The Shareable Future of Cities

  • How many people does Steffen estimate we will have living in or near cities by mid-century? 8 billion
  • Explain how you agree or disagree with Steffen’s point that our energy use is “predestined” rather than “behavioral”. I disagree with his view that our use of energy is predestined instead of behavioral.  If more people change their behavior like recycled more or carpooled, we would not use that much energy.
  • What correlation does Steffen make between a city’s density and its climate emissions? He says the more dense a city is the lower the climate emissions are of that same city
  • What are the “eco districts” that Steffen mentions? How you see these as feasible or unfeasible in a city like Norfolk? Eco districts are neighborhoods that can sustain themselves with earth friendly ways.  I see this being possible in Norfolk.  For example we can have solar powered building and when the sun stops shining then people can have the decision to use electricity.
  • Explain how you agree or disagree with the “threshold effect” that Steffen discusses related to transportation.  I do not agree with Steffen. He says that people give up transportaiton because they live in places that make them feel more at home. I believe that people give up cars in dense areas because there is simply not enough room. For example New York is over crowded and people give up cars because there is plenty of public transportation and because there is no room for parking.
  • What does Steffen mean by the idea that, “…even space itself is turning into a service…”? Can you provide any examples that you see here in Norfolk or elsewhere?Steffen means that space is creating jobs for people. He is also saying the multiple people occupy a space at one time. For example college campus have more than one person living in dorm rooms at one time. Hotels and resorts also turn space into a service because they allow people to rent spaces to stay in a certain area.  
  • Describe your understanding of Steffen’s argument that, “…it’s not about the leaves above, but the systems below…”.I believe that Steffen is saying people only see the primary problems and not the whole picture. For example when people go to a fast food restaurant they go because they know they will get food from there. People do not think about how the food is cooked or who laid down the tile in the restaurant or who created the menu. they just see the primary purposes but not all the components of the thing.
  • Finally, overall in what way(s) do you see Steffen’s ideas working / not working here in Norfolk? I believe that his ideas can work if one thing are done. If we  could inform people even more about eco-districts and climate emissions they would be more inclined to participate in Steffen’s ideas. We need to find a way to relate Steffen’s concerns with the lives of Norfolk locals. We can start by asking locals to carpool or take public transit to reduce emissions into the air. We could also go around collect recyclables to reduce waste and trash.
This entry was posted on February 18, 2012. 1 Comment

Abstract #1

I read the article ” Facing Up to Our Fears” by David Brooks.  He first starts off his article by describing the events that show America is not a serious country.  he also talks about how even though, since the Cold War, we have not been worried about foreign affairs that foreign countries have always been worried about us. Brooks states how the severity of foreign matters has distracted Americans from their trivial everyday matters.  Americans now worry about someone sending them Anthrax in the mail or poisoning their water supply. Brooks brought up a great point when he said “Americans are getting a crash course in fear.  one of the people Brooks quoted says that we cannot measure the fear or sadness of a terrorist attack because they are not of opinion but instead of passion.  A professor named Daniel Creson says that we disregard reason when fear takes over.  Then Brooks goes on to explain how it is going to be hard for Americans to think like a nation because we are so individualistic.

One of my favorite quotes from Brooks is “our friends remind us of what we can do, our enemies remind us of what we must do.”  I agree with Brooks in that America is too individualistic.  I also agree that we let fear control and manipulate our actions.  I feel as a country we only react to terrorist attacks when they happen. We as a country need to band together and be the strong independent nation that we are.

Citation: Brooks, D. (2001). Facing Up to Our Fears. Newsweek138(17), 66.

Technology and I <3

Technology and I have a bad relationship. Besides being on Facebook and Twitter I do not understand a lot about technology.  When I got my droid phone I had to read the manual lol but my brother didn’t.  I feel since technology is constantly growing so should my knowlegde of technology.

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This entry was posted on January 13, 2012. 1 Comment