Rockefeller foundation

Rockefeller Foundation: The Rise, Fall And Rebirth Of 100 Resilient Cities

The UN’s term “Resilient” means anything you want: “improving mobility”, “breaking down structural racism”, “any social and infrastructural fault line”, “predictive analysis” and even weather forecasting. Thus, it is a catchall term for implementing the New Urban Agenda and the 2030 Agenda, aka Technocracy. ⁃ TN Editor

In late April, at a town-hall meeting in New York City, Raj Shah, the president of the Rockefeller Foundation, addressed the staff of 100 Resilient Cities. The nonprofit, launched by the philanthropy in 2013, has helped cities around the world plan for natural disasters and social shocks, especially the ravages of climate change.

Earlier that month, the foundation had abruptly announced plans to shutter the program. Now Shah was explaining why.

“This is not about whether 100 Resilient Cities works,” Shah said. “It’s a shift in the foundation’s focus to delivering measurable results for vulnerable people … with a budget framework that works.”

In a video recording later viewed by CityLab, a few people who dialed in from satellite offices were broadcasted at the bottom of the screen, their expressions grim. By August 1, the organization’s 86 employees would be out of a job. In city halls around the globe, officials who’d come to rely on their support wondered how they’d keep climate-prep initiatives afloat, including the hiring of hundreds of “resilience officers.”

But now plans are being hatched to advance some of 100RC’s work beyond its expiration date. Last week, the nonprofit’s president, Michael Berkowitz, told staff that he and a group of soon-to-be-former 100RC officers were preparing to start a new nonprofit with the mission of helping cities implement resilience projects.

What’s more, the Rockefeller Foundation has confirmed that it may keep some elements of the 100 Resilient Cities program alive.

These are significant turns of events from just a few weeks ago, when the future of 100RC looked bleak, despite its well-regarded status in climate-planning circles. For local governments, the whiplash may be a reminder of the risks of relying of private dollars to create public policies.

Established in 2013 by the Rockefeller Foundation in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy, 100 Resilient Cities was born out of the idea that local governments needed help planning for disasters and combating persistent social maladies. Across a network of more than 100 global member cities—from New York to New Orleans, Rome to Ramallah, Montevideo to Montréal—the group underwrote salaries for chief resilience officers, shepherded resilience plans, and supplied local leaders with ideas, financing, and technical assistance.

While the nonprofit was best known for climate adaptation plans, its work encompassed much more. For example, in Boston, leaders defined resilience as breaking down structural racism. In Panama City, it was about improving mobility. A city became “resilient” by identifying virtually any social and infrastructural fault line that a shock might expose. Change was measured on a long-term basis. In contrast to other nonprofits that give grants for specific projects, the 100RC model was unusually flexible.

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merkel

Merkel Admits: German Multiculturalism Has ‘Utterly Failed’

The late Peter Sutherland, a member of the Trilateral Commission, originally pushed multiculturalism throughout Europe as an absolute necessary to achieve Sustainable Development. Needless to say, he lied.

NOTE: This story was originally published in 2010, but it was apparently mistakenly included in a recent RSS feed as if it had just been posted. TN will allow the story to remain because it is still an important historical insight into the failure of multiculturalism. ⁃ TN Editor

The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, has courted growing anti-immigrant opinion in Germany by claiming the country’s attempts to create a multicultural society have “utterly failed”.

Speaking to a meeting of young members of her Christian Democratic Union party, Merkel said the idea of people from different cultural backgrounds living happily “side by side” did not work.

She said the onus was on immigrants to do more to integrate into German society.

“This [multicultural] approach has failed, utterly failed,” Merkel told the meeting in Potsdam, west of Berlin, yesterday.

Her remarks will stir a debate about immigration in a country which is home to around 4 million Muslims.

Last week, Horst Seehofer, the premier of Bavaria and a member of the Christian Social Union – part of Merkel’s ruling coalition – called for a halt to Turkish and Arabic immigration.

In the past, Merkel has tried to straddle both sides of the argument by talking tough on integration but also calling for an acceptance of mosques.

But she faces pressure from within the CDU to take a harder line on immigrants who show resistance to being integrated into German society.

Yesterday’s speech is widely seen as a lurch to the right designed to placate that element in her party.

Merkel said too little had been required of immigrants in the past and repeated her argument that they should learn German in order to cope in school and take advantage of opportunities in the labour market.

The row over foreigners in Germany has shifted since former central banker Thilo Sarrazin published a highly-controversial book in which he accused Muslim immigrants of lowering the intelligence of German society.

Sarrazin was censured for his views and dismissed from the Bundesbank, but his book proved popular and polls showed Germans were sympathetic with the thrust of his arguments.

One recent poll showed one-third of Germans believed the country was “overrun by foreigners”.

It also found 55% of Germans believed that Arabs are “unpleasant people”, compared with the 44% who held the opinion seven years ago.

In her speech, Merkel said the education of unemployed Germans should take priority over recruiting workers from abroad, while noting that Germanycould not get by without skilled foreign workers.

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UN-Habitat

Technocracy At Work: UN-Habitat’s Strategic Urban Plan for 2020-2025

The United Nations met in Nairobi to give teeth to the New Urban Agenda adopted in December 2016. The new strategy lends full ideological support to the global Green New Deal movement. Every city on the planet will be inundated with the new propaganda. ⁃ TN Editor

Sustainable urbanization is central to the realization of the global development goals as set out in the suite of global agreements signed in 2015-16, including, most importantly, the Sustainable Development Goals and the Agenda 2030, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the Paris Agreement on Climate Agenda, and the New Urban Agenda (NUA). The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) Strategic Plan 2020-2025 focuses on the Agency’s commitment and contribution to the implementation of these global development agendas. Through its normative and operational work, the Agency’s objective is to: advance sustainable urbanization as a driver of development and peace to improve living conditions for all”.

UN-Habitat’s 2020-2025 Strategic Plan creates a strong narrative of change, clearly articulating the relationship of sustainable urbanization with the overall notion of sustainable development. It is only with a clear transformative strategy, partnerships, and a fresh and innovative vision of development that it is possible to respond to persistent and new development problems, including extreme poverty, socioeconomic inequalities, slums, social exclusion and marginalization, gender-based discrimination, humanitarian crises, conflicts, climate change, and high unemployment, which are increasingly concentrated in urban areas. A holistic approach towards an urbanizing world, connecting cities and other human settlements, can help advance sustainable solutions for the benefit of all.

The Strategic Plan lays out a recalibrated vision and mission, and a sharpened focus. UN-Habitat proposes to serve Member States, sub-national and local governments, and other key urban actors in the pursuit of four mutually reinforcing and integrated domains of change or goals:

1. Reduced poverty and spatial inequality in urban and rural communities;

2. Enhanced shared prosperity of cities and regions;

3. Strengthened climate action and improved urban environment; and

4. Effective urban crisis prevention and response

The realization of these outcomes is supported by a certain number of specific ‘drivers of change’ and ‘organizational enablers.’ Transformative change can only take place through a paradigm shift. UN-Habitat is cognizant of this, and proposes a clear framework that takes into account global trends and focuses on (i) customized solutions taking into account countries in different situations, aligning all efforts focused on the change we want to see; (ii) leveraging partnerships with sister United Nations entities, the private sector, and other development actors and stakeholders; and (iii) significantly enhancing integrated delivery through more effective collaboration across its country offices, regional offices, liaison offices, and the headquarters.

However, implementation of the Strategic Plan 2020-2025 equally requires organizational changes and a new model for financial sustainability to ensure that UN-Habitat resources are commensurate with its mandates and roles.

Once translated into action, this Strategic Plan will reinforce UN-Habitat’s place as the global centre of excellence on sustainable urban development, offering solutions that help seize the opportunities presented by urbanization, while bringing about transformational change for the benefit of millions of people, ensuring that no one and no place is left behind.

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Atlantic Council Takes Over ‘100 Resilient Cities’ From Rockefeller Foundation

Since 1973, the Atlantic Council has been a hotbed of Trilateral Commission members and initiatives. Founded by David Rockefeller and Zbigniew Brzezinski, the Commission resuscitated historic Technocracy and fed it to the United Nations as Sustainable Development. Today, both are steeped in UN initiatives and its Sustainable Development Goals. ⁃ TN Editor

The Atlantic Council and Rockefeller Foundation announced the launch of the Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center, which seeks to enhance the resilience of 1 billion people worldwide by 2030. It is the successor of 100 Resilient Cities (100RC), the Rockefeller Foundation’s former resilience effort that is to be disbanded, effective July 31.

In addition to a $30 million grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, the new resiliency center received a $25 million gift from business leader and philanthropist Adrienne Arsht. At a press conference at the Atlantic Council in Washington, DC, Arsht said the new center is part of her aim of “improving the state of the world in measurable ways.”

“To me, resilience is a way of thinking. It’s how you behave and how you see the world,” she said, adding that she hopes the initiative will become “a global center for resilient solutions for people, systems and institutions.”

The center’s director, former Bank of America executive Kathy Baughman McLeod, said the new initiative will be focused on “100% implementation,” while 100RC was more focused on planning and building. She said it would look to use evidence-based solutions and best practices that can be copied at scale, and help encourage the partnerships and financial backing such plans require.

That work will also include areas like public policy, finance, insurance and technology. “People are suffering, economies are being set back. We intend to do something about it,” Baughman McLeod said.

The news came on the day that the city of Washington, DC unveiled its first resiliency strategy, built in partnership with 100RC with an emphasis on fostering inclusive growth, fighting climate change and transforming technology. In a speech, Mayor Muriel Bowser said DC is already strong, diverse and vibrant and is the “envy of many cities around the globe,” but must do more.

“For our growth and prosperity to continue, however, we must ensure that we are prepared for the unexpected and be resilient in the face of change and ongoing challenges,” she said.

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UN Biodiversity Conference To Create ‘Paris Moment’ To ‘Rescue Nature’

The upcoming UN Biodiversity Conference is to nature what the Paris Conference was to global warming. The outcome will extend the 1,100 -page Global Biodiversity Assessment from 1995 and specify all human behaviors that are necessary to ‘rescue’ nature. ⁃ TN Editor

Diplomats from 130 nations gathered in Paris on Monday to validate a grim UN assessment of the state of Nature and lay the groundwork for a rescue plan for life on Earth.

The destruction of Nature threatens humanity “at least as much as human-induced climate change,” UN biodiversity chief Robert Watson said as the five-day meeting began.

“We have a closing window of opportunity to act and narrowing options.”

A 44-page draft “Summary for Policy Makers” obtained by AFP catalogues the 1001 ways in which our species has plundered the planet and damaged its capacity to renew the resources upon which we depend, starting with breathable air, drinkable water and productive soil.

The impact of humanity’s expanding footprint and appetites has been devastating.

Up to a million species face extinction, many within decades, according to the report, and three-quarters of Earth’s land surface has been “severely altered”.

A third of ocean fish stocks are in decline, and the rest, barring a few, are harvested at the very edge of sustainability.

A dramatic die-off of pollinating insects, especially bees, threatens essential crops valued at half-a-trillion dollars annually.

Twenty 10-year targets adopted in 2010 under the United Nations’ biodiversity treaty — to expand protected areas, slow species and forest loss, and reduce pollution — will, with one or two exceptions, fail badly.

Based on an underlying report that draws from 400 experts and weighs in at 1,800 pages, the executive summary has to be vetted line-by-line by diplomats, with scientists at their elbow.

The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) document, once approved, will be released on May 6.

Historically, conservation biology has focused on the plight of pandas, polar bears and a multitude of less “charismatic” animals and plants that humanity is harvesting, eating, crowding or poisoning into oblivion.

But in the last two decades, that focus has shifted back to us.

“Up to now, we have talked about the importance of biodiversity mostly from an environmental perspective,” Watson told AFP ahead of the Paris meet.

Agriculture is key

“Now we are saying that Nature is crucial for food production, for pure water, for medicines and even social cohesion.”

And to fight climate change.

Forests and oceans, for example, soak up half of the planet-warming greenhouse gases we spew into the atmosphere.

If they didn’t, Earth might already be locked into an unliveable future of runaway global warming.

And yet, an area of tropical forest five times the size of England has been destroyed since 2014, mainly to service the global demand for beef, biofuels, soy beans and palm oil.

“The recent IPCC report shows to what extent climate change threatens biodiversity,” said Laurence Tubiana, CEO of the European Climate Foundation and a main architect of the Paris Agreement, referring to the UN’s climate science panel.

“And the upcoming IPBES report — as important for humanity — will show these two problems have overlapping solutions.”

Extinctions hard to see

That overlap, she added, begins with agriculture, which accounts for at least a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions.

Set up in 2012, the IPBES synthesises published science for policymakers in the same way the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) does on climate.

Both advisory bodies feed into UN treaties.

But the 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) has always been a poor stepchild compared to its climate counterpart, and the IPBES was added as an afterthought, making its authority harder to establish.

Biodiversity experts are trying to engineer a “Paris moment” for Nature akin to the 2015 Paris climate treaty.

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Stop biodiversity loss or we could face our own extinction, warns UN

Jonathan Watts, The Guardian, 6 Nov. 2018

The world must thrash out a new deal for nature in the next two years or humanity could be the first species to document our own extinction, warns the United Nation’s biodiversity chief.

Ahead of a key international conference to discuss the collapse of ecosystems, Cristiana Pașca Palmer said people in all countries need to put pressure on their governments to draw up ambitious global targets by 2020 to protect the insects, birds, plants and mammals that are vital for global food production, clean water and carbon sequestration.

“The loss of biodiversity is a silent killer,” she told the Guardian. “It’s different from climate change, where people feel the impact in everyday life. With biodiversity, it is not so clear but by the time you feel what is happening, it may be too late.”

Pașca Palmer is executive secretary of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity – the world body responsible for maintaining the natural life support systems on which humanity depends.

Its members – 195 states and the EU – will meet in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, this month to start discussions on a new framework for managing the world’s ecosystems and wildlife. This will kick off two years of frenetic negotiations, which Pașca Palmer hopes will culminate in an ambitious new global deal at the next conference in Beijing in 2020.

Conservationists are desperate for a biodiversity accord that will carry the same weight as the Paris climate agreement. But so far, this subject has received miserably little attention even though many scientists say it poses at least an equal threat to humanity.

The last two major biodiversity agreements – in 2002 and 2010 – have failed to stem the worst loss of life on Earth since the demise of the dinosaurs.

Eight years ago, under the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, nations promised to at least halve the loss of natural habitats, ensure sustainable fishing in all waters, and expand nature reserves from 10% to 17% of the world’s land by 2020. But many nations have fallen behind, and those that have created more protected areas have done little to police them. “Paper reserves” can now be found from Brazil to China.

The issue is also low on the political agenda. Compared to climate summits, few heads of state attend biodiversity talks. Even before Donald Trump, the US refused to ratify the treaty and only sends an observer. Along with the Vatican, it is the only UN state not to participate.

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No One Left Behind In New Global Cradle-To-Cradle Biometric Database

A major global tech corporation based in Japan, NEC, says that a global biometric system will help solve health problems as per United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) #3, and touts “leave no one behind.” The program will initially tested in Kenya. ⁃ TN Editor

Last week, NEC Corporation and Nagasaki University announced that they are creating a global facial recognition program based on the U.N.’s slogan of eradicating poverty called, “Leave No One Behind.

Seizing on the chance to turn the U.N.’s slogan into a global facial recognition marketing scheme, NEC has modified it slightly, calling it “Fahamu Mama-Mtoto (To know mother and child).”

If NEC’s plan to know mother and child is a success, we can all kiss “Hakuna Matata” goodbye, because we will no longer have to worry about our privacy for the rest of our days.

I have covered the rise of facial biometrics for years, but I have never ever come across such a bold slogan that plainly states that they want to identify everyone, including children. Although, the European Union’s (EU) mandatory national biometric ID cards and NIH’s 1 million person DNA database come close.

Ed Hasbrouck at PapersPlease.org has done an excellent job of exposing Big Brother’s plan to use facial recognition to identify air travelers, but I doubt that even he could have seen this one coming

NEC’s press release is so audacious that I encourage everyone to read it. Here is an excerpt that is almost too incredible to believe.

“Nagasaki University and NEC Corporation have established a program on global health & biometric authentication with Nagasaki University’s Graduate School of Tropical Medicine and Global Health Studies. The aim of this course is to research and develop human resources related to the utilization of ICT, including biometrics, to solve health problems in developing countries.”

To claim that a global facial recognition program could “solve health problems” is beyond absurd. I mean what is next, why not claim that it can solve disease and drought

NEC also claims their global facial recognition program will help “in the management of child and mother health information” by identifying everyone.

“The program will acquire fingerprint and facial images of mothers who volunteer to collaborate with the university’s Maternal and Child Health Information System. This will enable identification by biometrics, even when identification cards are lost or missing, and will enable the maintenance of health and medical information, such as birth data, medical history, treatment history, and immunization status.”

Corporate doublespeak has never been better; on the one hand you have NEC announcing their plan to create a global facial recognition program starting in Kenya and on the other hand, they claim that only those that “collaborate” will be entered into their database.

So which is it? Are they laying the groundwork for a global facial recognition program in Kenya or is it a voluntary “collaboration?”

“As part of the activities of this program, Nagasaki University and NEC will verify the effectiveness of a biometric system in the management of child and mother health information, which is important for understanding the health status of local residents. The program will acquire fingerprint and facial images of mothers who volunteer to collaborate with the university’s Maternal and Child Health Information System.”

Finally, we have an answer. NEC is using the Nagaski University’s “Maternal and Child Health Information System” to help create a facial biometrics program.

NEC is a master at corporate doublespeak; one has to read between the lines of the next paragraph to truly understand their global plans.

“The philosophy of Nagasaki University is to contribute to the harmonious development of society by fostering a rich spirit and creating science that supports peace and collaboration. Based on the university’s outstanding track record in tropical medicine and other fields, it aims to become a global health education and research center that contributes to better health throughout the world.”

And there it is… NEC is using Nagaski University to help create a global facial biometrics program for “better health throughout the world.”

The spread of facial biometrics is driven by government control and corporate greed. It has nothing to do with solving the world’s health problems.

Creating a global biometric database of close to 8 billion people should be a huge red flag for everyone. DHS, the EU and now NEC will stop at nothing to identify everyone, including children.

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Bad Humans: UN Blames For Extinction Of One Million Species

U.N. Technocrats continue to throw fear-mongering mud at the wall to see what will stick. The extinction hasn’t happened yet, but humans are blamed for it as if it has. The purpose is to drive the world into Sustainable Development, aka Technocracy. ⁃ TN Editor

Up to one million species face extinction due to human influence, according to a draft UN report obtained by AFP that painstakingly catalogues how humanity has undermined the natural resources upon which its very survival depends.

The accelerating loss of clean air, drinkable water, CO2-absorbing forests, pollinating insects, protein-rich fish and storm-blocking mangroves — to name but a few of the dwindling services rendered by Nature — poses no less of a threat than climate change, says the report, set to be unveiled May 6.

Indeed, biodiversity loss and global warming are closely linked, according to the 44-page Summary for Policy Makers, which distills a 1,800-page UN assessment of scientific literature on the state of Nature.

Delegates from 130 nations meeting in Paris from April 29 will vet the executive summary line-by-line. Wording may change, but figures lifted from the underlying report cannot be altered.

“We need to recognise that climate change and loss of Nature are equally important, not just for the environment, but as development and economic issues as well,” Robert Watson, chair of the UN-mandated body that compiled the report, told AFP, without divulging its findings.

“The way we produce our food and energy is undermining the regulating services that we get from Nature,” he said, adding that only “transformative change” can stem the damage.

Deforestation and agriculture, including livestock production, account for about a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions, and have wreaked havoc on natural ecosystems as well.

The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) report warns of “an imminent rapid acceleration in the global rate of species extinction.”

The pace of loss “is already tens to hundreds of times higher than it has been, on average, over the last 10 million years,” it notes.

“Half-a-million to a million species are projected to be threatened with extinction, many within decades.”

Many experts think a so-called “mass extinction event” — only the sixth in the last half-billion years — is already under way.

The most recent saw the end of the Cretaceous period some 66 million years ago, when a 10-kilometre-wide asteroid strike wiped out most lifeforms.

Scientists estimate that Earth is today home to some eight million distinct species, a majority of them insects.

A quarter of catalogued animal and plant species are already being crowded, eaten or poisoned out of existence.

The drop in sheer numbers is even more dramatic, with wild mammal biomass — their collective weight — down by 82 percent.

Humans and livestock account for more than 95 percent of mammal biomass.

“If we’re going to have a sustainable planet that provides services to communities around the world, we need to change this trajectory in the next ten years, just as we need to do that with climate,” noted WWF chief scientist Rebecca Shaw, formerly a member of the UN scientific bodies for both climate and biodiversity.

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Shock: Electric Vehicles Emit More CO2 Than Diesel Cars

Electric vehicles may be cool (when their battery packs are not on fire) but they are more dangerous to the environment than diesel counterparts. All the eco-nuts who think they are saving the world by driving EVs are totally deceived by marketing propaganda. ⁃ TN Editor

Electric vehicles in Germany account for more CO2 emissions than diesel ones, according to a study by German scientists.

When CO2 emissions linked to the production of batteries and the German energy mix – in which coal still plays an important role – are taken into consideration, electric vehicles emit 11% to 28% more than their diesel counterparts, according to the study, presented on Wednesday at the Ifo Institute in Munich.

Mining and processing the lithium, cobalt and manganese used for batteries consume a great deal of energy. A Tesla Model 3 battery, for example, represents between 11 and 15 tonnes of CO2. Given a lifetime of 10 years and an annual travel distance of 15,000 kilometres, this translates into 73 to 98 grams of CO2 per kilometre, scientists Christoph Buchal, Hans-Dieter Karl and Hans-Werner Sinn noted in their study.

What’s wrong with this picture? (Image: Mimikama.at)

The CO2 given off to produce the electricity that powers such vehicles also needs to be factored in, they say.

When all these factors are considered, each Tesla emits 156 to 180 grams of CO2 per kilometre, which is more than a comparable diesel vehicle produced by the German company Mercedes, for example.

The German researchers therefore take issue with the fact that European officials view electric vehicles as zero-emission ones. They note further that the EU target of 59 grams of CO2 per km by 2030 corresponds to a “technically unrealistic” consumption of 2.2 litres of diesel or 2.6 litres of gas per 100 kms.

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Eco-Activist Makes Outright Call For Overthrow Of Capitalism

Overthrowing capitalism is the not-so-hidden agenda of the United Nations, which intends to replace it with Sustainable Development, aka Technocracy. It’s minions down the food chain are parroting the objective. ⁃ TN Editor

George Monbiot appeared recently on Frankie Boyle’s far-left political chat show, “New World Order.” A columnist and environmental activist, Monbiot explained how we have to save the planet. And boy, does Monbiot have some ideas.

The easy things we need to change, Monbiot said, are to end air travel flying and cease consumption of meat. If that doesn’t sound easy to you, then you’re not alone. Indeed, those ideas are so destructive of modern life, economics, and the pursuit of happiness, that they could justifiably be regarded as insane.

But Monbiot was just getting started. Next up, he took us down the intellectual river, into the heart of activist darkness.

“We have to overthrow this system which is eating the planet: perpetual growth,” Monbiot declared. And the writer pulled no punches. Annual economic growth targets of 3% represent “madness,” he said. The columnist reached his crescendo. “We can’t do it by just pitting around at the margins of the problem; we’ve got to go straight to the heart of capitalism and overthrow it.”

The morons in Boyle’s audience lapped this up.

In a way, I’m glad Monbiot said what he did. With this interview, Boyle, a terrorist sympathizer and champagne socialist, unwittingly gave us a rare window into the malicious faux-humanitarianism that motivates many climate change ideologues. I don’t exaggerate when I say it’s malicious.

The free market system has, since the 1980s, lifted billions of people out of poverty worldwide, exceeding all of the achievements of all the nonprofits in history. Monbiot and his comrades, in seeking to overthrow the modern way of life, are proud servants of moral darkness. They seek to impose socialismcommunism, or some other defective ideology precisely because these will limit economic growth and human flourishing.

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Nairobi

Africa Gets ‘Smart Housing’ While Buried In Poverty

The UN is pledged to “End poverty in all its forms” (SDG #1) and Africa is its poster child. Instead of providing energy, property rights and capital, they get 3-D printed housing made from waste products. ⁃ TN Editor

Africa is urbanizing fast, as its population grows and many flocks to cities in search of jobs, education and healthcare.

Studies show that hundreds of millions more Africans will live in cities over the next three decades.

Many of these new urban Africans, however, are likely to end up in informal settlements. Already an estimated 200 million Africans live in informal settlements—often without access to energy and sanitation.

The growing class of urban poor need access to decent housing. But the challenge is that the global housing sector already emits almost a third of global greenhouse gas emissions and uses up to 40 per cent of the planet’s total resources. New approaches are clearly needed.

As the housing sector grows—and it must grow if we want an equitable world—we need to reduce its environmental impact, not raise it,” said UN Environment Acting Executive Director, Joyce Msuya. “Smart design is the only way to meet our housing needs and stay within planetary boundaries.”

UN Environment, UN Habitat, the Yale Center for Ecosystems in Architecture and associated partners are working on these designs, one of which is on display at the UN Environment headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya.

First unveiled at the fourth United Nations Environment Assembly, the 3D-printed modular structure, made from biodegradable bamboo, aims to spark ideas and debate on how future biomaterial processes can help meet the Sustainable Development Goals, Habitat III New Urban Agenda and Paris Agreement.

The pavilion shows how post-agricultural waste—like bamboo, coconut, rice, soy and corn—can be turned into construction materials. It demonstrates solar energy and water systems that make homes self-sufficient and zero carbon. It highlights how micro-farming can be achieved with plant walls. All these features, and more, are integrated, monitored and managed by sensors and digital controls.

“As urbanization gallops forward, people around the world are tired of seeing precious natural habitats paved over with toxic, energy-intensive materials such as concrete and steel,” said Anna Dyson, Director of the Center for Ecosystems in Architecture at Yale University. “In the 21stcentury, global construction practices must innovate towards nature-based solutions for future cities. Our research consortium with East African collaborators is devoted to advancing state-of-the-art locally produced building systems.”

It is fitting that the pavilion is based in Kenya, as the government there has prioritized affordable housing as a key pillar of its Big Four Agenda, which aims to make the East African nation an upper middle-income country by 2030. Over the next five years, the government plans to build over 500,000 affordable houses across the country to meet the ever-growing housing demand.

To achieve the low-cost housing agenda, however, the industry needs to embrace technological changes that will result in the use of innovative sustainable construction, the aggregate effect of which would be to lower the embodied energy and average cost of manufacturing and housing. “Architecture must address the global housing challenge by integrating critically needed scientific and technical advances in energy, water, and material systems while remaining sensitive to the cultural and aesthetic aspirations of different regions,” said Deborah Berke, Dean of the Yale School of Architecture.

The pavilion serves as a starting point for those in government and industry to think about what they can do better. It is part of a series of demonstration buildings, which started with a 22-square-meter “Ecological Living Module”, powered by renewable energy and designed to minimize the use of resources such as water. This module was displayed at the United Nations High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in 2018.

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