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Lecture Six

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Andre Sorensen

GGRA03 – Lecture 6 Ecological Footprint Analysis - asks what is the total area of difference ecosystem types to produce the input and dispose of all wastes of a given city - Wackernagel and Rees measured everything in terms of Land Area - imagine a city enclosed in a dome – how big would the dome have to be to allow all inputs to be produced and all wastes to be disposed - measures all inputs into city system Ex. High transit use = less energy per capita - knowing the supply and what amount being consumed - energy, food, wood, cement, glass, steel, water, etc. - there are about 1.5ha of productive land per capita in the world, and Canadian (4.3ha) and US(5.1ha) per capita footprints are much higher than their global share - basically we’re over-consuming my 3times, if everyone consumed at our rate then we’d be out of resources Ex. Toronto needed 280 times its own area to produce the supply and absorb the waste - criticism: it’s an index, how you value the number because you have the equation dependent on one factor, there is uncertainty in the calculation. Cities as Biotic Systems - some urban ecologists study cities as biotic systems - examine the ways in which cities create new ecological niches for certain species (plants and animals), urban animals Ex. Racoons, rats, squirrels (black squirrels adapted in cities, red squirrels in forest), possums, pigeons, cockroaches, bedbugs - how do cities change species composition? - insecticides and herbicides, huge amount of toxic chemicals used in habitat... cities are almost like a desert - what kinds of long-term impacts might be of concern? - invasive species are in large part a product of urban monocultures, globalization, materials and product flows - urban monocultures allow the establishment of these invasive species, certain crowding of species are allowed to exist in a habitat Ex. Asian longhorn beetle Urban Political Ecology - another interpretation of cities as human ecosystem - takes into account social and economic Power - Power is inscribed in the urban landscape in many ways - |Cities are the medium and outcome of power” Kong The production of urban space is an expression of power but urban form (cities) itself also communicates power relationships - Buildings communicate social power and values, tell us who is important, who has value, who we are - the built form tells you where powerful people are, in the centralized core Modes of Power - power entails the ability to intervene in events so as to alter the outcomes - power can be allocated – control power material facilities Ex. Water systems (developing countries), welfare systems, public services, basically things are allocated and you choose where to build and provide certain goods to certain people - authoritative power Ex. The government, complex system of rules of what we’re allowed to do or not - public and private actors routinely exercise both modes of power Ex. Hiring for jobs, supplying real estate, access to clubs - systematically seeing the world in terms of immersive power relations is depressing but
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