Sustainability issues grow as large urban centers add a million people, or or up to about 5%, per year. Social responses to acts of nature need to be tempered in order to prevent environmental disasters. Demand increases for tech solutions. Automation extends to robotics and space.
Recent links (about 23):
ai “The Age of Assistants”: The View From Inside SRI
augmented-reality “What Mountain is That?” New App Takes AR Outside the City Limits
Database | EM-DAT
International Strategy for Disaster Reduction
International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR)
Death to Humans! Visions of the Apocalypse in Movies and Literature: Scientific American
email HOW TO: Undo “Send” in Gmail
events Online Event Registration â€“ Sell Tickets Online with Eventbrite
robotics IEEE Spectrum: Cyborg Fly Pilots Robot Through Obstacle Course
security David Ignatius – Pentagon’s cybersecurity plans have a Cold War chill
smartgrid IEEE Spectrum: $25 Billion European Smart Grid Market by 2020
space BBC News – Alien hunters ‘should look for artificial intelligence’
ui Make: Online : Multitouch robot swarm controller
World’s Fastest-Growing Megalopolis Hides in Fog | Raw File
Reinventing the City to Combat Climate Change
visualization David McCandless: The beauty of data visualization | Video on TED.com
Urban Risk Reduction: An Asian Perspective, Shaw et al, 2009
Urbanization is outpacing general population growth in Asia. Case studies are described for localities and types of environmental disaster. Urban issues range from household, community, city, region, to nation. Lifestyles create hazards which induce, or worsen natural, events. The culture can be built on safety and resilience. Action planning may require assistance of specialized agencies. Pilot cities demonstrate projects such as local resource organization, citizen empowerment, and smaller units and chain of command. Lessons are learned from disaster recovery. A management information system was useful in at least one case. The decision-making pyramid includes global, national, city, building, and individual. Environmental issues include air and water pollution, waste and sewage, noise, land use, drainage and transport congestion, slums, flood and other common issues such as disease, fire, or crime. Strategies are sensitive to survival, peace, innovation from tradition, and sustainability. The disaster management cycle has its own information and communication issues in each phase, non, before, during and after. Risk reduction involves knowledge, perception, deepening, preparedness and dissemination. Surveys measure public awareness. Frameworks are provided by Millennium Development Goal, Hyogo Framework for Action, and UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction. There are eighteen chapters, two parts, twenty-four authors.
Disaster Risk Management Systems Analysis: A Guide Book, Baas, 2008
This book has a toolset for the characterization and strengthening of DRM at the international, national, province/district/municipality, community and institution layers. A framework enumerates initiatives for each of the periods for disaster risk reduction, response, and recovery. Preparedness links both development, through mitigation and prevention, and humanitarian assistance, through relief and recovery. Another framework for sustainable livelihoods indicates which households are most vulnerable. There is a list of key questions for leaders. A form is shown to document the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats across levels. There are six modules, two annexes and many figures, relational maps, and checklists. It can be downloaded as a PDF from the web.
Ecological Engineering: Principles and Practices, Patrick C. Kangas, 2004
Humans stress natural ecosystems through simplification of species and metabolic shifts. Research in emergent ecosystems includes agriculture, urban, and coastal or estuarine. Since prediction is limited, engineering epistemology requires building improvement based on design and test. Future directions include ecological nanotech, terraforming, biosensors, ecosensors, universal pollution treatment, and aquaculture. Technoecosystems maintain a balance between living and hardware systems. Since the laboratory includes the environment, the hacker code of ethics applies to ecological engineering. Treatment reduces costs of pollution. Ecological economics adds measures of emergy or embodied energy, natural capital, sustainability, carrying capacity and many types of ecosystem services to improve life-support value. Sold waste management discusses landfills, composting, and industrial ecology. The energy value of the waste is the same as that used to make the product. Wetlands are used for wastewater treatment by spiraling. An identical decay equation for decomposition evolved in parallel, linking design intuitions for both biodegradation in ecology and wastewater engineering. Restoration ecology connects to succession and is explained for salt marshes, artificial reefs, and educational exhibits. Microcosmology includes living models and replication issues. Soil bioengineering is shown for urban imperviousness, stormwater management bioretention and agricultural erosion control. This realm includes beavers, coastal vegetation and self-building machines. Biodiversity is increased by exotic species. The food web describes feeding interactions. The series of multiple states in catastrophe theory is used to explain invasion. Control theory ranges from machine analogies to biotech. Circuit symbols are used for ecosystem models. H T Odum coined a lot of the names of new ecosystems. Principles include energy signature, self-organization and preadaptation. There are nine chapters
Building Safer Cities: The Future of Disaster Risk, edited by Kreimer et al, 2003
Actual and new types of disasters are discussed, e.g. due to rapid urbanization or climate change. Impact and preparedness affect several geographic scales of security, environmental and human, including economics. politics, and society. There are several major worldviews. The main concerns are globalization, environment, social vulnerability, and protecting infrastructure. The various methods of balancing costs of risks include privatization, government taxation and globalization. Africa often suffers export losses, which leads to tens of thousands of youth mortalities, when other countries have disasters. Hazard reduction involves robust design, flexible and adaptable systems, reversal of vulnerability trends, and societal preparedness. Coastal zone classifications include protect, retreat and accommodate. Resilience measures how much disturbance can be absorbed, and the capability for self-reorganization. Regional analysis, management and action are required for flooding. Study approaches include scenarios and consequences. The fact that life support networks, e.g. utilities, affect eachother as external technological causes has not been taken into account traditionally. Critical infrastructure includes telecom, power, energy, storage, transportation, water, financial, emergency services, and government. Buildings can be retrofit using new tech for earthquakes risk. These were papers for a conference of international financial institutions. There are four parts, twenty chapters, twenty-six authors. They may develop literacy for the terminology. Most chapters have conclusions or recommendations. The web had PDFs and Google books has full content.
Counting Heads, David Marusek, 2005
This novel is a scifi cyberpunk mystery. There are three parts, forty-five chapters, and an epilogue. Chapters are numbered, e.g. up to 1.3 or 2.29. Part 3 adds days of the week to the titles up to Friday 3.13. It begins in first person for part 1 which was originally a short story. The year is 2092. There are a pair of main characters. Tech includes nanotech, clones, robotic insects, friendly AIs, wearable valet processors. holopresence conferences, and high velocity surface travel. HomCom is the initial antagonist. There is a realistic world. The rest of the parts are told in third person after forty years have passed. The point of view changes among several main characters. The antagonist may be an AI. A glossary would be appropriate. The title refers to heads for which the body can be replaced. A sequel was published, Mind Over Ship.