Posts Tagged ‘United States’

Introduction to Brooklyn’s Bushwick Story

Brownstones and apartment buildings on Bushwic...

Bushwick Street

As a founding member of the Habitat Association, Dr. Ray Rauscher, with the assistance of several colleagues from the Class of
1961 Bushwick Highschool, Brooklyn, NYC, USA, put together the story of change in this neighbourhood of Brooklyn. The group is called Bushwick
Reflections and would love to hear your comments on their story, to Ray Rauscher, ray.r@idl.net.au

Review

The background to Bushwick and Brooklyn and their histories is outlined in
Chapter 1. The Bushwick Reflections group collected their stories and
others of life in Bushwick in the 1940s-1960s as outlined in Chapter 2.

The Bushwick HS of past and the Academy of Urban Planning (New Century
School Bushwick) of today is examined in Chapter 3.  The chapter outlines
the education system at Bushwick highschool in 1961. It looks at:
approaches to teaching; student activities; and school teaching staff and
counsellors. The chapter then looks at an education initiative that was
taken in 2003, through the assistance of Bill Gates Foundation and the
establishment of the New Century Schools. This program was aimed
essentially at places such as Bushwick HS (within a low socio-economic
area) where there were problems achieving an acceptable educational level.
Bushwick HS became three schools in one building, being: Academy of Urban Planning; School of Social Justice; and, School of the Environmental
Leadership (initially there was a harbour school, which later required a
location closer to water).

Bushwick of 1970s-2007 is reviewed in Chapter 4. This period includes the
demise of Bushwick that culminated in the catastrophic Bushwick fires and
looting in the NYC blackout of 1977. In this incident 20% of all Bushwick
housing was lost and 1/3 of the businesses closed. The recovery of
Bushwick in the 1980s, 90s and early 2000s is summarised. The 197a program (community planning system) under NYC administration was introduced to assist the revitalisation of areas such as Bushwick and surrounding Northeast Brooklyn. This planning system and how it was implemented in different ways within the three areas of Northeast Brooklyn is examined.

Bushwick and Brooklyn in moving to sustainable communities by 2008 is
summarised in Chapter 5. The chapter starts by comparing the 1880s roots
of universal thinking with nature as central to life. The current green
urban movement is examined as it relates to Bushwick and NYC. This
movement would likely have a flow on effect on Bushwick, given land
investments and housing would increase across the city. The shock of the
world economic crisis in 2008/09 slowed Bushwick’s revival. On recovery,
however, Bushwick is poised to stride forward adapting to green
innovation. The chapter examines ecologically sustainable development
(ESD) principles and the movement of Bushwick, Brooklyn and NYC towards
sustainable communities. Finally, the chapter looks at ways Bushwick can
adapt to becoming a sustainable community.

Bushwick Reflections group hope to have some of this material available on this site soon.

Dr. Ray Rauscher is an advocate for sustainable communities, community planning and ecologically sustainable development.

Please express your interest in finding out more about the above material gathered over several years by Dr. Ray Rauscher and his colleagues through the comments section of this blog.

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Australia’s Renewable Energy Report Card 2010

The following paper is a designed as a discussion paper on the progress of the uptake of renewable energy in Australia.  The purpose of the paper is to highlight the progress Australia has made under government policy settings up to and including 2010.

Under the Renewable Energy Credit scheme (REC) important changes have been made in the variety of renewable energy sources now being used to produce electric power. These are detailed in the paper and include, wind powered generation plants, solar hydro energy plant to produce steam fed directly into existing power station turbines, solar photovoltaic cells to produce domestic power, wave energy utilization to produce power for desalination plant applications, tidal power to produce grid power in various locations around the continent, thermal or hot rock installations to harness heat energy to produce base load grid electrical power and a cutting edge form of power generation known as convection energy systems.

Convection energy is sourced simply by harnessing the power of rising hot air. Some of these convection power plants are designed to be enormous. The paper outlines how at least one United States of America (USA) state has embraced this technology that was first developed in Australia.

The paper also introduces a little thought of area of power generation known as micro renewable energy power systems. These are systems that might be called scavenger power system. The paper explores a range of applications that could be implemented to use power that is a byproduct of other applications and processes to generate power; systems similar to water or sewage flowing down conduits or the process of decomposition within a waste dump. These micro generating systems use available resources to generate electricity.

The paper touches on a new technology in its infancy where the applications are not fully realized or evaluated. This technology utilized vibration to produce small amounts of electrical energy. At present this technology has only produced one commercially viable product, but even this application of the technology has enormous potential.

The paper explains the introduction of RECs, and how the federal government introduced a correction to the scheme to avoid a collapse of the REC trading market. It introduces the New South Wales Feed in Tariff (FIT) scheme. This scheme allows domestic generating power systems to be connected to the main grid enabling this power to be bought by the grid power supplier. This renewable power is then sold on to other power uses. This seems to be a good idea, but when it comes to larger non-domestic producers like local councils the power companies disallow these systems to be connected into the grid through the FIT scheme.

The paper finally shows some inequity in this type of policy, highlighting that with a more flexible approach to organizations like local councils, opportunities of collaboration between the power companies and councils could better utilize unused power available in scavenger power systems when power demands are higher than the supply from renewable sources. This means that at these times of high demand, power companies will need to source electrical energy from conventional sources such as coal fired power stations, diesel generators or gas turbine plants connected to the grid.

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