From College8CoreWiki

Land is a broad category, including land use, soil, and urban planning. See Sustainability and Transportation.

Overview: What is Land? big picture.



Hillary Angelo, UC Santa Cruz assistant professor of sociology, argues in the journal Nature that while big cities appear to be islands of sustainable living, issues of social equity and global impacts are missing from measures of cities' environmental friendliness. 8/16 See Stewart Brand in Eco-heroes.

Earth Has Lost a Third of Arable Land in Past 40 Years, Scientists Say 12/15.

The secret weapon in the fight against tedium–trees.

Threat to agriculture: A deadly mix of prolonged drought and wildfire, driven by climate change, could do more than just lay waste to crops and woodland in the western US. It could scorch the earth and trigger ever greater levels of soil erosion.

Agribiz puts out 25% of GHG, but Soil can take CO2 out of atmosphere. 12/15.

How Healthy Soils Can Help in the Fight Against Climate Change 11/15.

Vandana Shiva: ‘All Life Depends on Soil’ 2/15.

Applying Compost To Soil Can Help Cut Carbon Pollution and save water 10/14.

Can Google Keep Its Self-Driving Car From Re-Igniting More Suburban Sprawl? 5/14.

22,000 people come together to attend the World Urban Forum and discuss the future of cities. 5/14.

Want to breathe new life into your city? Build a fence around it 5/14.

These incredible sliding images turn Sprawlsville, U.S.A., into an urban utopia 5/14.

Exponential City Growth Presents 'Window Of Opportunity' For Companies, The Environment 4/14.

Nearly 16 Percent Of China's Soil Is Polluted, Government Says 4/14. see China.

The littlest parks could make the biggest civic changes 7/13.

Land and water grabs in developing Third World countries 1/13.

Cities outpace the ‘burbs for the first time in almost a century 7.12.

America has 40 million McMansions that no one wants.


Tony Hsieh (founder of Zappos) Helping Revitalize a City LongNow talk 4/14. ***

Shrinking Cities The economic downturn has further blighted and depopulated many already ailing urban areas. In response, some land use experts are pushing the idea of demolishing abandoned buildings -- and even whole neighborhoods -- as a way to revitalize these cities.

Injection wells.

Heat Island Effect affects global warming. 3/13.


(see also Place page)

These incredible sliding images turn Sprawlsville, U.S.A., into an urban utopia 5/14.

You can identify poor neighborhoods from space.

Amy Franceschini is an artist who explores the perceived conflict between "humans" and "nature.” In 1995, she founded Futurefarmers and in 2004 she co-founded Free Soil



Urban Forests Jill Jonnes examines the natural history of trees and their impact on urban settings. 2/17

Walkable City: How do we solve the problem of the suburbs? Urbanist Jeff Speck shows how we can free ourselves from dependence on the car -- which he calls "a gas-belching, time-wasting, life-threatening prosthetic device" 10/13.

Our Future in Cities theme.

Allan Savory fights desertification. TEDtalk.

Teddy Cruz: How architectural innovations migrate across borders As the world's cities undergo explosive growth, inequality is intensifying. Wealthy neighborhoods and impoverished slums grow side by side, the gap between them widening. In this eye-opening talk, architect Teddy Cruz asks us to rethink urban development from the bottom up. Sharing lessons of truly rad skateboarders (vs suburban poser wanna-be's) from the slums of Tijuana, Cruz explores the creative intelligence of the city's residents and offers a fresh perspective on what we can learn from places of scarcity. 2/14.

Edi Rama was the mayor of Tirana Albania, where he implemented a series of reforms to take back the city for the people, including paint.

Kate Orff is a landscape architect who thinks deeply about sustainable development, biodiversity and community-based change—and suggests some surprising and wonderful ways to make change through landscape.

James Howard Kunstler (TEDtalk video) "Public spaces should be inspired centers of civic life -- the physical manifestation of the common good. Instead, he argues, what we have in America is a nation of places not worth caring about." note: political views and some profanity).

Robert Moses embodied many of the ideas that green design now rejects (see Majora Carter's TEDtalk on the Bronx).

End of Suburbia video excerpt see also website. all.

At TEDxPortofSpain, Mark Raymond encourages city governments to let go of their old notions of success and consider the balance of environment, economy, and society to design cities for social change. (video) 3/12.

Soil (see also here)

Stephen Carr - Conditioning the Soil to Feed the Globe

Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations by David R Montgomery (book trailer) professor of geomorphology, University of Washington discusses the problem of global soil degradation and soil erosion and why it is one of the most significant environmental crises that face our species and planet for the next 400 years to come. another talk.

Soil: From Dirt to Lifeline Fred Kirschenmann TEDx. Building Community with Greenspace. Yale students work together with many different urban New Haven neighborhoods to create green spaces, urban rehabilitation, safety and pride.

Urban garden pioneer Will Allen explains how increasing soil fertility will ensure our future food security.


American Lawn explores this fascinating dichotomy, resulting in a lighthearted, surprisingly insightful, and kaleidoscopic portrait of Americans of all stripes grappling with their relationships to lawn.

Lawns: America's Passion for Grass (2006 Emerson College).

Lawns: A Documentary, an inspired 14 minute treatise on the cultural and psychological implications of modern-day America's obsession with their lawns (1996 high school project).

Detropia What makes the dreamscape of Detropia so powerful is the fact that it’s rooted in reality. Throughout the film (whose name is a mashup of “Detroit” and “dystopia”), the directors drop a succession of shocking facts: Every 20 minutes, another family moves out of Detroit. In 1930, Detroit was the fastest growing city in America; it is now the fastest shrinking. In the last 10 years, Michigan has lost 50 percent of all its manufacturing jobs. The geographic areas of Boston, San Francisco, and Manhattan can fit within the city limits of Detroit, yet the city itself has fewer people than Fort Worth, Texas.

Jeff Speck: Planning for Climate Change and Walkability


In Roads Were Not Built for Cars, Carlton Reid reveals the pivotal—and largely unrecognized—role that bicyclists played in the development of modern roadways. Shattering the stigma of bothersome bicyclists, he will discuss how cars and bicyclists historically have worked together and why understanding this history is key to navigating the future of shared roads and determining necessary policy and infrastructure decisions.

City planner Jeff Speck has found the panacea for our ailing cities, something that could make even Detroit come to life again: walking. His new book, Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time. video. He was co-author of Suburban Nation 2000. TEDtalkHow do we solve the problem of the suburbs? Urbanist Jeff Speck shows how we can free ourselves from dependence on the car -- which he calls "a gas-belching, time-wasting, life-threatening prosthetic device" 10/13.

Andres Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, & Jeff Speck. Suburban Nation: the Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream. New York: North Point Press, 2000. McH Stacks HT384.U5 D83 2000.

Kenneth T. Jackson Crabgrass Frontier: The Suburbanization of the United States McH Stacks HT384.U5J33 1985.

Davis, Mike "The New Urban Environmentalism" discusses attempts to limit urban sprawl.

Roads don't have to be the enemy of sustainability, argue James Sipes and Matthew Sipes, in their new book, Creating Green Roadways: Integrating Cultural, Natural, and Visual Resources into Transportation. The facts are: America is dependent on cars and 30% of our roads and 25% of our bridges are decaying. We must find a practical way to create environmentally friendly, cost-effective, safe roadways that serve all types of transportation. This father/son author team combines their talents as a landscape architect/environmental planner and civil engineer to demonstrate how transportation infrastructure can improve quality of life for generations to come.

Steven Erie, a professor of political science at UCSD is author of ‘Beyond Chinatown’ on water; short overview of LA and SF infrastructure.

A number of smart people have recently written about green cities (including Stewart Brand, see above, who says that slums are green). Now, we've got economist Edward Glaeser talking up skyscrapers in The Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier and Happier. David Owen made a similar case with Green Metropolis: Why Living Smaller, Living Closer, and Driving Less are the Keys to Sustainability. Kunstler says" alot of this misunderstanding derived from David Owen's 2004 New Yorker article, "Green Manhattan," which declared that stacking people up in towers was the ultimate triumph of urban ecology. Owen is a very nice fellow, but this thesis was a crock."

Catherine Tumber's excellent new book, Small, Gritty, and Green: The Promise of America's Smaller Industrial Cities in a Low-Carbon World, finds potential in many busted and booming-again cities in the Northeast and Midwest. These places, she writes, are both big enough and small enough to manage a coming societal transition, in which people may have to live on constrained oil supplies and rely more on local networks for food and other goods. link. 11/11.

Island Press (go Slugs!) has a number of books on sustainability and urban planning. Global City Blues by Daniel Solomon " is a book about the making of cities and the buildings that compose them. It is about the conditions under which an architect engaged in those activities now works, how those conditions evolved and why they are changing. Another is Stewardship of the Built Environment: Sustainability, Preservation, and Reuse by Robert A. Young.

Lawn article

American Green book on lawns.

ReThinking a Lot, a fascinating-sounding book by MIT landscape architecture and urban design prof Eran Ben-Joseph. Ben-Joseph is obsessed with the odd role that parking and parking lots play in our urban landscapes, and ReThinking a Lot looks at the weird world of American parking, where the available non-residential parking spots cover a landmass the size of Puerto Rico, often sitting on prime real-estate in the middle of cities.

The downfall of urban freeways: The report, called “The Death and Life of Urban Highways” — a tribute to Jacobs’ groundbreaking 1961 urbanist manifesto, The Death and Life of Great American Cities — declares that “the urban highway is a failed experiment,” and describes cities that have traded in highways for parks, mixed-use developments, and all manner of urbanist bliss.

Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations by David R Montgomery (book trailer) professor of geomorphology, University of Washington discusses the problem of global soil degradation and soil erosion and why it is one of the most significant environmental crises that face our species and planet for the next 400 years to come. another talk.

Update on soil 8/12.

Urban Visions: The Future of Cities What will population centers look like in 20 years' time? Innovations in transportation, energy production and technology will have to keep pace with a host of challenges June 15, 2010 Scientific American.


True Cost of Cars 5/30 $142 billion in obesity-related health care costs and lost wages due to illness. As much as $80 billion in health care costs and premature death caused by air pollution from traffic. A whopping $180 billion from traffic crashes - lost wages, health care costs, property damage, travel delay, legal costs, pain and suffering. These are some of the hidden costs of a car-centric society. The American Public Health Association, in a recent report, argues that these costs have been ignored for too long as decision-makers hash out transportation policies. Instead, transportation projects usually focus on construction costs, acquiring rights of way, expected revenues (such as tolls), and operation and maintenance. More

Health Effects of cars cites Richard Jackson, who acknowledged that his assertions were based more on intuition than research, but he pushed ahead, following up with a book-length treatment called Urban Sprawl and Public Health: Designing, Planning, and Building for Healthy Communities.

Fighting Traffic: The Dawn of the Motor Age in the American City. "Rise of Automobiles and American City Planning" : Peter Norton, history of technology professor at the University of Virginia, talked about “America’s love affair." (video talk).

Asphalt Nation: How the Automobile Took Over America and How We Can Take It Back by Jane Holtz Kay.

Green Design

(for more related, see Sustainability )

Dean Kamen is best known for trying to solve the last mile problem and thus revolutionize transportation with the electric Segway, which began as a wheelchair to make people whole. SlingShot is intimate and inspirational portrait of Segway inventor, Dean Kamen, and his 15-year quest to solve the world’s safe water crisis. Also founder of First robotics competition.

The thin green line: Investing in urban parks. PBS Need to Know 9/10. TEDtalk on NY High Line.

Value of greenspace in urban areas

Green Roofs

Articles in category "Land"

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