Trend Watch December 2022

In rapidly urbanising Seoul, the next battle is saving green spaces:

“Korea is a country that does not value greenery,” professor of landscape architecture at Pusan National University, Hong Suk Hwan, told Bloomberg CityLab. It “only acknowledges the value of property.”

Samgmi Cha writes about South Korean local, 34-year-old Baik SooHye inspiring the shift of devaluing green spaces in South Korea to saving these spaces. SooHye’s ‘Plant Kindergarten’ project encourages the protection of hundreds of plants that are often destroyed at construction sites across Seoul. 

Cha meets SooHye in her outdoor garden in western Seoul with the many plant species that she’s saved from these sites. The rescued plants are ‘adopted’ out to others who are also passionate about green spaces in Korea. SooHye says, “I see ‘Plant Kindergarten’ as my own way to save greenery.”

With the astounding data from the Seoul city government that Cha shares – only 3.7% of green spaces covering downtown Seoul – many like SooHye are finding ways to support the revival of green spaces in South Korea.

Cha describes a ‘Tree Orphanage’ established in 2000, “Individuals could donate large trees from construction sites and re-plant them, at a personal cost of up to 1 million won ($700) per tree.” This is also driven by expert knowledge of how trees can alleviate the impact of extreme weather conditions.

Read more about how Seoul can bring back green spaces on CityLab.

Photograph: Woohae Cho/Bloomberg.

‘It was like an apocalyptic movie’: 20 climate photographs that changed the world:

The Guardian’s writer Gabrielle Schwarz says, “They are the images that made us sit up and take notice.”

From dust storms to an iceberg drifting in Greenland; to blazing fires and the rawness as a family clings onto a wharf in hope of survival; to foreign minister of an island nation of the Pacific addressing the summit in knee deep waters; these images are “like an apocalyptic movie” and evidence of the climate emergency. 

Schwarz writes about conservationist photographer Cristina Mittermeier with her controversial image of the starving polar bear. “Mittermeier stands by the photograph and video because they prompted a bigger conversation about the climate crisis. “Photography is one of the most effective and powerful tools we have to tell complex stories, like the story of climate change,” she says.

Be warned, these images aren’t pretty – though it’s the truth – view the 20 photographs that got the world noticing, finally….

Photograph: Jason Davies/Severe Weather Australia.

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Trend Watch October 2022

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