June232014

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The Makerspace at Pachamama House hosts a monthly open day, where the crew bring along ideas, works in progress and completed projects. To date, we’ve seen robots, 3d printers, drones, and the collaborative project of building a new security system for Pachamama House itself. The Newcastle Makerspace is open for making on the first Sunday of the month at 10AM and the third Monday of the month at 6PM. Organisational meetings are on the second Wednesday of the month at 6PM.

If you are interested to find out more, there’s a mailing list  and also a Facebook group you can join. Otherwise, you can keep up-to-date via the website at http://www.newcastlemakerspace.org/

What Happens at a Newcastle Makerspace Open Day? The Makerspace at Pachamama House hosts a monthly open day, where the crew bring along ideas, works in progress and completed projects.

Tags: /design /event /hackerspace /innovation /makerspace

June32014

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Celebrate World Environment Day 2014

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world-environment-dayThe Wilderness Society Newcastle and Hunter Community Environment Centre (HCEC) thought it would be nice idea to host a lunch at Pachamama House this Thursday to mark ‘World Environment Day 2014′!

World Environment Day Lunch!
Time: 1pm
Where: Pachamama Common Room (upstairs 21 Gordon Avenue, Hamilton)
Details: Bring a plate, eat, chat, then join the Bonus Greenhouse Tour!

So please bring a plate and…

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June22014

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Coal Dust Free Streets | Hunter Community Environment Centre »

The Coal Dust Free Streets project forges grassroots community networks while gauging public opinion of coal dust and the proposed fourth coal loader (T4).

This is a how to guide for those who want to doorknock in your local area and add your voice the ‘chorus’ of suburbs already surveyed.

Tags: /community organizing /social change /air quality /pollution /fossil fuels /environmental justice /coal /coal dust

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Culture Hunter Refresh

CH_Creatures_Bird-03_WEB-600px-150x150Hunter’s leading online arts directory and information hub – is being refreshed and you can have your say!

Produced by Pachamama residents Octapod since 2006, Culture Hunter is a comprehensive online guide to the Hunter’s arts and culture. It is currently being revamped – and Octapod need your input!

Let them know what you thinkabout how to best capture all the arts and cultural events,…

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June12014

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Building the New Commons »

May312014

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What Farm-to-Table Got Wrong »

The crowds clamoring for just-dug produce at the farmers’ market and the local food co-op suggest that this movement is no longer just a foodie fad. Today, almost 80 percent of Americans say sustainability is a priority when purchasing food. The promise of this kind of majority is that eating local can reshape landscapes and drive lasting change.

Except it hasn’t. More than a decade into the movement, the promise has fallen short. For all its successes, farm-to-table has not, in any fundamental way, reworked the economic and political forces that dictate how our food is grown and raised. Big Food is getting bigger, not smaller.

How do we make sense of this odd duality: a food revolution on one hand, an entrenched status quo on the other?

May302014

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goobingdetroit:

A garage in northeast Detroit deteriorates.

Reblogged from GooBing Detroit.

May292014

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University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives - The cooperative economics of Italy's Emilia-Romagnaholds a lesson for the U.S. »

What Emilia-Romagna shows is that people may not always be able to choose their leaders, but they can never avoid choosing their political culture. People either opt for solidarity and participation or they choose indifference and clientism. The left here must stop counting its failures like rosary beads and grasp the possibilities of the present. We see where mass political disorganization leads — to the South Bronx — and where solidarity and mass political organization can lead — to Bologna.

Tags: /cooperatives

May282014

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"The closest existing model for sustainable manufacturing is Emilia-Romagna. In that region of 4.2 million people, the most prosperous in Italy, manufacturing centers on “flexible manufacturing networks” of small-scale firms, rather than enormous factories or vertically integrated corporations. Small-scale, general-purpose machinery is integrated into craft production, and frequently switches between different product lines. It follows a lean production model geared to demand, with production taking place only to fill orders, so there’s no significant inventory cost. Supply chains are mostly local, as is the market. The local economy is not prone to the same boom-bust cycle which results from overproduction to keep unit costs down, without regard to demand. Although a significant share of Emilia-Romagna’s output goes to the export market, its industry would suffer far less dislocation from a collapse of the global economy than its counterparts in the United States; given the small scale of production and the short local supply chains, a shift to production primarily for local needs would be relatively uncomplicated. The region’s average wage is about double that of Italy for a whole, and some 45% of its GDP comes from cooperatively owned enterprises."

— Kevin Carson (via fluidstaccato)

Reblogged from stay fluid even in staccato.

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Post-Carbon Transition Papers

Applications of solar mapping in the urban environment

Promoting the use of solar energy in urban environments requires knowing the geographical distribution and characteristics of the best places to implement solar systems. In this context, buildings can be used to locally generate electricity. Based on remote sensing data, the city’s surface can be modeled and the solar income at each location can be estimated. The results constitute an initial assessment of the city’s solar potential that can be used to support management decisions regarding investments in solar systems.

Fluid transitions to more sustainable product service systems

While Product Service Systems (PSS) are not inherently sustainable, they may form part of the mix of innovations that contribute to the development of more sustainable futures. However, whether the current trajectory of PSS research, with its emphasis on universal frameworks and standardisation adequately reflects and builds upon PSS diversity revealed by case study research may be questioned. Opportunities for transition to more sustainable PSS may be lost. In response, this paper draws on sustainable architecture to propose fluid transitions to more sustainable PSS: to PSS design practices that embrace diversity and enable specific PSS to be developed which address contextual interpretations of sustainability challenges.

Zero emission housing: Policy development in Australia and comparisons with the EU, UK, USA and California

A change to a zero emission housing future requires significant innovation in both policy and practice, as described by socio-technical transitions theory. This paper examines emerging policies towards zero emission housing standards from the EU, UK, USA, California and Australia to determine alignment with socio-technical transitions criteria. This analysis is then positioned within the Australian context, which is characterised by a lack of policy innovation.

The double hermeneutic of sustainability transitions

How should sustainability transitions deal with the fact that ‘transition’ has become a buzzword in political discourse and a label for social ecology movements? Building on Giddens’ conception of a double hermeneutic, the paper explores the current appropriations and interpretations of the transition category by political and social actors, and outlines the challenges and opportunities of this double hermenetic in terms of symbolic politics and transformative research.