Category: Tourism

Tourism is a growing industry that allows us to spend time way from work. It involves travelling and it is becoming an indispensable source for recreational, leisure and holiday purposes. It can be combined with business, education, research, sports, health and medication activities, also for visiting families and friends, and for experiencing the virtual world we meet on the Internet by real excursions and journeys that fulfill specific needs and ventures. In addition to recreation, tourism can be combined with a wide-range of activities to promote individual and group interests, to increase mutual interaction and for cross-fertilization of cultures, and to enhance social entrepreneurship.

From Megacities to Megaslums – Slums The Fastest Growing “Lifestyle Communities”

Historically, there have been three major global modifications for human settlement, migration and mobility on earth. These can even be decribed as tectonic transformations of our lifestyle, which have shaped and reshaped human life and affected human streams around the globe: agriculture, urbanization, and industrialization. These three can very well denote stages or phases of socio-economic developments without specific order though agriculture and food production are essential, central and common needs for us and will remain to be so. It is not strange that agriculture and food production were among the first activities for humans on earth, thereafter came industrialization and urbanization. However, science and technology were, and still are, natural prerequisites for any socio-economic development to take place anywhere. Implementation of innovations in science and technology is not straightforward, i.e. in the process of industrialization and urbanization, as it might seem in the first place. I do agree with Albert Einstein who is one of our great thinkers and philosophers of all times “The world we have made as a result of the level of thinking we have done thus far creates problems we cannot solve at the same level of thinking at which we created them.” 

Urbanization is a major effect of the expansion of industrialization, and both urbanization and industrialization are very much dependent on science, technology and education. Urbanization, however, unlike industrialization has different dynamics and evolution, and can be much more dependent on policy-making and management, at least in terms of socio-economic planning. Even though, the simple definition of urbanization, i.e. the process by which towns and cities are formed and become larger as more and more people begin living and working in central areas (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/urbanization), the full definition does involve the quality or the state or the process of becoming urbanized. Increasing urbanization is hardly a new phenomenon, this has been happening since the time of the first city, somewhere between 6,500 and 8,000 years ago. Urbanization was even associated with many glorious and famous civilization, e.g. in ancient Egypt that brought excellent examples of harmony, social and cultural developmemts. Among important new issues that make us to re-think and re-consider what urbanisation brought with it: are sustainability; the implementation of UN-SDG; the emerging needs for adaptation to the post fossil-fuel era and what urbanization should be in terms of preservation and protection of water, energy and natural resources.

Post-agricultural urbanization caused dramatic increase in population in cities and towns versus rural areas. A process that began during the industrial revolution, when workers moved towards manufacturing hubs in cities to obtain jobs in factories as agricultural jobs became less and less common. Urbanization in China, for example, has brought hundreds of millions of people from rural locations to the bustling coastal metropolises. The effects of urbanization, however, are more tangible and better recognized than those of agricultural land-use; e.g. air pollution and increasing child asthma; forced choice between rural hopelessness and urban despair; does urbanization creates a good living places for all citizens and people, particularly families; increased loads of sewage discharge into the streams. Above all, the severe expansion of slums within and around major/mega cities and towns.

Across the world, slums are home to a billion of people, one in seven of the world’s population. By 2050, according to the United Nations, there could be three billion. The slum is the filthy secret of the modern mega-city, the hidden achievement of 20 years of untrammelled market forces, greed, neglect and graft (http://www.newstatesman.com/global-issues/2011/08/slum-city-manila-gina-estero). Megacities will often turn into Megaslums under the coming and increasing urbanisation, fueled by migration and differential birthrates. We see this occurring first of all in parts of Africa, Asia, and Latin America. As current immigration trends continue, we will see the emergence of true Megaslums in Europe, North America, Oceania, and even in Japan and other presently low-migrant wealthy nations that are losing the demographic race (https://alfinnextlevel.wordpress.com/2015/10/23/urban-world-utopia-or-global-dysgenic-idiocracy/).

For older cities in developed countries – London, Paris or New York – urbanization took place gradually over a century and with tight interactions with industries and engagenment from  research, technology and education. They had time, resources, know-how and knowledge to adjust. In contrast, in developing Asian, intense urbanization is taking place within few short decades in random fashion and completely degenerated from supporting infra-structures and with complete absence of public and basic services, e.g. education, health, transport, water and sanitation. Unlike the Western cities that urbanized earlier, developing Asian cities simply do not have the administrative, management, institutional and financial capacities to manage urbanization and resulting socio-economic upheaval within such short periods. Urbanization is, indeed a complex challenge, with implications that are difficult to forecast especially in the absence of coordinated policies, management and administration (http://thediplomat.com). Most disastrous consequences arise with rapid and random urbanization in the developing countries (http://www.iied.org/study-warns-failure-plan-for-rapid-urbanisation-developing-nations). Governments in Africa and Asia must have strict plans for urbanization or risk harming the future prospects of hundreds of millions of their citizens with knock-on effects worldwide. They should heed lessons from Brazil whose failure in the past to plan for rapid urban growth exacerbated poverty and created new environmental problems and long-term costs that could have been avoided (http://knowledge.zurich.com/risk-interconnectivity/the-risks-of-rapid-urbanization-in-developing-countries/).

By 2050 more than two thirds of the world’s population will live in cities, while the many benefits of organized and efficient cities are well understood, we need to recognize that this rapid, often unplanned urbanization brings risks of profound social instability, risks to critical infrastructure, potential water crises and the potential for devastating spread of disease. These risks can only be further exacerbated as this unprecedented transition from rural to urban areas continues. The increased concentration of people, physical assets, infrastructure and economic activities mean that the risks materializing at the city level will have far greater potential to disrupt society than ever before (http://www.afdb.org/en/blogs/afdb-championing-inclusive-growth-across-africa/post/urbanization-in-africa-10143/). Urbanization in Africa has largely been translated into rising slum establishments, increasing poverty and inequality. However, there are large variations in the patterns of urbanization across African regions. The relatively fewer slums in North African countries is mainly attributed to better urban development strategies, including investment in infrastructure and in upgrading urban settlements. More broadly, 60% of African citizens live in places where water supplies and sanitation are inadequate. As most of the migrants from rural areas are uneducated/unskilled, they end up in informal sector with low income and intermittent, and naturally seek for shelters or become tenants of slum landlords. Many African cities have, therefore, to deal not only with slum proliferation but also with increasing insecurity and crime. Weak institutions have contributed to poor urban enforcement, resulting in dysfunctional land and housing markets, which in turn has caused mushrooming of informal settlements. Furthermore, African governments have neglected the key drivers of productivity which include small and medium-size enterprises, human resource and skills development, and technological innovation. These factors are essential in advancing predominantly informal, survivalist and basic trading activities to higher value-added work (http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=35556&Cr=URBAN&Cr1#.VtsxxUV86nM).

Relevant slideshare: https://www.slideshare.net/mobile/PECSweb/urbanization-brief-history-future-outlooks; https://www.slideshare.net/mobile/RajendraPSharma/urbanization-a-theoretical-view-perspectives-growth-cause-and-problems

Here is a short summary on How Slums Are The Fastest Growing “Lifestyle Communities”: http://www.theurbandeveloper.com/fastest-growing-suburbs-slums/

  

Shaping the Future of Human Landspace – Pedagogics & Sustainability Education

Education for Sustainable Development “ESD” or Sustainability Education (https://www.plymouth.ac.uk/your-university/sustainability/sustainability-education/esd) is about enabling every human being to acquire the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values necessary to shape a sustainable future. The Nordic countries have long traditions in meeting the needs for changing climates by being at high-latitudes where water change phase from being solid ice to liquid water. Also, where precipitation can be either snow or rain. The point here is the phase change of the water, as from the management point of view, has much technical requirements though the high abundance of water is a gift of nature to the Nordic countries. Though the temperatures at high-latitudes may have positive impacts on health, they are technically speaking not as friendly to live in as compared to lower latitudes. In terms of the sunshine and its seasonality the Nordic countries are not in same lucky situation as countries around the Mediterranean or even the equator. Another severe limitation for life at high-latitudes is temperature as the functioning and metabolism of life systems in particular for humans have their own conditions. The associated challenges in terms of water and energy, however, turned to be of great advantage for finding answers for confortable living for everyone where the baseline is long-term and large-scale survival. This is exactly the core of sustainability where its there pillars have to be in tact (economic, environment and social). To translate population challenges to individual solutions of complex problems under varying and shifting “economic, environment and social” conditions, instruments and tools for doing so have to be accessible and affordable for everyone but yet in communicative and structured manner. That is being defined in modern times as EDUCATION where its content, i.e. knowledge, is not static but now and then needs to be updated, structured or even improved. This dynamic part of education and knowledge “RESEARCH” is imperative and has to continuous and intensive. The world-wide recognition of sustainability as life-style promotes new global necessities in education and research. In this context, pedagogical issues at all stages and types of education and research have been recognized by being essential. 

The Handbook of Research on Pedagogical Innovations for Sustainable Development is the outcome of a major conference in Finland celebrating ten years of work promoting education, especially teacher education, for sustainable development or sustainability. “Reorientation of teacher education towards sustainability through theory and practice. Proceedings of the 10th international JTEFS/ BBCC conference Sustainable development, University of Eastern Finland Reports and Studies in Education, Humanities, and Theology No 7, University of Eastern Finland Joensuu, 2013. The work in this conference has been done in parallel with the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (UN DESD: 2005– 2014). The Conference followed UNESCO’s rigorous and open definition of Education for Sustainable Development.

The main areas of discussion were: Sustainable early childhood education (ECE) and preschool education; towards systemic and integrative research methodology in ESD studies; pedagogy of sustainable future: museums, forests and culture environments as platforms for 21st century learning; sustainable education issues in science education; sustainable ICT in education; adult education for sustainable development, arts, design and skills; home, health and well-being, tourism research – connections on well-being, education and sustainability; teacher education for inclusion; social pedagogy as a dimen- sion of sustainable life; sustainability in community practices; and Earth Charter: values and multicultural approaches to education for sustainable development.

Uncovering the whys: what motivates teachers and researchers to conduct education and research in particular towards systemic and integrative methodology, application and promotion of Sustainable Developments is of major global interest.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/gpoz7bk60qh66tp/Teacher%20education%20and%20sustainability.pdf?dl=0

  

Dubai 2100 – Uninhabitable or Center of the World 

There are contradictory predictions about the fate of Dubai by 2100, i.e. uninhabitable or the center of the world. The temperature increase due to global warming can render life in the MENA region almost uninhabitable (http://edition.cnn.com/2015/10/27/world/persian-gulf-heat-climate-change/; http://www.kippreport.com/fcs/abu-dhabi-dubai-and-doha-uninhabitable-by-2100/; 

http://m.mic.com/articles/127458/scientists-say-climate-change-could-render-the-middle-east-almost-uninhabitable-by-2100#.wYEmPYmaU).

However, the population dynamics which is predicted to decrease in the Americas and Europe and to increase in the Asia and Africa. This will make Dubai to be the center of the world instead of London which is currently holds this status (http://gulfelitemag.com/dubai-set-become-centre-world-year-2100/; http://m.khaleejtimes.com/nation/general/dubai-to-be-centre-of-the-world-by-2100; http://m.arabianbusiness.com/dubai-set-become-the-centre-of-world-by-2100-gov-t-expert-predicts-581660.html).
  

Global Warming and Rise of Sea Level – Would Your City Still be on Map 2100?

BI-Science YouTube is a Business Intelligent solution provider, for the on-line media industry, of videos about the newest discoveries in space, medicine, and biotech along with science explainers (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9uD-W5zQHQuAVT2GdcLCvg). 

This video by BI Science is about one of the many irreversible effects of climate change. Sea levels have been rising at a greater rate year after year, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates they could rise by another meter or more by the end of this century. In 2013 National Geographic showed also that sea levels would rise by 216 feet if all the land ice on the planet were to melt. This would dramatically reshape the continents and drown many of the world’s major cities.

Sea level rise is caused by two factors related to global warming: the added water from melting land ice and the expansion of sea water as it warms. The increase in sea level is being measured by two methods, i.e. tide-gauges and satelite altimetry (http://www.global-greenhouse-warming.com/measuring-sea-level.html). Many leading science and technology institutes and organisations have reported on the increase of sea level which is estimated to be up to or even more than 3.39 mm/yr depending on the used approached, e.g. https://www.skepticalscience.com/sea-level-rise.htm; https://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/spmsspm-direct-observations.html; https://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch5s5-5-2.html; http://climate.nasa.gov/vital-signs/sea-level/; https://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/faq-5-1-figure-1.html

Here are some inconvenient facts about the global impacts of the rise in sea level on heavily populated coastal regions (https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=VbiRNT_gWUQ).

Urbanization Trends – Sustainability is Not “One Size Fits All” 

How to make our cities sustainable, indeed there is no “one-size fits all” solution as cities around the world face different challenges when it comes to defining what a sustainable city is. Joinig the ongoing transformation to a more sustainable future is bocoming not only a global need but rather a neccessity where the urbanization process is not a random process anymore. Yet, the historical, cultural and traditional evolution will play cental role for adoptation along with many other indicators across socio-cultural, economic, climate, energy and environmental domains. ” Juliet Davis, senior lecturer in architecture at Cardiff University says “there will be no one size fits all”. Lucy Warin, project manager at Future Cities Catapult says “There are of course underlying principles that support good, sustainable urbanism – firstly, good city governance, powerful city leaders who know their region and can respond quickly as issues arise. And secondly, citizen engagement. Smart people make smart cities and any sustainability solution should start and finish with the citizens”.

More on how to make our cities sustainable at:
http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2015/apr/17/how-to-make-our-cities-more-sustainable-expert-view?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

Here are, also, some quirky ideas for making our cities more sustainable:

http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2015/apr/16/ten-quirky-ideas-for-making-our-cities-more-sustainable

This said, there are other important issues, what regards the global transformation to a more sustainable future, to take in consideration. Though about 70% of the global population is expected to live in cities by 2050, there very little known about how we can achieve sustainable rural-urban integration. This is specially true in developing counting where for example 70% of the African population is living in rural region with agriculture as a main source of income and employment. Rural Africa suffers from extreme levels of poverty in terms of energy, water and sanitation along with general lack of basic public services and infrastructures for education, health, transportation and communication.

 

Getting Our Planet on the Sustainability Road – The Reversed Engineering 

The post industrial revolution era was  geared to lifestyle based on production and consumption engineering technology. While our global lifestyle is moving on new tracks to revert what went wrong in the post industrial era new concepts are being emerging. Future  technology will involve the expansion of the so-called “Reversed Engineering” where 12 GREEN Engineering Principles would be absolutely imperative for getting our planet on large-scale and long-term sustainability roads. 

Read more about this: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/es032373g

  

Education, R&D and Public Awareness are Imperative for Sustainable Policies 

Understanding existing pressures and constrains for implementation and performance of successful sustainable policies requires tight and continuous involvement of all citizens on large-scale and long-term socio-economic policies. 

Planet Earth is a complex living organism with delicate balance that makes possible the unique functioning and metabolism of all life forms on earth. Water, energy and natural resources are essential and basic components that contribute in the earth’s delicate balance. Modern neccessities and future challenges are becoming more and more clear and require from us and future generations to keep such balance in tact with nature’s own dynamic processes. Our consumption of water, energy and natural resources needs to take in consideration the nature’s own delicate balance. 

Visit, share and contribute in “Sustain-earth.com” to inform and be informed on our growing needs for understanding the basic of APPLIED SUSTAINABILITY. An introduction is given at ABOUT (http://sustain-earth.com/about/).

  

Citarum River – Waste Management, Public Awareness, Education, Protection and Monitoring Are Key Issues In Water Management 

Water management explained simply means “water care” where water is being cleaned after using it and before injected it again to the environment. Water in nature is meant to be clean and fresh, and that is the way water ends it global natural cycle in the form of rain. 

Successful water management policies are not only essential for life on earth but it is imperative and should be composed of many dynamic key issues involving the effective removal of waste and pollution from joining the water cycle in all its stages. Waste and pollution management, public awareness, education, protection of water bodies and associated monitoring programs are typically carried out through major, strict and comprehensive national strategies, directives and regulations. These have to be in place all the time, anytime and everywhere, it is not a matter of being done now and then as the costs involved in rehabilitation are very huge and time consuming with complicated procedures and actions.

A typical case to illustrate is The Citarum River, indonesia, which is known as the dirtiest river in the world. The Roadmap for the rehabilitation of the river system is an extensive plan with many components and phases that is to be completed by 2023 at a total cost of $3.5 billion. This will be a huge undertaking by people and government of Indonesia for empowering communities to better plan and manage their water resources for a more sustainable future.

https://haltonrecycles.wordpress.com/2012/10/10/the-importance-of-waste-management-and-fresh-water-resources-looking-at-indonesias-citarum-river/
  

ICT-Generation Is Already Ruling And Forming A New Global Future. How Would It Look?

WWW is without hesitation a historical invention that changed and still changing the fate of all humans anywhere, at anytime and in every nanosecond on planet Earth. Information Communication Technology “ICT” is moving faster and faster to involve more and more active coupling of humans and machines.

With the birth of World Wide Web “WWW” in May 1993 new generations from 1990 and beyond are now shaping out planet and our lives. The Internet seems like it has always been around and with us …. isn’t it? In this short two decades, or so, is has affected us and changed our lives far more than anything else in the whole intergrated human history with no similar parallels. The question is what this ICT-revolution will take us to and what would the world be like in say 2020 and beyond (https://ispanico82.wordpress.com/2013/05/22/happy-birthdat-www/)

The fast global progress in ICT within the vast landscape of WWW has benefited enormously from all previous stages of developments. Future possibilities are very huge with increasing degree of digital and wireless communication, combined sences, embodied interactions and with computer technology that took us from central computer and many users in early 1940s to smart cities in 2020. We are heading more and more towards smarter solutions, e.g. smart homes, smart factories, smart space, smart classrooms, smart shops, and much much more. ICT for the rich, the poor, the young, the old, and furthermore between communications between humans over the whole globe, humans and machines, and machines and machines: http://www.ourcommonfuture.de/fileadmin/user_upload/dateien/Reden/wahlster_opening.pdf

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Threats of Urbanization In Africa – Living In Mobile-Phone Culture Without A Toilet

Policy-makers in Europe and the U.S. have addressed major concerns about the failure of integration of immigrants brought into their labor-markets after the rapid industrial and technology transfer post WWII, e.g. for more information visit the following websites (http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/home-affairs/e-library/documents/policies/legal-migration/general/docs/final_report_on_using_eu_indicators_of_immigrant_integration_june_2013_en.pdf) and (http://m.immigrationpolicy.org/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.immigrationpolicy.org%2Fissues%2Fcitizenship&utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.se%2F#2887).

With these experiences in mind and the fact that Europe and the U.S. passed through a wide-scale of urbanization and modernization especially after WWII, we can already expect similar negative consequences and impacts in the developing countries because of the ongoing fast urbanization, in particular Africa. With the exception that the negative consequences and impacts in Europe and the U.S. were/are relatively very much smaller than the observed trends and the expected future changes in the developing countries. Currently, there is already gradual and intensive internal migration due to the enormous urbanization process that is taking place in many developing countries around the world. This process is certainly resulting from the severe failure of integration of rural and urban regions and the core reason for the expansion of poor communities around major/mega cities. This indeed, has two major future impacts: (1) gradual degradation of the basic public and private infra-structures of newly urbanized regions; and (2) shortage of the relatively experienced local and native labor in rural regions on many levels in general and collapse of the agriculture, in particular, with associated negative impacts on food and agro-industries.

This is a very ignored issue in Africa though many severe impacts are already observed in big and mega cities in Africa, e.g. Cairo, Lagos, Nairobi, Bamako……

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