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April 10 , 2009

Blue Urbanism

Exploring Connections Between Cities and Oceans


What would it mean to live in cities designed to foster feelings of connectedness to the ocean? As coastal cities begin planning for climate change and rising sea levels, author Timothy Beatley sees opportunities for rethinking the relationship between urban development and the ocean. Modern society is more dependent upon ocean resources than people are commonly aware of—from oil and gas extraction to wind energy, to the vast amounts of fish harvested globally, to medicinal compounds derived from sea creatures, and more. In Blue Urbanism, Beatley argues that, given all we've gained from the sea, city policies, plans, and daily urban life should acknowledge and support a healthy ocean environment.
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The Ecology of Place

The Ecology of Place is a timely resource for planners, economic development specialists, students, and citizen activists working toward establishing healthier and more sustainable patterns of growth and development.

The book explores issues ranging from urban design and land use, to resource extraction and renewable energy, to educating urbanites about the wonders of marine life. Chapters delve into topics like the emerging practices of “community supported fisheries” and aquaponics, incentives for increasing use of wind and tidal energy as renewable options to oil and gas extraction that damages ocean life, and how the shipping industry is becoming more "green." Additionally, urban citizens, Beatley explains, have many opportunities to interact meaningfully with the ocean, from beach cleanups to helping scientists gather data.

Ultimately, he explains that we must create a culture of "ocean literacy" using a variety of approaches, from building design and art installations that draw inspiration from marine forms, to encouraging citizen volunteerism related to oceans, to city-sponsored research, and support for new laws that protect marine health. Equal parts inspiration and practical advice for urban planners, ocean activists, and policymakers, Blue Urbanism offers a comprehensive look at the challenges and great potential for urban areas to integrate ocean health into their policy and planning goals.
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