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Magnitude & Murder

Great cities are not like towns, only larger. They are not like suburbs, only denser. They differ from towns and suburbs in basic ways, and one of these is that cities are, by definition, full of strangers.’

Jane Jacobs, The death and life of great American cities

By Caro Sicking

I wired for change

1. Flamenco and economics

In the SILCS project one of the three partners is Seville, city of extremes. It incorporates e.g. a historical centre visited by tourists, universities and students, a district called Poligono Sur where social exclusion is the name of the game, drugs and violence reign and 43% of the inhabitants is jobless and a prestigious business park Campus Palmas Altas that won the Greenbuilding platinum LEED Award. Seville has it all; the grandeur, the extreme heat, the poverty, the history, the culture and the music. It is known for fabulous Flamenco.

The leadpartner is a knowledge centre, CURe University of Portsmouth, UK. The two other partners, Kent County and the province of Noord Brabant have less magnitude and less murder than the Spanish city; they search particularly for economically viable ways of sustainable building (and standards). Before viewing on lessons learned, points scored and missed goals, before diving into the relations, differences and comparisons between the partners, let’s take a walk down urban planning with Seville in mind. Just to get a larger picture of what Strategies for Low Carbon Settlements (SILCS) can be about.

2. Garden in disguise

Sustainable building is more than housing. It is placing a house in a context in such a manner that the inhabitants will be able to lead the life they prefer by natural course. Sustainable building also is changing the context in which people live. Again to enable them to lead a happy, healthy and productive life. Whether it is retrofitting, refurbishing or building anew, there is always a context and always an impact on people’s lives. That, plus the effect settlements have on the environment and whether future generations profit from it are a few basics. Building for the future, according to Lord Norman Foster, Pritzker Architecture Price winner of 1999, is creating a building that is wired for change. The architect and urban designer needs to anticipate change. In this perspective Foster mentions the Willis Faber & Dumas Headquarters in Ipswich, UK, built 1971-1975. From the website of Foster & Partners: ‘The country headquarters for insurance company Willis Faber & Dumas was a pioneering example of energy-conscious design that challenged accepted thinking about the office building. Offering a new social dimension with its swimming pool, roof-top garden and restaurant, it was conceived in the spirit of democratising the workplace and engendering a sense of community.’ The building e.g. is covered by a garden in disguise – green roof -, a large green public space that connects it to nature.

Foster starts his speech ‘Building on the green agenda’ on TED emphasizing the nature of sustainability is not fashion, but is about survival. According to Foster building and associated transport – to and fro houses, work, shops et cetera – acquires 70% of the total energy consumption of a city.

3. Sustainable cities

A few years ago Norman Foster picked up a green fingered gauntlet: designing a blueprint for a sustainable city. The proof is in the eating and the first settlement, called Masdar City (Source City) is being built in Abu Dhabi as we speak. Another inspiring masterplan of great allure is the plan for Incheon, South Korea: ‘Taking agriculture as a central theme, the design utilises existing elements such as irrigation channels, green spaces and roads, while the arrangement of buildings within the masterplan follows the natural topology of the site, incorporating green roofs to further harmonise with the landscape. Like the veins of a leaf, the smaller roads and pedestrian avenues extend from the central transportation spine. The existing island is predominately agricultural so terraced farming, utilising the roofs of the industrial buildings, will replace any agriculture displaced by the development. There will be no structure above 50 metres, so the scheme will not extend into the foothills or mountain, thus preserving the rural landscape.’

4. A family affair

‘Cities are the physical framework of our society, the generator of civil values, the engine of our economy and the heart of our culture,’ states Sir Richard Rogers, Florence born British architect and urban planner, former head of the UK Urban Task Force, multiple price winner on sustainable building and co-creator of the most visited building of Europe, Centre Pompidou in Paris. He is known for his intuitive understanding of urban areas, using this to ameliorate the space where people live and work. He is e.g. responsible for the tent-like construction of the Ashford designer retail outlets in Kent, one of the SILCS partners. Rogers and Foster, two of the UK major architects that already acknowledged the importance of eco-innovation in building early seventies, while designing breathtaking architecture, started their careers together. Both graduated from the university of Yale with a master degree in Architecture in 1962. On their way back to the UK the partnership Foster/Rogers took off. It was a family affair; the wives Wendy Cheeseman and Su Brumwell participated. In 1967 Rogers and Foster split up, but evaluating their respective careers and views on urban planning, the kinship is still alive.

5. Far from SILCS?

What we can learn from these behemoths of modern architecture is that the amenity of an urban dwelling, the sheer pleasure it gives to people, combining green and renewable energy sources with meeting places, connecting people, using sun and shade, adds to the level in which a building is wired for change.

Yet, it doesn’t feel right, does it? Foster and Rogers design for the rich and lucky, for professionals that work in high tech and successful sectors, for the fortunate that can afford to own a state of the art apartment in Masdar City. For travellers that use large airports as hubs to other continents, prestigious designs like the Kai Tak Cruise terminal in Hong Kong and Madrid Barajas Airport. Architects like Rogers and Foster build the cathedrals of our age.

This seems a long way from SILCS, where Kent County, the province of Noord-Brabant and the Public Housing Enterprise of Seville partner to create sustainable and affordable housing in their respective regions. This appears far away from the vision of Jane Jacobs, publicist and urban planning activist, who’s quote heads this essay.

6. Use the street and watch it!?

Jane Jacobs voiced her thoughts on urban planning in The death and life of great American cities in 1961. In the novelistic written book she describes how building and infrastructure influence the social coherence, the behaviour of people and thus the liveability of a neighbourhood. ‘You can’t force people to use a street, or to watch over it.’ Jacobs advocates the enabling of dwelling and wandering, crisscrossing and encountering each other in public space. She talks about the foremost important condition in urban environments: safety. Sidewalks provide safety for pedestrians, cycle paths for bikers. Then there is social safety as well; can a girl walk the streets by herself at nightfall? A lot of the social safety has to do with the coherence and watchfulness of the people living, working and roaming a place. Diversity of functions, having shops, playgrounds, schools, homes and working places can do a great deal of the trick according to Jacobs, and make people behave social responsible.

And though behaviour is the theme of yet another POWER project, TrIsCo, we cannot ignore it when discussing SILCS, or ITACA – on sustainable transportation – for that matter. When a society chooses to take the road to sustainability, all aspects have to be taken into account.

7. Coffee table at the busstop

People entering a beautiful carefully designed and maintained building, act accordingly and will not throw garbage on the floor. Especially not if there are bins in sight where one can leave the rubbish. The environment influences their behaviour and enables them – by putting bins in sight – to conduct according to how they feel. Influencing and enabling is what city-planners do on large scale, especially in this age of accelerated urbanization[1].

June 2011, designer Jlie Kim wanted to battle the image she thinks the rest of the world holds on Los Angeles: nobody walks or uses public transport. She put her Hammock coffee table with a vase filled with fresh flowers at a bus stop in Korea town, then filmed with a spy-cam. The footage shows a guy rearranging the flowers in the vase, two girls acting as if in their family livingroom, attracting a boy’s attention, then an older lady sits down next to the girls and starts to talk to them. It looks like all these people actually know each other. But like Jane Jacobs states: a city is by definition filled with strangers.

La Cuidad Viva – website, facebook page and twitter account – is an open forum for participation, created by SILCS partner Empresa Publica de Suelo de Andalucia (EPSA), 45000 people visit the site on monthly base, they originate from 85 countries. EPSA put up the website as a Think Tank, hoping to learn from others how they feel and think on sustainable urban development. Here too are photo’s to be found of mere plastic chairs and a table, put somewhere in public space and being used, changing a sidewalk into a meeting place.

8. Cathedrals and football champions

Entering the POWER project SILCS we need to hold both views into account. A society needs dreams and ambitions, it yearns for cathedrals and championing football clubs. At the same time there is the need for a different scale, human sized measures where we can live, shop, walk the dog and play. These two aren’t necessary biting one another, on the contrary, they are complementary. Just look at the Centre Pompidou, situated in a lively Paris quarter, where its magnitude inspires people to play on the square in front of it, small shops attract the dweller from one site of the street to the other and kids linger around the fountain with colourful sculptures by Niki de Saint Phalle and Jean Tinguely. Urban planning can be big and small at the same time, as long as the design is cut out to unify and communicate.

II SILCS FINDINGS

9. Social cohesion

Strategies for Low Carbon Settlements come as big and small as the settlements. SILCS aims to prove and illustrate the effectiveness of Low carbon building initiatives within the framework of a sustainable development. The project will address the following four questions:

  1. Participation: how are stakeholders to be involved within experiments and what types of community participation activities are possible and viable depending upon the low carbon solution and design outcome required?
  2. Financing: what kind of approaches are successfully enable change and have maximum impact on the way financial analyses are made and decisions taken, resulting in decisions not based on initial investments but on total live-cycle costs?
  3. Organisation: how can the building process (planning, designing etc) deliver sustainable results?
  4. Technologies: which (systems) technologies are most effective and successfully achieve innovative Low Carbon solutions.

The above is stated on the SILCS page of the POWER website. The partners exchange knowledge and experience during two to three day workshops and visit each other’s best practice examples. ‘These projects are not just innovative construction solutions, but illustrate the potential for social cohesion integrated with innovative low carbon technologies, which can become best practice examples for future directions.’

10. Different faces

Social cohesion integrated with innovative low carbon technologies, has a different face in each region. In the Netherlands, Noord Brabant struggles to create jobs and attract high educated talent in order for the region to be fit for the future as well as economical competitive with neighbouring provinces, being the Randstad, Ruhrgebied in Germany and Belgium. Cutting on fossil fuel dependency and emissions whilst enhancing biodiversity and the quality of rural as well as urban landscapes are an important part of the strategy. The ambition of the province connected to SILCS is to prove sustainable, holistic designed, energy or climate neutral and healthy housing can be affordable, comfortable and future proof for everybody, even in de social housing sector. It started with the ambitious project Geerpark, a new to construct neighbourhood in the town of Vlijmen. Social housing corporation Woonveste owns a large part of the area: 28 ha of a total of 46 ha. Woonveste builds and rents houses to people with a small wallet. In order for Woonveste to agree to co-create the most sustainable quarter of the Netherlands, which was the ambition of the alderman of the town, the housing corporation needed to be convinced of the affordability of the buildings. The province moved into the negotiations, taking knowledge of the Mutual Gains Approach[2] and experts on sustainable building along. The issue, building ecological and social responsible for the lowest incomes in economically viable ways, stirred the imagination of a multitude of municipalities and housing corporations.  On request the regional government organised meetings and charettes between them and four experts on finance, sustainable building, participation and organisation to design a programme of demands according to which the ambition can be met. The result of this is called Brabant Woning. Houses that are build according to the list of demands will be certified with the title by service institute VIBA Expo. Part of the prescriptions are based on the use of daylight and solar power, re-using heat from air and water and natural ventilation through a rooftop window, applied in such a manner that the rain will stay out. The hood of the prototype is a mansard roof. The garret is build in sections that graduate different to optimize the inclination for solar panels or green roofs, suitably for natural ventilation, windows and roof tiles. The Brabant Woning is very well insulated, using natural materials. The house is designed to be comfortable with a healthy inner climate as well as affordable. Outerspace is considered equally important to the inside, allowing the inhabitants to be in contact with nature and trying to get them into participating in neighbourhood ‘greencare’, thus enhancing social cohesion at the same time. Brabant Woning raises the low carbon ambition one step further: a house like a living organism. This implies breathing (natural ventilation) as well as green walls and/or roofs, rooming up for biodiversity in build areas, energy generation and water as lifestream. There is one default, as remarked in one of the SILCS documents: ‘Noticeable about Brabant Woning is that there is nothing noticeable about it’. This shortcoming in design is something Brabant can learn from the Spanish as well as the British partners. In Kent design quality is considered one of the conditions for sustainable building.

11. Investing money

The excellence of Brabant Woning, according to the English partners is in the money basket. Kent County, south of London, too aspires to design a standards framework for the local builders. The way Noord Brabant thought out financing healthy, low-energy, low-emission and comfortable housing for the social market by pulling investments in front and dividing the yields between investor and renter may be a method for realising eco houses. It clarifies that though certain innovations cost extra to implement, the investment cuts budgets during the building’s lifecycle. A Nota Zero building, meaning there is no energy bill due to generation of electricity and heat by the building itself, may be more expensive to build, yet can be cheaper when taking the whole life-cycle in account.

Until today the Brabant Woning has not actually been realised. It is a list of demands that must lead to an affordable, healthy, green house as a living organism and which can be used by every architect and any building constructor. The municipalities and housing corporations involved in the process of conceptualizing of Brabant Woning plan to construct 80 to 100 of these houses, but they move slow due to conservatism in their backyards and reluctant equally conservative investors.

As to Geerpark, the project that started it all of, the realisation got in a deadlock. At the kick off there was an ambitious holistic approach, combining a green environment, water management and pleasure, biodiversity in the neighbourhood with bats and butterflies, energy or climate neutral buildings, green roofs and walls, all of it guarded by an independent group of engaged experts called The Conscience. Now, three years after signing a letter of intentions by involved parties, it still is difficult to actually realise a workingman’s paradise. Not in the least because the province, due to changed political government, withdrew, because the alderman who started the project also belonged to one of the losing political parties and had to leave the scene, because of conventionalism in the building and housing sector and financial crises still roaming around, making people careful before trying something new.

12. Reducing on carbon

The ambitions of the North Western partners seem aligned. Kent County too, like Brabant, uses sustainable building to revitalize the area, create jobs, reduce fossil fuel dependence and the emissions that come along with it, while trying to create an interesting stimulating environment for the inhabitants and visitors. The national government strives towards lowering carbon emission in housing construction with 80% and decrease home energy use with 100%. The individual British inhabitant will have to reduce carbon emissions from 11,87 tonnes to 2,37 tonnes.

According to Ed Metcalfe, director of Research and Business Development Institute for Sustainability, UK buildings emit 43% of the total emissions. 90% of the British challenge is in the existing stock of buildings, he argues. The task leads up to retrofitting or refurbishing 600.000 houses a year the coming four decennia.

Regions and municipalities have to create the right conditions for their citizens to be able to keep up with these ambitions. In Ashford, Kent County, there is a need for 31000 new homes to be build between 2001 and 2031. The church has to be renovated to provide enhanced performance space, cutting down on the use of resources, running costs and maintenance requirements. The local library is up for redevelopment to provide integrated services for the growing community by lowering the carbon footprint, increasing energy efficiency and creating facilities for a multiple agencies.

Mike Bodkin, head of Urban Generation Kent County emphases on building homes and communities and not estates. Localism, aspiration and choice are the key words to Kent’s sustainable ambitions, whilst aiming to raise design quality.

From the presentation by Mr Ed Metcalfe, 01.26.2011

UK environmental market: £ 106 billion

880.000 employees

4% growth per annum

400.000 extra jobs the coming 8 years

UK retrofit ambition: £ 400 billion

13. Las Tres Mil Viviendas

One could say Seville has the advantage of the dialectics of progress. The need for urgent action is felt at the headquarters of the Empresa Publica de Suelo de Andalucía (Public Enterprise for Social Housing) that cooperates with the Junta de Andalucía and Seville’s University and other educational and knowledge institutes on making change happen in Las Tres Mil, the common name for Poligono Sur. The district is home to 55000 people of whom 43% is jobless. Impervious roads, railroads and building blocks isolate Las Tres Mil Viviendas from the rest of the city. The streets are dangerous, drugs and crime rule. Empty buildings, illegal housing, aids and kids staying home from school. Las Tres Mil is synonymous for social exclusion and party spoiler for the beautiful historic centre of the town.

Still, there is hope. The city has been working since 2003 according to the Plan Integral de Poligono Sur. The goals are: retrofitting and refurbishing the houses/apartments, work and development for the inhabitants, education, equality and social welfare, and improving the health of the people living in the area. SILCS is part of this bigger picture.

The same year, 2003, Dominique Abel, dancer and film director, was subsidized by the Administración de la Junta de Andalucía to make a documentary on the lost district. She set out in search of the roots of Flamenco, the proud Spanish traditional dance. What she found and recorded was a vivid culture amidst a depressing décor. The sensitivity in the filming and the focus on the talents of the people filmed was one way to empower. But, of course making a film is not enough to solve stringent social and economical conditions. Seville has joined the POWER programme on more projects in order to accomplish the Hercules job of turning the coin for the whole district.

14. Safety first

The situation in Poligono Sur gives an insight on the (pre) conditions of sustainable building. The first and foremost is safety. There is no sustainability in unsafe streets, or in places where people feel unsafe. Safety comes with social coherence, people watching over each other. This has to do with local culture, behaviour (see the essay on TrIsCo), with economics (ability to work, go to school, entertain) as well as with what has been written in stone. Mono functional areas appear to be unsustainable, whether it concerns shopping malls, industrial areas or living space. The walkability of a town – schools, jobs, shops, entertainment, parks, sports and playgrounds on short distance – determines for a large part the sustainability. About walkability you can read more in the essay ‘Beyond a mere mobility thing’ discussing the POWER projects ITACA and E-mob.

Diversity is another principle that leads to developing a place where we like to live. Richard Florida, following Jane Jacobs’ footsteps, argues that economic and social thriving cities are the places where minorities populate the streets. Mothers with children, gay people, artists, managers and construction workers, black, white, Asian and South American, all walking the same pavements blow good vibrations and dynamics through a city.

15. Do it together

Another trick from the book is applied in Seville; the locals help to renovate their own homes and neighbourhood, thus acquiring skills, getting to know one another and regaining contact with the own environment. Pride is another human characteristic that gets polished this way. Once proud of your neighbourhood, you take care of it in every sense of the word. So does participation. Apart from trying to get inhabitants to participate in the rehabilitation of their surroundings, new organisation structures concerning e.g. health have been implemented.

Another unifying project is the construction of Plaza Sur, the planners call it ‘reto para el futuro’ in a pdf for their SILCS partners. The words mean ‘challenge for the future’. According to the blog Urbanity 2, it will be designed by Pedro Garcia del Barrio. Urbanity 2: [Plaza Sur] will be placed in a non built plot of 46000 m2 for commercial, sport use. Business, social and educational projects will be also developed there. The exterior covering will be a garden zone, and the building will combine glass and stone.
Other project will be the new Park of The Guadaíra, that will be defined along the “Su Eminencia” road, and it will be finished at the end of this year, with an investment of 16,8 M€, paid from the European Help for Development (FEDER), Guadalquivir River Management Department and the municipality of Seville. This new green park will join “Poligono Sur” with “The Beremejales” district, with a new free space of 63,5 hectares,’ according to Urbanity 2.

16. High trees

Grand design fits the region of magnitude and murder. In the same city, the aforementioned British architect Richard Rogers designed, together with Luis Vidal and Asociados Arquitectos the business park Campus Palmas Altas where the headquarters of Abengoa group is located. The aim was to maximize communication and encourage crossfertilization between various divisions of the international technology company that thrives for sustainable development in the areas infrastructure, environment and energy. The business park is designed in a compact urban character and suited to withstand the extreme summer conditions of Spain. The central space consists of different patios and the colours used are derived from the traditional Andalucían tile shades.

From the website of Arup, company of designers, planners, engineers, consultants and technical specialists that was involved in the construction of Palmas Altas:

Concept design studies indicating carbon footprint reduction and economic payback have been carried out for all the proposed passive and active sustainability solutions. Passive low energy consumption solutions include orientation, compactness, green roofs, and facades.

Active solutions to optimise energy efficiency include:

  • Trigeneration, which creates electricity, heating and cooling from a single energy source.
  • The installation of photovoltaic panels on the roofs.
  • Lighting dimming systems sensitive to levels of daylight.

Active solutions to reduce water consumption include:

  • Absorption chillers on the roofs which will provide cold water.
  • Dry toilets.
  • Storage facilities for rainwater so that it can be recycled and used for irrigation.

The result is expected to bring exceptional green credentials to Palmas Altas. On completion, the carbon footprint of the development will be about 30% lower than typical Spanish offices.

The development is also expected to receive platinum accreditation from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Green Building rating system, which is the highest accreditation available.

The development promises to be economically viable as well as sustainable – it is expected to keep to a tight budget of €850 per m².

The platinum LEED accreditation was indeed awarded to Campus Palmas Altas, as well as other prices.[3]

From the website of Rogers, Stirk, Harbour & Partners: Campus Palmas Altas, the new headquarters for Abengoa in Seville, has been awarded first prize in the 2010 Prime Property Awards as the best sustainable real estate project in Europe. Competing against 142 entries from 19 European countries, the judges commented that the scheme is “a prime example of sustainable architecture and technology.” The business park was completed in late 2009 and has been certified LEED Platinum – the first project in Europe to receive the highest LEED rating. Jury member Garrie Renucci, partner at Gardiner & Theobald, said: “Deploying renewable energy sources and innovative technologies in Seville has led to an unusual yet exemplary building concept in terms of energy efficiency that sets benchmarks and has already inspired others.”

17. Are you connected?

The allure of a business dwelling like Campus Palmas Altas is in sharp contrast with the unnoticeable characteristics of the Brabant Woning, thus mentioned in one of the SILCS documents. The holistic lifting of a disintegrated neighbourhood sounds more heroic then retrofitting a church, a single house or library.

But, whether one builds one house or a whole district, whether refurbishing or retrofitting, the same principles go when it comes to the major themes of SILCS: participation, financing, organization and technologies. Besides that; in architecture context and design are of major importance.

SILCS partners learned from each other through workshops sometimes by presentations that spoke of the situation in a country, the European continent or global, before zooming into the regional matters. Students were involved in the SILCS project in Noord Brabant as well as in Portsmouth. Lead partner CURe University made a cross-over with the POWER project TraCit and sent its students to Tallinn with the commission to participate in a design charette concerning local transport and urban development together with the Estonian.

Neither of the projects spoken of has come to an end yet, which is quite understandable considering the time urban development costs and the still unconventional goal to build according to ecological principles with regard to and in contact with the social impact a building or neighbourhood has on its inhabitants and arbitrary dwellers or purposeful tourists; Do they feel safe? Sound? Healthy? Is their environment stimulating and inspiring them to lead a happy and productive life connected to other people and to nature? In other words, the question is: Are you connected?

III wired for the future

18. Cooperation in competition

Seville is not the only Spanish city facing poor (in every sense of the word) dwellings at a magnificent town’s corner. Malaga, Cadiz and Almeria suffer the same disease. Universities and technical schools in the region Andalucía teamed up as Solar Kit Andalucía team. Students work together to design and build a self-sufficient house, powered only by solar and with technologies implemented that will result in efficient use of resources. The house will join the competition Solar Decathlon to be held in Madrid next year. It will have to battle the ReVolt house of Delft University from the Netherlands among others. After the exhibition the Delft ReVolt house will be located in Rotterdam, city of trade and water.

19. Are you networked?

We are at the point where the virtual world finally connects with the analogue world on multiple levels and creats opportunities that go way beyond imitation of reality. Already architects use ICT programmes that show a building’s behaviour before the first stone marks the building lot. Already social media connect individuals that are geographically miles apart. But new applications are on the way; the Future Internet or the Internet of Things.

May 2011, The UK based Future Internet Strategy Group, issued a report on the impact Internet is going to have on our lives and environments and the business opportunities is sees for the UK. ‘The report identifies between £ 50 billion and £ 100 billion annual benefit to the UK,’ it states on Page iv. The future Internet is defined as: ‘An evolving  convergent Internet of things and services that is available  anywhere, anytime as part of an all-pervasive omnipresent socio-economic fabric, made up of converged services, shared data  and an advanced wireless and fixed infrastructure linking people and machines to provide advanced services to business and citizens.’  This Future Internet will change human behaviour, as in transport, service and decisionmaking. It will change the city and any built environment, due to different needs and habits of the people living there. It will grow efficiency. Increased contact between citizens, business and government is predicted. Public (mass) services will become available on personal (individual) demand. Imagine; data surfing the ether generated by machines as well as by persons. The fridge of the woman next door is talking to my washing machine and together they decide the most convenient (energy efficient, cheap) time for doing the laundry… The report writes about ‘access anywhere, anytime, creating an omnipresent fabric linking people and machine-to-machine communications’. It states: ‘Many of these opportunities are embodied in the Smart City with its infrastructure of sensors and smart buildings that offer 24/7 access to services supported by shared data clouds, interacting with citizens and businesses in a concentrated environment. Barcelona, New Songdo City, Incheon and San Francisco lead the way in demonstrating how the Future Internet can be implemented today, providing the value case has been made and there is executive leadership to drive the new thinking and implementation.’ Smart, sustainable cities enabling networked citizens to live, work, travel, shop, sport and play, connected to each other and their environment. Changed behaviour caused by changed opportunities due to new technologies and smart applications that combine the needs and interests of many.

The challenge will be: access for Everybody to prevent social exclusion of the not networked and create new Poligono Surs on the way.

Ecolutie July 2011

© WoordWerk, Vught, Nl

The EU POWER Programme was meant for research, knowledge sharing and experiments that lead to a Low Carbon Economy by EU regions. Of all derived projects, the province Noord Brabant joined five. SILCS was one of them

Related essays on the Power Programme: Joint Effort Society (JES), Power for Wood, Beyond a Mere Mobility Thing and Power to the People


[1] Living in an urban world, Global megatrend 2, European Environment Agency, 2010

[2] The Mutual Gains Approach is a method for participative decisionmaking by Lawrence Susskind, teacher, trainer, mediator and urban planner. The method is published in various books e.g. Breaking Robert’s rules

[3] LEED, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. US Greenbuilding Council

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