I live in North Hollywood, CA. It is part of Los Angeles County and the massive urban sprawl that surrounds the smaller downtown area. The whole of los angeles is automobile centered. 18.5 million people live in Los Angeles, CA and 130,000 of those citizens live in my neighborhood of North Hollywood. Massive highways surround the specific community that I live in. I am within 5 minutes of 5 major highways. The community I live in also has access to a subway line, busses, and walking paths, but it is no small fact that automobiles rule the urban design landscape. North Hollywood is an artists community. There are acting studios, dance studios, an arts and design school, and many eclectic and eccentric businesses along the main street. I love my community, but the urban landscape leaves a lot to be desired aesthetically.
Copenhagen’s Bicycle culture is an incredibly inspiring program to me. The way they have crafted their streets to give cycle’s the priority in transportation, and made bike travel more convenient and safer for the citizens in their community. Where I live in North Hollywood, there are bike lanes on all of the streets. However, it is often seen as unsafe to be on the road because diving culture is so crazy. I just recently purchased a bicycle for local travel, but it is scary to be on the main roads because drivers are known to change lanes and make severe turns. Many cyclists ride on the sidewalk and in crosswalks to compensate, but then this causes trouble for pedestrians. I would love to see my community embrace bicycle traffic and make local commutes a safer and more efficient practice.
I also took particular inspiration from Michigan’s urban farming. I think the benefits of a community that embraces fresh produce and in turn helps clean up the surrounding urban landscape is the ultimate in urban renewal. In my community of North Hollywood we have large areas of unused land that sit under giant power lines. North Hollywood was a farming community in the 1940’s, but with the massive auto culture and urban sprawl, it got taken over by urban design. I would love to see my community turn these unused and “dirty” areas that are surrounded by chain link fences and trash, and turn them into sprawling farm and that is in turn sold at fair prices to the community. The thought of a grown local farmers market could bring a sense of community and pride as well.
This image above is a system diagram for biogas in India, with system diagram, we can better understand the relationship between system’s components. In the diagram, we can see that how biogas affects ecosystem and social system, biogas generator uses locally accessible cow dung to produce clean methane gas, and the “leftover” slurry can be used as organic compost, which should be seen as a sustainable development since it doesn’t compromise the resources of the future generations. When comparing my diagram to the one in “What is Human Ecology?”, the same part would be that we both use arrows to show the effects, the different part would be that I use the procedure of producing biogas as a “tree trunk” and present the effects in two categories, but in the reading the author list the major topics under the two categories and find the relationships between the topics. I think the reason why we have differences and similarities is that we both know arrow can help us clear our thoughts and trace the chain of effects, but we have different ways to arrange the information. By comparing the diagrams, I think I would focus more on the correlation between different effects rather than just listing them under different categories, and I would also consider sing line arrows since it makes the diagram cleaner.
My diagram illustrates the factors involved in the social system and the ecosystem. After watching that video, I was intrigued on the process of creating the biogas and thought that it was very interesting. On the social end of it, I feel as though the main focus should be on health issues and that income should be the least important because if the process is not safe, it does not make sense to continue this process. As far as the ecosystem goes, the smoke was my biggest concern because it can directly affect the health of those involved, especially the women and children. What I found least important was that they were using up the firewood and natural resources.
When comparing my diagram to Marten’s diagram in “What is Human Ecology?”, one thing that immediately stands out is that we both use the same social system and ecosystem categories. While our categories are the same, our subcategories are not. Marten’s diagram focuses on broader ranges of categories while mine are more specific to the biogas process. One thing that I learned from comparing the two diagrams is that even though Marten’s diagram is focusing in on a broader topic, and mine is more specific to the biogas process, they follow the same format. This shows that when dealing with the same categories, you can expect to have similar results, no matter how specific you get.
My dad used to be a landscaper. He was paid to plant, lay stone, and add fountains wherever his customer wanted in order to make his or her yard pretty. But that isn’t all that landscaping encompassed, landscaping is the coexistence of the environment and humans. As a landscaper, my dad knew what kind of plants went with what kind of soil or was fit to certain seasons and temperatures. Though this is only one example of a landscape, it is an example of how landscape’s can be understood based on systems within them. A system diagram allows for the coexistence of the environment and humans and their impact and relationship to be visually seen. My systems diagram shows the negative effect of the use of firewood for cooking and how it called for a biogas generator, which impacts the ecosystem and social system positively. The biogas generator eliminates the negative effects of firewood, and turns them into a better ecosystem and social system, which both also impact each other. When the ecosystem is improved, so is society, seen through how each positive aspect of the ecosystem corresponding to a positive aspect in society. The core idea of my system diagram is to show the system within Bengaluru, India and the landscape of how humans and the environment can coexist, such as cow manure, a natural process, being recycled into compost, which aids humans and the environment through yielding produce and creating jobs. Since biogas generators created methane to be used as fuel, there is no need for firewood, which is shown to cause negative effects to the people of Bengaluru. Therefore, by using biogas instead of firewood, children no longer need to search for wood instead of attending school, there is less deforestation due to the decreased demand for wood, and the compost made from cow dung increases produce yield and thus improves the economy of Bengaluru. My diagram relates to the “What is Human Ecology?” because it also connects the social system and the ecosystem and talks about how human activities can influence both the ecosystem and social system. In the same way human activities influence, my diagram shows how use of firewood by humans has influenced the use of biogas, which impacts the ecosystem and social system. However, in Marten’s diagram, there is a clear cycle occurring, which nearly everything connects to everything, whereas my diagram shows a connection between aspects rather than a full reoccurring cycle. Marten’s diagram connects each subcategory within the ecosystem or social system to all other subcategories while mine only connects a subcategory of the ecosystem with another from the social system. This cycle versus direct connection causes these differences, but the importance of how the ecosystem and social system create similarities within our diagrams due to their relationship within every human action. If this similarity within the two diagrams were not present, it might not be prominent that the correlation between the ecosystem and society is crucial within systems.
The provided system diagram that I’ve made is relatively simple to what other students might have and also from Marten’s diagram. What I’d like to show in the diagram were mainly how the biogas technology impacts both the ecosystem and the social system of the part in India which applies the biogas system. This invention produced two major products; methane gas and slurry. Both of these outputs brought various effect to fore-mostly the ecosystem, then affecting the social system as well. The production of methane gas leads to less environmental pollution and also reducing deforestation due to the people having an alternative energy choice for cooking. This in return will benefit the people health-wise and allow the children to go to school instead of gathering fuel. The slurry, on the other hand will help local farmers to fertilize their soil and grow healthier crops. At the same time, the slurry provides a certain group of the population (mainly women) with job opportunity by processing them into fertilizers to sell to farmers. Both the farmers and the women will gain economic profit from this.
For the most part, this diagram is much simpler and straightforward than that of Marten’s. It is similar in a way that both charts are divided into two major divisions- social system and ecosystem. Also, this diagram shows the effect that all outcome from the ecosystem side eventually leads to a healthier ecosystem, which isn’t shown in Marten’s diagram. Comparing the two diagrams, I think we could all learn more from the more complex relationships appearing on Marten’s illustration because he listed along the products and processes that goes along in the exchange of points such as cooking fuel, cut wood or put in biogas generators.
The biogas video shows the coupling of the human-environmental system and the interactions between humans and the environment. To display the interaction in my system diagram, I listed the components of the social system and the eco-system that have a direct interface with one another than dug a little deeper to identify the non-direct collaboration. To start, by installing a biogas system removes cow dung from the community. This will improve the overall health of the people living in the town; plus removing the dung creates compost, which leads to improved soil conditions resulting in increase agriculture. Another aspect of utilizing the biogas system is better indoor air quality inside the house. This is achieved by removing wood burning stoves and installing gas-burning stoves. A byproduct of this improvement is increased health. The biogas system has increased the local economy too; the women of the town are able to bag soil that is produced by composting. Additionally, local bricklayers are able to earn a living by building the top of the biogas container. Lastly, the children of the town are able to get a better education. The mornings usually consisted of gathering branches and wood; now they are able to attend school. One more interaction between the social system and ecosystem is reforestation and increase wildlife survival rate, which is achieved by not removing excess forestry to burn for cooking.
“Coupled Human-Environment Systems.” Geographic Perspectives on Sustainability and Human-Environment Systems. Pennsylvania State University, 2016. Web. 26 Jan. 2016. <https://www.e-education.psu.edu/geog030/node/324>.
My system diagram presented shows the effect how the new and old ways for cooking has on the social system and the surrounding ecosystem. The arrows show the impact on that particular topic. The diagram shows the positive and negative aspects for using each fuel source. The negative impacts shown are related to using sticks for a fuel source by decreasing health and using child labor. The biogas fuel shows the positive impacts on the social system and ecosystem. The biogas fuel eliminated the need for child labor and has less health concerns. Also, the biogas fuel has helped their economy by selling compost that was made from the waste of the biogas food to the local farmers for fertilizer. This diagram also shows the biogas fuel has more resilience over the old fuel by, not having to depend on sticks and child labor.
When comparing my diagram to Figure 1.5 in the “What is Human Ecology?” article, there are similarities and differences. Both diagrams highlight the components of the social system and ecosystem. Also, both have the same general idea of the human-environment system and how they impact each other. Both show the different components of the biogas fuel and uses of its byproducts. The differences of the two diagrams is that in the Marten’s diagram, it uses the overall population, where in mine, I broke it down into the women and the child labor aspects. Comparing the two diagrams showed how there can be different perspectives and interpretations. Both diagrams highlight the main concepts that were discussed during the video.
My diagram focuses on the story behind the creation and utilization of Biogas generators. The two main causes that triggered the implementation of Biogas generators are deforestation and negative population health effects from smoke based cooking techniques. The use of Biogas generators improved the social and ecosystem. The social system was affected by improving children’s quality of education and women’s quality of life. Since the generators provide methane directly to households, women’s cooking times are decreased, which enabled them to then take slurry waste from the generators and create fertilizer. This then affected the ecosystem by improving the quality of soil and increasing crop production.
When comparing my diagram to Gerry Marten’s diagram, I noticed one main difference. Marten’s diagram focused on all aspects of the social and ecosystem, where my diagram focuses on specific details within the social and ecosystem. I think it is important to be able to look at the system as a whole and encompass all the contributing factors. However, I also feel at times it is important to zone in on the direct effects on the system. Marten’s and my diagram showed similarities in how the social and ecosystem are intertwined through feedback mechanisms. This is an important concept because it shows how changes in the social system affect the ecosystem and vice versa. The similarities and differences in the diagrams arise from individual perspective. It is always important to consider others opinions because everyone has different life experiences, which lead to unique perspectives.