Thursday, October 29, 2009

Power Of Community - How Cuba Survived Peak Oil

Just remembered the Cuba film. I think it should be here too.

1991 the Cuban nation met the crisis that we all would meet. In this movie we can follow their work from nothing to a sustainable agriculture in such a good way that they now export.

From the film;

"It's not the technology it's the human relationship"

"If we don't take care of nature, the nature will take care of us- get rid of us"

"The world is only one, and it's for all of us"

See the film here

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

We can build a sustainable world, but we need to re-think.

Picture from the book Ecocities- rebuilding cities in balance with nature

Eco, eco, eco. Everything is about getting into the ecological approach in our way of life. To change our lifestyle to one who buys organic clothing products, a new "environmentally friendly" car and organic foods is not enough.

We see now more and more different possible solutions, but most of them just want to replace, not to change. But we have to change if it should work.

Ecocities, towns based on ecological principles, is such a change. Ecocity perspective goes beyond the Hammarby Sjöstad in Stockholm or the eco-villages as we see built. It is about rebuilding our cities. Ecocities deals with small scale, close-by, 3-dimensionally construction and joy. It's about what is important to us; meetings, new impressions, quiet, close to what we need, perhaps even a small project which involve people in something they themselves think is important.

In the real Ecocity, there are no stress that exists today, for everything is near to you.

The basic idea is simple, compact construction and creativity. Stores/offices will be on the ground floor of each house and can also be in other layers but will not occupy whole buildings. The 3-dimensional way of building will create open spaces where you can meet, socialize, relax, grab a coffee, sit in the sun. To look at running water or a moving animal is not something we have to go out of town to do. It's there. Near us. There are also things close to us that are important for children, teenagers, elderly. Diversity is a word that makes one think about different cultures, different perspectives, different cultures and different countries. Diversity is also a word that describes an Ecocity.

If the city is built in this way, we don't need large shopping center on the outlines, where you need a car to go, (incidentally, is a new phenomenon which is spread ever faster) the shopping center are virtually everywhere. Diversity is the key and diversity is the word to describe this kind of change.

It's not a dream. There are many examples of this type of project. But perhaps needed now is a pla
n to "build back" cities and towns to which they looked like many years ago. When it was exciting to go to a new location for where it looked different, with new stores and new people. But in this kind of city we don't need to carry us at all, unless we want to. Richard Register who started the concept Ecocities believe that "Transportation is what you do when you're not where you want to be."

Türbingen and Freiburg in Germany are examples. West Harbor in Malmö is another. We can re-think, we can change and it is now happening.


 Biblioteca parque España, Medellin, Colombia

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The mouse trap of our lives

The world's economy and therefore our selves are stuck. Stuck in a un-sustainable way of thinking.

Money is the word for it and even more exact it is about the interest. Interest is what makes the capitalist way of seing the world going, in an ongoing process where money loose their meaning.

The word economy comes from the Greek words οἰκονόμος "one who manages a household" (derived from οἴκος "house", and νέμω "distribute (especially, manage)"), οἰκονομία "household management", and οἰκονομικός "of a household or family". But what we are doing with economy nowadays are the opposite.

When having a system based on interest, we base the system on an accelerate growth which means that we need new resourses, well before we use the old.

Resourses in this world are limited.

A good example is when developing countries borrow money. Normally they live in a world with sustainable but small agriculture. When borrowing the money they have to make their system grown to pay back the interest. The income is depending on the outcome or production (to pay back the loan, i.e interest).

What will happen in the end is just one result; collapse. Either the collapse of economy or ecology. In the first senario we have to rethink of our system but the last we can't do anything about.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Playgrounds aren't just for kids

Or why diversity of shapes, colors, weather, sounds, smells, creates different feelings and therefore different moods in humans.

Fall in Sweden. Some people just love it, other says that this is the worse season in the year.

The low sun and the colors.. it does a lot for the mood.

A walk in this weather makes me happy into my heart.

Some leaves at a car, and the first frost that makes the color into another
color. Some tiny thing that you can see in an early morning.

In a city, we make, construct playgrounds to kids. But kids can also see the playground in a forest or just a small spot.

What is it that do the little spot- for them?

And what is it that is doing the little spot for an adult person, the spot where we want to sit down and enjoy a little?

Is it so, that we, adult people are a little more demanding what's good for us? Is it so that we need a diverse place to see, to hear, to smell? The little spot where we can recover a bit, is difficult to just create compare to the kids..

Here a playground in the tree.

There are green spots, large green areas with some grass on. We can do some sports like succer or we can have a party. But the little spot.. The spot that just creates the mood of "I want to sit down a little". What is it that makes it?

"To hear the leaves when they fall to the ground"

  "a stair with grass in every step"

In the book "Last child in the woods", Richard Louv discuss about how to save our children from nature-deficit disorder. But isn't it the same for adults? What's the name for it then? "Not enough nature and creativity in the outdoor environment"-?

A kindergarten with a lot of greens around. Some of the old buildings are there left as a wall. Old small trees makes the environment for kids to love.

An old old house in the fall season.

Do we build different for kids than for adult humans? I walked through a neighbourhood with their own restaurant and they also had a garden with a small greenhouse and a closure for chickens (with a rooster sign on the top).

The restaurant also had a terrace next to this garden. And next to the garden there was a forest on a hill. The balconies on the building was intergrating in this garden and it felt a little bit forbidden to be inside, as inside their place. A wonderful place to live. It was a rest home

A small lake with ducks and some people feed them. Here, some benches where you can sit down.

An old house in the forest of fall.

A pelvic in the grass land with some dead leaves makes a small ecosystem of its own. Do you see it?

In this spot, hundred years ago, a hospital was built for people with turbeculosis. It was built in the forest with this huge balcony where sick people could lay outside and watch the garden, green meadows and a water pool.

Nowadays a big green area with some trees and a lot of kids playing around.

When we build today. Do we think about people? Even if the people in the hospital was sick, the area was created for them. A wonderful area with water, flowers and fresh air. The house and the pool still remains. Around the area, kindergarten and children are running and playing at the meadows. The plan is now to rebuild the building to apartments. Will the green area and the spot of diversity stay here?

Adult people also want to have a place to "just be" for a while, isn't it so? Outside in the summer, inside in the wintertime, but a place where we can rest, sit down and have all the impressions that we humans need to feel happiness. No?

Playgrounds aren't just for kids. Every human needs a "playground" to play a little with the senses, to feel human.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Paradox of our Age

We have bigger houses, but smaller families;
more convieniences, but less time;
We have more degrees, but less sense;
more knowledge, but less judgement;
more experts, but more problems,
more medicines, but less healthiness;
We've been all the way to moon and back,
but we have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbour,
We build more computers to hold more information to produce more copies than ever,
but less communication;
We have become long on quantity,
but short in quality.
These are the time of fast foods, but slow digestion;
Tall man but short character;
Steep profits but shallow relationships.
It's a time when there is much in the window,
but nothing in the room.
~Dalai Lama

Friday, October 16, 2009

Ecosystem services- a lesson about

I went to a preserved forest in Rannebergen, Göteborg, in a mission to guide a friend about ecosystem services. This is about what we did that day, but also a text how the relationship in nature carries the burden of human activites.

Imagine a forest and a small lake. It's fall and there is a low but bright sun in a blue sky. You see trees in different colours; red, green, yellow, you see bare rocks, you see grass and a small path. The water shine and move a little bit in the wind. This area is protected for more than the beauty.

The ecosystem
My friend asked me were the boundaries for an ecosystem is. I answered that an ecosystem can be a forest, a lake, the globe or just a stick on the ground. You can set the boundaries of what you want to measure, yourself. But you need three different thing to call it an ecosystem; producers, consumers and decomposers.

The producers uses the sun, water and carbondioxide to produce green mass in the process of photosynthesis, the producers also use this sugar itself and produce carbondioxide in the process to make fat or protein to store in the plant. Plants also need other nutritions for its growth, which can be found in the soil. The middle level of consumers do nothing else than eat the green mass. The decomposers break down both living and dead materia of producers and consumers and recycle it back as nutriens in soil, which the producers can use.

Energy flows in ecosystems 
Small example of energy flow in a ecosystem; if 100% of the energy is in the producers, 16.1% is in the next step of the herbivores, 1.8% of the producers energy can be fund in the primary carnivores and 0.1% in the top carnivores (carnivores that eat carnivores, for example eagles or foxes) 24.2% can be found in the detrivores and decomposers. This tells us why it is much more energyconsuming to have an eating habit of meat instead of vegetables. When growing food for crops, as much as 90% or the protien and 98% of the calories, would disappear to the animals own metabolism, which is the answer to why the world is running out of farming land even if the technics and biomass/areal is bigger than ever.

From bare rocks to a forest
From the very first beginning everything is a bare rock. Liches are the first to colonize and they produce organic matter where small plants can colonize. Myccorhiza helps the grasses with the nutrient uptake. Acids from the nutrient decompose will release nutrients from the rocks and more nutrients (macro and micro nutrients like P and Ca) will be available for the plants. From more plants it will be a deeper humus layer and soon we have wooden plants. When woody plants are there, spruce can colonize easy, creating acid soils from needles and thick canopy layer that restrain microbes activity in the soil, creating a large undecomposed layer.

Temperature, water conditions, the angle of inclination, vegetation and its influence with shade and other specialties also effect the succession stages and rate. The ericaceous plants also thrive from the beginning and makes a shortcut in the succession stages. Not to forget is also the high usage of land in the southern areas of Sweden to compare to northern areas, were humans have force the system to go back to the grass conditions, when we make fields, pastureland and meadows. Areas like this are often nowadays left to "take care of its own", where the succession now (less than 100 years) can continue.
The myccorhiza
As much as 9 of 10 of the terresteral plants on planet earth live in a close relationship to soil fungi, a symbioses called myccorhiza. The symbioses gives a much larger connection to the soil and therefore acess to more nutrients. As a trade gift the fungus get sugar from the tree.

Myccorhiza is very sensitive to pesticides, fertilizer, packed soil and ground making. When fertilize a forest its important to remember the myccorhiza, because if the myccorhiza disappears because of more nutrients in the soil, other nutrients as the micro nutrients might be in shortness later, when no myccorhiza can help to "find it".

Three different myccorhiza is grouped after how they penetrate the plant root:

  • Arbuscular myccorhiza is formed by various types of plants, but environmental parameters that is related to its presents are low availability of phosphates and rich in nitrogen. Arbuscular myccorhiza can be found where the soil-pH is high and use mostly inorganic nitrogen.
  • Ectomyccorrhiza is formed by woody trees and scrubs and can be limited both from nitrogen and phosphorus. Soil-PH is neutral to low. The myccorhiza use mostly organic nitrogen, i.e can decompose organic matter by itself.
  • Ericoid myccorhiza can be found in arctic tundra and heathland because of the extremely low nutrient level in the soil. The ERM might be the reson for many plants to live here, when it have the unique abilities to obtain nitrogen and phosphorus from "raw" humus. Temperatur, soil-pH and water level is low. The result is a soil with a large amount of organic matter but no mineralized nitrogen as NH3 and NH4.

Worms, microbes, insects and bacteria break down organic material to nutrients. They can also break down pesticides and other pollutions from air and water.

The worms also mix organic matter with the soil, taking it from the top into the soil where other decomposers can help. Worms makes paths in the soil which helps plants to grown their roots and to get oxygen in the soil. They also makes the soil structure which decide the ability to hold water.

Plants shed their leaves, needles, flowers, fruit, and cones, animal shed hair, skin, feathers, pupal cases, exoskeletons and silk which the decomposers can tranform the nutrients again to other plants. The animals also produce excrements and uninary wasted that cointain nitrogenous compounds.

Water is fantastic!
The lighest is the ice (0 C degrees) and the heaviest water have a temperatur of 4 C degrees which mean, it is in a lake almost always some unfrosen water in the bottom for fishes to live in.

Transforming air to food
Nitrogen fixation bacterias can transform the nitrogen in the air (nitrogen is the most abundand gas, about 78% of the composion of air) to nitrogen that plants can use (from N2 to ammonium, NH3). Legumnious plants store the nitrogen in special roots and use nitrogen to the peas in the plant. Some trees also have nitrogen fixation bacterias. For example, tree species in the genus Frankia are used more and more in Agroforestry.

The bacteria help the soil to have a greater microbial activity which makes the soil able to hold more water and the soil is more fertile for other plants. Nitrogen fixation plants can be mixed to the soil, just grown before or toghether with other plants or as the bacteria Azospirillum sp that can colonize sugarcan and maize which in the future might get a much greater role when less artificial (which is an oil depended process) fertilizer is needed.

Examples of ecosytem services and the cost (trillion $ U.S)
  • soil formation (17.1)
  • recreation (3.0)
  • nutrient cycling (2.3)
  • water regulation and supply (2.3)
  • climate regulation (temperature and precipitaion, 1.8)
  • habitat (1.4)
  • flood and storm protection (1.1)
  • food and raw materials production (0.8)
  • atmorspheric gas balance (0.4)
  • pollination (1.6)
  • other services (1.6)
Together to a value of a total 33.3 trillion $ U.S (example from Costranza, 1997), but other numbers says a dubble value of the worlds annual GNPs of all national economies.

Other ecosystem services not mention above is barrier for diseases, control for natural disasters, inspiration, biomedicine, genetic resourses, social relationships, cultural diversity, spiritual and religious relations, cultural history, esthics, knowledge and education.

Did you know that:
-Tokyo use 2.14 times the whole area of Japan to the citys supply.
-One citizen need 220 000 to 250 000 km2 viable ecosystems

Humans having a hard time to understand that we are a part of nature. We think we are outside the system, "decoupled" from it

Elionor Ostrom- Nobel price in economy

For the first time a woman gets the Nobel price in economy and its Elionor Otrom, out from the Univeristy courses and into the debate! Elionor Ostrom wrote the book Governing the Commons, 1990.

Elionor Ostrom theories that focusing on how to share and think in long-enduring in a good way can be summary in eight principles;

First principle is that you have to have clearly defined boundaries that must be able to exclude other from access and appropriation rights. Without defining the boundaries of the common pool resources the efforts will be reaped by others who have not contributed to this efforts. Some rules that limiting the appropriation and/or mandating provision is needed. For example; a forest was divided in three parts; for protection, using for villagers and using for companies. Different rules for different parts.

Second principle; the rules have to congruence between appropriation and local conditions. Each society have their own rules that is needed for their systems.

Third is the principles of collective-choice arrangements. Most of the individuals affected by the operational rules can participate in modifying the operational rules.

To do this the forth principles of monitoring is needed. Monitors are accountable to appropriators or are the appropriators. Who will monitoring the monitors? For exampe can a guard monitors the actions of the villagers. The activities of the guard are monitored by the executive committee of the forest council, this committee is itself monitored by the villages.

The fifth principles is about the graduate sanctions, the appropriators who violate operational rules are likely to assessed graduated sanctions by other appropriators, by officials accountable to these appropriations or by both. Then appropriators have made contingent self-commitments, they are then motivated to monitor other people´s behavior and in order to assure themselves that other are following the rules most of the time. For example the villages have to pay a fine if the break a rule, from the beginning the sanctions where there from the state, now its the local people and that works much better. The local people know what people are doing in the forest (if they use it or if they sell it) and therefore is the system self-organizing. People don't take to much cause they know about the monitoring.

The sixth principles is about the conflict-resolution mechanisms that means that if individuals are going to follow the rules over a long period of time, there must me some mechanism for discussing and resolving what constitutes an infraction.

The seventh principle is about minimal recognition of rights to organize so appropriations can enforce the rules by themselves; external governmental authorities does not challange local institutions and their devise.

The eight principle is about the nested enterprises, appropriation, provision, monitoring, enforcement, conflict resolution and governance activities are organized in multiple layers of nested enterprises. An empty space for rules at other levels, will produce an incomplete system that may not endure over a long time.

Let's hope from now that these principles can be used, a little bit more, more more!

Monday, October 12, 2009

How can meat and milk be so cheap?

Here in Sweden a liter of milk cost around a dollar/euro for one liter. A liter of oatmilk cost around 2 dollar. How is that possible? If you make a product from the prime product and not give it to cows (which have to get it, sometimes even from another farm, they have to cosume it, live and produce milk- several production stages that loose energy), how can that be twice the price to something complex as milkproduction?!

Farmers in Sweden have a thought time, acually they can't make it without money from the government. But what is it that government subsidize? What do we lose if we pay the real price for the products? A lot of buyers? Unhealthy people? Milk and meat is what the population needs? Is that why the govermernment subsidize it, to get a healthy population and a lesser need for healthcare? Or do they think about the open landscape? Are they conserned? Would we stand without any food if the price would be a little bit higher?- because the farmers have to quit because of less income because no-one buys it when its more expensive? What happen to the market prices rule? They are not here anymore because our availablity to buy goods from other markets (i.e other countries)?

In the other hand, a farming system that cost more money is the products from organic farmers. They are also poor and have to work all day long, all days a week but in the price they have all this things people wants when they arguing for eating meat and milk; an open landscape with grazing cows in the sunset on a small hill.

The Swedish meat consumtion increased by 50% from 460 to 706 kg carcass weight, between 1990 and 2005. Almost all GHG (green house gas emissions) in Swedish agriculture comes from meat production. A third of the households emissions of GHG comes from the food and almost everything from the meat consumtion. In a world wide perspective, the meat production stand for 18% of the global emission of GHG- THAT IS MORE THAN THE TRAFFIC!

So, what to do in the future?

It's not a very clever way of produce food when produce a cattle or a pig. Almost 90% of the food that you give to the animal goes to the animal to live. Left you have 10% of the energy or protein. So you grow food in only 1/10 of the field. What to do on the rest?!

Yes of course it's good if cows, sheaps and goats and maybe horses grazing the land. But that is not the whole picture of meat production any more. That is a romanticize way of looking at it or remember it. Meat production is about people working they ass of for nothing, a lot of animals in small cages inside a house with no sunlight , and the largest argument; a big waste of good food and available land!

Friday, October 09, 2009

Ecological modernization vs Ecocities


Anna Rosengren
Society, nature and change, 2009
Department of Urban and Rural Development, SLU

Society moves towards a "greener industry" which the concept of ecological modernization or sustainable consumption as some people call it, advocates. But the contradiction is found when consumption is based on capitalism and focuses at the developed countries. This report discusses the idea of ecological modernization, the environmental impact in production of goods, and the need of a trade in "non-resources" such as tourism, theater and nature. The theory about ecocities, a society where people live closer to each other and nature, and with less distance to the "daily needs" takes a lot of environmental issues in its light. Is it so, that ecocities is a solution to achieve sustainable development, where human population can experience and enjoy, rather than looking for "false needs"?

Keywords; ecological modernization, ecocities, consumption, non-resources

Introduction; Globalization vs capitalism
Globalization has given the world new thoughts and connects people like never before. In the same time, capitalism is spreading. Globalization is therefore something that you can either see connected with money or as a term when time and space becomes narrower (Giddens, 1998). Things that happens even in other parts of the world are soon your concern. With the globalization comes influences and lifestyles. Magazines and media tells us what's important. New industries that makes cheap goods increases. People buy new (cheap) stuff as often they can, because they can afford, and things break fast, because of worthless quality. People are also told that they should change theirs things to get the newest vogue. And all this is in the term of capitalism. We can now see the same trend spreading in the ”environmental friendly” arena, where even as this is so called environmental friendly goods, you are told that you should change, because of better, more environmental friendly goods. Things comes after a while and people have to change and buy new stuff. The resources from which we made stuff from have limits but the consumption is higher than ever. Carolan (2004) sum this like: "shopping is not sustainable in the long term even if things are more environmentally friendly than before".

The transition to a "greener industry"
Ecological modernization is a discourse which let the market help us to a greener world; “If consumers demand environmentally sound production methods and production, the market mechanisms will be forced to try to deliver them” (Sutton, 2007). Prof. Dr. Joseph Huber, one of the first used the term ecological modernization mean that the industrialization has to come to this phase; it is a natural transitional period in the industrialization (in Böhler, 2002). The first phase is the industrial revolution, the second is the building of the industrial society and the last and third phase is the necessary "ecologization" of the industry to get the environmental problems under control.

The term ecological modernization has been a theory for years, meaning tha the market will fix the environmental problems. People have been very concerned about environmental issues in late years, the field of climate change and the market for environmentally friendly goods has increased lately. The criticism about ”environmental friendly consumption” which were discussed some years ago, is now upfront again. Question is if we can buy this society to a better ecological place to live in? One advantage is surely that people free to start to think about environmental issues and people are free to make their own choices. But seen from another point of view, we can ask us questions as "do we need cars"? And we can continue with same sorts of question and say that the aim for a sustainable environment should be to create an "environment" for the people more than create an ”environment” where people are dependent on technology.

The transition to a sustainable society
The planet has its limits in contrast to the economic systems that are not closed, consequently, while the economy can grow in physical scale, the ecosystem cannot. And as the economy grows, it becomes larger in relation to the ecosystem (Carolan, 2004). The ecological modernization has the aim to give the society what they want and also have a good economy, but does ecological modernization allow for ecologically or socially sustainability? Herman Daly, a famous economists, argue that the sustainable society have three different properties; 1.It doesn't use renewable resources faster than they can renew. 2. It doesn't use non-renewable resources faster than they can be replaced with renewable. 3. It doesn't pollute faster than the natural system can break down the pollution (Hornborg, 2001). According to Satterthawaite (1997) this thought is much like the thought Daly mention; we have to recover control over consumption rather than set up new institutions to manage its consequences.

Theoretical perspective on pro's
Some things have to change and has to be more environmentally friendly. The catalyst on cars is one good example of ecological modernization, more use of wind energy is another. But these two are different; the first does not change our way how to look at the use of cars. The other examples give us a new way to look at energy- we can actually see when being produced (Böhler, 2002). Böhler also mentions that another way to explain ecological modernization is knowledge, if people learn how to recycle it's a good way to "ecologizate" the society.

and con's with ecological modernization
Mol & Spaargaren (2004) mean that the question is not how good ecological modernization is, but a focus should instead be on which consumption that is environmentally sustainable. But Carolan (2004) asks how consumption can be sustainable? Carolan argue that you have to consider both production and consumption when a product is produced, and continues that it is not only that the car use less gas, focus should be on the materials and time invested; you have to buy step by step better cars. After some time we have a lot of ”better” cars on the street. The production of all those cars has influence for the environment; resources are needed, transportation and the emissions to construct the car should count.

Ecological modernization is therefore about capitalism Carolan means, "if we have to change several times to get the most environmental friendly goods, the resources are gone despite of cleaner air". Herman Daly ask the question ”After you grow your way to an environmentally sustainable world, then what”? Daly said that US maybe already reach such a point that the environmental and social costs is increasing faster than the increasing production benefits. He also wants us to see three points after the first question; Growth in what? What is environmental sustainability? and Who is ”we” (Daly, 2007). Moreover, the ecological modernization are primarily a national concern, but environmental problems does not stop at national borders and some are global (Giddens, 1998).

Also interesting to see and one more thing that belongs to the globalization era, is that we let ourself to be deceived in that we save a lot of time, but the time we save is not saved in a broader perspective. The time is instead collected from a larger amount of working people (Hornborg, 2002). In the same time- more resources are used. Hornborg gives an example of the car, which should have the same speed as a bike if we consider all the time a person who owns the car invests in the car. The person must earn the money, get gas, search for insurance, waiting in traffic jam and so on. And even small things like a "coffee-to-go" is in a wider perspective, time consuming, when a larger group of people need to work, because you want the coffee-faster. This is one of the main point discussed in the idea of ecocities.

Rutherford (2004) gives us the number that eighty percent of the american population now live in metropolitan regions. The fact is that half of the worlds population now live in the cities. Ecovillage, garden city and green building's and roofs are all concepts that tries to make cities more green or make the cities more ecological sustainable. The theory about ecocities presented from Register (2006) is in my opinion one of the most interesting, and takes all other theories under its wings. Register start his book with this sentence; ”They [the cities] needs to be reorganized and rebuild upon ecological principles”, where the main point of ecocities is the narrow living, meaning that you build higher houses, and in the same time using a smaller area to actually build the city, the 3-dimensional- thinking, meaning that you are not limited to walls and roads- there are space in behind and the closeness to all what you need; the stores, the health center, the nature. Main idea is that you don't have to take your family away from the city to do anything. ”Transportation is what you do when you're not where you want to be” says Register. Building an ecocity will also give other perspective about ourselves and the surrounding;
”While it probably won't rid the world of greed, ethnocentrism, and violence, building a nonviolent city that respect other life forms and celebrates human creativity and diversity is consistent with solving those problems”(Register, 2006).
This is also something far away from the concept of "sustainable cities" which usually is an attempt to focus on renewable energy. According to Myllylä and Kuvaja (2005) urban areas in South often fail when it comes to the basic idea of social structures, which are often taken for granted in the discuss about sustainable cities. They mean that to build an ecocity you have to consider locally defined development agendas, local resources and challenges, also take equity and social justice in resource allocation as much as use the word sustainability as a motivation and transparent administration, efficiency and flexibility in service provision and co-operation between authorities.

The mixture of thoughts
Register mean that we can build ecocities with existing technology, but we need to expand our knowledge. The ecocity is not only about the buildings, it is also a lot of knowledge which should be collected about native plants, the water condition, and weather for example. To increase the economic, buildings can have multiple uses propose, schools and office can be used in the evening for other activities (Register, 2006). The concept of ecocity is about information and service instead of selling cheap products. In the city, people will meet and communicate and enjoy life. To do that, it has to be a lot of green places and a lot of meeting places. Register mean that if we want a sustainable world, we have to change our view of this world. We have to see ourselves, slow down and make more things for our own goodness. But in practice, how can we motivate the process against the ”false needs”, meaning buy stuff we don't need to our direct surviving (as food, water, shelter and human contact)? Stefan Edman (2005) says that to come to environmental sustainability, we have to change our minds about how we look at the world; we have to do things more than just buy things. He wants to see a society which also invest in non-resources consuming; like culture, health care sector, education, better health and domestic services. He also argue that a higher proportion of service consumption are, in principle that the use of resources in absolute terms can be reduced, that mean a net profit for the environment and health. Discussions and workshops, meetings and movies, theater and sports are more interesting in that view. In the ecocity there is room for activity between people, and there is also room for relaxing and meetings in cafes and squares. In the ecocity, people care about each other and the nature around them (Register, 2006).

Rebuild the feeling in the city
From a personal point of view, I often wonder why people don’t have plants on their balcony? Or on the roofs? People would love that- I know- but they don’t do it because of the “environment”. We have to change the view of how a city has to look like. People are moving from nature, to a stage there we want all kind of different things. The ”false needs” is deeply concerned about our view of the surroundings. If we instead build a community where people see nature all the time (and other people), where we see the surroundings live and die, as the seasonal nature here in North Europe- we would understands it better and can in the same time also understand that we need the nature outside our gardens, balcony and parks. People should have an environment so they can act in a better way. If we want an attitude change that also works in practice, the society have to rebuild people’s surroundings. It has to be easy to recycle, go by train, walk in the cities and to be a part of nature. We have to rebuild cities that are narrow and easy to live in. Because if there aren’t any recycles bin- people wouldn’t recycle, if it's not a store in the corner- we have to go to the big market outside the city, if there are no space to bike, lock your bike or it ”feels” insecure with a lot of cars around- you don't use the bike in town (Satterthawaite, 1997). This is for the environment in the city. But in the same time you got the feeling of connection to your part of the city. The ecocity view is that you should enjoy where you live. And if you do that, you only consume things you need and enjoy.

Interconnect ecological modernization and non-resources
To sum this up; ecological modernization can be said to be useful in some parts of a sustainable community, but then, in that we need more green technology and not a capitalism which is based on environmental friendly things. A combination of knowledge is essential where disciplines from a wide range of institutions have to make things together; university students have to practice more in the society, so they learn how to do it later and to get their network; rejected people, meaning people that now are in the social care, have a part in this society; old people can have something meaningful to do. Everyone should count, young as old, sick as healthy. This can only be done if we consider what people actually need in their lives, and base consumption on experiences instead of things. If we do that, with some help from the ecocity theory, we can reach a society that is equally in the economic, ecologic and social aspect. Meaning, shaping a society which is sustainable.


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