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Sustainability - Dissertation Example

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The Transitional Network Model Sustainability, Climate Change & Peak Oil Name: Class: Date: May 21st, 2011 The traditional network model of community development is related to the Permaculture movement founded by Bill Mollison over thirty years ago in Australia and subsequently spread around the world in local communities as a means of social organization…
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Download file to see previous pages As the Comhar Sustainable Development Council (2011) in Ireland wrote about the history of the transitional cities movement: “The movement originates from a student project overseen by permaculture teacher Rob Hopkins at the Kinsale Further Education College in Ireland. The project involved writing an Energy Descent Action Plan, which looked at creative adaptations in the realms of energy production, health, education, economy and agriculture as a road map to a sustainable future for the town. The term Transition Town was coined by Louise Rooney and Catherine Dunne, two of Rob Hopkins students, who set about developing the Transition Towns concept presented it to Kinsale Town Council, resulting in the historic decision by Councillors to adopt the plan and work towards energy independence. Following its start in Kinsale, it then spread to Totnes, England where Rob Hopkins and Naresh Giangrande developed the concept. The movement currently has thousands of member communities worldwide.” (Comhar SDC, 2011) The expansion of transitional towns programs around the world can have a major impact on the economy and particularly industry, real estate, and technology. The transitional towns movement creates new jobs in ‘green’ industries such as solar, hydrogen power, fuel cell technologies, hydropower, wind, geothermal, and tidal technologies for energy generation alternatives over oil based products. The focus on sustainability for communities in environmental harmony and balanced development in Permaculture and the transitional towns movement places a focus on the transformation of the home environment to incorporate new technologies that reduce the dependency of the local economy on fossil fuels and petroleum products. The additional focuses are in transportation, industry, and agriculture, implementing the best of environmental science and alternative energy research into already established businesses and organizations. From this process, the movement takes its name of transitional towns which connotes the technological and ideological changes behind the organization. “As of October 2010 there are 321 ‘transition initiatives’ in Europe, mainly in England, as well as 8 in North America and 3 in Australia.” (Baez, 2010) While the small nature of the movement may make it seem isolated and lacking broader support or acknowledgement in the society at large, the rapidly expanding emergence of the transitional towns networks and interrelationship with other environmental organizations points to the impact that this movement can have on the local and international economy. The transitional towns movement can support the development of ‘green’ technologies such as hydropower, wind, solar, fuel cells, hydrogen, geothermal, and tidal energy sources in order to move communities away from economic and cultural development patterns that are environmentally destructive. For real estate developers and home owners, this means the integration of new sustainable energy technologies into the home environment, and from this comes many opportunity for new business and products. For example, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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