climate collapse.
      • Progress is expensive. You can’t get progress with austerity.
    • Economic inequality is another major problem facing civilization.
    • Democracies are collapsing around the world as a result of the unaddressed economic and climate crises.
      • These three things are tied together and can only be addressed together.
    • Background Process
      • Get everyone on board with understanding gnd
      • Listen to stakeholders and incorporate their feedback to create “the just transition”
      • Bring everything together to form a comprehensive vision
      • Bring the plans to the institutions
        • This is where this document comes in
    • Transform financialized capitalism into something that supports rather than threatens our long-term interests with regard to justice, equity, etc.
      • America is the “vampire mothership
        • The private sector sucks the blood of the country like a parasite while also exterminating the population and destroying the ecology that sustains the extractive, productive, and consumptive activities which the vampire capitalism relies on
    • Class discussion:
      • Main demands
        • 3-day weekend/4-day work work
          • More jobs, less work
        • Democratize the economy and society across workplaces and communities
        • Fair wages
          • People should be able to afford to live if they are working
        • Local job creation, including rural areas
      • Guarantee a basic income for industries that are being phased out
      • Fund government procurement from sustainable GND manufacturers
      • Use the GPW to fund major buyback programs for vacant housing stock
      • Penalize non-renewable investments
  2. Green New Deal Report, Data for Progress – https://www.dataforprogress.org/green-new-deal-report
    • GND is necessary to meet the scale and urgency of environmental challenges facing America
    • GND can bring American job and economic opportunity
    • GND is popular among American citizens
    • GND can be environmentally just and distribute benefits equitably
    • GND is Financially feasible and necessary
  3. Creating a Road Map for a Green New Deal” – https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/creating-a-road-map-for-a-green-new-deal
    • AOC and others protested at the offices of Pelosi, demanding GND
    • Large scale projects are essential to resolve climate crisis
  4. “Can A Blue Wave Deliver A Green New Deal” – https://www.thenation.com/article/can-the-blue-wave-deliver-a-green-new-deal/
    • More coverage of the same AOC/Pelosi protest

 

HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT FOR SESSION FIFTEEN

  1. Watch the video Clean and Resilient Recovery (1 hour 30 minutes) –https://www.wri.org/events/2020/07/webinar-building-clean-and-resilient-recovery-covid-19

    1. Answer the 5 questions below in writing and be prepared to discuss them in class:
  2. What are the main points raised in this video about Covid 19, the SDGs and Climate Change?
    • The historic economic paradigms are inefficient, polluting, and not resilient.
    • Alternatives exist as articulated by the UN SDGs.
    • The post-covid recovery can be clean and resilient.
  3. What similarities and differences are different nations facing?
    • Everyone faces economic collapse due both to covid and climate change
    • Everyone faces disasters like covid and will continue to face wider challenges as the collapse of the biosphere progresses
    • Different countries have different access to investment capital to implement change
    • Different countries face different short and long-term threats from climate change
  4. What are the main challenges addressed in this video?
    • Covid is just a sneak peek of the disasters that are coming as a result of the climate collapse
    • Most of the crises we are going to face in the near future are either directly or indirectly related to the ongoing collapse of the biosphere
  5. What solutions are presented?
    • UK
      • As we recover from covid and rebuild, we can make wiser decisions about the kind of future we want.
      • We need to use sustainability and resiliency as the lens through which to view the recovery and rebuilding post-covid.
      • Subsidize clean alternative vehicle and transportation designs
    • Bangladesh
      • Scale up early warning systems for extreme storms
        • These investments save 10x the cost in lives and property damage
      • Covid recovery needs to be durable and resilient
        • Investment must be guided by and directed through these principles
      • SDG alignment is key to a resilient recovery
      • Supply chains need to be circular
      • Wellbeing and inclusiveness as central goals is key to securing long-term prosperity in addition to durability and resiliency
    • Korea
      • Smart grids to distribute sustainable and renewable energy
      • GND officially endorsed by federal govt
        • We can not go on like it was before.
          • Short term recovery measures must be in line with out long-term ecological interests
        • Decarbonization
          • Green innovation
          • Job creation
        • Three main pillars
          • Eco-friendly and smart infrastructure
          • Low-carbon energy infrastructure
            • Increasing renewable power capacity
            • Phasing out coal and other non-sustainable power sources
              • Ten coal plants closed already with six more scheduled to close
          • Green manufacturing
      • Covid reveals how fragile the existing economic systems are. This should be taken as a warning, since the climate disaster is going to be so much worse than covid.
    • Nigeria
      • It is now cheaper to provide sustainable energy versus unsustainable energy
    • Rwanda
      • Significantly increased their ambitious plans for SDG progress
      • Established covid economic recovery fund
        • Based on climate resilience strategy and action plan
      • Investing in climate action can accelerate covid recovery
    • Jamaica
      • Committed to establish low-carbon economic recovery from covid
      • Sustainable investments in renewable energy sector
      • Climate finance needs to be more accessible and more available
  6. How do the SDGs fit into the solutions?
    • Countries can choose to double down on the polluting and inefficient economic strategies of the past or choose sustainable alternatives as articulated by the SDGs?

 

Videos 

  • The Green New Deal: Putting the climate at the heart of global policy – Jeremy Rifkin (9 minutes)
    • Animal and insect populations under threat around the world
    • Sea levels rising
    • Planet getting hotter because of fossil fuels
    • It’s not too late to change course
    • GND: Fossil fuel economy will collapse by 2028
      • GND is an aspirational document
      • Patterned after the new deal of the 1930s.
        • Roosevelt initiated massive programs to get people back to work
      • GND helps us move quickly out of a fossil fuel economy in order to avoid mass extinctions
        • We are on course to lose half the species on earth within the century.
    • Renewable solar energy is now cheaper than the other energy sources
      • This means a widespread economic collapse will happen in the energy sector because the capital invested in obsolete polluting energy sources is going to move to sustainable alternatives like solar
    • Every region and community needs to locally implement GND principles in order to move into the new era of sustainable energy production and consumption
    • Long-term equity (pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, etc.) moving out of bad bets on fossil fuels is a hugely powerful force for change.
    • Small sustainable pilot projects need to expand to huge widespread projects
      • This will allow long-term equity bets to move into these projects in a big way.
  • Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Breaks Down What the Green New Deal Really Is (5 minutes)
    • A proposed resolution or vision statement about building a sustainable future through investments in better alternatives to the status quo
      • This would inspire separate legislation to address each of the smaller ideas.
    • Affordable housing
    • Homelessness
    • Free education for all

 

Class Discussion

  • Played video of spoken word poem
    • If the lifespan of the earth is a day then humans have existed for three seconds and in that time basically wrecked everything, destroyed the environment, and initiated an extermination of the population including ourselves.
  • GND is the first attempt to meet the scale of the challenges of the climate crisis
    • Justice, equity, jobs, etc
    • Advocates for large government investments in programs and projects to resolve the crisis
  • The long-term actuarial perspective of institutional capital from sources like pension funds can be a powerful force for change through green investments in renewable energy, sustainability, and resilience in the developing world.

USP 514 Session 13 Notes

November 9th 
Session Thirteen: Cost Benefit Analysis and Precautionary Principle 

REQUIRED READING FOR SESSION THIRTEEN (click on Session 13 on left side to access reading)

 

  1. Pricing the Priceless (this is a legal article so you may have to review it several times

    • Cost-benefit analysis is a deeply flawed method that repeatedly leads to biased and misleading results
      • offers no clear advantages in making regulatory policy decisions and often produces inferior results, in terms of both environmental protection and overall social welfare, compared to other approaches
    • Proponents of cost-benefit analysis make two basic arguments in its favor.
      • First, use of cost-benefit analysis ostensibly leads to more “efficient” allocation of society’s resources by better identifying which potential regulatory actions are worth undertaking and in what fashion
      • Second, the use of discounting systematically and improperly downgrades the importance of environmental regulation.
      • Third, cost-benefit analysis ignores the question of who suffers as a result of environmental problems and, therefore, threatens to reinforce existing patterns of economic and social inequality.
      • Finally, cost-benefit analysis fails to produce the greater objectivity and transparency promised by its proponents
    • While economists have spent three decades wrangling about how much a human life, or a bald eagle, or a beautiful stretch of river, is worth in dollars, ecologists, engineers, and other specialists have gone about the business of saving lives and eagles and rivers, without waiting for formal, quantitative analysis proving that saving these things is worthwhile.
  2. The Precautionary Principle Puts Value First, Nancy Meyer
    • Professor definition: if the producer is not able to prove that no one will be harmed occurs in the process of their activity, then they may not proceed.
    • potential harm, scientific uncertainty, and precautionary action
    • The Wingspread Statement went on to define three additional components of the principle’s application: In this context the proponent of an activity, rather than the public, should bear the burden of proof. The process of applying the Precautionary Principle must be open, informed, and democratic and must include potentially affected parties. It must also involve an examination of the full range of alternatives, including no action

 

Group Discussion

  • Cost benefit analysis
    • Define cost benefit analysis
      • A method/methodology for making decisions by weighing pros and cons, strengths and benefits, strengths and weaknesses but always prioritizes the economic considerations beyond all other considerations.
        • In fact, cost-benefit analysis is incapable of delivering what it promises. First, cost-benefit analysis cannot produce more efficient decisions because the process of reducing life, health, and the natural world to monetary values is inherently flawed
      • Cost-benefit analysis tries to mimic a basic function of markets by setting an economic standard for measuring the success of the government’s projects and programs. That is, cost-benefit analysis seeks to perform, for public policy, a calculation that markets perform for the private sector.
      • An attempt to attach a price to solving a social or environmental problems.
      • Good
        • Homelessness: it’s much cheaper to give them houses instead of leaving them on the street.
        • Domestic violence: it’s much cheaper to give them housing so they can split up instead of leaving them together.
      • Bad
        • We can’t always know the costs and benefits. For example what is the future value of an acre of rainforest and how do we weigh it against the alternative developments that could happen there
        • Utilitarianism debunked
          • Different groups value costs and benefits differently, so they can’t necessarily balance the costs and benefits across identities.
          • Dangerous lead levels change to accommodate whatever the lead levels are so that no one has to do anything about them.
        • Wind is expensive to set up, but better in the long-term there are huge advantages over the alternatives
        • Difficult to see a profit motive for solving covid
          • It may be that only the wealthy will get the vaccine and the treatments
        • The failures of cost benefit analyses are often based on the failure of capitalism to solve problems that don’t have a clear profit motive or clearly quantifiable costs and benefits.
    • Discuss problems and benefits with cost benefit
      • If it was cheaper to solve problem instead of not solving problems, then why would there be any problems?
      • Using cost as a measure of harm does not account for all the ways that harms happen.
      • Actuarial perspective
      • reinforce existing patterns of economic and social inequality
      • We can’t really know all the costs in many cases
  • Professor said we should be thinking conceptually rather than theoretically or practically
  • The concepts we are talking about today are competing methodologies for decision making
  • Precautionary principle: designed to address the problems of cost-benefit analysis from the opposite perspective
    • Accepts risk as a natural, unavoidable part of decision making
      • If we don’t remove the contaminated soil and kids get sick, that’s the cost of doing nothing
      • If we fight a war for oil, the cost is the lives of soldiers, chaos in developing nations, etc
    • Potential harm
    • Scientific uncertainty
    • Precautionary action

November 11th – NO CLASS VETERANS DAY

USP 514 Session 12 Notes

November 2nd and 4th  
Session Twelve: Sustainable Urban Energy Management

 

This session will focus on the approaches, policies, and practices we can promote sustainable energy management and use. The discussion will be guided by the following questions:

  1. What are the major characteristics of energy?
    • Energy: the ability to do work
    • Energy sources
      • Human energy – both within and without the body
      • Animal energy – both within and without the body
      • Fossil fuels: remains of organic material that has died and been buried under pressure for millions of years.
        • Petroleum: mostly used for transportation
        • Coal: mostly used outside transportation
        • Gas: mostly used outside transportation
      • Hydro/ Hydroelectric
      • Nuclear
        • Fission
        • Fusion
      • Solar
        • Thermal
        • Voltaic
      • Wind
      • Plants
        • Bioremediation
        • Biomass
        • Biogas
      • Geothermal
      • Tidal power
    • Embodied energy: all the energy involved in doing work (cradle to cradle)
    • In the pre-industrial period, biomass was a main source of energy for the world
      • Cooking
      • Heating
      • Transportation
      • Manufacturing
      • Extractive activities, consumptive activities, waste activities
    • Why did fossil fuels become popular?
      • Fossil fuels are reliable
        • Biomass burns at unpredictable temperatures
        • Hydro is also unpredictable as a direct energy source
        • Huge government subsidies
      • Fossil fuels are profitable
      • Example of glass blowers in Moreno in 14th century Venice switching from biomass to coal and doing more work but creating more pollution.
    • Coal is transported by rail
  2. What energy sources are used to provide energy in cities?
    • Petroleum for transportation
    • Fossil fuels like gas and biomass for heat
    • Some solar and wind
  3. What do we mean by the concept “renewable energy”?
  4. What energy systems and technologies are considered “renewable” and why are they considered renewable?
    • Wind
    • Solar
    • Hydroelectric
    • These are considered to be renewable because the externalities are largely priced in, and the sources work for a long time without producing additional harms once they are in place.
  5. What economic and social policies would need to be implemented to promote widespread use of renewable energy?
    • Government subsidies need to change to support renewable energy instead of non-renewable energy
    • Political support for corporate accountability
    • Infrastructure
    • Research and development
    • Trade policies to support materials and manufacturing related to the production of renewable energy sources
    • Reduce consumption and increase efficiency
  6. Which countries are at the forefront of using renewable energy; what can we learn from these countries?
    • Norway, France, Denmark, China, Iceland, Germany, Holland, Sweden
    • We should install renewable sources and use policies that encourage renewable energy consumption in transportation, manufacturing, and other energy consumption sectors
  7. How can professionals promote sustainable energy management and use?
    • Transitioning to renewables can have a harmful impact
      • Our consumption is very high, while many developing nations have very low consumption. We need both groups to move towards a more sustainable central level of consumption. So developing nations need to consume more in order to reach a parity of living conditions while developed nations need to consume less.
      • Infrastructure investments for developing nations to help them skip ahead and adopt better alternatives to fossil fuel energy sources
    • Job training
      • For example for workers to stop working on coal and start working on solar

 

Other Notes

  • The global south is largely not electrified
  • In non-electrified areas, open fires use biomass for cooking, heat, manufacturing
    • The smoke people are exposed to can be equivalent to six packs of cigarettes per day
      • Respiratory diseases are a far more serious threat because of this
  • Around the world, the industrialization of developing nations has given wealth benefits to the elites and health harms to the common people
  • Infrastructure is often funded by international banks
    • Bonds are a good alternative funding source for infrastructure which allows them to avoid the political and economic interference from the international banking system

 

REQUIRED READING FOR SESSION TWELVE

(click on Session 12 on left side to access reading)

  1. Alternative Urban Futures: Chapter Three
    • Energy
      • World Energy Mix
    • Environmental and Social Impacts of Fossil Fuel Dependency
      • Coal
      • Indigenous Perspectives of Drilling for Oil on Native Land
      • The Fossil Fuel Regime
    • Green Building and Design
      • Appropriate Technologies
        • Energy Efficiency
          • Energy efficient lighting
          • Energy efficient appliances
          • Occupancy sensors
          • Heat efficiency
          • Daylighting
        • Heating and Ventilation
          • Insulation
          • Programmable thermostats
          • Proper ventilation
        • Solar
          • Solar hot water heating pumps
          • Photovoltaic systems
          • Passive solar heating
        • Water
          • Rainwater catchment systems
          • Gray water recovery systems
          • Indoor water conservation
        • Landscaping
          • Xeriscaping
          • Landscaping for energy conservation
          • Pervious material
        • Reduce, reuse, recycle
        • Reused materials
        • Lumber
        • Recycling wastes
        • Local manufacturing
        • Compost systems
      • Improving household biomass systems
    • Renewable energy
      • Wind energy
      • Solar photovoltaic
      • Solar thermal

USP 514 Session 11 Notes

October 26th and 28th 
 Session Eleven: Sustainable Urban Transportation Management
This session will examine a range of issues critical to sustainable urban transportation. We will examine case studies of Curitiba, Brazil and Bogata, Columbia transportation systems. We will be guided by the following questions.

  1. What are basic characteristics of urban transportation systems?
    • Mobility
    • Some relationships are backwards of what might seem intuitive
      • More industrialized countries often have less transit options
      • Less industrialized countries often have more transit options
      • More industrialized countries are more responsible for climate change while being less impacted by climate change
      • Less industrialized countries are less responsible for climate change while bearing a greater share of the impact
    • Transportation is the movement of people, goods, and services.
    • Modes
      • Biking
      • Walking
      • Busses
      • Trains
      • Cars
      • Light rails
      • Animals: horses, donkeys, oxen, camels, elephants, dogs, llamas
      • Airplanes
    •  Sustainable
      • Busses
      • Trains
      • Light rail
    • Unsustainable
      • Cars
      • Airplanes
    • Good transportation is:
      • Affordable
      • Sustainable
      • Efficient
      • Accessible
      • Safety
      • Reliable
      • Clean
      • Convenient
      • Connected
      • Working conditions for workers should be good
    • US transportation systems are:
      • Mixed ownership public/private
      • Car centered
      • Unsafe
      • Polluting
      • Fossil fuel dominated
      • Unreliable
      • Disconnected
      • Inefficient
    • Transit: the movement of people
      • Busses, trains, light rail can carry more people than cars in the same space
      • Working conditions for workers should be good
    • Why do people use cars
      • Mobility
      • Accessibility
      • More control and autonomy
        • Destination
        • Music
        • Temperature
      • Perception that it’s faster
      • Perception that it’s cheaper
    • Transit needs to compete with these features
  2. What are the environmental and social impacts of fossil fuel dependency in the transit sector?
  3. Are all social groups affected equally?
  4. What can be done to reduce reliance on fossil fuels in the transit sector?
  5. How can mass transit, bicycling, and walking be promoted in urban transit systems?
  6. How can transportation professionals promote sustainable transportation policies and practices?
    • brt vs rail
    • alleged limitations of progressive ticket pricing
  7.  Transit oriented development
    • people use cars less because land use is planned so that housing and work are located near transit
    • Fruitvale is the best example in the bay
    • High density mixed use adjacent to transit
    • BRT came in to make it even better
  8. What does “connectivity” look like?
    • It’s more important to connect people to where they need to go rather than just connecting modalities and hoping people can get where they need to go
  9. How are transportation projects envisioned, funded, and developed in us compared to Western Europe, Japan, S Korea, others
    • In the past, people were working closer to where they worked.
    • Many large cities had widespread excellent transit systems
    • Federal policy and the tire industry have historically worked to dismantle the transit systems and forced people into cars
    • 80% of american transportation spending goes to car infrastructure
    • 20% of american transportation spending goes to transit infrastructure
    • Most developed countries have the opposite mix
    • Transportation projects are envisioned, funded, and developed in the us to advance the power of the car at the expense of walking, biking, and transit.
    • Strong-mayor acts prevented cars from entering business districts in curitiba by installing barriers overnight and occupying streets with children to prevent cars from driving through
      • Similar things happening in the Castro
  10. How do we move people out of cars and onto transit
    • brt vs rail
    • alleged limitations of progressive ticket pricing
    • ride apps are displacing transit to destinations like the airports
    • pricing is important but it’s not the primary factor people are paying attention to when they decide whether to use transit
    • Policies are successful based on incentives or penalties
      • Incentives
        • Reliability
        • Safety
        • Accessibility
        • Quality of ride
        • Incentives from workplaces, institutions
        • Alternatives to the car
      • Penalties
        • Cost of owning and using a car
        • Cost of parking
        • Fines and fees are high
        • Gas prices are high in most of the developed world outside of the us
  11. What are the implications of people working from home on transit?
    • More drivers
    • Transit systems in crisis

 

REQUIRED READING FOR SESSION ELEVEN (click on Session 11 on left side to access reading)

  • Alternative Urban Futures: Chapter Four
    • Transportation
      • Transportation patterns in developing countries
      • Transportation patterns in industrialized countries
    • Environmental and social impacts of automobile dependency
      • How the transportation infrastructure promotes and supports automobile use
      • Problems with automobile sustainability
    • Sustainable urban transportation planning
      • Increasing mass transit options and mass transit ridership
        • Mass transit in developing countries
      • Increasing the role of bicycles
        • Planning to increase bicycle use in Japanese cities
        • Planning to increase bicycle use in Western European cities
        • Increasing the role of workbikes and bicycle rickshaws
          • Cycle rickshaws
      • Creating pedestrian-friendly infrastructures
      • Alternative automotive systems, fuels, and designs
        • Alternative ownership
        • Alternative fuel vehicles and energy sources
        • Alternative vehicle designs
  • Vast New Bay Area Bike-Share Program Is Everywhere … Except Deep East OaklandAshley Wong, East Bay Express July 15, 2017 https://www.eastbayexpress.com/oakland/new-bay-area-bike-share-program-is-everywhere-except-deep-east-oakland/Content?oid=7991195
    • Bike share programs extend throughout the bay area
      • They are not present in East Oakland.
    • They say it’s because of a lack of proximity to transit, jobs, and services.
    • There is a history of equity problems for bike share programs in the area

 

Videos

Curitiba Rapid Bus System
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOux6tNEqMo (14 minutes)

    • Discussion
      • Functions more like a rail system than a bus system
      • Transit is used to address issues of social inequality
      • Affordable, progressive pricing with priority given to the poor
      • External land use design
    • Installed a 100% bus public transit system
      • Stops every 400 meters
      • BRT arterials
        • Fares are paid before passengers board busses
          • Busses only stop for an average of 15-19 seconds
    • There are plans to install a future subway arterial line
    • 80% of travelers use the bus system
      • 70% of commuters
    • Bus fare is the same no matter how far you have to travel
    • Busses have special lanes so they avoid traffic
    • Land use policies require increasing density along brt lines rather than sprawling out

Streetfilms-BRT Transmilenio (Bogotá, Colombia)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRGoketbIZE (7 minutes)

    • Just a description of what BRT is
      • Elevated stations where busses pull up
      • People have already paid before they get on the platform so they just walk in and the bus leaves.
      • BRT busses have special lanes

How to use Transmilenio, the massive transport system in Bogotá? RCN news in English´s video (3 minutes) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=–seUQXyfLE

    • This person explains how to take a bus by buying a ticket, reading the signs, and taking the correct bus
    • There is also a transfer to another bus
    • There are plans to eventually add subway and lightrail

E2. (2007). Bogota: Building a Sustainable City. (25:45) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IjhMQM8eaVY

We already watched this video in this same class and answered questions about it so I’ll just paste that here;

    • What are the main themes in this video?
      • Rapid unplanned urban growth leads to social problems
      • Adding population without adding infrastructure and planning to support the additional population will result in a lower quality of life and an increase in social problems in the city.
      • Reclaiming public space
    • What were the major issues raised in this video?
      • If you don’t plan your city, it will not be a good city for people.
      • Transpiration and transit
      • Giving public spaces like sidewalks back to people instead of cars
      • Giving water, sewage, and health to the extremely poor before giving it to car culture for the rich.
    • What strategies were used to address urban problems in Bogata?
      • Planning
      • Sustainable urban design as a foundation for social justice
      • The planners used tactics like color and diction to make the new bus system “sexy.”
        • They tried to get people to say they are “taking the trans-millenial” rather than “taking the bus.”
      • Smaller trunk lines feed the main lines so allow a larger area to access the bus system
      • Satellite connections between buses means the system can be efficiently managed to meet its maximum capacity, redirecting resources where they are needed most in real time.
      • Getting cars off the sidewalks was initially a controversial position
      • They built a pedestrian road through the poorest parts of the city with sewage and water pipes underneath, displacing open sewers with new healthy spaces for people to move through the city.
        • The longest pedestrian road in Latin America
        • This connects the transit systems and the schools and libraries to the people, becoming a cultural commentary and statement about the priorities of the city
        • There was a huge shift in social problems after this was built, with the most dangerous parts of the city becoming safe, and social problems going away.
    • Why does Mayor Penolosa of Bogata believe that sustainable urban design a foundation for social justice?
      • (3:15-5:20) He seemed to argue for broken windows theory; that people will decide what kind of life to have based on their surroundings, and so eliminating the negative cues about the kind of neighborhoods you have will cause people to choose to live in a better way. He said this gave people more self esteem which solved urban social problems.
      • He riffed for a while and seemed to argue that living in America inspired him to believe that a lassaiz-faire capitalism will eventually solve many social problems. He specifically argued that socialism is bad in contrast on this point.
      • He specifically claims (6:30) that restricting car use on some roads during certain times and allowing bikes to use the roads instead is “the seed” of social progress towards the new Bogota.
      • If you spend all your money building freeways then you have no money left for parks and schools
      • If you have a limited amount of money, it can’t all go to car culture which benefits only a few
    • What did you learn from this video?
      • The bus system was previously a mafia business in Bogota, and later became a city program.
        • The new system was based on the Curitiba bus system: “The best bus system in the world.”
      • It was interesting to hear his Penolosa’s thoughts on the idea of restricting cars being the seed of sustainable urban development.

USP 514 Session 10 Notes

October 19th and 21st
Session Ten: Sustainable Urban Waste Management

This session will focus on the approaches, policies, and practices that can promote sustainable waste management and resource recovery. We will be guided by the following questions.

Waste is unwanted material intentionally thrown away for disposal.

  1. What are the basic characteristics of waste as it relates to urban waste management issues?
    • Solid vs liquid
    • Organic vs inorganic
    • Human activities
      • Agriculture, husbandry
      • Energy sources
      • Water collection and use
      • Building shelters and buildings
      • Making tools and other objects for cultural, industrial and spiritual reasons
      • Conflict and warfare
    • Production of products with toxic materials
  2. What waste management systems and technologies have been developed by planners in the “industrialized world”?
    • Landfills
    • Recycling
    • Composting
  3. What are the environmental and social impacts of these waste management systems and technologies?
    • The waste stream has become much more toxic
    • Accumulation of toxics in the waste stream
      • Toxins like dioxin are now in the breast milk of every woman on earth.
    • Accumulation of inorganic material in the waste stream
  4. What alternative systems and technologies can be put into place? 
    • We have to move from a waste management approach to a resource recovery approach. (“Because approach is the highest level”)
      • Composting: 40% of the waste in landfills is food waste
      • Ashes
      • Cans and bottles
      • Electronics recycling
      • Thrift stores
    • Cradle to grave vs cradle to cradle
    • RRRR: Reduce, reuse, recycle, rot
    • Up-cycling, down-cycling
  5. How viable are these alternatives?
    • These alternatives are extremely viable
    • They are used throughout Europe
  6. How can waste management professionals promote sustainable waste management and use?

 

REQUIRED READING FOR SESSION TEN (click on Session 10 on left side to access reading)

  1. Alternative Urban Futures: Chapter Two
    • Solid waste
    • Environmental and social aspects of conventional solid waste disposal approaches
      • Open pit dumping and burning
      • Landfills
      • Sanitary landfills
      • Incineration
    • Sustainable solid waste management and planning
      • Creating a sustainable materials economy
      • Materials management and resource recognition
        • Pollution prevention and producer responsibility
      • Waste disposal taxes and refund deposit strategies
      • Subsidies and incentives
      • Reprocessing/ Materials exchange
      • Household and small business waste reduction and recycling
      • Household waste collection in informal settlements
      • Individual recycled material collectors
    • A cautionary word about recycling
      • Reducing organic waste accumulation: composting

 

Videos/Radio 

  1. Story of Stuff – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9GorqroigqM
    • Resource economy is a linear process with many open loops, therefore not sustainable.
    • 1/3 of our initial natural resources are now gone.
    • Less than 4% of natural forests remain in the US.
    • 5% of the word’s population lives in the US
      • US uses 30% of the world’s resources
      • US creates 30% of the world’s waste
    • 80% of the planets forests are now gone
    • 75% of fisheries are fished over their capacity
    • Distribution: Keep price down, keep people buying, keep inventory moving
    • Externalized cost: the real cost are not how much we buy it. people in extraction use their natural resources to pay
    • Consumption(golden key.) they have designed to make consumers buy more
      • Planned obsolescence: products designed to fail so you have to buy a new one
      • Perceived obsolescence: New products designed to look new; creating social pressure for others to buy new things
      • Extraction, Production, Distribution all work for this
    • National happiness is going down while consumption is going up
    • We have less leisure time than at any point since feudal society
    • Disposal: They burn the garbage you make and pollute to the air
    • Recycling is good
      • Reduces waste and reduces inputs
      • Much of the garbage can’t be recycled because it’s toxic or it’s designed to be impossible to recycle (ie tetra-packs)
    • One can of trash in front of your house means 71 cans of trash upstream in order to make the stuff in your one can of trash
  2. Impact of Mining Activities in Africa and the Anthropocene, Against the Grain 10/23/18   https://kpfa.org/player/?audio=297130

 

HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT FOR SESSION TEN – Due October 19

  1. Go to “What a Waste: Solid Waste Management to 2050″ https://olc.worldbank.org/system/files/What%20a%20Waste%202.0%20Overview.pdf
  2. Read the report 
  3. Choose 3 case studies from the report (see list below) and be prepared to discuss them in class  

 

Case Studies

  1. A Path to Zero Waste in San Francisco, United States 141
  2. Achieving Financial Sustainability in Argentina and Colombia 143
  3. Automated Waste Collection in Israel 147
  4. Cooperation between National and Local Governments for Municipal Waste Management in Japan 148
  5. Central Reforms to Stabilize the Waste Sector and Engage the Private Sector in Senegal 151
  6. Decentralized Organic Waste Management by Households in Burkina Faso 152
  7. Eco-Lef: A Successful Plastic Recycling System in Tunisia 153
  8. Extended Producer Responsibility Schemes in Europe 155
  9. Financially Resilient Deposit Refund System: The Case of the Bottle Recycling Program in Palau 158
  10. Contents of What a Waste 2.0: A Global Snapshot of Solid Waste Management to 2050 vii
  11. Improving Waste Collection by Partnering with the Informal Sector in Pune, India 161
  12. Improving Waste Management through Citizen Communication in Toronto, Canada 163
  13. Managing Disaster Waste 165
  14. Minimizing Food Loss and Waste in Mexico 167
  15. Sustainable Source Separation in Panaji, India 170 15. Musical Garbage Trucks in Taiwan, China 173
  16. The Global Tragedy of Marine Litter 174
  17. Using Information Management to Reduce Waste in Korea

USP 514 Session 9 Notes

October 12th and 14th
Session Nine: Sustainable Urban Water Management
This session will focus on the approaches, policies, and practices that can promote sustainable water management and use.

 

Homework

  1. Write down all the ways in which you used water on the day you did this assignment. Remember to include all of the activities you engaged in, the food you ate, the infrastructures and technologies you relied on. Be prepared to discuss your list in class.
    • Drinking
    • Food
      • Production
      • Distribution
      • Manufacturing
      • Distribution
    • Shower
    • Toilet
  2. Watch the Video: The Future of Water: Dr Kalanithy Vairavamoorthy at TEDxUSF
    • Dr Kalanithy Vairavamoorthy
    • Sri Lanka Tsunami 2004
    • Hometown badly affected
    • Went back to help them recover; specializing in water and sanitation services
    • Inspired by cultural and spiritual connection with water
      • From Sri Lanka where water is sacred and loved
      • Water service is unreliable
      • People must collect as much water as possible whenever it comes
    • Principled approach to doing more with less as a matter of survival
      • Water reuse: Drinking/Vegetable washing -> clothes -> washing floor -> watering plants
    • Custodial relationship with water
    • Toilets can use water from hand washing to flush
    • Class Takeaway Principles
      1. Doing more with less, every drop is valuable, no water is wasted, all water is reused
      2. Use water as many times as possible
      3. All water is good water, match quality of water with its intent and purpose

 

Discussion Questions

  1. What are basic characteristics of water as it relates to urban water management issues?
    • Inequitably distributed around the planet
    • Fresh or salinated
    • Fresh water is located
      • On the surface
      • Under the earth in aquifers
    • Once fresh water is salinated, it is no longer fresh
    • Water travels with gravity
    • Water can evaporate
    • Water can evaporate and then precipitate
    • Locations of water
      • 97% is salinated
      • 2% is locked in ice
      • 1% is available as fresh water
    • Water absorbs materials including toxins
  2. What are the impacts of urbanization and industrialization on natural waterways? For example, the cutting down of forests for logging, industrial agriculture, livestock industries, development of urban sewage systems, etc. 
    • Sewage runoff pollutes water
    • Pesticide use contaminates aquifers
    • Changes the flow of water or blocks the flow of water
      • Makes the water inaccessible
        • LA river is concreted
      • Over drilling of wells to
      • Pumped storage causes earthquakes
    • Changing water sources has a negative long-term impact on floodplains, agricultural land, flora, and fauna
    • Creates dead zones
    • Salinate fresh water
    • Increase the price of water
    • Fracking causes earthquakes
    • Sinkholes are created when aquifers are drained
      • I did not know that once aquifers are depleted by hydraulic pumping, they collapse and then they are not able to be filled again. The water capacity of the aquifer drops by half or more.
    • Deprive populations of their access to water
    • We fight wars about water
      • Turkey vs Greece
      • Israel vs Palestine
      • US vs Mexico
  3. How can we increase efficiency and conservation of water?
  4. What alternative water management systems and technologies are available to deal with commercial water use and sewage?
    • Treatment plants
    • Closed loops
  5. What can we learn from existing examples (case studies) of sustainable water management?
  6. What would a sustainable water management strategy look like?
    • We have to stop industrial agrculture
  7. How can water professionals promote sustainable water management and use?

 

REQUIRED READING

    1. Alternative Urban Futures: Chapter One
    2. The Human Right to Water, at Last 
      • One of these global failures was the failure to acknowledge a formal human right to water.
        • There is a formal international human right to life, to human health, to an adequate standard of living, to adequate food, and more. But until a few weeks ago, there was no formal human right to water.
      • On September 24th, the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva adopted a binding resolution that, “Affirms that the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation is derived from the right to an adequate standard of living and inextricably related to the right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, as well as the right to life and human dignity”
      • Here are four reasons why it is a good idea:
        1. Acknowledging such a right will encourage the international community and individual governments to renew their efforts to meet basic human needs for water for their populations.
        2. By acknowledging such a right, pressures to translate that right into specific national and international legal obligations and responsibilities are much more likely to occur.
        3. This clear declaration will help maintain a spotlight of attention on the deplorable state of water management in many parts of the world.
        4. Finally, explicitly acknowledging a human right to water can help set specific priorities for water policy, which is often fragmented, uncoordinated, and focused on providing more water for some people, rather than some water for all people.
      • What is needed now is to develop appropriate tools and mechanisms to achieve progressively the full realization of these rights, including appropriate legislation, comprehensive plans and strategies for the water sector, and financial approaches.
      • I do not think that finally meeting basic needs for water and sanitation will occur just because there is finally a clear acceptance of a legal human right to water and rules for what governments must do to progressively realize those rights.
    3. Water Privatization: The case against
      • Everyone should have access to water. South Africa’s Bill of Rights states that every citizen has a right to water.
      • Privatisation poses a threat to that commitment because once privatised, water will no longer be provided on the basis of need but on the ability to pay
      • Many poor people in South Africa simply cannot afford to pay for water.
      • Privatised water means less democratic control. Privatisation removes water from public control thus robbing citizens of their democratic say over how this important resource is used.
      • Job losses and attacks on worker rights also accompany privatization.
      • Private companies will not take over water systems serving poorer communities living far from city centers and water pipes.
      • They always choose the most profitable and thus pick the juiciest cherry leaving the local public authorities to carry the burden of the poor while they laugh all the way to the bank.

     

    Case Studies

    1. A Path to Zero Waste in San Francisco, United States 141
      • prohibited the use of styrofoam and polystyrene foam in food service (2006)
      • required mandatory recycling for construction debris (2007),
      • banned plastic bags in drugstores and supermarkets (2009),
      • implemented mandatory recycling and composting for both residents and businesses (2009).
      • banned the sale of plastic water bottles in 2014
      • introduced the first and largest urban food waste composting collection program in the United States, covering both the commercial and residential sectors
      • achieved nearly 80 percent waste diversion in 2012—the highest rate of any major city in the United States
    2. Achieving Financial Sustainability in Argentina and Colombia 143
      • Argentina
        • quantified the total cost of its waste system to improve long-term sustainability
        • Under the World Bank–financed Integrated Solid Waste Management Project, the Secretariat of Environment and Sustainable Development (SAyDS)1 developed a tool known as the Integrated Urban Solid Waste Management Economic and Financial Matrix
          • This tool helps municipalities understand the real costs of services and value of investments
          • analyzes each stage of the solid waste management value chain, identifies the proportion of costs recovered by fees, and identifies ways to reallocate budget resources to improve financial sustainability
      • Columbia
        • established a national methodology for determining the maximum service fee that local service providers can charge to users
        • developed a formula that accounts for all costs in every step of the solid waste management system, including urban cleaning and sweeping, collection and transfer, final disposal, leachate management, and recycling
        • Colombia’s success in cost recovery through accounting, legal infrastructure, and institutional commitment can be replicated and adapted to other Latin American countries and regions around the world
    3. Automated Waste Collection in Israel 147
      • Neot Rabin houses the country’s first pneumatic waste collection system, which is also known as an automated vacuum collection (AVAC) system
      • Buildings with AVAC systems use a network of underground pipes to connect each residential unit with a centralized garbage storage unit
      • Garbage placed in these chutes is automatically directed to an underground storage unit
      • Once a week, waste from residential buildings is pumped or vacuumed through a pipe at speeds of between 50 and 80 kilometers per hour to an aggregated storage center
      • waste is transferred to containers that are removed by truck and transported to final disposal sites.
      • AVAC has certain limitations, such as the high initial investment required for establishing the system, operational difficulties when pipes are blocked, workforce training, public willingness to engage in separate disposal, and challenges to collection of bulky and electronic waste
    4. Cooperation between National and Local Governments for Municipal Waste Management in Japan 148
    5. Central Reforms to Stabilize the Waste Sector and Engage the Private Sector in Senegal 151
    6. Decentralized Organic Waste Management by Households in Burkina Faso 152
    7. Eco-Lef: A Successful Plastic Recycling System in Tunisia 153
    8. Extended Producer Responsibility Schemes in Europe 155
    9. Financially Resilient Deposit Refund System: The Case of the Bottle Recycling Program in Palau 158
    10. Contents of What a Waste 2.0: A Global Snapshot of Solid Waste Management to 2050 vii
    11. Improving Waste Collection by Partnering with the Informal Sector in Pune, India 161
    12. Improving Waste Management through Citizen Communication in Toronto, Canada 163
    13. Managing Disaster Waste 165
    14. Minimizing Food Loss and Waste in Mexico 167
    15. Sustainable Source Separation in Panaji, India 170 15. Musical Garbage Trucks in Taiwan, China 173
    16. The Global Tragedy of Marine Litter 174
    17. Using Information Management to Reduce Waste in Korea

    Class Notes

    • Colonialism and capitalism work together throughout history to allow wealthy and powerful nations to interfere in the internal development of other nations.
      • Water infrastructure development is one exception which usually stays in the area in which it is being developed
    • Example: China in Africa is responsible for most infrastructure development outside of South Africa
      • Extracting and exploiting resources for the benefit of China, and sometimes for local countries
      • China uses its own laborers rather than local laborers to do infrastructure development in Africa
        • This is one major source of new employment in China
        • It also means countries in Africa do not get to develop these technical workforces. Despite having modern infrastructure, they are not themselves able to build and maintain that infrastructure.
    • Civil engineering is designed as the art of redirecting the great sources of power in nature for the use and convenience of man – commanding and controlling nature for the benefit of man.
    • Trade and tariff 1990s timeline
      • 1993 EU formed to collectively match economic power of the US
      • 1994 NAFTA formed to increase power of US by incorporating Mexico & Canada
      • 1995 WTO formed as a world court within the UN at the behest of the US to make decisions about international trade agreements.
    • Technologies are not approaches
      • A rainwater catchment system is a technology, not an approach
      • Solar panels are a technology, not an approach
        • Water reuse is an approach
      • Geothermal is a technology, not an approach
        • Renewable energy is an approach
      • Technologies are not necessarily solutions if they are not implemented as part of a larger framework intended to solve the problem.
    • Approaches
      • => Management strategies
        • => Processes: how to put management strategy into practice
          • => Technologies
    Approaches Management Strategies Processes/ Implementation Technologies
    Sustainability Renewable Power PACE Districts Photovoltaics
    Privatization Structural adjustment Selling off natural resources to corporations Logging
    • Unsustainable water approach
      • Water is an abundant resource
      • Water is renewable
      • Water is a commodity, not a human right
      • Climate change does not affect the water cycle
      • It’s ok to pollute water
      • Pricing allows us to incentivize certain processes
        • Desalination rather than conserving the limited supply of water
    • Sustainable water approach
      • Water is a limited resources
      • Water is not renewable
      • Water should be a human right
      • It’s not ok to pollute water
      • Climate change does affect the water cycle
    • EEE/PPP don’t talk about the economic system
      • Whereas sustainable and unsustainable development both operate within a capitalist framework.
        • Chicago school of economics
        • Neoliberalism

     

    HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT

    1. Go to “What a Waste: Solid Waste Management to 2050″ https://olc.worldbank.org/system/files/What%20a%20Waste%202.0%20Overview.pdf
    2. Read the report 
    3. Choose 3 case studies from the report (see list above) and be prepared to discuss them in class  

     

    USP 514 Session 8 Notes

    October 7th
    Session Eight – Urban Infrastructure 
    NOTE: REQUIRED READING FROM TEXTBOOK EVERY WEEK BEGINNING THIS SESSION
    This session will focus on the concept and functions of urban infrastructure, and on how infrastructures are designed and managed to deliver water, waste, energy, transportation, building, food, and social services to urban populations. The following questions will guide our discussion.

     

    1. What is meant by the term “urban infrastructure”?
      • Infrastructure refers to the long-lived engineered structures, equipment, facilities, and services that are used by economic production and by households (World Bank)
        • Long-lived: Maybe more than fifty years.
        • Engineered: using modern industrial technologies.
      • Examples I hadn’t included in assignment 1
        • Parks
        • Post offices
        • Factories
    2. Why is it useful to focus on water, waste, energy, transportation, building and food systems infrastructures as we think about sustainable development?
    3. What are the essential components and achievements of “sustainable” urban infrastructures?
    4. How can cities effectively focus simultaneously on economic development and mitigating the negative impacts of urbanization?
    5. How can ecological and economic considerations be merged in a way that fosters cumulative and lasting advantages for cities?
    6. What specific approaches exist to foster sustainable urban infrastructures? 
    7. What specific appropriate technologies exist to foster sustainable urban infrastructures? 

     

    REQUIRED READING FOR SESSION EIGHT (click on Session 8 on left side to access reading)

    1. Alternative Urban Futures: Introduction Chapter 
    2. IPPC Climate Change Report, October 2018
    3. The Climate Wrecking Industry and How to Beat It by Jason Mark, The Nation 924/18

     

    HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT FOR SESSION NINE- Due October 12th

    1. Write down all the ways in which you used water on the day you did this assignment. Remember to include all of the activities you engaged in, the food you ate, the infrastructures and technologies you relied on. Be prepared to discuss your list in class.
    2. Watch the Video: The Future of Water: Dr Kalanithy Vairavamoorthy at TEDxUSF

     

    Videos

    Infrastructure and Urban Development 
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNvmaq3e3Hk

    Designing Urban Infrastructure for Today and Tomorrow
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-GSfo4dTjk0 (46 minutes)

    USP 514 Session 7 Notes

    October 5th  
    Session Seven: Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Plans
    This session will focus on how urban administrators have developed approaches to promote sustainable development. The following questions will frame our class discussion.

    1. What are the SDG’s?
      • The SDGs are a uniform set of goals for sustainable development which evolved out of decades of work by teams at the United Nations.
      • The list
        1. No poverty
          • Inability to meet basic needs
          • Shelter, food, health, clothes, transportation, education
        2. Zero hunger
          • Public and private partnerships to feed people
          • More sustainable food production
          • We produce food for people industrially
          • We produce food for animals industrially
          • We produce food for fuels industrially
          • Lots of waste, land
          • We need to rethink the way we are producing grains
          • People need to eat more than grain
            • Fiber
            • Protein
            • Insects
          • Smaller scale agricultural production
          • Food distribution: we need to waste less and distribute more
            • 40% of our food production goes to waste
          • Malthusian arguments about overpopulation are fascist lies. There has always been plenty of food for everyone, and it has always been deliberately withheld in order to increase profits by charging higher prices.
        3. Good health and well-being
          • Healthcare must be free
        4. Quality education
          • Power
          • Resources
          • Curriculum
          • Language accessibility
        5. Gender equality
          • Norms change
          • Access to reproductive resources
          • Giving women economic power
          • Second-wave feminism
        6. Clean water and sanitation
        7. Affordable and clean energy
        8. Decent work and economic growth
        9. Industry , innovation, and infrastructure
        10. Reduced inequality
        11. Sustainable cities and communities
        12. Responsible consumption and production
        13. Climate action
        14. Life below water
        15. Life on land
        16. Peace and justice strong institutions
        17. Partnerships to achieve the goal
          • Public/private
    2. How do the SDGs inform economic development policies and practices in cities?
    3. How can we use the SDGs to create plans and policies that promote sustainable development in cities?

     

    REQUIRED READING FOR SESSION SEVEN (click on Session 7 on left side to access reading)

    1. Sustainable Development Goals 
    2. Sustainable Development Goals Report (PDF)
    3. Millennium Development Goals Report (PDF) 
    4. Seeing cities as the environmental solution, not the problem

     

    HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT FOR SESSION EIGHT- Due October 5th

    Watch the 3 videos below and be prepared to discuss the questions in class.

    VIDEO #1 Bogata, Building a Sustainable City – 25 minutes
    https://www.filmsforaction.org/watch/bogota-building-a-sustainable-city-2008/

    1. What are the main themes in this video?
      • Rapid unplanned urban growth leads to social problems
      • Adding population without adding infrastructure and planning to support the additional population will result in a lower quality of life and an increase in social problems in the city.
      • Reclaiming public space
    2. What were the major issues raised in this video?
      • If you don’t plan your city, it will not be a good city for people.
      • Transpiration and transit
      • Giving public spaces like sidewalks back to people instead of cars
      • Giving water, sewage, and health to the extremely poor before giving it to car culture for the rich.
    3. What strategies were used to address urban problems in Bogata?
      • Planning
      • Sustainable urban design as a foundation for social justice
      • The planners used tactics like color and diction to make the new bus system “sexy.”
        • They tried to get people to say they are “taking the trans-millenial” rather than “taking the bus.”
      • Smaller trunk lines feed the main lines so allow a larger area to access the bus system
      • Satellite connections between buses means the system can be efficiently managed to meet its maximum capacity, redirecting resources where they are needed most in real time.
      • Getting cars off the sidewalks was initially a controversial position
      • They built a pedestrian road through the poorest parts of the city with sewage and water pipes underneath, displacing open sewers with new healthy spaces for people to move through the city.
        • The longest pedestrian road in Latin America
        • This connects the transit systems and the schools and libraries to the people, becoming a cultural commentary and statement about the priorities of the city
        • There was a huge shift in social problems after this was built, with the most dangerous parts of the city becoming safe, and social problems going away.
    4. Why does Mayor Penolosa of Bogata believe that sustainable urban design a foundation for social justice?
      • (3:15-5:20) He seemed to argue for broken windows theory; that people will decide what kind of life to have based on their surroundings, and so eliminating the negative cues about the kind of neighborhoods you have will cause people to choose to live in a better way. He said this gave people more self esteem which solved urban social problems.
      • He riffed for a while and seemed to argue that living in America inspired him to believe that a lassaiz-faire capitalism will eventually solve many social problems. He specifically argued that socialism is bad in contrast on this point.
      • He specifically claims (6:30) that restricting car use on some roads during certain times and allowing bikes to use the roads instead is “the seed” of social progress towards the new Bogota.
      • If you spend all your money building freeways then you have no money left for parks and schools
      • If you have a limited amount of money, it can’t all go to car culture which benefits only a few
    5. What did you learn from this video?
      • The bus system was previously a mafia business in Bogota, and later became a city program.
        • The new system was based on the Curitiba bus system: “The best bus system in the world.”
      • It was interesting to hear his Penolosa’s thoughts on the idea of restricting cars being the seed of sustainable urban development.

     

    VIDEO #2 Top Ten Eco Cities (3 minutes)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5o7RdlP4FY

    1. What are the main themes in this video?
      • Eco efficiency
      • Create a climate with better biodiversity and use of natural resources
      • Great public transit
    2. What were the major issues raised in this video?
      • Fossil fuels
      • Wasted resources
      • Green spaces
    3. What issues related to sustainable development are left out of this video?
      • Social justice
      • Regenerative design
    4. What did you learn from this video?
      • I had no idea there were so many examples of cities in the US which are doing a good job with sustainable design

     

    VIDEO #3 Integrating Green Infrastructure into Pittsburg’s Urban Fabric

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5CAkLStAoM

    1. What are the main themes in this video?
      • Water
      • Sewage
      • Roads
      • Power lines
      • Green spaces
    2. What are the main strategies Pittsburg is using in its green infrastructure efforts?
      • Rebuilding and redesigning the infrastructure in a greener way
      • Moving away from moving the water away as a core strategy
      • They changed the way the sewage runoff worked so that it wasn’t just dumping straight into the river, and instead only going to the river if the new sewage system was overwhelmed. “Interceptor pipe system.”
      • The new plan was to use green spaces as part of the plan to manage storm water rather than combining it with sewage and just dumping everything in the river.
    3. What did you learn about engineering and planning in this video?
      • I was surprised to learn that the original system just dumped the sewage into the river
      • Since the systems were already over capacity and very old, going green meant addressing the current and future needs.
      • It was cool to see the way they designed green spaces to hold storm water and manage it there instead of relying on everything going into the sewers.

    USP 514 Assignment 1

    ASSIGNMENT #1
    INDIVIDUAL ASSIGNMENT – DUE OCTOBER 5TH 

    • Read and complete the assignment below.
    • Send via email to raquelrp@sfsu.edu no later than October 5th
    • Write “514 Assignment #1″and your name in subject line of the email

    1) Ideally you will do this assignment by walking through the geographic area you live in wearing a mask and social distancing. If you are unable or uncomfortable walking outside, do this assignment in your mind by recalling the infrastructure of the neighborhood you live in. The area should include as many blocks/miles as possible so you can do the assignment well.

    2) Write down as many examples of infrastructure in your geographic area as you can.

    I’m going to start by defining the word infrastructure. From the Oxford English Dictionary: the basic physical and organizational structures and facilities (e.g. buildings, roads, power supplies) needed for the operation of a society or enterprise.

    I should also add that I’m with family in a suburb of Sacramento this week so my current neighborhood is very different from my normal Oakland neighborhood.

    • Transportation
      • Freeways
      • Roads
        • Streets and arterial boulevards
        • Medians/ curbs
      • Parking lots
      • Sidewalks
      • Traffic lights/poles
      • Street lamps
      • Fences and walls
      • Traffic noise barriers
      • Buses and bus stops
      • Gas stations
      • Superblocks/ sprawl
    • Power
      • Power poles
      • Power lines
      • Transformers
      • Substations
      • Solar arrays/ storage facilities
    • Water
      • Culverts and canals
      • Pumping stations for floods
      • Levees, dams, and weirs
      • We can’t see the water pipes but we know that they come to every house and business just like the power does.
    • Education
      • Elementary school
      • High school
      • Community college
    • Food
      • Gas stations
      • Grocery stores
      • Restaurants
      • Community and personal gardens
    • Commerce
      • Drug stores
      • Bodegas
      • Big box/ department stores
      • Shopping malls

        3) After you identify as many examples of infrastructure in your area, answer the 5 questions below.

     

    1. What functions or services do these infrastructures provide?
      • Many of these infrastructures exist to support every day life by facilitating the movement of people, goods, and services around the community.
      • Some of these infrastructures such as schools exist to develop people into more capable and proficient members of the community.
      • Many of these infrastructures exist to facilitate commerce and mercantilism, especially for food and other key commodities.
    2. What is the size of these infrastructures and where they are located?
      • If we take infrastructure to include not just roads and the power grid but also the buildings and institutional layout of space, then infrastructure includes the entire built environment (with the possible exception of lawns which do not seem to fit the definition of infrastructure.)
      • At a guess, the road and parking system occupies perhaps about half of the space in my suburban area.
      • Schools occupy very little space compared to housing and commerce.
      • Most of the space in the suburb is private homes and their surrounding land.
    3. How are these infrastructures supported by other infrastructure?
      • The power comes from distant sources via transmission lines.
      • The food comes from distant sources via trucks on the roads and freeways.
      • The education is built on a long history of institutions working together to develop the capacity and the curriculum across the world, and is funded through local property taxes.
      • Commerce is a ubiquitous interconnected system which uses all of these things and more; power, water, food, buildings, goods, and services.
    4. What are the demographic characteristics of the residents who live closest to these infrastructures?
      • It’s hard to observe this by walking around, but we know that the demographics trend away from privileged identities and towards marginalized identities the closer we get to hazardous or undesirable infrastructure elements and LULUs.
    5. What is the zoning for this area? What features does this zoning prohibit?
      • The area that I’m in is kind of complicated because it’s mostly unincorporated and mostly neglected, with several county borders intersecting here so the rules are very different across the neighborhood. There is a wide range of zoned space from very liberal to very conservative with some areas being so tightly controlled and highly taxed as to be left vacant entirely.
      • One of the counties that touches here, Placer is basically just an empty slice of the community with most of the development happening around that area instead. As a result, it is just a large dead grassy area which frequently burns, endangering the surrounding community which has basically no power to do anything about it since it’s a different county.
      • There is a now-defunct airbase nearby which is being slowly converted into a business park. Its old housing blocks are now low-income housing. The zoning for this area is very confusing because much of it is public or else in a murky area of trading into private developer hands.
      • This community was built during the white flight era of the urban exodus.  There are vast superblocks delineated by wide arterial boulevards. These arteries are mostly commercial or industrial with the area between them being mostly residential with a few parks and schools dotting them.

    USP 514 Session 6 Notes

    Session 6: Sustainable Development for Whom?

    Readings

    1. Development: Sustainable for Whom?, Franciscans Paper for United Nations
      1. Sustainable development often advertises itself as beneficial for everyone.
      2. In fact it’s usually not.
      3. The argument is that we need to expand the definition of sustainable development to include human rights and make sure not to intensify or exacerbate harms.
      4. There are a set of myths that undergird the idea that economic development is always positive
        1. People who live in subsistence economies are backwards and uncivilized
          1. This is the opposite of the truth
          2. Subsistence economies give people a lot more free time for art and family and enjoying life
    2. Green Economy – the Next Oxymoron
      1. Ulrich Brand is a German political scientist and a Professor of International Politics at the University of Vienna.
      2. Title of book was Planet Dialectics
        1. Dialectic: the art of investigating or discussing the truth of opinions.
      3. Worldwide resource use is skyrocketing
      4. the concept of a green economy seems to promise an attractive orientation out of the crisis of neoliberalism that became manifest in 2008 and has hit vulnerable countries and social groups
      5. In reality, green economy is what the author calls a dialectic oxymoron meaning these ideas don’t fit together.
      6. De-growth: we need to consume less, instead of just consuming different things. It’s not about switching from Ford to Tesla; it’s about not having cars.
      7. UN Definition: The green economy approach seeks, in principle, to unite under a single banner the entire suite of economic policies and modes of economic analyses of relevance to sustainable development. In practice, this covers a rather broad range of literature and analysis, often with
        somewhat different starting points
      8. “Green growth” is the idea that there is some sustainable way of continuing everything we’ve been doing with tweaks.
      9. Problem diagnoses
        1. adjust prices to reflect the internalization of external costs, encourage sustainable consumption, and implement policies that promote the greening of business and markets more broadly;
        2. implement tax reforms that support environmentally friendly and sustainable practices;
        3. expand public support for sustainable, more energy efficient infrastructural development to conserve and boost natural capital;
        4. enhance research and development programs focused on green technologies (e. g., clean energy);
        5. target public investment to create programs and forge alliances that promote self-sufficient ecologically and socially-sound economic development, and
        6. implement policies that harmonize social goals with existing or future economic policies.
      10. Criticisms of green growth
        1. existing – and even slightly changed – political strategies
          including the orientation of national states towards global
          competitiveness and geopolitical interests as well as
          the promotion of free trade by powerful international
          institutions;
        2. economic institutions like the capitalist market and
          the profit-driven development of technologies which
          in principle do not promote sustainability;
        3. dominant societal orientations like growth at any cost and
          the increasing exploitation of nature; and
        4. power relations under the dominance of elites who aim to
          maintain their status.
      11. Other Notes
        1. We need to look for ways to consume less rather than looking for “more sustainable” ways to consume more.
    3. Environmental Justice and the Green Economy Report
      1. Examples
        1. Greening leads to gentrification
        2. Three gorges dam
        3. Water privatization
    4. Sustainability is not enough, Peter Marcuse 
      1. Sustainability is not enough
      2. It doesn’t work for everybody
      3. The science is coming from privileged perspectives
      4. It ignores marginalized perspectives
      5. It talks more about problems than solutions
      6. Poverty is not just about a lack of income
        1. It’s also about the things that prevent someone from getting an income: racism, classism, access to financial services, etc

    Video
    Equitable Development: Social Equity by Design – 48 minutes 
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQ7KLfhFBSg

    Other Notes

    • What is the green economy?
      • Reaction to the collapse of the biosphere
      • Less dependent on fossil fuels
      • Looks to technology to solve its problems related to climate change
      • No need to change consumption
      • Support what we want instead of what we don’t want
      • Relies on capitalism
      • Increase density
      • Promises more jobs
    • Why it is important to transition from a focus on “economic development” to a focus on “sustainable development”?
    • Can the transition from a focus on “economic development” to a focus on “sustainable development be accomplished through a “green economy”?
    • For sustainable development policies to be effective, must they take into account the specific needs of marginalized and vulnerable populations?
    • How do we prioritize the needs of vulnerable populations in sustainable development initiatives and policies?
    • Why is there such entrenched and persistent resistance to prioritizing the needs of vulnerable populations in practice?
    • Can the “green economy” address issues of social inequality and justice?
    • What are the social and cultural implications of Jeffrey Sachs proposing a rapid reduction in fertility rates as required for sustainable development, and with a particular focus on Africa?
    • TOPA/ COPA: Tenant/ Community Opportunity to Purchase Act
      • Land Trusts, Neighborhood Development Corporations, and other nonprofits are able to buy many kinds of properties instead of developers because they have first right of refusal.