poly: Aquaponics / Biological Urban Planning

From: Anders Sandberg <asa@nada.kth.se>
Date: Wed Jan 07 1998 - 15:57:14 PST

carl feynman <carlf@atg.com> writes:

> Though I'm happy to talk about all these topics, I also like talking about
> urban planning, surgery, and medieval history. But I haven't had any
> original thoughts in these areas in the last month, so I haven't tried
> sending out any messages on the topic, so we haven't seen if there's enough
> other interested people on the list to get a discussion going.

Hmm, apropos urban planning, what do you think about integrating
aquaponics (aquaculture combined with hydroponic gardening) with
modern architecture? I saw a clip on the Discovery Channel of a mall
somewhere in America where one of the stores sold ultra-fresh
vegetables grown on site. If the prices of fish and vegetables rise,
and there is an increased demand for fresh food (not unlikely, given
the current post-materialistic sentiments of quality-seeking) then
hydro- and aquaponics might become commercially viable. At first I
would guess they would be used in malls (which are already quite close
to arcologies already). I have also heard that some chinese cities are
already fairly self-sufficient when it comes to vegetables due to
conventional intra-city gardening.

What needs to be solved seems to be how to automate/simplify the
aquaponics system so that it does not require too much expensive or
unreliable technology / know how, how to minimize energy demands and
to make sure this kind of very small semi-closed ecosystems doesn't
spread disease or have other side effects.

This is a special case of a more general idea, biological urban
planning. BUP is not necessarily about building "eco friendly", but
integrating architecture, humans and biology into something
useful. One simple example is the deliberate use of trees to cool the
surroundings and remove pollution. What other uses can we have of
biology in urban planning? I have been thinking of buildings with
deliberate ecologies on and around the walls, maybe using ants for
cleaning and variants of ivy as temperature control, combined with
run-off lines watering the garden. Things get even more interesting
given advances in pheromonal and hormonal control, not to mention
genetic engineering.

I suspect this message is rambling. I have been programming for six
hours stright, and my brain is not entirely here in this continuum.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!
asa@nada.kth.se                            http://www.nada.kth.se/~asa/
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y
Received on Wed Jan 7 23:57:28 1998

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