Category Archives: water

Miscellanea: more favourites

Public transport – why you should opt for rail over bus by Prof Peter Newman

Is New York the greenest city? A review of ‘Green Metropolis’

Interesting articles on aspects of urbanism: Creative Communities

Socially concious design – a website that exploresd the question: can design change the world?

New York City Street Design Manual.

Pioneering urban regeneration in Johannesburg driven by the arts.

A revealing article with a snippet on where the priorities of some ‘star’ architects really lie.

Restoring the industrial landscape by William McDonough: regenerating a Ford factory.

A great house featured on Grand Designs.

A field guide to green roofs.

The website of the ‘Rational House’ concept.

Zulu cuisine.

South African rainwater harvesting and heat pump systems.

The consulting practice of Alan Baxter, recent recipient of a CBE.






Link collection: South African initiatives and innovations

Here are some links to articles I have come across recently – all interesting developments from around South Africa:

Two articles on the ‘teabag’ water purifier developed at Stellenbosch University, from iAfrica and Good Magazine

An article that gets it right about where our priorities should be in light of the World Cup (and potential Olympics I would add)

Very interesting sustainable rural community development: Verkykerskop

An article in the M&G documenting how renewable energy is starting to scale up in South Africa. (This was before the Upington – De Aar Solar Park was announced)

Local artists in Durban augmenting the urban environment a la Banksy…

Miscellanea on Africa, development, PoMo and more

This from random links that I have ‘favourited’ over the last while and want recorded for future reference…

It looks like the world’s oil reserves have been deliberately overstated.

The ‘Green Agenda’ may be good for developed countries but perhaps counterproductive for developing countries.

A really good initaitive in Cape Town with the faith and business communities working together for the Common Good. (Can LIV be the catalyst for something similar in Durban?) Also 350 bible verses relating to ‘creation care’.

One of the results you get when you google ‘postmodern engineering’ (PoMo = postmodern)

A Times article on electric buses.

An interview with innovative American town planner Peter Calthorpe: The City of Tomorrow, together with his urban network concept.

An excellent primer on sustainability in the built environment: Playbook for Green Buildings and Neighborhoods.

What the industry wants – brief but perceptive thoughts from Seth Godin on how big business influences what we eat and our healthcare choices.

A link to Park-Tec because they have a picture of a security gate with great architectural desgn.

Singaporian design and sustainability consultancy I have worked with – CPG.

China is buying Africa, and Africa stands by while other Africans continue with self destructing their countries. Meanwhile young middle-class Westerners try and help – but does it?

The darker side of Dubai (I hope to elaborate on this at some stage).

A South African engineer with (I think) some of the same intentions as me.

Solar water disinfection – water treatment could not be lower tech…

An article on Scott Harrison, whom I have mentioned before and is someone you really should know.

A mobile phone based home energy management system.

charity:water – 2009 in review

Scott Harrison and charity:water are doing good things in a fresh way. Unlike the big legacy charities they don’t rely on tugging the heartstrings to get people to support them – instead they are using creativity and new media to connect to people. I think it works because donor fatigue is real and the old way has led to just that. They also ensure 100% of public donations go to the end recipients which puts other charities in the shade. Scott also chose to support water supply as the target which is close to my heart. It is unfortunate that health issues especially AIDS gets all the attention and therefore money whereas water is seen as too mundane. (The organisation I am part of often has to link a water project to an AIDS project just to get funding for example.)

I first saw him speak soon after he had started when he gave a presentation at London’s Apple Store and I immediately became a fan.

Here is their 2009 review – I hope and pray their work continues to grow.

Kenya’s Mau Forest – a water crisis

More depressing news from Africa, and the root cause is political mismangement and courting votes and essentially trying to find a quick solution to problems at the expense of the environment. What is quickly being learned is that then environment is not an infinite sink for our problems: there are limits and when they are exceeded it leads to big problems. In this case so big it is affecting other countries outside Kenya and millions of people. The effects are massive as this BBC article attests.

The bad news: the scale of the problem is massive; the good news: the politicians are actually realising this and doing something about it.

A related note but of little consequence: my wife and I were once on the same Kenya Airways flight as the Nobel laureate Professor Wangari Maathai of the famous Green Belt Movment.

Biomimetic wastewater treatment


Links again

Brindabella office park – green office precinct @ Canberra airport

Electrical engineering blog – good primer for electrical stuff – still new but hopefully they can build up some good stuff

World Water Forum – event recently held in Istanbul