Mod 1 - Whatissustainabledesign? Recent publicity and...

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What is sustainable design? Recent publicity and discussions of sustainability have not been the result of a novel way of thinking about the world around us. History has given us many examples of a critical understanding of the overarching concepts of sustainability. As fundamental biological entities, we seek to preserve the existence of our species and the continuity of our gene pool by ensuring the fitness of the next generation. More recently, we have begun to understand that the preservation of our species may include the preservation of the environmental characteristics in which the human settlement exists. But sustainability is not a new idea. Much of the evolution in thought on sustainability and sustainable systems has been influenced by developments in the science of ecology. For starters, let's be clear about what we mean by "saving the earth." The globe doesn't need to be saved by us, and we couldn't kill it if we tried. What we do need to save -- and what we have done a fair job of bollixing up so far -- is the earth as we like it, with its climate, air, water and biomass all in that destructible balance that best supports life as we have come to know it. Muck that up, and the planet will simply shake us off, as it's shaken off countless species before us. In the end, then it's us we're trying to save -- and while the job is doable, it won't be easy. From Time Magazine, Hermann Scheer, August 26, 2002. George Perkins Marsh  (Man and Nature, 1864) the "father of American ecology Patrick Geddes (Cities in Evolution, 1915 Aldo Leopold  (A Sand County Almanac, 1949) Rachel Carson  (Silent Spring, 1962 ) Garret Hardin  (The Tragedy of the Commons, 1968) The idea of sustainability becomes a Global Issue The Brundtland Commission (Our Common Future, 1987) The World Commission on Environment and Development (also know as the Brundtland Commission after the committee's chairperson, Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland ) was established by the United Nations in 1983.
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The Committee's proceedings, entitled Our Common Future, were published in 1987. Among some of the findings of the Brundtland Commission were the following: Poorest 20% of the world's population consumes 2% of the global economic product Richest 20% of the world's population consumes 75% of the global economic output 26% of the global population consumes 80-86% of all non-renewable resources and 34-53% of all food products These disparities in global resource allocation and use prompted the Commission to outline the major global challenges of the human settlement and establish a general construct for sustainability. The Commission offered a statement that still resonates as the primary goal of sustainable thinking,that sustainable development - "…meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." Although the definition includes qualitative and subjective language, it succeeds in
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This note was uploaded on 01/24/2011 for the course DELAY 2009 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '08 term at Juilliard.

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Mod 1 - Whatissustainabledesign? Recent publicity and...

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