A History of Future Cities
By Carmine Nardone, Salvatore Rampone
World Scientific Publishing, 156pp | Buy on Amazon

This book contains the proceedings of the international workshop on global sustainability held in Benevento, Italy, on February 2014. It features 10 published papers regarding dealing with broad range of aspects of sustainability in a global scenario including food safety, monitoring, soil mapping, healthcare, territorial intelligence, local food production, greenhouse gas emissions, renewable energy sources, integrated development, sustainability strategies, “smart” bio-territories, replete with case studies. Each paper covers a very specific topic, but all in all, the book manages to cover a very broad range.

Generally speaking, this book is aimed at anyone working in or researching sustainability issues – however, because the presented papers are so diverse, anyone working in almost any field will find something of interest here. The downside is that again, because the papers are so diverse, most people will find at least some of the works here not so interesting or related to what they themselves are doing.

So what are the papers like? Well, with some minor exceptions, I found myself easily understanding the concepts they were treating, which happens rarer than you might think. They were explained and I felt that the technicalities were kept to a minimum so that the papers can be appreciated by a broader range of people – if this was the plan, it worked.

Of particular interest to me was a paper which dealt with the CO2 emissions produced by websites – we, as website writers and managers tend to forget that when people are accessing our articles, they indirectly generate CO2 – we indirectly generate CO2. So when you optimize your website and minimize the transmitted information you not only improve your readers’ experience, you also reduce your carbon footprint – definitely something worth thinking about.

It’s also worth noting that aside for the book being created, the workshop in Italy led to the signing of international agreements for the protection and enhancement of endangered species in the area of North Africa. It was certainly a success, and this book shows it. I’d recommend it for anyone wanting to get the feel of proper sustainability research or wanting to see what other people in the field are studying.

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