29 November 2016
Profiting from wellbeing
Profiting from wellbeing
80% of Europe’s population lives in urban areas, where the greatest consumption of natural resources and production of dangerous C02 emissions are also concentrated. However, in the second decade of the 21st century, many cities have shown a tangible commitment to reducing these emissions and, in some cases, have launched environmental policies aimed at achieving a “Zero Carbon ” goal.
The Danish village of Stenløse is one of the largest “low carbon” towns in all of Europe, with its 75 hectares boasting 750 buildings conceived to meet the highest energy efficiency standards, resulting in a 630 ton reduction in CO2 emissions each year. In Freiburg, Germany, meanwhile, there are entire pedestrian neighborhoods and 500 kilometres of bicycle trails. Furthermore, since 2009 all of the electricity used to propel the city’s public vehicles is obtained from the sun and thus produces no carbon emissions.
Since 2013 Barcelona’s urban mobility plan has generated pedestrian “superblocks” and stimulated alternative transportation with new dedicated bike and bus lanes, carpooling, and a variety of restrictions on private motor vehicles.
Investing in renewable energy presents, above all, a challenge to our systems of production and consumption, and to social behavior. Even before impacting technological development the changing priorities have begun to modify the data used to compare national competitiveness. Between market dynamics, public policy and rating systems, sophisticated synergies work in an integrated manner to sway choices. For example, in Europe public spending accounts for 19% of GNP. The public sector can therefore play an important role in tilting the market toward more efficient products, building technologies and services. It can also influence the behaviors of citizens and corporations with respect to energy use.
Policies to increase energy efficiency, and the subsequent reduction of energy consumption, can free up public funds for other uses. Public agencies at all levels, national, regional and local, can play a leading role in demonstrating increased energy efficiency. A case in point is the trend for launching massive public events as platforms not just for economic growth but also for communication to the world of the message of sustainable energy use (think, for example, of the Rio 2016 Olympic games slogan, “Let the Sustainability Games Begin!”). The paradigm shift is being backed by corporations and industrial groups which upgrade their operations to increase efficiency. Meanwhile, cities are becoming laboratories for experimentation of new models to foster a safer, healthier and more pleasant way of living and working.
01 – Stenløse, Danimarca: “low carbon village”. Credits: riqualificazioneenergetica.info
02 - Stenløse, Danimarca: “low carbon village” Credits: riqualificazioneenergetica.info
03 - Bicycling in Copenhagen. Photo:Ursula Bach
04 - Rainbows and bicycles. Photo:Ursula Bach
05 - Christianshavn and bicycle. Photo:Ursula Bach
06 - Norreport and bicycles. Photo:Ursula Bach
07 – Friburgo. Foto tratta da: www.iodonna.it
08 - Good, better, best. The city of Copenaghen’s Bicycle strategy 2011-2025 city life. The City of Copenhagen - Technical and Environmental Administration Traffic Department Photo: courtesy Troels Heien, Chr. Alsing
09 - City Life green building. Photo: Kontraframe
10 - City Life building wind mills. Photo: Kontraframe
11 - Castelão Arena, Fortaleza Brazil. Realizzato per ospitare i Campionati Mondiali di calcio del 2014, è il primo stadio sudamericano ad aver ottenuto la prestigiosa Certificazione energetica internazionale LEED. Photo:Daniel Basil
12 – Castelão Arena, Fortaleza Brazil. Photo: Fábio Lima/Portal da Copa/Março de 2013
13 – Proposal implementation superblocks. Ecoquartier Zac las Fonses Villeneuve-Tolosane Toulouse. Fonte: www.bcnecologia.net
14 - Proposal implementation superblocks. Ecoquartier Zac las Fonses Villeneuve-Tolosane Toulouse. Fonte: www.bcnecologia.net