1. Read UNU INWEH Chapter 1.1 - 1.2
2. Describe a piece of land that's significant to you. What is its value to you and/or your family & community? Please post your brief response (250 words maximum) here: Describe your Land. The assignment will be due on March 8, 2014.
Start with the basics first: Where is the land located? What kind of land is it: forest, wet- or dryland, pastoral land, etc.? Then discuss the many ways in which your land has value: What is its economic value, cultural value, social value, historic value, etc.? Perhaps you'd like to consider the following: Does your family farm the land? Does your community gather there? Did anything with historical significance take place there? Is the land a habitat for rare animals or plantlife? Here is an example:
The Land: Tempelhofer Field
The Tempelhofer Field (303 hectare) is a former airport in the center of Berlin, Germany's capital city. The airport was opened in 1923, and functioned as a passenger and cargo airport until 2008. Since its closing, the airstrip and vast surrounding area were transformed into a public park. It is currently the site of thriving community garden areas, art exhibitions and installations, and social functions, While the main building is used for cultural events, the other buildings have been divided into office spaces.
Historical Value: In post-war Germany, the airport was used by the Allied Forces during the Berlin blockade (1948- 1949). The allies supplied the then shut-off population of West-Berlin with food and necessary goods.
Social Value: The vast park is a community hub and social site for the neighboring burrows of Neukoelln, Tempelhof, and Kreuzberg. It is a recreational area for all Berliners. Community gardens have sprung up, giving people the opportunity to grow their own produce.
Endangered Species: The field is an important habitat for several rare (and endangered) species of birds.
Politics and Stakeholder Participation: Such usage of the Tempelhofer Field was made possible by citizen referendums. The openness of Berlin's local government gave public opinion relevance, enabling all stakeholders to take part in the decision-making process. There are talks about developing subsidized/affordable housing on part of the land.