On Thursday 6th July, John Powell travelled to the Netherlands in advance of the 16th International IASC Conference in Utrecht. As a regular blogger during these events, John has written the first of what we expect to be a multitude posts.
John Powell has been fairly quiet recently regarding writing Blog articles. However, in a return to form, he has written this throught provoking piece about urban trees – partly inspired by events that took place in Sheffield.
John Powell recently attended the IASC European Regional Conference in Bern. ‘Commons in a ‘Glocal’ World’ looked at the interfaces between local and global processes, and you can read John’s thoughts in his latest Blog post.
A recent article in the Daily Telegraph highlighted the issue of visitor control during the peak Bluebell viewing season at a National Trust site in Hertfordshire. It noted that for the first time the Trust would be charging visitors coming to look at wild flowers. John Powell comments on managing a public good where high levels of ‘use’ will potentially cause damage.
A recent field trip along the Lower Severn Vale with a group of Landscape and Applied Ecology MSc students highlighted some of the opportunities and challenges associated with weaning ourselves off large-scale and centralised electricity generating systems. The area of interest is part of the Severn estuary between Gloucester and the old suspension bridge carrying the M48 from Aust to Chepstow.
Two developments took place during the previous year, both related to society’s capacity to deal with the management of global commons problems.
The first, the Pope’s Encyclical of 18th June 2015, which has been widely praised by environmental groups as well as UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, calls for action on climate change and for the rich to change their lifestyles to avert the destruction of the ecosystem.
The way people experience, use, and access urban space depends in large part on their socio-economic situation. High personal income and a good job can bring access to all the cultural and artistic pleasures a city has to offer, a place to live with the security of property ownership.
There is a new interest in the management of cities and the conceptualisation of shared urban spaces as commons. Scholars and activists have recently been exploring the management and governance of shared spaces such as city streets, green spaces, parks, public squares, and even community gardens (allotments).
On Day 4 of the IASC 2015 Commons conference in Edmonton, Alberta, the headlines in the Globe and Mail, a national newspaper, referred to Canada’s treatment of First Nations people as ‘A history of cultural genocide’, in reference to remarks by the Supreme Court Chief Justice Beverly McLachlin.
One of the great things about IASC conferences is the opportunity to explore local issues, and the recent global commons conference in Alberta has been no exception. Due to the close working relationships developed between the IASC Conference Organising Committee and the First Nations we were given the opportunity to visit the Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation at their reserve, around 72 Km north-west of Edmonton, Alberta, on the shore of the sacred Lake Wakamne (also known as Lake St Anne).