Saturday, December 19, 2009

Cappadocia, Turkey

Cappadocia region in the heart of Turkey. Capadocia; Katpatukya, Turkish Kapadokya, from Greek: Καππαδοκία / Kappadokía

Cappadocia region was created three million years ago through several eruptions of the volcanoes Mt. Erciyes and Mt. Hasan. By water and wind, the tuff mountains eroded to a spectacial shape. As the rock below the top layer of basalt is extremely soft, it can be easily carved, communities took advantage of this to make their home in the rock pillars and under the ground. Today, these examples of homes, churches and whole cities abound in Cappadocia can bee seen, where humans settle down as long ago as 2500-2000 BC. 

Now, it is forbidden to live in the mountains because of the risk of collapse, but some of the mountains has new houses, as the two restaurants we went to, and a carpet weaving and a pot making place.

Houses keeps a temperature of 16 degrees C even if its below freezing point or above 30 degrees C outside.Very environmentally sound!

Picture to the left. My brother Jakob took a tour in the Göreme open air museum. We traveled in Cappadocia for two days, which was too few days, we could been here for months I guess.

Most visited in the region: The Göreme Open - an air museum with carved painted churches; the underground cities of Kaymaklý or Derinkuyu where around 40 000 people lived in the past with their animals and children. A huge underground city, with 8 stores, kitchen, wine production, stables, churches, places for sleep, all inside the mountain. The smoke was led in long digged pipes so enimies couldn't see where they were. And another very special thing is the fairy chimneys seen in last picture. These things often appears in three; something known as the trinity. Cappadocia is listed as a heritage site.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Summary of Ecocity World Summit 2009

With a goal to collect thoughts around the world, the 8th Ecocity World Summit was held in Istanbul 13th to 15th of December. The conference cost between 150 euro (for one day) to a regular ticket 500 euro, plus flight ticket and hotel cost it would be around 1000 euro up to double for non-Istanbul people. Who can come? Give it a thought.

and program

I have to say that the answer would be; People who see the conference as an investment; companies that want to sell something. So next question would be; is an ecocity something that companies can invest in or is it more of an utopia?

We saw big projects from the company Varyap, Kucukcekmece Project and NewVista. Big scale projects with renewable energy and a lot of green room. The densed living and open up other green areas was in focus. Hiroaki Suzuki from World Bank told us about the concept Eco2 Cities, cities with both ecological and economic in focus. Suzuki also told us, that we have to build new houses for people, that is as many as the already existing buildings! New cities, big scale and repaplicated? Or rebuiding existing areas in a smarter way as examples from Montreal, Vancouver and Freiburg showed.

Richard Register's ground though about connect urban and rural areas in a more densed way so we can call it a ”city” can be what we call a small town, a village or a neighborhood today; it dosn't have t be A CITY. The ”city” part of the word ecocity means that ”like in a city, you have everything close to you”, it is unfortunately not what we can say about our cities today or the surroundings of the cities- sprawl and suburbs. Richard Register was very sensitive about talking too much about his concept, something that enjoyed me a lot- it is his concept- he should tell people what the main ideas are. Not hide them inside the book.

Can we build a society based on humans and not stuff, where we have everything we need close to us? Do we need Ecocities or Ecological modernization?
Good health and joy is all we need (?), and in the cities today we don't create it directly; it's a long way.. fist we let the people go sick from smog, bad quality of water, sedentary work, and stressful surroundings, and then we might help them back in the heath care. There is more food programs and non-fat products than ever, but people are also fatter and eat more unheathy than ever. Gyms and lifecoaching programs shows up in every corner; "do this" and "do this"- things that tells us to make us less stressed, makes us more stressed- because we have to have time to do the things. Hospitals, psychologists, life coaching, and even materialist consumption can go under what I would like to call; high speed, unhealthy societies. People have forgot what makes them happy.

Closeness and collaboration should be worlds for what an ecocity really is.

A sustainable society can only work in the long term (which is in the term sustainable..); if people have the right to own their property together with other people which will make them care about it, also important is to gain good group synergy and there we have it; a society that takes what it have and share thoughts, knowledge and pleasure.

Ostroms principles about sharing property can be read here, about sustainability here and about my perspective what an ecocity is here (links in this blog)

A very nice reading about the conference can be read at Daily Cos The Power of Nearness - DK Greenroots (or maybe its more about the real concept of the ecocity).

Monday, December 14, 2009

Visible Strategies

So much to tell, but I start with this; one of todays speaker at Ecocity world summit 2009

-Colin Grant from the company Visible Strategies, Vancouver.

Visible Strategies work with the tool "see-it", that can be used for better overviews for projects. City government can for example show their citizens and other intrested people how their plans will be to cut CO2 emissions. This, to create a better understanding of environmental problems and really "see it". Here you can view the tool "see-it" in "Inconvenient truth and convenient solutions" for environmental problems, and here is not only bad news, they show also some good examples!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

End of mankind

This week, two articles, one seminare, one movie and two books have to be connected under the titel; the end of mankind.

Darwin himself wrote in 1871, Descent of man, that it's likely that human will become extinct. In the daily newspaper I read in a small novise that newfound evidence from last week says that things that was too extreme he hide in an urn found last week. This secret documents says that, as due to a small brain and ugly appearance, man will die. (This is a bit funny if we just think a bit that Darwin didn't know about Cosmetic Surgery, and then doe to this; people that might not attrac each other if they looked natural "mix with each other" (my argumentation have to stop here, you can imagine the rest), at his time, I guess he was more into the mixed culture and rases, that everyone would look the same in the end).

Next reading was the autor about the self-regulating Earth; The Gaia Theory, who says that now is the end of humanity; climate change caused by humans is nothing that Gaia can fix by herself. Lovelock (click to read the essay) prepare himself to go with the first open space ship and see the view of the earth. "Enjoy life while you can. Because if you're lucky it's going to be 20 years before it hits the fan."

In the same time we have the premiere of the movie "2012", which can be connected to the "year 2012" which the Inca people predicted. And this is very interesting, because it can also be interpreted as a "tipping year" or the year when the world will change not end. When people all over the globe will gathering and do something together, as a deeper understanding with our inner selves and a broader consciousness in the Inca spirital way. But might, of course, also be as that humans will be more aware of the nature as in a deeper part of our consciousness.

I also read two books from Malcolm Gladwell. In the second of these books, he meant that mostly it is chance that determines whether we will succeed or not. In the book Outliers- the story of success we can see this clearly when hockey players mostley are born in the months of January, February and March, just because it's in January as they pick out new players for the intake. They simply select the boys even then they are in their teens, those who are at biggest size in January. The advantage gives them the confidence to stay in hockey. And for others to quit.

Similar non-real ranks of success is to play the stock market which I heard about four days ago in a seminare day about Economy and Financial Markets at my old school; School of Global Studies at the University of Gothenburg. Tommy Gärling, Professor in Psychology told us about the human touch in the Stock Market; most of the people in the Stock Exchange echo each other. It's more about psychology than superclever people; They follow if they are not sure, they sell late when it is in decline and premature when it is on the rise, which touches to a small-offset S-curve with some kind of equilibrium. If not even the economy is driven with a purpose, which everything in our world are depending at in these days- what is then?

Is it just a lot of coincidences that is in power in the world?

Now with just some days before the COP 15, a meeting which should prepare us all for the future- but a meeting that noone really believe in-, we can ask us these questions; can we fix it with hard work? (in an combination with coincidences, also Gladwell), have we already reached the tipping point? as Lovelock says, or would we just go bad and ugly as Darwin tells us? or again, is this the tipping point when we at last understand and do something about it?, as Gladwell tells us in his first book "Tipping point, how little things can makes big differences".

Can we fix it? Perhaps, but it depends who you ask (click to read another intresting article at the homepage of the newspaper Independent).