Metropolitan Ecology:
Rebuilding American Cities
1173. Urban Affairs (2 credits)


This course examines urban systems-- the human and natural infrastructures that keep billions alive. We'll explore the bold, practical programs that will make cities prosper during global warming, peak oil, peak soil, population growth and water shortage. Particular emphasis on Philadelphia and Los Angeles.

Instructor is Paul Glover, founder of Citizen Planners of Los Angeles, Ithaca HOURS local currency, Philly Orchard Project, author of Health Democracy, Hometown Money, and Los Angeles: A History of the Future.

Class meets in Anderson 102 for eight THURSDAYS, 3:30-6:00pm, starting FEBRUARY 18, 2010.

I'll be available the hour before class, by prior arrangement, to speak with individuals or small groups.

Absences: Please notify me as far as possible in advance of any expected absence from class. Unless you contact me at least 24 hours in advance of class or have a last-minute emergency, no written work will be accepted late. If you miss a class you must makeup the absence with additional writing assignments.

Any student who has a need for accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact me privately to discuss the specific situation as soon as possible.

Freedom to teach and freedom to learn are inseparable facets of academic freedom. The University's policy on Student and Faculty Academic Rights and Responsibilities (Policy # 03.70.02) states: "Students should be free to take reasoned exception to the information or views offered in any course of study and to reserve judgement about matters of opinion."

READINGS: Most readings will linked be from the website. Those sites required are marked with an asterisk *
Though most are suggested readings, the more you read the greater insight you'll develop, and better grade you'll get.
----You will not be tested on the full range of facts presented. Were this course about science or plumbing we'd measure precisely. But this course is about the future, for which standards are being created in classes like this and by civic action.
----Please instead read to catch the basic message of the sites. Scan for INTEREST-- make note of whatever is especially SURPRISING or USEFUL to you. These will be the pieces of the urban puzzle you'll bring to our discussions.

Create one question based on your weekly readings to ask your classmates.

Recommend at least one additional website which you believe addresses the weekly theme better than those provided below. MetroEco will evolve with your help.

If you do not have easy access to the internet or printer please contact me immediately.

Books recommended (select a book for your book review) are at MetroEco Books. You're welcome to suggest a different title.


• MetroEco emphasizes solutions-- grassroots, entrepreneurial, personal and governmental.
• It offers a way of thinking about the future. First, that there will be a future. Second, that it will be good. Third, that every person plays an essential part.
• We begin by reviewing how modern cities function. This is our foundation for change.
• We’ll discuss urban problems and capabilities.
• We’ll survey programs and policies that address these, then discuss strategies for implementing vast change.
• Students will devise orderly transitions for neighborhoods and cities that use fractions of current oil and natural gas, prepared for unreliable climate.
We’ll consider how social change is enacted: organizing campaigns and responding to resistance.
• There are already many constructive initiatives in Philadelphia. Involvement is encouraged and credited.
• You’ll learn how to start organizations and get national/international media attention for your work.
• We will learn how to make a living while making better futures.


      40% short weekly essays: 300-600 words
      20% class discussion
      10% neighborhood design (see #6)
      15% book review (due by 3/25)
      15% cultural project (due 4/1)


   1. INTRO: Problems and Hinterlands 2/18/10
   2. How the City Functions: Fuel & Resource Flows 2/25/10
   3. Tools of the Future 3/4/10
   4. Money & Power 3/18/10
   5. New Jobs 3/25/10
   6. Bold Changes 4/1/10
   7. Your Values, Your Visions 4/8/10
   8. FutureFest 4/15/10

1. INTRO 2/18/10
       We begin by broadly discussing current urban problems, their effects on people and environment. We'll consider hinterlands and bioregions.

* World Clock
* BosWash: endless sprawl Wiki

seas rise 3 feet Associated Press 9/22/07
Climate Change Warning 1958 video
Bankers Against Climate Change
no ice in arctic by 2030

* Prepare for the Best: Philadelphia's Green Future

Lenape nation before Europeans
Phila firsts
Phila Photo Archives
Phila place names
Phila neighborhood names
* Phila: Workshop of the World
Fairmont Water Works
Phila 300 Years
The Buried Past (book)
PA Historical Society
PA history
* PA settlement diversity

* Los Angeles MAP
Navigate Los Angeles map
Phila topo relief map
Phila City Planning Commission
planning resources: regional & national
how much should Philadelphia's population grow?
Census of Phila 2000
10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania
West Phila data/maps
Phila maps
Phila Code
Encyclopedia of Chicago
Phila maps and geographic info
West Phila data
Fairmont Park
How Cities Work book
The World Without Us book

       America depends on cheap and abundant fuels for everything. The price and availability of fuels decide the price and availability of food, heating, cooling, travel, mobility, clothing, housing, water, hygiene, medicine, metals, housewares. Without cheap fuels, everything will change.

: short essay/response paper

PA Energy Profile
* Ithaca Power 1988

* North America night lights
PA generation by fuel
the grid
* generation Wiki
* transmission Wiki
* distribution Wiki
PJM grid
Pacific Intertie
U.S. wholesale grid
grid updating
PJM grid management
blackouts and deregulated markets
blackout 2003

Appalachian coal map
coal intro
Coal Slideshow
mountaintop removal youtube
mountaintop removal 2 youtube
mountaintop removal
waste coal
no more coal
* PA Coal Profile
PA Coal Stats
PA Coal Availability Reports

* U.S. gasoline price map
dependence for health care
U.S. refineries Phila Sunoco #7
* Phila depends on Nigerian oil
CA oil charts
* how refineries work
refinery news
Guimaras oil spill one of thousands * youtube
New York city toxic spills map
Barnet Highway oil pipeline rupture one of many * youtube
Walnut Creek petroleum pipeline explosion youtube
Peak Oil MSNBC
* End of Suburbia movie
Energy Crossroads movie
A Crude Awakening movie
Crude Impact movie
The Party's Over
* Exxon says plenty oil Youtube
* Exxon finds less oil Wall Street Journal
Pentagon use

* pipeline diagrams
slide show
* natgas Wiki
U.S. pipeline list
U.S. pipeline additions
Edison natural gas explosion 1994 youtube
Nevada LNG & propane explosion; ammonium perchlorate explosions youtube
----details of above Wiki
Houston gas pipeline explosion youtube
natgas & environment
pipelines to PA Wiki
Phila Gas Works facilities
Phila Gas Works proposed Liquid Natgas plant
California natgas pipelines
CA natural gas pipelines

* uranium fuel limits
* World's largest nuke shut down after quake Wiki
* nuke concerns L.A. Times editorial
CA nukes
PA nukes

Conowingo Dam

ethanol kills

* saline electric
* Phila underground
* color codes

       Cities are made of materials trucked, piped and flown from far and near. City people are fueled by food and water; our machines are fueled by combustion and water. The byproducts of this activity are either recycled or trashed. Maintaining these processes relies on the cost and availability of these materials. As these resources lose their productivity the city must rebuild to thrive on new forms.

* Air Pollution in Philadelphia
refineries risk disaster Phila Weekly
Phila air damaged by refineries
Phila refineries very profitable
power plant pollution

Phila Watershed Information
Phila Water Dept PWD
purification Wiki
* Phila Water Cycle PWD
Phila rainfall chart
Delaware River watershed
Delaware River watershed history
Delaware River reservoirs
Delaware reservoir storage NYC
Delaware River estuary stakeholders
Schuylkill River Action Network
Wissahickon Creek watershed Friends of the Wissahickon
Wissahickon Creek monitoring station
L.A. reaches for more water
* Delaware Riverkeepers nukes kill fish
Altered Oceans multimedia
medications in L.A. water

* Phila historic streams paved over
* Phila remaining visible streams
Phila groundwater
Phila well monitoring
Delaware basin water budget
Phila aquifer data
Geohydrology of SE PA

damages rural groundwater
* The Truth about Bottled Water Youtube
* bottled water scam
NYT editorial against
drink Phila tapwater

successful opposition

* Delaware River coliform map
* Phila watersheds & sewers
* Pharmaceuticals in drinking water
visiting the sewers
Phila sewer lore
from creek to sewer

Los Angeles sewer system
pharmaceutical pollution
sewage sludge spread on land
factory farming pollution
Poop Culture
sewage treatment Wiki
sewage treatment industry chemicals

* Shopping Is Voting food system cartoon
* Where Does Ithaca's Food Come From?
* Phila Against Hunger
ethanol raises food prices
ethanol raises food prices 2
ethanol raises food prices 3
Southeast PA Food System Issues
meat packing

woodburning to coalburning Youtube
China clearcuts Youtube
Chinese forest standards Youtube

* Phila geology
* Phila geology 2
Wissahickon bedrock
SE PA bedrock map p.15
Phila skyscraper bedrock
Germantown mineralogy
* PA minerals
Rittenhouse Square brickworks
PA bluestone Susquehanna
PA slate museum
Belgian block: Saratoga NY
Connecticut brownstone
Maryland building stone

* Cement (Wiki)
PA sand and gravel
History of Concrete

canal system of PA (historic)
PA rail system map
* Phila trolley history see maps

* northeast U.S. manufacturing core
* PA scorecard
Phila public health groups
Phila Pollution Index
* car fumes stunt child growth
toxic chemicals cross city by rail
The China Study
Planet Hazard
* HMO bureaucracy
Chlorine Manufacture
plastic bag plague
plastic bag facts

* uninsured wait for surgery

----CRA in Phila
Phila racist redlining
* Phila racist redlining map
Phila property values
* All for the Taking Phila
Phila skyline
Eastern Lofts
condo slump
NTI evicts poor
Phila Empowerment Zones
Homeless in Philadelphia
Land Reform
Phila architecture

Phila trash collection
mafia garbage hauling
Phila corrupt waste haulting
Philly Dumps on the Poor
Phila vs. NJ
Phila garbage haulers
* Khian Sea garbage scow
Waste Management International and USA Waste antitrust case
Waste Management Intl merges with USA Waste
* Waste Management Intl corruption
countering anti-recycling ideas
* construction waste management
hazardous waste disposal

* dependence on computer (cartoon)
National media ownership map
* U.S. media consolidation
PIRG against PA media consolidation

Nutter's econ dev plan Youtube
* Phila Poor Kept Poor
* power structure research
* U.S. jobs less vacation
Phila Chamber of Commerce
Reform Ballot
Phila Assn of CDCs
Phila Board of Revision of Taxes lot ownership
student debt


       As usual, the future will be different. Everything normal today was once a wild idea. We'll look at the latest wild ideas that will make America's future fun, and invent some of our own. No matter how huge the world's crises, there will be no change without alternatives. And there will be no alternatives unless we risk change.

* New Dream
* Going Green Wall Street Journal
* EcoSpace Conscious Community
Chicago green action
consumer restraint
GreenPeople directory of green goods and services
energy efficiency: household
Temple Green Guide

* Bamboo: hundreds of uses
* How Bamboo will Save the World
American Bamboo Society
bamboo crafts & furniture
bamboo railway

parking to parks video
Transportation Alternatives (NYC)
Institute for Transportation Policy
* Carbusters
World Carfree Network
Cars Banned in Bogota
Human Powered Utility Vehicles HPUVs

depave schoolyards
depave parking lots
depave roads
unpaving paradise
depave Chicago
depave Chicago tour
depave Rhode Island
depave world
Alliance for a Paving Moratorium
rubber sidewalks
recycling concrete "urbanite"
depaving bucket
ash & cement into blocks
concrete/masonry recycling
Bomag Recycler Street Eater

* PostCarbon Cities
Eco-Grid NYS
PA energy co-op
Tricounty energy co-op
PA Clean Power
PA local initiatives
PA green energy awards
* American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy
* Amory Lovins interview
green power programs
electric facilities news: green
energy-efficient homes showcase
energy-fertility link
solar energy is powerful
* solar electric 40%+ efficient
Solar intro youtube
solar electric commercial
Million Solar Roofs
solar PV manufacture youtube
nano solar youtubeK
spray-on PV youtube
solar electric: building integrated
solar cooker, homemade youtube
* solar omelette youtube
* solar quesadilla youtube
Solar Cooking Archive
solar hot water shower
solar lawn mower
Ocean Thermal Electric Conversion Youtube
hemp oil Youtube
* PA hydroelectric
household microhydro
microhydro generators
* NJ wind large Atlantic City
* PA wind small
* wind small: birdproof Youtube
wind for urban environments vertical axis
wind micro
wind revenue

* Rocky Mountain Institute Visitors' Guide
Underground Buildings

Zero Waste America
Zero Waste
Zero Waste manufacturing
Zero Waste Ecotech
* Computer Recycling
* Waste to Wealth
recycling industry
gypsum (wallboard) recycling
Landfill mining Wiki
Landfill mining
rubber paving
recycling market development zones
zero waste: paper mats

compost toilet sourcebook
* Carousel compost toilet
urban compost toilet
National Water Center: compost toilets
Compost Toilet World
Toilet Alternatives
* Humanure Handbook
* Playpumps
* water storage tanks, cisterns, aquifers, ponds
PVC alternatives
greywater systems
nanodesalination UCLA
* L.A. desalination
L.A. desalination study
desalination engineering UCLA

rain gardens
waterless laundry: ultrasonic emulsification

xeriscaping groundcover
water-efficient lawns
Chlorine Phase-Out

* Urban Agriculture News
* Where Does Ithaca's Food Come From?
* Philadelphia Neighborhood Gardens Association
Somerton Tanks Phila
The Food Trust Phila
Agropolis: Dimensions of Urban Agriculture
Phila Common Market wholesaling regional foods
* Cities Farming for the Future
Phila Urban Gardens Impact
Chicago neighborhood gardens
San Francisco Urban Gardens Benefit
Phila Farmers Markets
Buy Fresh Buy Local PA regional agriculture
White Dog Foundation
PA organic
urban beekeeping
Air Drainage
Latino gardens in New York city
* urban soil issues
soil from leaf mold
cover crops and manures
urban ag resources
urban homestead Pasadena CA
* urban hydroponics youtube
---- * detail
organic hydroponics Mother Earth News
organic hydroponics

* Greening the Desert youtube
* Philly Orchard Project New York Times, August 2007
* Philly Orchard Project (POP)
Treepeople orchard project L.A.
Los Angeles Permaculture Guild
Fallen Fruit intro Los Angeles
Fallen Fruit: inventory neighborhood fruits
Los Angeles orchard heritage
urban forest economic benefits
Treefolks Austin, TX
Rhizome Collective Austin, TX
Walnut Way Milwaukee WI
teaching kids orchardry
espalier plantings
more espalier photos
espaliered fruits
espalier plan
* A Citizen's Guide to Bioremediation EPA

* traffic congestion tax
* free bus rides

* Return of the Ithaca Trolley proposal
free rides
hydrogen solar rail
hydrogen solar rail 2
rapid urban flexible
Camden Light Rail
U.S. light rail systems
ultralight solar rail
grass rail

* Minnesota Neighborhood Land Trusts law
Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust
Rhode Island Land Trust
* Community Land Trust Philadelphia

* Equitable Development
* Phila neighborhoods online
* Neighborhoods Now Phila
neighborhood assets
Institute for Local Self-Reliance
Phila organizations
West Philadelphia Tool Library
Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition
Neighborhood Management Berlin
Neighborhood Management Plan

green construction
Urban Habitat
green communities
green insulation
construction unions/environmentalists united
Architecture without Architects
LEED and other standards
deconstruction benefits
deconstruct in Phila Delaware Valley Green Building Council
stress grading of recycled lumber
* U.S. underground buildings
* underground benefits
More than Meets the Eye
Houston tunnel system
Houston's tunnels map
kenaf Wiki

Phila vacant land management
* Phila vacant land map Area F
open space inventory

4. MONEY & POWER 3/18/10
       Control of money decides who lives well, who works, whose house is built and repaired, who gets health care. We'll discuss formal and informal power. We'll contrast healthy economies and unhealthy economies. We'll learn how to use power on behalf of communities and nature, by creating new systems and converting old systems. We'll consider the new jobs rising to meet new needs.

WHEN DO WE WANT IT? short essay
Describe a social change you'd like to encourage. How appeal to likely allies and opponents?
• Extra credit: design money and describe how, where and for whom it works. Write sample promotional literature.

Big Problems Need Little Solutions
Center for Neighborhood Technologies
Training for Change

* Ithaca HOURS local currency
* Ithaca HOUR notes
* BerkShares local currency
Phila scrip historic
Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project (NYC)
Venezuela approves local currency
Complementary Currencies Green MBA
Green Money Journal
Good Money
Green Business News
Business Alliance for a Local Living Economy
Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy
Project Good
* Philadelphia Regional & Independent Stock Exchange (PRAISE)
* Natural Capitalism click: LASER (Local Action for Sustainable Economic Renewal)
* co-op principles

5. NEW JOBS 3/25/10
* Phila Sustainable Business Network
* Green Jobs Philly
* Green Jobs Philly News
* Green for All
* Building a Green Economy Van Jones speech in Philadelphia
* Community Jobs in the Green Economy
green collar jobs
green collar jobs 2
green collar jobs 3
Pennsylvania Growing Green Partnership
urban farming Phila
grupos latinos Fila
science & sustainability
environmental MeetUp
green work Canada

       Full metropolitan reliance on new technologies, new laws and new social forms creates cities unlike those we know. We’ll review current greenplanning themes. We’ll think big and think practical. Everything is connected to everything else-- how do changes in each system affect other systems?

       Many complain about reality but are suspicious of change. Steering wealth, power, and culture toward constructive change is our challenge.

       IMAGINE YOUR CITY: 300-600 words
Based on your values, re-design an existing city neighborhood and describe practical transitions to reach it.
What would your ideal city look like? How would you live? What values does it exemplify? What benefits and for whom? How function? How sustained? How employed? How play?

       There are no limits to your specific solutions and process, but these must address the following conditions:
* same or greater number of inhabitants, in a world twice as populous
* rising global fuel demand and decreasing global fuel supply due to greater demand and/or decreased yield
* thrives with one-tenth the natural gas, oil, coal; no nuclear (because nuclear would be easy out)
* globe is five degrees warmer (IPCC estimate 2.5-10 degree increase by 2100)
* irregular climate: extreme soak and extreme drought
* food secure and low cost
* water secure and low cost
* maximum import replacement, maximum internal financing, self-reliant cities
* general public generally happy

* Eco City Conference 2008
* Planners Network
* Planetizen
Green Cities & End of Age of Oil
Post Carbon Cities
Phila GreenPlan
Next Great City Phila
Plan Phila
PA Environmental Council
Pennfuture "Every environmental victory grows the economy"
Green Plan Phila
green plan Phila
Phila Urban Voids
* Delaware Regional environmental organizations
Schuylkill River future
Center for Sustainable Communities Temple at Ambler
City & Regional Planning Temple at Ambler
* Los Angeles: A History of the Future 1982
California bioregions USGS
Alliance for a Livable Los Angeles
Urban Environmental Management
Programs for a Green L.A. 2006
* EcoCity Cleveland
Boulder (CO.) Going Local Festival
Urban Planet
* Post-Global Economic Development Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission
Whole Communities, Whole Thinking
* Design with Nature Time mag 1969
community land trusts
land conservation value
Ecological Cities
Terreform designers
eopolis: Renewable City
ecourban design: fab tree hab
Green Los Angeles DWP
Los Angeles River Revitalization Master Plan
Robert Redford editorial
urban futures articles
Going Oil-Free: Sweden
L.A. earthquake map
L.A. earthquake fault map
regulatory hazard zones
L.A. earthquake sensors
Phila stormwater management
* Womens Community Revitalization Project
Cities Beyond Oil
Community Arts Network

* Creating Defensible Space
Campaign for Safe Phila Neighborhoods

The world is coming to a beginning rather than an end. We have the knowledge, tools, creativity, and capital to proceed. Our challenge is merely to begin where we live, with whatever capabilities are at hand.

Free Hugs youtube
Phila graffiti Youtube
New Games Play hard, play fair, nobody hurt
Urban Actions


8. FUTUREFEST: 4/15/10
       Introduce, explain, show, display, perform, read or submit your special project.
       Reaching to the broadest audience, you'll create a cultural artifact describing your ideal neighborhood and city. You can choose any creative mode for dramatizing this: theatre, fiction, poems, essay, artwork, sculpture, original music, oral history, public policy or legislation, posters, maps and diagrams, film, slideshow, radio/TV show, event, cartoons, choreography, or any combination of such as the above. You name it.