Tuesday, June 17, 2008

displacement, refuge and sustainability

"To see things clearly, you must cross a frontier," — Salmon Rushdie, Imaginary Homelands

Question of the day: I was asked what I thought the average person defined sustainability as. I had to admit I didn't think the 'average' person (what is the average person?) was concerned with being environmentally low-impact rather than simply surviving. Why? Well some recent reading....
The June 7 issue of NY Times Magazine was devoted to architecture and took on some key problems of the day: environmental degradation and overcrowding (not necessarily in that order). What intrigued me as much as the many features were the statistics on both the increased urbanization of the globe and the rapidly growing, and staggering, number of displaced people. One article addressed how to design for people who live in refugee camps for years, if not decades.
Then today, I found that World Refugee day fell this week. Officially, June 20, SF is commemorating the day, tomorrow. "This June 18th, the International Rescue Committee asks you to invest in Northern California’s refugee population by dining out at selected Bay Area restaurants that have partnered with us in commemoration of World Refugee Day." Check it out to "Making Dining Out Count"
Coincidently, one of my favorite authors Salmon Rushdie is speaking at Herbst Theater Wednesday as part of the great "City Arts & Lectures Series." Alas, I'm missing it due to some pre-existing plans, but I highly recommend going if you can. I'll tune in when it's broadcast on the radio when KQED 88.5 FM gets to them.

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