Resilience in the news

Public fruit trees gaining ground–in an underground sort of way

Posted by on May 12, 2013

There’s a wonderful article in today’s New York Times about the subversive trend in urban agriculture to plant fruit trees in urban spaces. A loose-knit group called Fallen Fruit is planting fruit trees in the Los Angeles area–its bounty to be free for the taking. And up the coast in San Francisco, the Guerrilla Grafters are surreptitiously grafting branches of fruit-bearing trees onto ornamental trees. Even parks departments are now catching on, which portends well for an urban environment in which more of what we eat can be grown within walking distance. For more, read the...

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It Ain’t Necessarily So

Posted by on Apr 12, 2013

Korky Koroluk, columnist for the Daily Commercial News, explores the contradictory effects that can result from energy-efficiency retrofits. It has been persuasively argued by some that adding more efficient energy systems tends to reduce the amount of energy used, thus lowering over-all energy costs. But that, it is argued, tends to make tenants less careful in their energy use. Extending the argument, increased efficiency lowers cost and increases demand, which increases the rate of consumption, wiping out the initial savings. That’s not a reason not do it, though. Resilient Design...

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How biology informs resilient design

Posted by on Apr 4, 2013

We’ve just come across a very thoughtful article by Michael Mehaffy and Nikos Salingaros called “Toward Resilient Architectures 1: Biology Lessons” in MetropolisMag. Mehaffy and Salingaros draw a number of lessons from biological systems and use them to draw conclusions about how resilient human systems must be designed. Here’s what they suggest resilient cities must be like: 1) They have inter-connected networks of pathways and relationships. They are not segregated into neat categories of use, type, or pathway, which would make them vulnerable to failure. 2) They...

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2012 CERES Insurance Industry Study: Progress Slow, Urgently Needed

Posted by on Mar 12, 2013

Climate-change-related disasters threaten industry profitability, and may drive less-prepared companies from a variety of asset and risk classes. A reduction in the availability and affordability of insurance and risk management services can threaten the economy...

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The old way: build a wall. The new way: work with nature.

Posted by on Feb 27, 2013

A nice illustration of the difference between old and new approaches to resilient design: In flood-prone Holland, the old approach was just: build a wall. The new approach is: work with nature, not against it, where you can. For centuries dikes (and natural dunes where they exist) have provided the primary defense against the North Sea for low-lying areas in the Netherlands. And while the Dutch continue to maintain, extend and elevate their system of dikes, they are also “increasingly relying on techniques that mimic natural systems and harness nature’s power to hold back the...

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Making Los Angeles Resilient

Posted by on Jan 29, 2013

Lisa Novick has a very good blog on what Los Angeles should do to boost it’s resilience on the Huff Post Los Angeles. The blog includes a nice definition of resilience: “Resilience is defined as the capacity of a system to absorb shock and still maintain its identity and function. Resilient systems — business, social, ecological, you name it — all have redundancy so that, when a shock or increased stress occurs, there will be back up. There will be some elasticity: someone or something will be able to step in and perform when the usual relationships fail.” Novick also...

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