30 April 2007

Resources on Urban Greening

Okay so... due to my exam schedule and what not, I haven't really been able to get to trying to flesh out my research idea yet. I guess I can go ahead and lay down some sort of outline and add more detail a little at a time until I get a chance to run with it.

I. Introduction
1. Systems Approach defined
2. Urban Greening Defined

II. Modern Applications of Urban Greening
1. Current Design and Planning Processes for Urban Greening
2. Case Studies of Successfully Planned Projects
3. Case Studies of Failed Planned Projects

III. Factors important to the development of an Urban Greening Model
1. Economic Valuation
2. Assessment of Environmental Factors
3. Role of Geography/Topography in Design
4. Need for Information Systems and Databases

IV. Development of an Urban Greening Model
1. Proposed Model
2. Input Requirements for Proposed Model
3. Limitations of Proposed Model
4. Future Uses of Proposed Model

V. Summary and Conclusion
Hopefully I will be adding more in the next couple of days. I will post my research proposal as I finish writing it.

29 April 2007

Best Solar Energy Commercial Ever

Just a random video I came across on YouTube this morning while looking for some information on energy. Its an interesting way to look at solar energy for sure.

28 April 2007

Update to Shope Creek Logging Post

After reviewing the plan set forth by the U.S. Forest Service, it seems like the plan is something larger than just logging on public lands.  The management principles included in the plan seem to have some foundation though I have several questions about the plant species in the proposed areas and the expansion of road and open areas within the forest. Here is the contact information need to make comments on the plan:
Feel free to contact Paul Gilliland, Project Leader; Michael Hutchins, Team Leader; or me at 828-682-6146 if you have questions or need additional information regarding this proposal. Comments may be mailed to: Appalachian Ranger District, ATTN: District Ranger, P.O. Box 128, Burnsville, North Carolina 28714 or e-mailed to: comments-southern-north-carolina-pisgahappalachian@

Logging in the Shope Creek Forest

This is sort of an aside from the general focus of what I intended my blog to be about, but perhaps this marks a shift in the focus I intend to take with my blog. Some of the National Forest lands down the street from my parents house in Asheville, NC are under review for logging by the U.S. Forest Service.

I understand that due to overconsumption of wood products, logging in federally owned lands is more or less unavoidable at this point. I also understand that just because an area is important to me, I shouldn't try to push resource extraction onto lands that other people hold dear.

That all being said, I believe this area to contain some rather important ecological features and perhaps other areas might be better suited. For now I will post some links about the plans and in the future I hope to add some information about the ecology of the area and possible negative impacts of the plans (aside from those that are already documented).

For more information about these plans check out:
The actual U.S. Forest Service write-up
The Asheville Citizen-Times article
The Mountain Xpress article

27 April 2007

Systems Approach to Urban Greening

So even though I'm not sure any one really reads this, but I am looking to begin some research on creating or at least consolidating a Systems Based Approach to Urban Greening Projects. I see a lot of non-profits, RPOs, and MPOs working to implement greening projects, but I am wondering what model they are using to design them.

Ideally I am looking to work on a research project that could lead to the development of open source informational resources that could be used in designing urban greening projects. These resources would help account for the economic, social, environmental, and aesthetic variables within greening projects. I believe that a Systems Based Approach could be a valuable tool in creating projects that result in more than simple green vegetation in an otherwise anthropogenic landscape.

If anyone has an where I could begin looking for this information or would be interested in possible collaboration just leave a comment on the blog. I intend to use this blog to show what I have found out and give links to other individuals working on similar projects.

20 April 2007

UNCA Campus Mapping Project

Hi, I'm Josh O'Conner a student of UNCA/NEMAC and Haywood Community College. I
just wanted to make a quick post about the Campus Mapping Project at UNCA being conducted by the UNCA Transportation Department and NEMAC.
The original maps used by the campus were incorrectly oriented and weren't spatially accurate. The intent behind the project was to be able to offer maps that were spatially accurate as well as providing the framework for GIS data that could benefit the UNCA transportation department. The hope was to be able to provide a GIS solution that would not only produce the map needed currently, but would allow the transportation department to be able to generate maps independently for specific needs.

The map was created using existing data available in CAD formats and then digitizing missing information from the 2002 orthographic photos. Due to the evolution of the campus from 2002 to present additional orthos were integrated by georeferencing some of the Google Earth imagery. The framework of the map is very near completion and ideally we will be able to offer the map to UNCA faculty and staff through the ArcReader software. The ArcReader application will include certain attribute information useful to the campus staff. Other plans for the map include web applications for visitors and a possible overlay for Google Earth.