With a goal to collect thoughts around the world, the 8th Ecocity World Summit was held in Istanbul 13th to 15th of December. The conference cost between 150 euro (for one day) to a regular ticket 500 euro, plus flight ticket and hotel cost it would be around 1000 euro up to double for non-Istanbul people. Who can come? Give it a thought.
I have to say that the answer would be; People who see the conference as an investment; companies that want to sell something. So next question would be; is an ecocity something that companies can invest in or is it more of an utopia?
We saw big projects from the company Varyap, Kucukcekmece Project and NewVista. Big scale projects with renewable energy and a lot of green room. The densed living and open up other green areas was in focus. Hiroaki Suzuki from World Bank told us about the concept Eco2 Cities, cities with both ecological and economic in focus. Suzuki also told us, that we have to build new houses for people, that is as many as the already existing buildings! New cities, big scale and repaplicated? Or rebuiding existing areas in a smarter way as examples from Montreal, Vancouver and Freiburg showed.
Richard Register's ground though about connect urban and rural areas in a more densed way so we can call it a ”city” can be what we call a small town, a village or a neighborhood today; it dosn't have t be A CITY. The ”city” part of the word ecocity means that ”like in a city, you have everything close to you”, it is unfortunately not what we can say about our cities today or the surroundings of the cities- sprawl and suburbs. Richard Register was very sensitive about talking too much about his concept, something that enjoyed me a lot- it is his concept- he should tell people what the main ideas are. Not hide them inside the book.
Can we build a society based on humans and not stuff, where we have everything we need close to us? Do we need Ecocities or Ecological modernization?
Good health and joy is all we need (?), and in the cities today we don't create it directly; it's a long way.. fist we let the people go sick from smog, bad quality of water, sedentary work, and stressful surroundings, and then we might help them back in the heath care. There is more food programs and non-fat products than ever, but people are also fatter and eat more unheathy than ever. Gyms and lifecoaching programs shows up in every corner; "do this" and "do this"- things that tells us to make us less stressed, makes us more stressed- because we have to have time to do the things. Hospitals, psychologists, life coaching, and even materialist consumption can go under what I would like to call; high speed, unhealthy societies. People have forgot what makes them happy.
Closeness and collaboration should be worlds for what an ecocity really is.
A sustainable society can only work in the long term (which is in the term sustainable..); if people have the right to own their property together with other people which will make them care about it, also important is to gain good group synergy and there we have it; a society that takes what it have and share thoughts, knowledge and pleasure.
Ostroms principles about sharing property can be read here, about sustainability here and about my perspective what an ecocity is here (links in this blog)
A very nice reading about the conference can be read at Daily Cos The Power of Nearness - DK Greenroots (or maybe its more about the real concept of the ecocity).
Mirage from Edan Cohen on Vimeo .
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