Metabolic urbanization

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  • When we eventually look back at the intellectual shibboleths of the high capitalist period—say the last three centuries—few ingrained assumptions will look so wrongheaded or so globally destructive as the common-sense separation of society and nature. Historically and geographically, most societies have avoided such a stark presumption as hubristic folly, but from physicists to sociologists, physicians to poets, the brains of the ascendant capitalist “west” not only embraced but made a virtue of society’s separation from nature (and vice versa).

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  • The biological changes underlying the transition process from gingival health to early inflammatory changes involve local increase in vascular permeability, edema and the recruitment and activation of polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMN) (Delima and Van Dyke 2003). Acquired immune response becomes involved once antigen-presenting cells interact with immunocompetent cells, such as T and B lymphocytes, leading to the expansion of antibody-secreting plasma cells and the development of the chronic lesion (Gemmell and Seymour 2004).

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  • Public health officials have long been concerned about the effect of the environment on human health. In the nineteenth century, public health efforts in the United States were focused on controlling the spread of infectious disease, and advances in sanitation and the provision of clean water contributed to improvements in the health of the population.

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  • The current problem with the human system of resource use and residual disposal is that it is wildly out of equilibrium. Competition among humans is such that we slaughter thousands of our own species annually on the roads in our haste to get somewhere faster; we let millions of babies die every year for want of clean water and a modest diet; we deliberately kill more millions of people in war, often to secure access to dwindling resources. In the last fifty years we have become more aware that our patho- logical drive for 'more' has poisoned the land, the water and the air.

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  • The Habitat Agenda is a complex document embra cing a variety of issues under the two main themes; Adequate Shelter for All and Sustainable Human Settlements in an Urbanizing World. Thus, a detailed and comprehensive assessment of all relevant aspects would be difficult to present within the framework of national reports. In addition, when it comes to measu ring progress on the implementation of the Habitat Agenda, five years is a short period.

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  • We do not always need science to teach us what happens on landscapes, though science enriches that story. All who have had to cope in the world knew this, natives of landscapes wherever. Science brings insight into continu- ing organic, ecological, and evolutionary unity, dynamic genesis; but such unity may also have already been realized by pre-scientific peoples in their inhabiting of a landscape. Science can engage us with landscapes too object- ively, academically, disinterestedly; landscapes are also known in participant encounter, by being embodied in them. ...

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  • Over half of the world’s poor live in rural areas. Although urban poverty is rising, the correlation between poverty and remoteness from urban centres is strong in most countries and is expected to remain so in the foreseeable future. As compared with their urban counterparts, rural people are often isolated from economic opportunities and have less access to basic social services. Resource degradation is an acute problem in rural areas, with some 60% of the world’s poorest people living in ecologically vulnerable areas (Angelsen, 1997).

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  • Significant progress has been made in recent years in increasing the production of health workers and in producing a multi-purpose nursing cadre that is able to perform both nursing and midwifery tasks. Availability of data on the public sector health workforce has also improved. A comprehensive HRH policy and strategy to address priority HRH constraints is in place, although its implementation needs to improve. Another encouraging development is the recognition of the need for human resource management and leadership training.

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