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Structural Adaptivity Facilitation Examples - Part II

Here are some more Facilitation Examples.  By Facilitation I am meaning general activities by planners, and others that cause or guide development, to influence the development of the built environment toward structural adaptivity as we progress into an ever more uncertain and unpredictable future.  Some might call them implementation strategies or “calls to action.”

 

These examples have not been identified or studied by teams of experts; they are only my personal ideas intended to illustrate possibilities.  Hopefully, however, they will convey a sense of the real prospects for structural adaptivity to be achieved.  I believe that structural adaptivity is critical to resilience over the long term.

 

Promote the Futurist Perspective.  With more attention in our society to the “futurist perspective,” sooner rather than later, such attention will also come to focus on the need for all forms of adaptivity, including structural adaptivity in our urban areas and regions.  Structural adaptivity is the most, if not only, logical approach to facing a future that now is uncertain, unpredictable and rapidly changing.

 

Some Examples of Structural Adaptivity - Part II

Here are some more examples of how I propose that structural adaptivity could be applied as a leading principle for resilient development in the US over the next 20-50-100 years.  These are intended to support my conviction that structural adaptivity is the only logical approach to advancing our built environment for a rapidly changing, uncertain, unpredictable future.  I am hoping that others will review these concepts and propose their own personal and team-researched applications of the principle.

 

In re-balancing our nation, do so by major watersheds.  I propose that the re-balancing of our nation’s urban development (as I discussed before) should be based on the locations and characteristics of our major watersheds.  All major urban development regions should have a long-term dependable natural source of fresh water. 

 

Conflicting Scenarios Exercise

I have been proposing that, rather than trying to foresee the future, we consider accepting and conducting further research on a much more fundamental, all-encompassing and long-term-resilient approach to our built environment.  I have been proposing that such an elemental approach should be structural adaptivity.  I believe that our world must and will give maximum adaptivity to the basic elements of our built environment to adjust to and meet our needs for the unpredictable, rapidly changing world over the next 50-100 years. 

 

 

In working on this, I conducted an Exercise.  I experimented with a number of different future conditions, or scenarios, that I think are quite possible.  The first two that drew my strongest concern were the conflicting scenarios of: (1) how planners might address our urban areas after global warming has abated – and the problem is continuous hot weather and more storms – as opposed to (2) how planners are now addressing the need to stop or slow down global warming.  I also experimented with additional scenarios that I do not think we are able to, presently, forecast accurately.  Most of them, however, I believe will surface eventually, in one way or another, and cause huge problems.

 

SOME FACILITATION EXAMPLES FOR STRUCTURAL ADAPTIVITY

  

I believe that structural adaptivity will become generally accepted in our world even without conscious effort.  As change continues speeding up, and as planners, developers, futurists, risk managers, and many others come to recognize that change is coming at an accelerating rate and that the future is ever more uncertain and unpredictable, they will focus on adaptivity.  However, the longer we wait for people to realize this, the greater the chances are that much harm will occur that should have been avoided or mitigated by the resilience we should have been already building.

 

The facilitation strategies and techniques that I propose are primarily intended to show some logical possibilities.  Hopefully other people will be better able than I am to come up with the best ones. 

 

For now, I will present the full list of the possibilities that I have come up with and then present a discussion of a few of them. <!--break-->

 

My full list:

Some Examples of Structural Adaptivity

 

As a follow-up to my post titled A New Approach, following below are several examples of how I propose that structural adaptivity should be applied as a guiding principle for future growth and development in the US.  As I explained before, I believe that structural adaptivity is the only logical approach to building our man-made environment for a rapidly changing, uncertain, unpredictable future.

 

Bus Rapid Transit.  Bus rapid transit (BRT) is a system of individual self-propelled vehicles (often several linked together) that can and do travel on conventional streets and highways, on dedicated lanes on surface streets, and/or on separate intersection-free busways dedicated to buses only.  Likewise, the rapid transit buses can leave their normal routes of travel and enter and leave most all areas of a city or region.  As a modern system providing rapid mass transit, it also normally has features similar to rail rapid transit, e.g., off-board fare collection, platform-level boarding, efficient and rapid scheduling, etc., and it oftentimes has traffic signaling priority at any street intersections.

 

A New Approach

I would like to share the results of my research, thinking and writing with the U. S. Resilience System in the hopes that its viewers can incorporate some of it into their own work.  I also hope to receive feedback so I can improve my ideas.

 

My background is in city and regional planning.  More recently it has expanded to include futures research.  I believe that the much-needed resilience many of us are seeking can best be achieved if we are working on immediate plans and actions plus long-range plans and actions at the same time.  Immediate or short-term actions are seldom sufficient by themselves.

 

Resilience to the wide variety of critical problems and uncertainties we expect to face this century requires systemic changes in our country and world.  It requires changes in the way we think, act, organize and communicate, and in what and where we build.  We slowly build our man-made environment to fit our needs and then our man-made environment shapes and controls us for many decades - even after our needs have changed. 

 

Oldest Baby Boom in North America Sheds Light on Native American Population Crash

Sites like Pueblo Bonito in northern New Mexico reached their maximum size in the early A.D. 1100s, just before a major drought began to decrease birth rates throughout the Southwest. Credit: Nate Crabtree

Scientists chart an ancient baby boom—in southwestern Native Americans from 500 to 1300 AD

phys.org - June 30, 2014

Washington State University researchers have sketched out one of the greatest baby booms in North American history, a centuries-long "growth blip" among southwestern Native Americans between 500 to 1300 A.D.

It was a time when the early features of civilization—including farming and food storage—had matured to where birth rates likely "exceeded the highest in the world today," the researchers write in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

A crash followed . . .

(READ COMPLETE ARTICLE)

CLICK HERE - PNAS - RESEARCH - Long and spatially variable Neolithic Demographic Transition in the North American Southwest

 

IAEA Expert Remediation Mission to Japan Issues Preliminary Report

                                         

21 October 2013 | Tokyo -- The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)'s international expert mission to review remediation efforts in areas affected by the Fukushima Daiichi accident concluded today with the presentation of a Preliminary Summary Report to Japan's Senior Vice-Minister of the Environment, Shinji Inoue.

The Follow-up IAEA International Mission on Remediation of Large Contaminated Areas Off-site the Fukushima Daiichi NPS recognised the huge effort and enormous resources that Japan is devoting to its remediation strategies and activities, with the aim of improving living conditions for people affected by the nuclear accident and enabling evacuees to return home.

The Mission Team highlighted important progress since the first IAEA remediation mission in October 2011, noted that Japan had made good use of advice from that earlier Mission, and offered fresh advice in a number of areas where it is still possible to further improve current practices, taking into account both international standards and the experience of remediation programmes in other countries.

In Mexico City, Planners Turn Vacant Space Under Freeways Into Places to Work, Dine, Play

      

Dominic Bracco II / Prime - A man rests on one of the new park benches in one of Mexico City overpass developments on May 27. Urban planners are converting vacant lots beneath Mexico City's overpasses and freeways into shopping plazas, public playground and outdoor cafes.

submitted by Samuel Bendett

washingtonpost.com - by Nick Miroff - May 29, 2013

Mexico City — You can’t get something out of nothing. This is common sense, not to mention a principle of physics and mathematics.

Yet the amazing science of Mexico City’s real estate development obeys no such laws.

Urban planners here, in one of the world’s most populous and crowded cities, have found a way to add thousands of square feet of new commercial and recreational space.

(READ COMPLETE ARTICLE)

Peak Phosphorus

A dead agricultural field.

Image: A dead agricultural field.

foreignpolicy.com - April 20th, 2010 - James Elser and Stuart White

From Kansas to China's Sichuan province, farmers treat their fields with phosphorus-rich fertilizer to increase the yield of their crops. What happens next, however, receives relatively little attention. Large amounts of this resource are lost from farm fields, through soil erosion and runoff, and down swirling toilets, through our urine and feces. Although seemingly mundane, this process cannot continue indefinitely.

(VIEW COMPLETE ARTICLE)

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