Angela Ko's blog

Speaker Series: Brad Bass - No Water, No Food, No Energy ... No problem!

Dr. Brad Bass, Nobel Laureate and Director of University Research in Complex Systems is coming to talk to EWB on Monday November 18, 6:00 pm at EV1 250 . He'll be talking about an exciting new technology that allows urban agriculture to thrive even in adverse conditions - lack of space, clean water, or energy. Below is a description and bio of his talk, it'll be great!


Dr. Brad Bass
Director, University Research Experience in Complex Systems
Adjunct Professor, School of the Environment
University of Toronto

Urban agriculture is growing in popularity as a means of increasing food security for urban residents. In some cities urban agriculture is restricted by space, in other cities it is restricted by the inaccessibility of water, and in some cities a lack of secure energy supplies may restrict the expansion of urban agriculture. A technology for growing food at low cost, in the vertical, using dirty water was developed at Penn State University. Dr. Bass wrote the manual for constructing these systems, taught a field course – where the students had to build their own shower that recycled their soapy water into plants - and verified the results of the initial tests with a new design that further reduced the costs. The cost and flexibility of the design allow this technology to be readily transferred to cities all over the world. In this presentation, Dr. Bass will present this technology, provide examples of how the design can be altered to use local materials - including the shower variation - and discuss how it can also be used to produce food, water and energy.


Dr. Brad Bass has a long history in the field of green roofs and green walls. In 1998, he collaborated with the National Research Council and Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, a North American Industry Association, on the development of first green roof field site in North America. In 2012, he received a lifetime achievement award for his work in this area. Dr. Bass teaches courses in green walls, green infrastructure and ecological design and is currently evaluating the use of green infrastructure and other technologies as part of a strategy to manage nutrients in urban wastewater and stormwater. Dr. Bass’ other interests include complexity, fuzzy cognitive mapping and community energy analysis. Dr. Bass is also the founder and Director of the University Research Experience in Complex Systems which provides mentoring opportunities for university students who work with teams of secondary school students on the development of simulations of complex systems.

First General Meeting Fall 2012

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