In a very short time America has realized that global warming poses real challenges to the nation's future. The Agile City engages the fundamental question: what to do about it?
Journalist and urban analyst James S. Russell argues that we'll more quickly slow global warming-and blunt its effects-by retrofitting cities, suburbs, and towns. The Agile City shows that change undertaken at the building and community level can reach carbon-reduction goals rapidly.
Adapting buildings (39 percent of greenhouse-gas emission) and communities (slashing the 33 percent of transportation related emissions) offers numerous other benefits that tax gimmicks and massive alternative-energy investments can't match.
Rapidly improving building techniques can readily cut carbon emissions by half, and some can get to zero. These cuts can be affordably achieved in the windshield-shattering heat of the desert and the bone-chilling cold of the north. Intelligently designing our towns could reduce marathon commutes and child chauffeuring to a few miles or eliminate it entirely. Agility, Russell argues, also means learning to adapt to the effects of climate change, which means redesigning the obsolete ways real estate is financed; housing subsidies are distributed; transportation is provided; and water is obtained, distributed and disposed of. These engines of growth have become increasingly more dysfunctional both economically and environmentally.
The Agile City highlights tactics that create multiplier effects, which means that ecologically driven change can shore-up economic opportunity, can make more productive workplaces, and can help revive neglected communities. Being able to look at multiple effects and multiple benefits of political choices and private investments is essential to assuring wealth and well-being in the future. Green, Russell writes, grows the future.
The International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science, and Technology for Development (IAASTD) looks realistically at how we could effectively use agriculture/AKST to help us meet development and sustainability goals. An unprecedented three-year collaborative effort, the IAASTD involved more than 400 authors in 110 countries and cost more than $11 million. It report on the advances and setbacks of the past fifty years and offers options for the next fifty years.
The results of the project are contained in seven reports: a Global Report, five regional Sub-Global Assessments, and a Synthesis Report. The Global Report gives the key findings of the Assessment, and the five Sub-Global Assessments address regional challenges. The volumes present options for action. All of the reports have been extensively peer-reviewed by governments and experts and all have been approved by a panel of participating governments. The Sub-Global Assessments all utilize a similar and consistent framework: examining and reporting on the impacts of AKST on hunger, poverty, nutrition, human health, and environmental/social sustainability. The five Sub-Global Assessments cover the following regions:
Central and West Asia and North Africa (CWANA)
East and South Asia and the Pacific (ESAP)
Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)
North America and Europe (NAE)
Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA)