Title: Our finest gold: agrarian perspectives on urban technology from the mid-19th century to present-day ecocyclical society

Authors: Erland Marald

Addresses: Department of Historical Studies, Umea University, 901 87 Umea, Sweden

Abstract: This study examines how agricultural science, from the mid-19th century to present day, has maintained that urban technology should be designed in response to agricultural interests. Recycling of urban waste was regarded in the mid-19th century as a way of augmenting the fertility of the soil, while at the same time solving the sanitary problems of urban communities. By about 1900 this agrarian-scientific interest had cooled and water closets and non-processing sewerage systems eventually superseded recycling. In recent decades the idea of |ecocyclical society| has achieved a broad impact in the bid to create a sustainable society. One finds that with recycling there has always been a gap between theory and practise, in that abstract arguments concerning the ecocycle and calculated benefits has run into technical and economic complications at the implementation stage.

Keywords: recycling; agrarian perspectives; urban technology; ecocyclical society; history; industrial ecology; agricultural science; agriculture; urban waste.

DOI: 10.1504/PIE.2006.011744

Progress in Industrial Ecology, An International Journal, 2006 Vol.3 No.4, pp.393 - 407

Available online: 20 Dec 2006 *

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