This website takes a look at the concepts that make up the complex idea of sustainability. There are three pillars of sustainability and there is no such thing as sustainable development if all three pillars can’t improve simultaneously.
This website takes a look at the concepts that make up the complex idea of sustainability. There are three pillars of sustainability and there is no such thing as sustainable development if all three pillars can’t improve simultaneously.
Don’t feel obligated to a stranger. It makes you feel you owe someone something who you have no connection to. Why would you allow yourself to be brought down by the thought of some else’s pain? Not to say that the suffering of a stranger is irrelevant but only that one shouldn’t let it get to them if they’re doing alright for themselves. The other side to that coin is having empathy. Being able to understand someone’s pain and sympathize for them is important. That statement can pertain to a beggar or the orphan. In this case though it pertains to the immigrant and refugee. It’s hard enough to carry out your own struggle of a life. Most Americans take things day to day if not week to week. So there isn’t any room for anything but sympathy for a refugee. It’s real easy to be in a position that many Americans are in and say that you don’t owe a stranger anything, but it’s true. With privilege comes responsibilities but not obligations to humans on the other side of the globe.
War has ravaged humankind since the very beginning and only the dead see an end to war. Americans are lucky enough to live in such a safe haven where the worst blow was dealt on September 11th. Even emits all the chaos and aftermath of such an event there were no American refugees, no Americans were forced to leave the country because of a fear for their lives. The privilege to live in such a place is undeniable. Especially when on the other side of the planet there are human beings leaving behind everything they’ve ever known in hopes of a better, safer life. It’s probably the scariest and most difficult journey a person can make and yet tens of millions are forced to make it. There are so many people now that the story of the refugee is in fact the story of the modern world. Over the years, the only thing that’s changed is that there are more people to be displaced. Now with modern media and how connected everyone is it’s an issue that is recognized worldwide. The only thing is it’s so very difficult to solve. As much as locking immigrants out is looked down upon, it’s only considered because there is only so much you can do about the issue. There isn’t one definitive answer to the question of where do these people go? The one thing that is known is that they have nowhere to go.
For as long as these people have been becoming displaced, where to go has been their biggest question. The ones who make it wind up somewhere but how welcolm they are is what affects their future the most. In many countries, refugees can find asylum but limited embrace from the people already there. After reaching the finish line by getting to the new country refugees are often met with disrespect and snap judgments. People who are set in their ways will create false justifications for such inhumane disrespect but all those people have one thing in common. They have never met a refugee. Never spoken to the people they think they hate so much. Somehow people are able to create such a strong opinion of something they have never experienced, and this plays into many more aspects of life rather than just immigration issues. Although, refugees seem to get the worst of it. People who have already been through so much get thrown aside like nothing.
When people are face to face it’s a whole different story. There must be only a handful of truly awful people who can look refugee in the eye and explain how they feel no different than how they felt before. Most people can empathize and relate with someone who has a drastically different story than your own. That’s why the video by the New York Times was so good. It showed exactly that. In the video refugees got to sit down and speak to native people living on the island they migrated to. The video was sobering in the fact that these people are so similar to everyone else. Their conversations were genuine as were the laughs, these people got along. Possible because of the mentality that the natives went into such a project with. They understood the refugees situations and had empathy for them. Of course there was no obligations, just a genuine conversation. If more people could have this opportunity with migrants things would be much different.
Works cited: “The New York Times.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 29 Feb. 2016, www.nytimes.com/video/multimedia/100000004237409/migrants-stories-from-a-greek-island.html.
Everyone is living and breathing in real time but not many people live in the moment for much longer than a couple minutes. Enjoying your time right now in this instant is important because you will never experience that moment again. There is no redoing decisions of any matter if they’re in the past. No matter how much we want to go back to a specific moment and do something differently you simply can’t. People should see this as the biggest incentive to be present at all times, be aware of your surroundings and be ready to react in a way that keeps you safe. Quick and frequent decision making can often times result in injury, especially when you’re on the cycle. There are a couple instances in specific where if only the rider made a slightly different decision they would have came out unscaved. I’m just glad the homie alive. Little banged up but he’ll live. My first thought was anger, what just happened had ruined our trip and I knew that the moment it happened. I think that fact settled in for the rest of the group once we got back to the house but I knew how it was about to be from the moment it happened. The ride back was quiet, everyone still a little shocked. I saw him run the light thinking what is he doing? I knew it wasn’t a go and yet he still barrelled on through the intersection, reading the traffic completely wrong. It only took two more milliseconds for the beamer to t-bone him in the middle of the street for everyone else to bare witness. At first I carried on about a block past that street. I was processing, then headed back to investigate. Heading back over to the scene was the scariest part, he could be dead for all I knew. The car was humming through that light and he got hit with the full blow. I’ve been hit off my bike before but never anything like that. Once I got over there I was relieved to find out all his senses were working and he was on his feet. We made sure everything was alright with both sides of the party and just like that went on our way. Easy come easy go has been an interesting theme that seems to be present throughout life. At least it is so far for me and most people I know. Just as easily as something can be acquired it can be stripped from you as if it was never there. Thats what happened to that beautiful Bianchi super pista. My friend had just bought it and had it to sport around not even a month before he completely totaled it at an intersection around city hall. I felt bad for him. I would have been devastated had that happened to me. The bike was a piecing race-red with the bianchi blue lettering and had polished tubes that merged together seamlessly, even a nice shiny sugino 75 crank. All that destroyed by a little slip up. I wasn’t with him when this happened but hearing that news was horrible. It sounds extreme but it really did feel like hearing news of someone’s death. My heart sank. At the time I was riding fixed but my mount was nothing near the value of that ride so loss of that image was painful to see someone else go through. A learning experience nonetheless. Conveying that riding a bike is dangerous is not the point of this essay but instead showing how riding a bike through and urban area is much like the path your life takes you down. There are plenty of unexpected obstacles and unwanted pressure but you just keep going. Of course there is so much that can go wrong, that fact will always be present. What’s more important than that however is that you always have the ability to avoid whatever went wrong. The only thing is you can’t go back and try it again; you have to be conscious enough to realize what’s about to go wrong in order to prevent it.
Okay, I got to do this. No more waitin around out here people are probably getting suspicious. I can’t afford another day with no damn money. I really need this but…
Ahh! What am I doing! I ain’t no outlaw. Not some crook to be shot down like I was nothin but filth on the road. Shit, but that’s exactly what I’ll be if I keep on like I am right now. Scavenging for food, eatin every other day. Nobody should be living the way I am. Sometimes I just wish I was young boy again. Ain’t had nothin to worry about then. All I did was run around and play with the horses on the farm… Before the fire of course. That’s when it all went wrong, my life, my family, my home. All gone in one passing night. When I look back on it now I don’t know how I’m even still breathing this long after, but I am and I’m not just gonna give up on myself. So I gotta get in there and hold the place up. Right? Wrong! No no! God damnit I don’t know what the hell I’m doing anymore! I’m about to rob a store for christ sake. This ain’t me. No, I can’t be relying on criminal behavior to stay alive. C’mon Wayne! I know your momma taught you better than this. But momma wouldn’t want you starve out on the streets either. Maybe I’m overthinking it. It’s not like I have to kill anyone. Just get in there, be all loud and intimidating and get the cash out the register. Simple. Alright, lemme just- God damn my heart is racin.
“This here a robbery partner! Now it’s real simple, I wanna see all the money you got or you gon have a brand new hole in ya head. Now! Faster than that c’mon! I ain’t got all day!”
“ Whatchu doin over there? Oh I know you ain’t reachin for that shotgun. Cause any finger you lay on that thing is gon be one less finger you got, partner. That’s right, lay it down real slow now. No need to cause yourself anymore trouble than you already in partner.
What I tell you boy! Put it down! Now! I said put it down.”
(click of the hammer being pulled back)
“I’m not gonna do you no harm, boy if you’d just listen to me. Ain’t the time for no hero boy. Listen to me, you got till the count of 3 to put the rest of that money in the bag. One… Two… Three-
(doorbell rings as a another customer walks in. Frightens wayne enough for him to pull the trigger accidentally.)
“Shit! God damn, that wasn’t supposed to happen. You! You fool! Scared the hell out me, cost this man’s life right here. Yeah This ain’t my fault. I’m not getting thrown away for this shit, I can’t. This is all you partner! I ain't goin down for this! “
(Door opens again, law walks in)
“No… No please no.I didn’t intend for this.”
(sobbing voice, very emotional)
God bless the smooth, creamy substance that binds itself to the sweet and sticky darkness alongside the inner walls of two pieces of bread.
A knife is drawn. The skilled wielder swiftly dips it into the tall jar of jelly with precise accuracy to grab the perfect amount with one swoop. The satisfying slap noise that echos in the small kitchen by the jelly hitting the bread fuels the wielders energy to slide it over the bread in a perfectly even spread. The adrenalin in his veins only increases when he goes to rinse the small amount of excess jelly on the blade, preparing himself for the second round of this ancient process. Paper towels are the key to making sure the utensil is truly prepared for the next step. One square cut towel is all you need to cleanse the blade of wetness. Once the knife is dried of all liquids another jar appears. Although this one is no simple jar, for it is a container of peanut butter! Rich, silky peanut butter that sticks to the blade with one twirl in there. This part of the procedure requires the most experience. To be able to seal the deal with the perfect ratio of peanut butter to jelly is respected across all lands.
At last. The final step in the short but enthralling journey is the best part. Slapping the two prepared pieces of bread together. It's almost as if there is an invisible audience applauding the maker of the sandwich. A satisfying thing indeed.
In my previous posts I’ve talked about green infrastructure in philly and the whole point behind the stormwater management we have in the city. (Which are accessible here: fist post and second post.) It was important I understood the process of our stormwater management system before I got any further into my project so that was the first thing I had down. Then I looked a little further into what our city has done to be a little different from others in its stormwater management process, and it turns out that the city is actually doing pretty well with it. I even got to check out what the fists water planters and rain gardens in the city looked like because they are super close to my house. I never really knew it until this project but the planters around Columbus Square are the first ones to be installed in the city. My park was like the test to see how they performed and what needed to change about the designs before the rest were put all around the city.
For my project’s agent of change I decided to volunteer with the Passyunk Square Civic Association and help out with the monitoring of some of the green infrastructure in my area. The whole process was about 3 weeks long with my first observation date being on the 3rd of May. Before that though I got in contact with Sarah Anton, the president of the Passyunk Square Civic Association. She was super nice and had enough time in her schedule to come meet me near the sites to show me how I would be monitoring them in the future. She emailed me a link to the form I would fill out everytime I went by which was around once a week or so. Then she went on to show me how to look out for the different systems. They all kind of had the same type of drainage and the main point was that you don’t want that clogged because then an rainwater that you got would just be trapped in the planter/ rain garden.
Monitoring the sites after a storm was where I really came in because that’s when things can get messed up with drainage and such but all I can do as a volunteer right now is submit that form in which I would point out anything that I feel should be addressed with the site. So I submitted a form for the Columbus planters talking about how they were in need of some tending with some graffiti on one but on some of the others I noticed that there was a whole lot of stuff covering the drain so I pointed those things out in the form. It’s up to the city if they feel the issues are big enough to address. So like I said my part was just to report it and that was all I could get myself involved with.
My first blog post addressed some issues with grey infrastructure and stormwater management in the city as well as briefly explaining the problems in the system. Now I gathered some more information around the situation with the help of my mother and some field observations.
Mz. Julie Snell (my mom) worked at PHS for a number of years before starting her own business in landscape architecture along with two other women from PHS. Now seeing as Mz. Snell worked in her field as long as she has as well as teaching a class about green infrastructure at Temple University, I consider Mz. Snell an expert in green infrastructure. So I chose to interview her. In the interview I asked a few questions that relate to stormwater management and green infrastructure in our city.
Is stormwater management a problem in this city and if so how? Was my first question for Mz. Snell. The response explained how that yes it is a problem because of Philadelphia's very old combined sewer system which when is overflowed will cause backups that’ll get your basement flooded.
My second question asked how quickly the city was changing to green infrastructure. Mz. Snell explained Green City Clean Waters, which is a 25 year, 2.5 billion dollar project that started in 2011. The main goal is to get rid of the combined sewer overflows(CSOs) and the push behind the project is that Philly as well as other cities is mandated by the EPA to eliminate CSOs by 2026.
Knowing that Mz. Snell played a role in getting the Peco green roof all set back in 2009 I asked her about the process and specifically how long it took. I was surprised to hear that it was a very short project. It went from planning the concept of the green roof in November to putting in the sedums only a month later. As Mz. Snell explained the timeline she also focused heavily on the fact that with green infrastructure the cost of installation is much less and will start working right away. Unlike grey infrastructure such as huge pipes and expanding sewer systems. So hopefully it won’t take that long for the city to reach their goal of getting rid of CSOs
In my fourth question I asked about what people around the city can do to help out. I wanted a better idea of what people could do to involve themselves some more. Mz. Snell explained how there are plenty of volunteering opportunities all over the city. You can choose to volunteer with PHS and join a tree tender group, you can help out with Parks and Rec friend groups, or you can even get a tree right out front of your house for free. The Tree City program can take a look at your space outside your house and see if you can qualify for a tree out there. Other than that you can do your best to keep the city a clean and healthy place by recycling and making sure your trash gets to a trash can.
My final question was simply if there was anything else Mz. Snell thinks people should know about green infrastructure in Philly. In response I got a message about how people who live in this city should be proud of the progress we’ve made with green infrastructure. I was kind of surprised to hear that at first but then I thought to myself that I should be proud of my city and it’s long plan for a cleaner environment.
This is me an my mother shorty after I conducted the interview with her. I have her to thank for most of my information so thank you, Mom.
Other than an interview with my very own mother I also wanted a location in the city for field observations. Lucky for me there are plenty, the closet on eto SLA would be the Peco green roof. So going up there for my field observations was my original plan. Although it was harder than I thought to get up there seeing as it is not simply open to the public so I had to go with a backup plan which was Cira Green. Development for the green roof finished back in 2015 and if you don’t know the place I’m talking about it’s a green roof on top of the parking building next to the big FMC tower. Greenroofs.com provides the background information of the building such as the building type, the size, and the system. Other than when you go up there you can see how everything is put in place so when it rains it holds a good amount of water in the beds up there.
The coolest part about these projects is that they are usually public places like cira green so when the weather is nice they are really great places to hang out with friends. While at the same time time it’s a powerhouse of stormwater management. Why wouldn’t you want you city filled with places like Cira Green all over. Maybe they will be one day because in the last few years Philly’s green infrastructure has only gotten better and better so I know the only way is forward in this journey of making our city a better place.
Nobody likes poopy water so I wanted to know how to avoid being in the situation where I have to drink the poopy water. So for the you and the word project, I am focusing on green vs grey infrastructure, and how all of the bigger cities have outdated sewage systems and pipes. It’s a really big problem that I had no idea about. Throughout the states the storm water management is mostly comprised of pipes that lead to bigger pipes or “grey infrastructure.” This is only a problem when there's just a little too much rain for the sewers to handle. So when that happens there is a backup which causes the mixed waste and rain water to overflow into the water sources. Just a reminder that's where we get our our drinking water from. This is a big enough of a issue for the EPA to address it., and so , that gave the cities some time to fix it. Philly, in particular is very far ahead in our green infrastructure with green roofs and other things like that to help slow down the stormwater runoff as much as possible. The Philadelphia Water Department (PGW) has great explanations of their visions that they have for the city that you can check out here.
The general idea of green infrastructure is pretty simple actually. We all know that plants are living things, and they consume water just like we do. So green infrastructure is just using that to slow down the stormwater, not necessarily to catch it all in the soil, more like giving the sewers enough time so the storm water can get through without overflowing everything. It’s really smart if you think about it because usually it only rains hard for 5 or 10 minutes. With grey infrastructure the sewers will overflow pretty quickly but that wouldn’t happen with green infrastructure. The plants would soak in and hold up the water long enough so that the water that fell onto the streets and roofs can get down the drain fine without overflowing. Then the water in then soil will get released and there would be no problem with there being too much water for the sewer to handle.
Although bad drinking water can be disgusting and undesirable from the city you live in, that's not the only problem caused by stormwater overflow. The other big one in cities would be flooding streets from extreme backups in the sewer. Other than that there can be really bad for outcomes for wildlife around the area or even downstream. Wanting to improve the city's stormwater management for our purposes is a perfectly good reason but there are other life forms suffering from polluted water coming into the city's watershed. The Delaware river is Philly's watershed, meaning we use it for our drinking water but it is also home to other living animals. The Delaware river is one of the most polluted rivers. Most of the pollution comes from dumping toxic chemicals in waterways that lead to the river but other than that when the sewers overflow with the waste water that is also going into the river.
For some more information, annotated bibliography: do a click
After the first slide that I did, I thought the project was okay just like how my slide was just okay. It wasn’t anything special but it worked for what the project was asking for. This is why it took a little while to even start the revised version. I didn’t have much interest to do the first slide. Yes I looked at some of the websites that suggested strategies for design but knowing how to make the slide look decent didn’t really help me choose an image, a topic, something to go off of. So there was no real motivation. Although I did still have to do something so I put a slide together very last minute and that was that. Like I said I thought the slide was okay seeing as I didn't put much effort into it but, when it was time for me to present to the class about how I designed my slide I didn’t really know what to say.
The feedback I got from the presentation was definitely helpful and in general it sounded to me like I should take my own picture for the slide instead of looking one up. Now I understood where that was coming from and I also thought a picture of my own would be better but I don’t have a super amazing camera so that didn't really work out. But I did indeed make my own picture in a way. Now if the comment on my slide wasn’t “take your own picture” it was “it’s too blurry at the bottom”... both things I couldn't really change. So I decided to start over completely. I stayed with the soccer theme though so I wasn’t completely lost or anything, just had a blank slide.
For some reason starting the new slide was much easier than the first one (that is when I actually decided to start.) In place of the soccer ball on the field by itself I tried to find a picture of player I liked on the ball or just holding one. After stretching a couple of photos to try and fit in the background of a slide I decided to try something different. I got a picture of the player I wanted and this time it wasn’t the whole background of the slide but only an image in there. I threw a couple more in the slide to try and add more flavor but that wasn't working either. The idea was really good but it just looked ugly with a bunch of rectangular images in there with no good way to fit them together. At this point I decided to devote myself to a good looking slide. I thought well the players would look fine but just without the stupid backgrounds. So I found a free photo editing site and fiddled around with the images till I found a good brightness and whatnot. It was pretty much all downhill after that, I figured I could keep two uniform colors present then make the text that color as well. Overall I was happy with the outcome and enjoyed the project.
I play soccer, and so do a lot of other people. The beautiful game is loved all over the planet. You could travel to any country you like and no matter where that country is you can find people who play the sport. That’s exactly why you should play soccer. No this not recruitment, this is encouragement. Get up and get outside to spend some good quality time playing soccer with your friends. What’s that, no friends? Hey that’s okay you can easily make some by simply joining in on a pickup game at your local field. Now I know what you’re probably thinking. “But Tristan I suck at soccer, I would play and all but I’m just really bad.” Well worry no longer because one day you will get better. Just stick with it and skill will come.
Now imagine that you did get better, you're like super good at soccer. Being good at soccer opens doors… many doors. Yes of course a collage scholarships is amazing, especially for playing a sport but, that is very difficult and there are so many other ways to use that ability. Playing the game opens up a whole new world to people. If you play and you really love playing then you will understand how all players have a connection. That probably sounded very cliche but it’s true. The connection isn’t always on the field but sometimes off it. Don’t take this the wrong way and think that I believe that playing soccer is the only way that playing a sport will get you connected with people. All sports do this, but like I said soccer is played everywhere. So just think to yourself, If you played soccer no matter where you went you would know someone.