Feeding the Growing World Population Utilizing Vertical Farming By John Cornacchia

John Cornacchia at Globacorp Developments International writes:

It is estimated that by the year 2050, virtually 80% of the world’s population will live in urban areas and the total global population will increase by approximately 3 billion people. An enormous amount of farmland may be required, conditional on the change in yield per hectare and sustainable practices implemented, to feed the growing population. Scientists around the world are concerned that this large amount of required land will not be available and that severe damage to the earth will be caused by the added farmland and the increase of impervious surfaces. If designed correctly utilizing sustainable principles, Vertical farms may eliminate the need to create additional farmland and help create a cleaner environment, by reducing the transportation of food to the mass population and reducing impervious cover.

Vertical farming is a highly debated concept, one which proposes that it is economically and environmentally viable to cultivate plant or animal life within tall buildings (skyscrapers), purpose-built multi-level structures, or vertically inclined surfaces. The following short video, titled “Designing the Vertical Farm” demonstrates how vertical farming structures could be designed and functionally exist in our developing world.

To learn more about sustainable development and vertical farms, John Cornacchia invites you to visit Globacorp Developments International at www.globacorp.com.

Designing the Vertical Farm

The idea of a vertical farm has existed for nearly six decades and numerous built precedents are well documented by John Hix in his authoritative text “The Glass House”. The writing is a comprehensive survey of glasshouses, tracing the evolution of glass enclosures from the mid 16th century, when the desire to nurture exotic plants in often hostile climates led to the development of the glasshouse and the ingenious mechanical servicing systems, capable of creating their own artificial micro-climates. Through the technical advances in the early 19th century, large-scale structures were constructed, initially for private individuals and botanical societies. During the mid 19th century, with the advent of mass production and specialized component systems, the fashioning of modular structures became possible.

Irrespective of their origins, there are three classifications debated by contemporary scholars:

1) The first category of vertical farming was established, nearly a century ago, in 1915 by Gilbert Ellis Bailey, who also coined the phrase “vertical farming”. In his book “Vertical Farming”, Bailey defined the earliest meanings and methods of vertical farming as “the keynote of a new agriculture that has come to stay, for inexpensive explosives enable the farmer to farm deeper, to go down to increase area, and to secure larger crops. Instead of spreading out over more land he concentrates on less land and becomes an intensive rather than an extensive agriculturist, and soon learns that it is more profitable to double the depth of his fertile land than to double the area of his holdings, and he learns that his best aid and servant in this work is a good explosive. Peace congresses demand that swords be turned into pruning hooks. The farmer is busy turning explosives from war to agriculture, from death dealing to life giving work”.

2) The second category of vertical farming was defined by American ecologist Dr. Dickson Despommier, arguing that vertical farming is legitimate due to environmental reasons. He claims that the cultivation of plant and animal life within skyscrapers will produce less embedded energy and toxicity than plant and animal life produced on natural landscapes. He also claims that natural landscapes are too toxic for natural, agricultural production, despite the ecological and environmental costs of extracting materials to build skyscrapers for the simple purpose of agricultural production. According to Despommier, vertical farming thus discounts the value of natural landscape in exchange for the idea of “skyscraper as spaceship”. Plant and animal life are mass-produced within hermetically sealed, artificial environments that have little to do with the outside world. In this sense, they could be built anywhere regardless of the context. This is not advantageous to energy consumption, as the internal environment must be maintained to sustain life within the skyscraper. Despommier’s concept of “The Vertical Farm” emerged in 1999 at Columbia University. It promotes the mass cultivation of plant and animal life for commercial purposes in skyscrapers. Using advanced greenhouse technology such as hydroponics and aeroponics, the skyscrapers could theoretically produce fish, poultry, fruit and vegetables. While the concept of stacked agricultural production is not new, scholars claim that a commercial high-rise farm such as ‘The Vertical Farm’ has never been built, yet extensive photographic documentation and several relevant historical books suggest that research on the subject was not diligently pursued. New sources indicate that a tower hydroponicum existed in Armenia prior to 1951. Proponents argue that, by allowing traditional outdoor farms to revert to a natural state and reducing the energy costs needed to transport foods to consumers, vertical farms could significantly alleviate climate change produced by excess atmospheric carbon. Critics have noted that the costs of the additional energy needed for artificial lighting, heating and other vertical farming operations would exceed the benefit of the building’s close proximity to the areas of consumption.

3) The third category of vertical farming denotes the concepts proposed and built by architect Ken Yeang developed at least ten years prior to Despommier. Yeang proposes that instead of hermetically sealed mass produced agriculture structures, that plant life should be cultivated within open air, mixed-use skyscrapers for climate control and consumption (i.e. a personal or communal planting space as per the needs of the individual). This version of vertical farming is based upon personal or community use rather than the wholesale production and distribution of plant and animal life that aspires to feed an entire city. It therefore requires less of an initial investment than Despommier’s proposed vision. However, neither Despommier nor Yeang are the conceptual “originators”, nor is Yeang the inventor of vertical farming in skyscrapers.

To learn more about sustainable development and vertical farms, John Cornacchia invites you to visit Globacorp Developments International at www.globacorp.com.

John Cornacchia - The Editt Tower

One of the earliest drawings of a tall structure that cultivates food for the purposes of consumption was published over a century ago in Life Magazine 1909. The published drawings feature vertically stacked homesteads set amongst a farming landscape. This proposal can be studied in “Delirious New York”, a 1978 publication authored by Rem Koolhaas, wherein he noted the 1909 theorem “The Skyscraper as Utopian device for the production of unlimited numbers of virgin sites on a metropolitan location”.

Images of the vertical farms at the School of Gardeners in Langenlois, Austria, and the glass tower at the Vienna International Horticulture Exhibition, clearly illustrate that vertical farms exhausted more than 40 years prior to contemporary discourse on the subject. Although architectural precedents remain valuable, the technological precedents that make vertical farming possible can be traced back to horticultural history through the development of greenhouse and hydroponic technology. Early building types or hydroponicums where developed, integrating hydroponic technology into building systems. These horticultural building systems evolved from greenhouse technology, and essentially paved the way for the modern concept of the vertical farm. The British Interplanetary Society developed a hydroponicum for lunar conditions and other building prototypes where developed during the early days of space exploration. During this era of expansion and experimentation, the first Tower Hydroponic Units where developed in Armenia.

The Armenian tower hydroponicums are the first built examples of a vertical farm which was documented by Sholto Douglas in decisive text “Hydroponics: The Bengal System” first published in 1951. Contemporary notions of vertical farming are predated by this early technology by more than 50 years.

Contemporary precursors that have been published, or built, are Ken Yeang’s Bioclimatic Skyscraper (Menara Mesiniaga, built 1992); MVRDV’s PigCity, 2000; MVRDV’s Meta City/ Datatown (1998-2000); Pich-Aguilera’s Garden Towers (2001).

Ken Yeang is perhaps the most widely known architect that has promoted the idea of the mixed-use Bioclimatic Skyscraper, combining living units and opportunities for food production.

Early prototypes of vertical farms, or ‘tower hydroponicums’ existed in Armenia prior to 1951 during an era of hydroponic and horticultural building system research fueled by space exploration and a transatlantic technology race. The latest version of these very ideas is Dickson Despommier’s “The Vertical Farm”.

Dickson Despommier, a professor of environmental health sciences and microbiology at Columbia University in New York City, developed the idea of vertical farming in 1999 with graduate students in a medical ecology class. Despommier had originally challenged his class to feed the population of Manhattan (approximately 2 million people) using 5.3 hectares (53,000 m2) of usable rooftop gardens and green roofs. The class calculated that, by utilizing rooftop gardening methods, only 2 percent of the population would be fed. Unsatisfied with the results, Despommier made an impromptu suggestion of growing plants vertically indoors. The idea ignited interest among the students and gained significant momentum. By 2001 the first outline of a vertical farm was introduced and today scientists, architects, and investors worldwide are working together to make the concept of vertical farming a reality. In an interview with Miller-McCune.com, Despommier described how vertical farms would function, stating that “Each floor will have its own watering and nutrient monitoring systems. There will be sensors for every single plant that tracks how much and what kinds of nutrients the plant has absorbed. You’ll even have systems to monitor plant diseases by employing DNA chip technologies that detect the presence of plant pathogens by simply sampling the air and using snippets from various viral and bacterial infections. It’s very easy to do. Moreover, a gas chromatograph will tell us when to pick the plant by analyzing which flavonoids the produce contains. These flavonoids are what give the food the flavors you’re so fond of, particularly for more aromatic produce like tomatoes and peppers. These are all right-off-the-shelf technologies. The ability to construct a vertical farm exists now. We don’t have to make anything new”.

Architectural designs have been produced by Chris Jacobs at United Future, Andrew Kranis at Columbia University, and Gordon Graff at the University of Waterloo.

Mass media attention began with an article written in New York magazine. Since 2007, articles have appeared in The New York Times, U.S. News & World Report, Popular Science, Scientific American, and Maxim, among others, as well as radio and television features.

To learn more about sustainable development and vertical farms, John Cornacchia invites you to visit Globacorp Developments International at www.globacorp.com.

Numerous potential advantages of vertical farming have been argued by Despommier, of which many of these benefits are obtained from scaling up hydroponic or aeroponic growing methods.

Increased Crop Production – Unlike traditional farming in non-tropical areas, indoor farming can produce crops year-round. All-season farming multiplies the productivity of the farmed surface by a factor of 4 to 6 depending on the crop. With some crops, such as strawberries, the factor may be as high as 30.

Furthermore, as the crops would be sold in the same infrastructures in which they are grown, they will not need to be transported between production and sale, resulting in less spoilage, infestation, and energy required than conventional farming encounters. Research has shown that 30% of harvested crops are wasted due to spoilage and infestation, though this number is much lower in developed nations. Additionally, freshness would be superior and the need for preservatives would be eliminated.

Despommier suggests that, if dwarf versions of certain crops are used (e.g. dwarf wheat developed by NASA, which is smaller in size but richer in nutrients), year-round crops, and “stacker” plant holders are accounted for, a 30-story building with a 2 hectare (20,000 m2) footprint would yield a yearly crop analogous to that of 970 hectares (9,700,000 m2) of traditional farming.

Climate Related Issues – Crops grown in traditional outdoor farming suffer from the often suboptimal, and sometimes extreme, nature of geological and meteorological events such as undesirable temperatures or rainfall amounts, monsoons, hailstorms, tornadoes, flooding, wildfires, and severe droughts. The protection of crops from weather is increasingly important as global climate change occurs. Due to three recent floods, which occurred in 1993, 2007, and 2008, the United States incurred billions of dollars in lost crops, with even more devastating losses to unrecoverable topsoil. Furthermore, Michael Pollan stated in his September 9, 2009 article titled “Big Food vs. Big Insurance” that it is expected that changes in rain patterns and temperatures could diminish India’s agricultural output by 30 percent by the end of the century.

Because vertical farming provides a controlled environment, the productivity of vertical farms would be mostly independent of weather and protected from extreme weather events. Although the controlled environment of vertical farming negates most of these factors, earthquakes and tornadoes still pose threats to the proposed infrastructure, although this again depends on the location and construction of the vertical farms.

Conservation of Resources – It is estimated that each unit of area in a vertical farm could allow up to 20 units of area of outdoor farmland to return to its natural state. Vertical farming would reduce the need for new farmland due to overpopulation, thus saving many natural resources currently threatened by deforestation or pollution. Deforestation and desertification caused by agricultural encroachment on natural biomes would be avoided. Because vertical farming lets crops be grown closer to consumers, it would substantially reduce the amount of fossil fuels currently used to transport and refrigerate farm produce. Producing food indoors reduces or eliminates conventional plowing, planting, and harvesting by farm machinery, also powered by fossil fuels. Burning less fossil fuel would reduce air pollution and the carbon dioxide emissions that cause climate change, as well as create healthier environments for humans and animals alike.

Organic Crops – The controlled growing environment reduces the need for pesticides, primarily herbicides and fungicides. Advocates claim that producing organic crops in vertical farms is practical and the most likely production and marketing strategy.

Reversing Mass Extinction – Withdrawing human activity from large areas of the Earth’s land surface may be necessary to slow and eventually reverse the current anthropogenic mass extinction of land animals.

Traditional agriculture is highly disruptive to wild animal populations that live in and around farmland and many argue that it becomes unethical when there is a viable alternative. A study, referenced by the Third Congress of the European Society for Agricultural and Food Ethics, depicted that wood mouse populations dropped from 25 per hectare to 5 per hectare after harvest, estimating 10 animals are killed per hectare each year with conventional farming. In comparison, vertical farming would cause very little harm to wildlife.

Human Health Hazards – Traditional farming is a hazardous occupation with particular risks that often take their toll on the health of human laborers. Such risks regularly include exposure to infectious diseases such as malaria and schistosomes, exposure to toxic chemicals commonly used as pesticides and fungicides, confrontations with dangerous wildlife such as poisonous snakes, and the severe injuries that can occur when using large industrial farming equipment. Whereas the traditional farming environment inevitably contains these risks (particularly in the farming practice known as “slash and burn”), vertical farming, due to a controlled and predictable environment, reduces some of these dangers. Additionally, the current American food system produces fast, unhealthy food inexpensively, while fresh produce is less available and more expensive, encouraging poor eating habits. These poor eating habits lead to health problems such as obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.

Urban Growth – Vertical farming, used in conjunction with other technologies and socioeconomic practices, could allow cities to expand while remaining largely self-sufficient food wise. This would allow for large urban centers that could grow without destroying considerably larger areas of forest to provide food for their people. Moreover, the industry of vertical farming will provide employment to these expanding urban centers. This may help displace the unemployment created by the dismantling of traditional farms, as more farm laborers move to cities in search of work. Regardless of the efficiency of vertical farming, it is highly unlikely that traditional farms will become obsolete, as there are many crops that are not suited for vertical farming, and production costs are inherently much lower.

Energy Production – A case study entitled “Landfill Power Generation” by H. Scott Matthews projected that vertical farms could utilize methane digesters to generate a small portion of its own electrical needs. Methane digesters could be built on site to transform the organic waste generated at the farm into biogas, which is generally composed of 65% methane along with other gasses. This biogas could then be burned to generate electricity for the greenhouse.

To learn more about sustainable development and vertical farms, John Cornacchia invites you to visit Globacorp Developments International at www.globacorp.com.

Vertical farming relies on the use of various physical methods to become effective. Combining these technologies and devices in an integrated whole is necessary to make Vertical Farming a reality. Various methods are proposed and under research. The most common technologies suggested are greenhouses, aeroponics, hydroponics, aquaponics, composting, grow lighting systems, phytoremediation, and vertical construction.

Since Despommier argues that the technology to construct vertical farms currently exists, he concludes that the system can be profitable and effective. Numerous developers and local governments in various cities have expressed serious interest in establishing a vertical farm. Some of the first cities on-board are Incheon (South Korea), Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates), Dubai (United Arab Emirates), Dongtan (China), Shanghai (China), Beijing (China), New York City (United States), Portland (United States), Los Angeles (United States), Las Vegas (United States), Seattle (United States), Surrey (Canada), Toronto (Canada), Paris (France), and Bangalore (India). In addition, the Illinois Institute of Technology is now establishing a detailed plan for Chicago.

It is suggested that prototype versions of vertical farms should be created first, possibly at large universities interested in the research of vertical farms, in order to prevent failures such as the Biosphere 2 project in Oracle, Arizona.

In 2010, the Green Zionist Alliance proposed a resolution at the 36th World Zionist Congress calling on Keren Kayemet L’Yisrael (Jewish National Fund in Israel) to develop vertical farms in Israel.

The concept of vertical farming is not without great criticism. Opponents question the potential profitability of vertical farming. A detailed cost analysis of start-up costs, operation costs, and revenue has not been completed. Researcher Michael Bomford of Kentucky State University stated that the additional cost of lighting, heating, and powering the vertical farm may negate any of the cost benefits received by the decrease in transportation expenses. The economic and environmental benefits of vertical farming rest partly on the concept of minimizing food miles, the distance that food travels from farm to consumer. However, a recent analysis suggests that transportation is only a minor contributor to the economic and environmental costs of supplying food to urban populations. The author of the report, University of Toronto professor Pierre Desrochers, concluded, “food miles are, at best, a marketing fad”.

Similarly, if the power needs of the vertical farm are met by fossil fuels, the environmental effect may be a net loss. Even building low-carbon capacity to power the farms may not make as much sense as simply leaving the traditional farms in place, and burning less coal.

During the growing season, the sun shines on a vertical surface at an extreme angle such that much less light is available to crops than when they are planted on flat land. Therefore, supplemental light would be required in order to obtain economically viable yields. Bruce Bugbee, a crop physiologist at Utah State University, believes that the power demands of vertical farming will be too expensive and uncompetitive with traditional farms using only free natural light. The scientist and anti-global warming activist George Monbiot calculated that the cost of providing enough supplementary light to grow the grain for a single loaf would be almost US$10.

Since the vertical farm proposes a controlled environment, heating and cooling costs will be at least as costly as any other tower. But there also remains the issue of complicated, if not more expensive, plumbing and elevator systems to distribute food and water throughout. Even throughout the northern continental United States, while heating with relatively cheap fossil fuels, the annual heating cost can be over US$200,000 per hectare.

Regular greenhouse produce is known to create more greenhouse gases than field produce, largely due to higher energy use per kilogram of produce. With vertical farms requiring much greater energy per kilogram of produce over regular greenhouses, mainly through increased lighting, the amount of pollution created will be much higher than that from field produce.

As plants acquire nearly all their carbon from the atmosphere, greenhouse growers commonly supplement CO2 levels to 3-4 times the rate normally found in the atmosphere. This increase in CO2 which has been shown to increase photosynthesis rates by 50%, contributes to the higher yields expected in vertical farming. It is not uncommon to find greenhouses burning fossil fuels purely for this purpose, as other CO2 sources, such as furnaces, contain pollutants such as sulphur dioxide and ethylene which significantly damage plants. This means a vertical farm will require a CO2 source, most likely from combustion, even if the rest of the farm is powered by ‘green’ energy. Also, through necessary ventilation, much CO2 will be leaked into the city’s atmosphere.

Greenhouse growers commonly exploit photoperiodism in plants to control whether the plants are in a vegetative or reproductive stage. As part of this control, growers will have the lights on past sunset and before sunrise or periodically throughout the night. Since existing single story greenhouses already pose a nuisance to neighbours because of light pollution, surely a 30 story vertical farm in a densely populated area will face problems because of its light pollution.

Hydroponics greenhouses regularly change the water, meaning there is a large quantity of water containing fertilizers and pesticides that must be disposed of. While solutions are currently being worked on, the most common method of simply spreading the mixture over a sufficient area of neighbouring farmland or wetlands would be more difficult for an urban vertical farm.

Lastly, the increased initial building costs are expected to be much greater than that of a regular commercial or residential vertical structure, although sufficient is not available for analysis until a vertical farm has been designed and engineered in final state.

Regardless of the diverse opinions and theories, vertical farming undoubtedly relies on the use of various physical methods and sustainable processes to become effective. Combining these varying technologies, devices, and sustainable processes in an integrated whole is necessary to make Vertical Farming a reality.

To learn more about sustainable development and vertical farms, John Cornacchia invites you to visit Globacorp Developments International at www.globacorp.com.

John Cornacchia invites you to read some of his other related articles, such as:

What is Sustainable Development?

Sustainable Development Visions and Visionaries

Facilitating Sustainable Development in the Developing World

What is a Green Roof and What are the Benefits?

Impervious Surfaces… Paving Our Paradise

Our Need and Obligation to Reduce Impervious Cover

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What is a Green Roof and What are the Benefits?… By John Cornacchia

John Cornacchia at Globacorp Developments International writes:

A green roof system is an extension of the existing roof which involves a high quality water proofing and root repellant system, a drainage system, filter cloth, a lightweight growing medium, and grasses / plants.

Green roof systems may be modular, with drainage layers, filter cloth, growing medium, and plants already prepared in movable interlocking grids, or each component of the system may be installed separately on site. Green roof development involves the creation of “contained” green space on top of a man-made structure. This green space could be below, at, or above grade, but in each instance the plants are not planted in the site ground. Green roofs can provide a wide range of public and private benefits.

Principal Green Roof Components

Globacorp - Green Roof Components

Globacorp - Basic Green Roof

In North America, the benefits of green roof technologies are poorly understood and the market remains immature, despite the efforts of numerous industry leaders. In Europe however, these technologies have become very well established, primarily because of government legislative and financial support, at both the state and municipal level. Such support recognizes the many tangible and intangible public benefits of green roofs. This support has led to the creation of a vibrant, multi-million dollar market for green roof products and services in Germany, France, Austria, and Switzerland among others. In Germany for instance, the industry made 700 million DM in sales in 1997, up from 500 million DM in sales in 1994. The industry continues to experience growth with with 13.5 million square metres of green roofs constructed in 2001, up from 9 million square metres built in 1994.

Green roof technologies not only provide the owners of buildings with a proven return on investment, but also represent opportunities for significant social, economic, and environmental benefits, particularly in cities. Green roofs offer many public, private, and design-based benefits.

To learn more about green roofs and sustainable development, John Cornacchia invites you to visit Globacorp Developments International at www.globacorp.com.

Public Benefits:

Aesthetic Improvement

  • Urban greening has long been promoted as an easy and effective strategy for beautifying the built environment and increasing investment opportunity.

Waste Diversion

  • Green roofs can contribute to landfill diversion by: a) Prolonging the life of waterproofing membranes and reducing associated waste; b) The use of recycled materials in the growing medium; and c) Prolonging the service life of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems through decreased use.

Stormwater Management

  • With green roofs, water is stored by the substrate and then absorbed by the plants, where it is returned to the atmosphere through transpiration and evaporation.
  • In summer, depending on the plants and depth of growing medium, green roofs retain 70-90% of the precipitation that falls on them. In winter they retain between 25-40%. For example, a grass roof with a 4-20 cm (1.6 – 7.9 inches) layer of growing medium can hold 10-15 cm (3.9 – 5.9 inches) of water.
  • Green roofs not only retain rainwater, but also moderate the temperature of the water and act as natural filters for any of the water that happens to run off.
  • Green roofs reduce the amount of stormwater runoff and also delay the time at which runoff occurs, resulting in decreased stress on sewer systems at peak flow periods.

Moderation of Urban Heat Island Effect

  • Through the daily dew and evaporation cycle, plants on vertical and horizontal surfaces are able to cool cities during hot summer months and reduce the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect. The light absorbed by vegetation would otherwise be converted into heat energy.
  • UHI is also mitigated by the covering some of the hottest surfaces in the urban environment – black rooftops.
  • Green roofs can also help reduce the distribution of dust and particulate matter throughout the city, as well as the production of smog. This can play a role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting urban areas to a future climate with warmer summers.

Improved Air Quality

  • The plants on green roofs can capture airborne pollutants and atmospheric deposition.
  • Grasses and plants effectively and naturally filter noxious gases.
  • The temperature moderating effects of green roofs can reduce demand on power plants, and potentially decrease the amount of CO2 and other polluting by-products being released into the air.

New Amenity Spaces

  • Green roofs help to reach the principles of smart growth and positively impact the urban environment by increasing amenity and green space and reducing community resistance to infill projects.
  • Green roofs can serve a number of functions and uses, including: a) Community gardens (e.g. local food production or co-ops); b) Commercial space (e.g. display areas and restaurant terraces); and c) Recreational space (e.g. lawn bowling and children’s playgrounds).

Local Job Creation

  • The growth of green roof and wall market provides new job opportunities related to manufacturing, plant growth, design, installation, and maintenance.
  • American Rivers suggests that a USD $10B investment could create 190,000 jobs by building 48.5 billion-square-feet of green roof area, or just one percent of the roof space in every United States community with a population greater than 50,000.
  • There is significant potential for new growth in dense urban areas that were previously unusable.

To learn more about green roofs and sustainable development, John Cornacchia invites you to visit Globacorp Developments International at www.globacorp.com.

Private Benefits:

Energy Efficiency

  • The greater insulation offered by green roofs can reduce the amount of energy needed to moderate the temperature of a building, as roofs are the origin of the greatest heat loss in the winter and the hottest temperatures in the summer.
  • Research published by the National Research Council of Canada found that an extensive green roof reduced the daily energy demand for air conditioning in the summer by over 75% (Liu 2003).

Increased Roofing Membrane Durability

  • The presence of a green roof decreases the exposure of waterproofing membranes to large temperature fluctuations which typically cause micro-tearing and ultraviolet radiation.

Fire Retardation

  • Green roofs have a much lower burning heat load (the heat generated when a substance burns) than do conventional roofs (Köehler 2004).

Reduction of Electromagnetic Radiation

  • The risk posed by electromagnetic radiation (from wireless devices and mobile communication) to human health is still a question for debate. Nevertheless, green roofs are capable of reducing electromagnetic radiation penetration by 99.4% (Herman 2003).

Noise Reduction

  • Green roofs have excellent noise attenuation, especially for low frequency sounds. An extensive green roof can reduce sound from outside sources by 40 decibels, while an intensive green roof can reduce sound by 46-50 decibels (Peck et al. 1999).

Marketing

  • Green roofs can increase a building’s marketability. They are an easily identifiable symbol of the green building movement and can act as an incentive to those interested in the multiple benefits offered by green roofs.
  • Green roofs, as part of the green building movement, have been identified as facilitating (Wilson 2005): a) Sales; b) Leasing, especially to responsible tenants; c) Increased property value due to increased efficiency; d) Easier employee recruiting; and f) Lower employee and tenant turnover.

To learn more about green roofs and sustainable development, John Cornacchia invites you to visit Globacorp Developments International at www.globacorp.com.

Design-Specific Benefits:

Increased Biodiversity

  • Green roofs can sustain a variety of plants and invertebrates, while providing a habitat for various bird species. By acting as a stepping stone habitat for migrating species they can link species together that would otherwise be fragmented.
  • Increasing biodiversity can positively affect three realms: a) Ecosystem – Diverse ecosystems are better able to maintain high levels of productivity during periods of environmental variation than those with fewer species; b) Economic – Stabilized ecosystems ensure the delivery of ecological goods (e.g. food, construction materials, and medicinal plants) and services (e.g. maintain hydrological cycles, cleanse water and air, and store and cycle nutrients); and c) Social – Visual and environmental diversity can have positive impacts on community and psychological well-being.

Improved Health and Well-Being

  • The reduced pollution and increased water quality that green roofs bring can decrease demands on the health care system.
  • Green roofs can serve as community hubs, increasing social cohesion, sense of community, and public safety.

Urban Agriculture

  • Using green roofs as the site for an urban agriculture project can reduce a community’s urban footprint through the creation of a local food system.
  • These projects can serve as a source of community empowerment, provide increased feelings of self-reliance, and improve levels of nutrition.

Educational Opportunities

  • Green roofs on educational facilities can provide an easily accessible location to teach students and visitors about biology, green roof technology, and the benefits of green roofs.

To learn more about green roofs and sustainable development, John Cornacchia invites you to visit Globacorp Developments International at www.globacorp.com.

John Cornacchia invites you to read some of his other related articles, such as:

What is Sustainable Development?

Sustainable Development Visions and Visionaries

Facilitating Sustainable Development in the Developing World

Feeding the Growing World Population Utilizing Vertical Farming

Impervious Surfaces… Paving Our Paradise

Our Need and Obligation to Reduce Impervious Cover

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Our Need and Obligation to Reduce Impervious Cover By John Cornacchia

John Cornacchia at Globacorp Developments International writes:

Impervious cover

Aquifer Diagram

Impervious cover, also known as impervious surface, refers to any surface that water cannot easily penetrate. Ranging from roads, parking lots, driveways, patios, walkways, curbing, building rooftops, public buildings, and commercial structures, impervious cover prevents moisture, rain, and snow from soaking into the earth’s surface, thereby generating harmful stormwater runoff. Stormwater runoff carries organic matter, fertilizers, pesticides, grease, oil, and other contaminants into our ponds and streams, and more importantly, our precious aquifers.

In addition to changing the quality of the water running into our water bodies, impervious cover changes the quantity of runoff, essentially eroding and changing the physical structure of existing streams. Since water runs more rapidly off of an impervious area, flooding becomes both more common and more intense downstream. Meanwhile, because less water is soaking into the ground, water tables can drop and eventually streams and wells fed by groundwater begin to dry up.

All of these effects can be observed in developing areas of the world, even if there is enough open land remaining to absorb the extra runoff and dilute the pollutant load so that impacts are minimized. However at some point, the balance is tipped and permanent damage to water quality and habitat can occur. The direct cause of the damage depends on the nature of the runoff and the particular topography, soils and vegetation on a site. For example, when the native trout vanish from a stream, it is often very difficult to determine the exact cause. Is fertilizer in the runoff creating algal blooms that deplete the oxygen in the water? Are flash floods spoiling spawning gravel beds? Are water temperatures rising? Or is it some combination of factors? As scientists worked to understand these processes, it became clear that in most cases there is a direct correlation between the degree of water impairment and the overall amount of impervious cover in the watershed. While it is difficult to predict which factor will impact any particular situation, certainly as impervious cover rises above 10% there is almost always a measurable loss in water quality. Impervious cover between 10% and 25% dramatically increases these impacts, and both pollution and flooding are visibly evident. Above 25% impervious cover, water quality impacts can be so severe that it may not be possible to restore water quality to pre-existing conditions.

To learn about impervious cover and sustainable development, John Cornacchia invites you to visit Globacorp Developments International at www.globacorp.com.

For communities interested in protecting water quality, natural ecosystems, and the prevention of flooding, it is very difficult to measure, let alone manage, the multitude of separate factors that can potentially impact various watersheds. However, because of the well-documented correlation between impervious cover and stream health, there is an opportunity to use impervious cover as a surrogate for both measuring and managing water quality and watershed health. By maintaining overall impervious cover to below 10%, communities can ensure that the land will be capable of absorbing and filtering runoff from developed areas and preventing excessive flooding, ecosystem impairment and contamination of water supplies.

It is important to understand that approximately 75% of the streams that feed our water bodies with clean water are small headwater streams that are often small enough to be straddled by a child. These streams are extremely sensitive to land use changes and are therefore very susceptible to contamination. If the level of impervious cover rises excessively in these areas, irreversible damage can occur to drinking water quality, to groundwater supplying private wells, our precious aquifers, and to aquatic wildlife habitat. As communities continue to develop, there will be increasing pressure to replace natural areas with additional impervious cover. Even when best management practices are widely used when attempting to mitigate the impacts of impervious cover, a threshold of impervious cover is eventually crossed, beyond which predevelopment water quality cannot be maintained.

Now more than ever is the critical time for all developers to evaluate the potential impacts of future development and associated impervious cover on the health of the world’s water bodies. It is important to note that it is not growth itself that is the problem, more it is the way that communities require growth to occur that is the issue. By continuing to adopt more innovative land use techniques and development standards, developers can guide growth away from sensitive areas to those sites that can better accommodate it. Furthermore, by reducing impervious cover utilizing improved site design and a range of sustainable construction practices, the health of the watershed can be protected and flooding minimized even as growth continues.

To learn about impervious cover and sustainable development, John Cornacchia invites you to visit Globacorp Developments International at www.globacorp.com.

We at Globacorp belief that our water bodies are critical to the survival of the planet and are genuinely doing our part to reduce the impact our communities and operations have on the environment. We are strategically planning and engineering our community developments to reduce the amount of impervious cover, thereby continually improving the quality of life for everyone, now and for generations to follow.

Our latest efforts, Paraiso Del Rio Grande Resort Community, with an impervious cover under 10%, will certainly be one of the most sustainable and green residential developments in the Americas, revitalising over 100 Hectares of previously slash-and-burn land located in Coclé, a central province of The Republic of Panama.

John Cornacchia invites you to read some of his other related articles, such as:

What is Sustainable Development?

Sustainable Development Visions and Visionaries

Facilitating Sustainable Development in the Developing World

Feeding the Growing World Population Utilizing Vertical Farming

What is a Green Roof and What are the Benefits?

Impervious Surfaces… Paving Our Paradise

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Impervious Surfaces… Paving Our Paradise By John Cornacchia

John Cornacchia at Globacorp Developments International writes:

The process of urbanization is a dramatic transformation of land from a natural, agricultural, or rural state, into a built environment of human habitat. In a rapidly urbanizing country such as the Republic of Panama, the combined impact of hundreds of independent development projects occurring over the course of a decade can have ecosystem-wide implications greater than the usual site-level impacts that are reasonably managed under local land use regulations. Characterizing, quantifying and modeling ecosystem-wide impacts of urbanization can prove extremely challenging to incorporate into land management policies. Nonetheless, over the past decade, impervious surface area has emerged as a single alternate indicator of the multiple environmental impacts associated with urbanization. Impervious surface area is relatively easy to measure and is highly correlated with a wide variety of environmental impacts imposed by urbanization.

Paving Paradise

Impervious surfaces such as parking lots, sidewalks, curbs, roads, and buildings all contribute to damaging stormwater runoff.

Impervious surfaces are possibly the most chronic and permanent structures created by the human species. According to research published in the June 15, 2004 issue of Eos, the American Geophysical Union newsletter, pavements and other impervious surfaces within the United States cover more than 111.5 billion square meters, an area nearly 1.5 times the size of the Republic of Panama. In addition, another 1 billion square meters are either paved or repaved, within the United States, every single year.

To learn about impervious cover and sustainable development, John Cornacchia invites you to visit Globacorp Developments International at www.globacorp.com.

An impervious surface is simply defined as a surface that cannot be penetrated by rainwater. A typical example of an impervious surface is asphalt paving, utilized for roads and parking lots throughout the world. Concrete curbs, walkways, pads and parking structures are also considered impervious surfaces. In addition, routine use of land by humans can also create impervious surfaces, such as dirt paths of highly compressed soil and mismanagement of farmlands and cattle pastures, resulting in poor compacted soil conditions. All of these surfaces have at least one thing in common; water runs off of them and not through them, thereby creating a multitude of environmental, health and financial issues.

Under normal conditions, rainwater is absorbed by the soil, where it naturally trickles down into groundwater supplies, recharging them on a continual basis. While the soil may become swollen and moist during a rainfall, flooding is relatively rare, because the natural environment is designed to absorb rainwater from even heavy storms. However, in areas covered by impervious surfaces, the ability to recharge the earth’s much needed groundwater system is being threatened by the reduction of rainwater infiltration into the aquifer. An aquifer is essentially deep groundwater that constantly flows beneath the Earth’s surface. Tapping into an underground aquifer, by drilling or digging a well, is one of the primary sources of freshwater worldwide. Therefore, threats and risks to aquifer resources directly impact billions of people.

Stormwater Catch Basin

Stormwater runoff and associated pollutants from paved surfaces are directed to local waterways through a system of curbs, gutters, and catch basins.

According to the nonprofit Center for Watershed Protection, approximately seventy-percent of the total impervious cover within the United States consists of roads, parking areas, and driveways. This particular type of impervious cover is referred to as “automotive habitats”. These automotive habitats collect particulate matter from the atmosphere, nitrogen oxides from vehicle exhaust, rubber particles from tires, debris from brake systems, phosphates from residential and agricultural fertilizers, and dozens of other pollutants. For example, on a typical paved parking lot, pollutants such as hydrocarbon buildup, bacterial contamination, metals from wearing brake linings, various lubricants, fuels, and spilled antifreeze, can be observed. On an open-graded aggregate (gravel) parking lot, much of the harmful pollutants would leach into the soil beneath the surface, and the community of microorganisms living within the soil would begin a steady breakdown process. Unfortunately, pollutants cannot penetrate an impervious surface, therefore the rapid flow of rainwater runoff from impervious surfaces means these harmful pollutants end up in our precious creeks, rivers, lakes, and oceans, killing marine life and making water unfit for consumption or recreation.

To learn about impervious cover and sustainable development, John Cornacchia invites you to visit Globacorp Developments International at www.globacorp.com.

Stormwater Discharge Pipe

A system of pipes and outfalls discharge the stormwater runoff and pollutants collected into streams and rivers.

Impervious surfaces are negatively impacting these precious bodies of water in a multitude of other ways. Velocity of runoff is a primary example, wherein the rainwater runs off of the impervious surface so rapidly, that it creates micro-tsunamis that can cause serious, even irreversible harm to the water ecosystem.

In addition, flooding can easily occur when rainwater falls over a developed area. If the rainwater has nowhere to go, water levels can rise radically, even after a small rainstorm. Since runoff from one hectare of impervious surface area is approximately 20 times greater than the runoff from a one hectare of grass area, impervious surfaces can quickly trigger devastating floods that can produce a host of their own environmental health hazards. In urban areas, approximately forty-percent of the rainwater runs directly into the closest body of water in the area, and in heavily urbanized areas it can be more than fifty-percent. By comparison, the amount of rainwater runoff in moderate woodlands is typically less than five-percent.

Furthermore, all impervious surfaces collect and emit heat, making the surrounding environment much hotter. Impervious surfaces also inhibit the growth of trees and plants, which contributes further to the development of heat by eliminating shade, while also reducing air quality, as trees and plants normally act like giant scrubbers to remove impurities from the atmosphere.

Stream Bank Erosion

Downstream impacts of this runoff include severe stream bank erosion, loss of stream habitat, and water quality problems, among others.

The destructive conditions associated with impervious materials are often compared to those found in a desert and many environmental agencies have advocated for changes in building policies to address these harmful issues. For example, permeable and semi-permeable paving can be used to allow water to return to the Earth more naturally, or floodwaters can be collected in tanks and dispersed in a controlled manner. Such measures would benefit the environment considerably in addition to helping make communities safer by reducing flooding, irreparable ground erosion, and preventing harmful pollutants from entering the valuable water sources that replenish the earth’s underground aquifer.

I believe there is great potential for impervious surface regulation to be utilized more directly in the land management process as a powerful planning tool for achieving ecosystem-wide management goals and objectives. Furthermore, impervious surface-based land management can be a direct mechanism for achieving the global smart-growth goals.

The real possibility exists for the Republic of Panama to be a test bed for developing a system of land management, based on impervious surface cap and integrated with smart-growth metrics.

To learn about impervious cover and sustainable development, John Cornacchia invites you to visit Globacorp Developments International at www.globacorp.com.

By implementing a stringent impervious surface reduction plan, we at Globacorp are genuinely doing our part to reduce the impact our communities and operations have on the environment. Through strategic planning and engineering, our community developments will improve the quality of life for everyone, now and for generations to follow.

Our latest efforts, Paraiso Del Rio Grande Resort Community, will certainly be one of the most sustainable and green residential developments in the Americas, revitalising over 100 Hectares of previously slash-and-burn land located in Coclé, a central province of The Republic of Panama.

John Cornacchia invites you to read some of his other related articles, such as:

What is Sustainable Development?

Sustainable Development Visions and Visionaries

Facilitating Sustainable Development in the Developing World

Feeding the Growing World Population Utilizing Vertical Farming

What is a Green Roof and What are the Benefits?

Our Need and Obligation to Reduce Impervious Cover

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Sustainable Development Visions and Visionaries By John Cornacchia

John Cornacchia at Globacorp Developments International writes:

Similar to most creatively new ideas, nearly all sustainable real estate development begins with inspiration or a vision. This is not necessarily a vision of what the finished development will look like, but rather what it will be, the overall relationship to the environment, the interaction with the community, the impact it will have on the world, and the general qualities and features it will possess.

The vision is the first occurrence or idea that inspires and excites a developer, an architect, a corporation, or a community. I believe this is best summarised by Christopher Alexander, the author of – A new Theory of Urban Design, wherein he wrote, “Every project must first be experienced, and then expressed, as a vision which can be seen in the inner eye (literally). It must have this quality so strongly that it can also be communicated to others, and felt by others as a vision”.

To learn more about sustainable developmentJohn Cornacchia invites you to visit Globacorp Developments International at www.globacorp.com.

Without question, the vision comes before any planning or design, and it is out of this vision that the project evolves. The vision should also extend throughout the development project and be adequately communicated to the entire development team, and even to the ultimate occupants, whether permanent or part-time residents, resort vacationers, commercial tenants, or infrequent visitors. In a sense, the vision becomes the filter through which planning and design decisions flow throughout the development process.

Commonly, I find that it is a place or certain piece of property that ignites my creativity and inspires the vision. A comprehensible, although general, picture quickly begins to develop within me, with many blurred details being addressed as more thought is given to the overall planning and design. For myself, the process is an invigorating sensation and provides the motivating force to further develop and refine the vision.

Certainly, the vision does not end when the planning and design phase of the project is complete. It is particularly important to ensure that the vision remains intact and flourishes throughout the entire development process. This requires continued involvement by the visionary. It is the visionary that drives the project, ensuring that key elements are not lost in design or construction phases. In fact, the visionary becomes the ‘Vision Keeper’ and continues to instill the vision within the entire project team.

If the visionary, be it developer, architect, or other stakeholder, does not have adequate control over project implementation, they may not be able to fulfill their vision. While many aspects of the vision may survive, some could be lost on constructors who do not understand or share the vision and do not feel obliged to honour it. A true ‘Vision Keeper’ is relentless in adhering to the vision, displaying political ability in protecting design features key to the development project and establishing a cohesive and dedicated project team by emphasising education and communication.

Both, education and communication equally play important roles in the ‘Vision Keeper’ concept. Green development projects are very different from conventional development projects in a multitude of ways that are unfamiliar to most planners, architects, engineers, interior designers, contractors, and labourers. To create a successful sustainable development project, the entire development team must understand and adopt the vision. This should involve roundtable discussions and conferences with the team, suggested reading materials, even educational sessions and lectures by outside experts.

To learn more about sustainable development, John Cornacchia invites you to visit Globacorp Developments International at www.globacorp.com.

We at Globacorp believe it is the effort and commitment of every person within the project team that ensures the vision, as seen through the eyes of the visionary, is ultimately realized.

Our latest company efforts, Paraiso Del Rio Grande Resort Community, is certainly one of my most ambitious visions, which continues to evolve, and is destined to become the leading sustainable and green residential development project in the Americas, revitalising over 100 Hectares of previously slash-and-burn land located in Coclé, a central province of The Republic of Panama.

John Cornacchia invites you to read some of his other related articles, such as:

What is Sustainable Development?

Facilitating Sustainable Development in the Developing World

Feeding the Growing World Population Utilizing Vertical Farming

What is a Green Roof and What are the Benefits?

Impervious Surfaces… Paving Our Paradise

Our Need and Obligation to Reduce Impervious Cover

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Facilitating Sustainable Development in the Developing World [Paper] By John Cornacchia

John Cornacchia at Globacorp Developments International writes:

I encourage you to read this clear and concise paper which emphasises that a meaningful concept of sustainable development necessarily must be holistic in nature as the economic, environmental and social aspects of human behaviour and quality of life are closely linked.

Therefore, sustainable development essentially involves inclusive growth that is also environmentally sustainable. The subject paper critically reviews the literature on sustainable development concepts that explicitly recognise this important linkage and uses this review as well as the recent development experience of India and China to develop an operational definition and indicators of sustainable development.

The paper, authored by Pradeep S. Mehta, entitled “Facilitating Sustainable Development in the Developing World: Ensuring that economic growth is inclusive and environmentally sustainable”, is available online here.

To learn more about sustainable development, John Cornacchia invites you to visit Globacorp Developments International at www.globacorp.com.

We at Globacorp share in the environmental concerns and responsibilities of the world and are genuinely doing our part to reduce the impact our communities and operations have on the environment. We are strategically planning and engineering our community developments to continually improve the quality of life for everyone, now and for generations to follow.

Our latest efforts, Paraiso Del Rio Grande Resort Community, will certainly be one of the most sustainable and green residential developments in the Americas, revitalising over 100 Hectares of previously slash-and-burn land located in Coclé, a central province of The Republic of Panama.

John Cornacchia invites you to read some of his other related articles, such as:

What is Sustainable Development?

Sustainable Development Visions and Visionaries

Feeding the Growing World Population Utilizing Vertical Farming

What is a Green Roof and What are the Benefits?

Impervious Surfaces… Paving Our Paradise

Our Need and Obligation to Reduce Impervious Cover

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What Is Sustainable Development?… By John Cornacchia

John Cornacchia at Globacorp Developments International writes:

Do those living today owe anything to the future? If answered, “Yes”, then we must now determine what and how much we owe future generations, since continuing our present course unabated too far into the twenty-first century, will inevitably destroy many options for generations that follow.

In times past, the survivors of dying communities could simply move themselves to less populated, more fertile areas. Today however, there are no such places left to move to.

Unquestionably, communities face enormous challenges as their social, economic, and environmental resources are damaged or depleted. Since these elements of communities are interconnected, there are no straightforward answers. In addition, whatever issues we find ourselves facing, be it disease, human disorder, family breakdown, child abuse, crime, injustice, armed conflict, weakened economies, poverty, lack of quality jobs, extinction of species, forest destruction, pollution, energy shortages, or nuclear power, there are common elements and interrelated steps that provide solutions to these seemingly diverse problems.

To learn more about sustainable developmentJohn Cornacchia invites you to visit Globacorp Developments International at www.globacorp.com.

The interdependencies of the economic, environmental, and social justice elements of our world require varied and innovative thought, taking action that will truly create a future where human society and nature coexist with mutual benefit, and where the suffering caused by poverty and natural resource abuse is eliminated.

Sustainable development calls for improving the quality of life for all people of the world without increasing the use of our natural resources beyond the earth’s enduring capacity. While sustainable development may require different actions in various regions of the world, the efforts to build a truly sustainable way of life require the integration of action in three key areas: Economic Growth and Equity – Today’s interlinked, global economic systems demand an integrated approach in order to foster responsible long-term growth while ensuring that no nation or community is left behind; Conserving Natural Resources and the Environment – To conserve our environmental heritage and natural resources for future generations, economically viable solutions must be developed to reduce resource consumption, effectively manage pollution and conserve natural habitats; Social Development – Throughout the world, people require jobs, food, education, energy, health care, water and sanitation. While addressing these vital needs, the world community must also ensure that the rich fabric of cultural and social diversity, including the rights of workers, are respected, and that all members of society are empowered to play a role in determining their futures.

The World Summit on Sustainable Development depicted in their 2002 brochure, that sustainable development is the parallel consideration of healthy environments, life, and human well-being. This includes issues of population, climate, economic prosperity, energy, natural resource use, waste management, biodiversity, watershed protection, technology, agriculture, safe water supplies, international security, politics, green building, sustainable cities, smart development, community and family relations, human values, along with many others. All these “pieces” are parts of the sustainable society puzzle, because they are the basic ingredients of everyday life.

To learn more about sustainable developmentJohn Cornacchia invites you to visit Globacorp Developments International at www.globacorp.com.

Sustainable development represents a process in which economics, finance, trade, energy, agriculture, industry, and all other policies are implemented in a way to bring about development that is economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable. Thus, the goal of sustainable development is to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs, thereby maintaining the balance of the “Sustainability Tripod”.

In practicing sustainable development over the long-term one shall: a) not diminish the quality of the present environment; b) not critically reduce the availability of renewable resources; c) take into consideration the value of non-renewable resources to future generations; and d) not compromise the ability of other species or future generations to meet their needs.

According to the World Business Council on Sustainable Development, one of the definitions of sustainability that appears to have more resonance with the general public than all others is: Sustainable development is about ensuring a better quality of life for everyone, now and for generations to follow. This focus on improving quality of life is becoming more widely accepted by governments, companies, and civil society organizations. It makes the sustainability concept more aspirational and changes the emphasis of the sustainable development debate towards solutions rather than problems.

David Suzuki, a well recognised Canadian science broadcaster and environmental activist, believes that our resources are limited. Our little planet can only provide so many goods and absorb so much of our waste. Given these constraints, our current economy, which is predicated on relentless growth, is unsustainable. Something has to give.

To learn more about sustainable developmentJohn Cornacchia invites you to visit Globacorp Developments International at www.globacorp.com.

We at Globacorp share the same beliefs and concerns and are genuinely doing our part to reduce the impact our communities and operations have on the environment. We are strategically planning and engineering our community developments to continually improve the quality of life for everyone, now and for generations to follow.

Our latest efforts, Paraiso Del Rio Grande Resort Community, will certainly be one of the most sustainable and green residential developments in the Americas, revitalising over 100 Hectares of previously slash-and-burn land located in Coclé, a central province of The Republic of Panama.

John Cornacchia invites you to read some of his other related articles, such as:

Sustainable Development Visions and Visionaries

Facilitating Sustainable Development in the Developing World

Feeding the Growing World Population Utilizing Vertical Farming

What is a Green Roof and What are the Benefits?

Impervious Surfaces… Paving Our Paradise

Our Need and Obligation to Reduce Impervious Cover

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Almost As Complicated, Or Not? By John Cornacchia

John Cornacchia at Globacorp Developments International writes:

Help me out here… A friend and fellow watch enthusiast shared this advertisement with me the other day.

almost-as-complicated-iwc-john-cornacchia

As I sat and mused over it for several seconds, it produced a pleasant smile on my face. It was a smile of understanding and appreciation, not only for the complicated nature of fine timepieces, but for the comparison to the intricacies and complicated nature of women [at least as some of us men would see it]. I will admit that the “Except it’s on time” part of the advertisement made me chuckle slightly [maybe slightly is an understatement], even though it could equally apply to men and women.

Now let’s fast forward to later that afternoon when I shared this bit of humour with a female friend of mine. She smirked ever so slightly [maybe slightly is an overstatement], but there was certainly no chuckle or shared amusement. In fact, I believe she pondered for approximately 33 milliseconds before protesting “How sexist… Men are the ones who are complicated and always late”. Needless to say, we had a very interesting conversation that afternoon.

When I arrived home later that evening, I decided to subject myself to more protest [and interesting conversation] by sharing the advertisement with my lovely wife. She smiled and chuckled [Yes… Smiled and Chuckled] before stating “You know it… Don’t try to figure us out”. She must have had one of those days at work when her team [mostly comprised of women] were acting squirrelly [Yes… I said squirrelly]. My wife understands my plight with her [most of the time] and I love her for it.

So here’s my question… Do you think this advertisement is sexist or inappropriate?

Author Note:

The main focus of this forum is to share views and comments relating to sustainable development and the environment. To learn more about sustainable development and how it relates to our global communities, John Cornacchia invites you to visit Globacorp Developments International at www.globacorp.com.

John Cornacchia invites you to read his other articles, such as:

What is Sustainable Development?

Sustainable Development Visions and Visionaries

Facilitating Sustainable Development in the Developing World

What is a Green Roof and What are the Benefits?

Impervious Surfaces… Paving Our Paradise

Our Need and Obligation to Reduce Impervious Cover

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