Wednesday, October 28, 2009

We can build a sustainable world, but we need to re-think.

Picture from the book Ecocities- rebuilding cities in balance with nature

Eco, eco, eco. Everything is about getting into the ecological approach in our way of life. To change our lifestyle to one who buys organic clothing products, a new "environmentally friendly" car and organic foods is not enough.

We see now more and more different possible solutions, but most of them just want to replace, not to change. But we have to change if it should work.

Ecocities, towns based on ecological principles, is such a change. Ecocity perspective goes beyond the Hammarby Sjöstad in Stockholm or the eco-villages as we see built. It is about rebuilding our cities. Ecocities deals with small scale, close-by, 3-dimensionally construction and joy. It's about what is important to us; meetings, new impressions, quiet, close to what we need, perhaps even a small project which involve people in something they themselves think is important.

In the real Ecocity, there are no stress that exists today, for everything is near to you.

The basic idea is simple, compact construction and creativity. Stores/offices will be on the ground floor of each house and can also be in other layers but will not occupy whole buildings. The 3-dimensional way of building will create open spaces where you can meet, socialize, relax, grab a coffee, sit in the sun. To look at running water or a moving animal is not something we have to go out of town to do. It's there. Near us. There are also things close to us that are important for children, teenagers, elderly. Diversity is a word that makes one think about different cultures, different perspectives, different cultures and different countries. Diversity is also a word that describes an Ecocity.

If the city is built in this way, we don't need large shopping center on the outlines, where you need a car to go, (incidentally, is a new phenomenon which is spread ever faster) the shopping center are virtually everywhere. Diversity is the key and diversity is the word to describe this kind of change.

It's not a dream. There are many examples of this type of project. But perhaps needed now is a pla
n to "build back" cities and towns to which they looked like many years ago. When it was exciting to go to a new location for where it looked different, with new stores and new people. But in this kind of city we don't need to carry us at all, unless we want to. Richard Register who started the concept Ecocities believe that "Transportation is what you do when you're not where you want to be."

Türbingen and Freiburg in Germany are examples. West Harbor in Malmö is another. We can re-think, we can change and it is now happening.


 Biblioteca parque España, Medellin, Colombia

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