Thursday, June 29, 2006

Land-use, housing and... Superman Returns!

While it might be a surprise to read the name of the world's mightiest superhero in an environmentally-inclined blog, there is actually a relevant connection. I am not going to reveal the plot of the movie, which recently opened in theatres in Vancouver (yesterday as a matter of fact). What is important (and certainly connects to the issue of urban sustainability) is that the movie touches upon the thorny issue of land-use and real estate.

Lex Luthor (many people's favourite villain, played by Kevin Spacey in this version and pitted against Brandon Routh's Superman) is in the real-estate business, and is conspiring to build a new continent using Krypton's advanced technology. He'll destroy many continents, killing many people, and then he will sellhis land (never mind that the actual 'crystal-grown land' looks horrible and arid).

The issue here is to remember that while for many people, land is a resource we need, for many others it is business. How to make land use a sustainable activity (equitable, just, accessible) ... quite an interesting challenge....

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