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Lecture 8

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Andrew Kaufman

GGRA03 Lecture 8 06.03.12 Lecture 8: Urban Ecosystem and Pollution Midterm Questions 1. Outline 4 characteristic elements of urba form, and describe the roles they play in shaping urban areas 2. Discuss the major links between the industrial revolution and the emergence of city planning as a practice 3. In western countries, what were three major approaches to creating urban utopias on the ground? Who were the main proponents of these projects, and what were they attempting to achieve? 4. Describe three major characteristics of informal settlements in poor cities, and several consequences of each? Final Exam—APRIL 20 9amth - 10 short answers - One on each of the lectures, weighted equally - Understand the material from each of the themes - There are few major ideas in each lecture. - There will be ten sections, each with 2 questions of which you should answer one from each section Today - Urban ecosystem analysis - Water pollution management - Point and non-point sources - Rain as pollution - Air pollution - New toxins - Health related issues Urban Ecosystems - During the last 15 years new understandings of cities as complex ecosystems o Cities are not seen as complex organisms with their own metabolic processes— interrelated system o They have inputs and outputs, that are structured by metabolic process of production, delivery, consumption, and water emission  Inputs of foods, technology which generate huge amounts of waste  One of the inputs of cities is water which comes in very clean but goes out very dirty  There are huge amounts of air that goes into cities that is transformed and used in our own bodies but also with cars, industries, and all kinds of processes that are inputting air and then outputting it o Inputs and outputs can be measured and where necessary can be influenced by public policy  People are looking at how these flows of material whether going in or out can be modified and have a less impact on the environment - It is critical to understand the nature the inputs and outputs Water Inputs and Outputs 1 GGRA03 Lecture 8 06.03.12 - Water is one of the most important urban inputs o Aristotle in his book “politics” said a city needs four things, the first was a water supply - Ensuring quality water supply is important for health - Polluted water is one of main urban outputs th - One of the key achievements o the 19 century (industrial revolution) ‘sanitary revolution’ was the development of public water supply and wastewater removal infrastructure o Old chemical companies would dump toxic material in industries would be flushed into the water causing all kinds of problems o All kinds of toxic materials go into municipal sewers. Today we deal with household toxic chemicals that do not get cleaned out in the secondary treatment, thus the tertiary treatments systems are being added to clean the water even more  PAINT is a huge burden  TODAY!! About 80% of the prescription drugs come out in your urine which goes into municipal sewers • This was noticed in European water system. • Very little is being done to get rid of non-metabolised drugs  In Toronto we have problems with, solid waste—called SLUDGE • In the 1950s, we built a system to burn the sludge to make electricity, however, the air became polluted • Now what we do with sewage sludge is to be using it with fertilizer. In Asia, this is how human waste was used into farms. o There is a concern with exotic materials such as mercury, lead existing o WHAT DO WE DO WITH THIS FLOW OF NUTRIENTS OUT OF THE CITY? - Initially just pipes to dump the waster downstream, later primary treatment, secondary treatment, tertiary treatment systems were added Current Water Challenges - Arise partly from dominant sewer technology - Combined sanitary and storm water sewer systems used one set of pipes from all wastewater in cities - Works well in dry weather, but heavy rain events routinely overloaded the system, and water released into streams, rivers, lakes - Billions of gallons of untreated waste into water bodies o When you have a lot of rain, the sewage cannot be processed into the system all at once. There is an overload in the sewage treatment plants which causes the water to divert into Lake Ontario.  You cannot let it back up into people’s homes, so it gets diverted into Lake Ontario. - Gradually, cities are rebuilding systems to separate sanitary and storm sewers o In suburban areas now, they have built a storm water management system to make sure rainwater does not get into the sewage system o Another technology, is to build a tunnel under the city (couple of kilometres underground)—one has been built in Toronto, where the water gets diverted into the HOLDING TANK and will be gradually processed in the following weeks—HUGE INVESTEMENT  We are dumping less untreated water into Lake
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