Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Key to Sustainable Cities: Wholistic Thinking

a) The key concept and the basis of the reading was the fact that the world we live in is a system. Every event and action is connected together in one way or another. The first point that struck me was the idea that the system that we exist in is two faced. It can be an exremely strong and powerfull forced which fosters life and happiness. It can also be dysfunctional and unsustainable as mentioned later in the reading it is a challenge to try to figure out at what point does the system go wrong. The system has many cyclical tendancies to it, this fact makes it extremely important to be concious and aware of teh fact that no action is independent. To use the cliche phrase "what goes aroung comes around" one mistake or a lack of thoughtfullness is affecting other things and will eventually come back to you in another way. This leads into my other idea that community success is a wholistic act one can not look at individual pieces of a community and later expect that community to be a success everything must be viewed as a whole in order for full success and sustainability and environmental success to occur. It is important to know and be aware that these large wholistic actions can often not take place without government action. It is often believed that the government is a negative force on society but in reality they can be the most powerful force towards large scale change, awareness, and sustainability.

b) The idea thaat i really took away in terms of the class is that a "eco city" is not a place where merely sustainable practices are enforced and practiced, as i had previously thought. A sustainable and ecological city is one where every choice, desision, and action is taken with great care and thought. Systems can fall apart when too much emphasis is placed on one side such as social needs and not enough is placed on the other sides. A smaller idea that struck me as more i would liek to learn about in th class is something that was addressed in teh first day video and that is the contrast of ecological footprints between Americans and people of other countries. I was always aware of this difference but i am interested to learn more as to why it occurs. Overall this reading has really taught me to look at communities and systems in a much different way. I want to start to examine these systems that surround us and really take time to see how the systems interact together.

c) I somewhat addressed my first question in the previous answer that i would like to examine global ecology and why different countries have different ecological footprints. The second thing that really intruiged thought for me was the five key variables for sustainable economic development. I do not know enough yet about sustainable development so i do not knwo exactly what my opinions are but i would really like to continue to refer back to these key concepts as i learn more and develop more of an opinion.

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