Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Theme; good feeling

What is a livable city?
One might think a lot of greens, people walking, cycling, kids playing, happy people gathering. But it is not really only green spots which are needed, people do not just gather or walk out on the streets because of greens. How do we create spaces where people feel secure, and places where people wants to go?

It seems to be important that it is a thin line between private and public. Totaly private is in our own homes, and that is not "showing ourself on the streets", totaly public might be in a crowded bus, in a large greenspace, in the much busy supermarket or another place, where everyone should do the same, and where it doesn't matter that we are individuals. The little space to calm down, words and a smile in the shop, is so important. Even if they are small. Picture above is inside the castle in Heidelsberg, Germany. A little space for your own, at the public square.

Those private spaces can be shared with other, but should be distinguished from the rest of the town. In Hamburg, Germany, they have a lake in the middle of town, which you can walk around. It's also a lot of traffic, but in one of the corner, you can relax in different ways.

Relax can be to rest from a little walk, drink some water, or relax after a hard working day with a beer or a cocktail, that is what you seem to be doing on this little float in Geneva lake, Switzerland. And even if no one use it, you can imagine it and that is just enough sometimes.


A little square is also sometimes what is needed, just to rest the head from the traffic. Here in Paris with some beautiful art, free to watch.

Another place in Paris, very welcoming and a feeling of togetherness even if we were not on our way there. Those places which connects house to street is important.
Another way of connect buildings to surroundings is with green space, as this small pond in Riesenfeld, Freiburg, Germany, which can be as a livingroom or a playroom for kids. Those spaces are more than just green areas, they wants you to go there.


Another way of integrating surroundings to another is views. This is also a place where we combines private with public, picture above is on the Hotel and Restaurant Kapuzinergarten in Breisach am Rhein. It seems as human likes to look over the fields and forest but in the same time feels secure by the wall of mountains. That is something we should put more interest in.

"Public art". In the same mountain. This painting was made long ago, I think, like it show a marketday at the square. And it makes a connection to the past.

New kind of "public art". Light from one direction makes this interesting and wonderful wall in Paris. A place full of life even in the night. And a place to feel secure even if it's a lot of people and dark.. what is it, that makes that feeling?

A more extreme phenomena here at the bridge in Paris. People have taken over the whole place. Why do they sit here and not at other bridges in other towns?


Here in the other side is a place which is very predetermined to be a cozy place. Green walls, traffic calmed, chairs, café and so on.

When this is a place which is not planned for public use, but it makes it cozy anyway.

And last picture I wanted to show is also from Paris, a little space for people. Can we find the time and space here? Can we see the public and the private here? Or do we save the feeling and sit down in another place.. like the bridge? What is it that makes us feel good? And can we collect more of those places to compare? And can we ask people if they have the same feeling? And can we build better, healthier and more livable cities?

Prosperity without Growth

It’s a really strange story.
A story about us.
The people that have been persuaded
or encouraged
to spend money they don’t have
on things they don’t need
to create impressions
that wont last
on people they don’t care about.
-Tim Jackson, author to the book Prosperity without Growth, 2009

Friday, September 24, 2010

More teamwork less competition

Contrary to American myth, competition actually holds us back from doing our best work. The more an individual or organization is consumed with the struggle to be Number One, the less likely it is that quality can be sustained. Moreover, research and experience demonstrate that competition is both psychologically destructive and poisonous to our relationships. This presentation shows why any arrangement in which one person’s success depends on another’s failure is bound to be counterproductive. It also considers why cooperation is integral to success, how the idea of teamwork is often misunderstood, and what other ingredients are required for attaining quality in the workplace.
Alfie Kohn homepage.


Ralph Nader “On Corporate Power in the United States” from William Hughes on Vimeo.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Development levels



The Global Brain. See first 2.05 minutes and take your time to see the little video from 1983 here, it's worth it!

I read the book The Global Brain (or The awakening earth, 1982) many years ago and wanted to share it here with the right translation, but since Peter Russell seems to be a little bit too spiritual ?, it seems to be hard to find it if not order the book. Text under is translated from Swedish, En uppvaknande värld, 2:ond edition, 1987.


From the fact that the world's population is now raising from the scale of 10^9 to the scale of 10^10... In the case of the emergence for a new level of development, there seems to require a specific number of basic components.

In the living cell, the basic component are atoms (stable materie units). In each cell of Escherichia coli, there are about 40 billion atoms (expressed in mathematical terms shortened to 4 times 10 ^ 10, where 10^10 is read "ten raised by ten", that is a one followed by ten zeros). More complex cells, like muscle cells may contain 10 ^ 10 atoms, and some large amoebas can contain as much as 10 ^ 15 atoms. If we look in the other direction we find, however a few cell types contains less than 10 ^ 10 atoms and there are no known forms of life with less than 10 ^ 8 (ie one hundred million) atoms. If just look to the numbers, it appears to be a threshold, which below, life can not easily arise.

A similar threshold appears to exist for the emergence of self-consciousness. The average human brain contains about 10 ^ 11 neurons, of which 10 ^ 10 in the Corpus callosum, which is the part associated with the conscious mind. A brain whose bark contains 10 ^ 9 or fewer neurons, such as the brain of a dog does not seem to exhibit the phenomenon of self-consciousness. Only when it reaches the human cerebral cortex size scene this ability, and with the development of conscious thought, intellect, language, knowledge, free will, science, art and religious experiences.

We can therefore assume that it requires something of the order of 10 ^ 10 units to achieve the level of complexity is necessary for a new leap in the development are to occur. If the total number of units is less than that, the space is too small for the organization and interaction which is also required.


Peter Russell came out with a new version of the book 2008 The Global Brain: the awakening earth in a new century and released a new book this year; The Brain Book: know your own mind and how to use it. He has also written much more.

--

Video below is about how memes, ideas and practices, spreads over the world and can be a treat to the diversity of cultures and also a treat to the diversity of ideas. Everything happens in our minds and may not be in the conscious part. "Like the germs, ideas can be toxic".. "and like the germs, we can never annihilate them".. "but what we can do is, to foster public health care to protect people from the most toxic ones". This is one way of using that power of human consciousness and our capacity to think together.. and that is what we need to do, if we would like to have a better world to live in.



Starting with the simple tale of an ant, philosopher Dan Dennett unleashes a devastating salvo of ideas, making a powerful case for the existence of memes -- concepts that are literally alive.

Climate change enlightenment was fun while it lasted

Climate change enlightenment was fun while it lasted. But now it's dead

Posted by George Monbiot Monday 20 September 2010 at guardian.co.uk

Monday, September 20, 2010

When the world is ruled by evil men

When it was thought that the world knew better .. then it got worse


Swedes voted. Social democrats and center-right wings are again very close, with no total majority (over 50%). With the center-right wings 5,7 percentage above the social-left (49,5 and 43,6, result list of the 8 parties here), they may collaborate with the green party to get total majority, but the greens said no (collaborates with the social-left). The number 5,7% is also what the far right wings got, meaning 20 seats in the parliament.

Sweden has had the reputation of being one of the countries with the most generous welfare system in the world, but have since 2006 a government who started to sell it at the market. As half of Swedens population still wants to have the government owned welfare system, this is a tricky situation where the center-right wing need to have majority to do huge regime shifts, something they don't have after this election. People I spoked with are concerned that only rich people can afford dentist, hospital and being not able to work, something that lead to demonstrations from the new-started group "Rika för Reinfeld" (Rich for Reinfeld, the prime minister, page at facebook) a group inspired by Billionaries for Bush, who use parady as a protest. Protest can also bee seen as 17,9 did not vote, meaning 1/5 of Sweden's population do not care? And of course the 5,7 % votes to the far right anti-immigration party, also shows that they are dissatisfied with the politics and can therefor also be seen as a protest. In facebook, a silent protest is ongoing too; "we like different" (vi gillar olika), a little sign that you can put on your profile picture to show that you disagree with the new parliament party.

And this is what it's all about. We are different. We vote different. Our believes are different. We like different groups of people to identify us with. But is then anyone evil or is it just different wills? And again, is it evil to exclude other? Well then we do that every time we create a group.

In this world, were we got so many problems, the Swedish election surprised me, because people still assume that capitalism can save the world, e.i that we can grow our way to sustainability? Tragedy of the commons occur when people only think of their own profit, but when everyone thinks in this way, a huge drawback hits back; resources do end and everyone fails in the end. Without an overlaying system or plan, only the few with profit can survive, because they can move away from disasters, while the other have to struggle with what is left, e.i meaning make plans and systems so it can work in the long run. So an economic system that have as a goal to equalize differences (compare it to tragedy of the commons) in the arena just move the problem further away, meaning the less rich world. This is how profit works. To have a capitalistic way of look upon the world, means to see a huge gap between rich and poor. The capitalistic way of look upon the world would not work if cheap labor were not offered. Capitalism is based on inequality, and then inequality far away from what we have insight; in less wealthy countries. But as the system only works if it expand, meaning putting more people in this system, it is not working in the long turn, this is why liberalism has an end (discussion from Immanuel Wallerstein, see also post Hans Rosling and post Crash course).

Ok, well if capitalism is based on inequality and is doomed to crash.. why do we spend so much money to make it work?! That is just because it is easy to look upon, easy to understand, we just love numbers! And how can we measure without numbers? And again, we all just love to identify us with other people who have things we don't.

So if Sweden got a majority of people who likes capitalism, meaning Sweden helps the world to go more unequal, and in the same has another party that says no to immigration to those affected, can Sweden then be called selfish? Evil?
What is going on in the world? No one wants to see the whole, just the parts, but never together.. Is that evilness? Or just stupidity? And how can we work for another future when the best thing you can do as human, is to get rich?

Swedes voted and this is apparently what we want. By no means, political history is written by this election.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Critisism from mum

Last post, Learning by doing, was criticized from my mum. She is a pedagogue in cello teaching and was concerned how for example politicians can look upon such research. "What if they mean that teaching can be without teachers?" "Then I'm nothing worth any more".

Let's see if I can sort things here.
  • Tools, materials and a frame what the kids have to learn or the group wants to learn, is essential.
  • Trust to that group, what ever happens, is more than important.
  • Learning comes from doing. That is therefore crucial that both kids and adults in a learning process can try out different ways to come to an understanding.
Conclusion;
  • Learning cello is doing by actually playing the cello, that is learning by doing, by trust from the teacher, family, friends and with a hand by tools (cello), materials (sheet, a space to be etc) and a frame (teacher, notes).
  • Learning chemistry in a lab is that too, as well as riding a horse, be in a team in the forest to learn rescue.. all these are something else than read about it in a book, or listen to a teacher; when you learn as long as you do.
We can call it to have a dialog with the instrument, or to the cello teacher and then back. It is also a dialog to talk with other people and sort thoughts and too have a feeling of being a part of a whole. This is communication in high level. This is about how we learn, how we interpret with our surroundings and how we look upon our world.

I don't think the world needs less teachers, but I think that the world needs better methods to teach. More pedagogues instead of lectures; for more understanding, more trust and better self-confidence. More dialog, discussions and practical learning for a deeper understanding and a better learning in the long run.

Because learning is doing, and doing is learning. That is what it's all about.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Learning by doing

Speculation; Education is a self organising system, where learning is an emergent phenomenon -Sugata Mitra, Professor of Educational Technology at the School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences.

See this TED why children needs to have a will to learn, and how they can do so by using discussions, group work and comparison as a tool.



See also the homepage for the Hole-in-a-wall research.

Learning by doing and by emerge is not just a tool to teach kids. See here why lessons is a waste of time in adult learning.

Wales captures carbon emissions

Post from Ed Yong, at Not Exactly Rocket Science, June 2010. "Sperm whales remove around 240,000 more tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere than they add back in. They are giant, blubbery carbon sinks". Read it here.

The ecologist repeat herself and says; -nature does it best herself. And you can take a look at the other great example about how to use nature, at nature's way in the post Delicious healthy "fishfarm"

Theme; public transit

"You should go with bus 513. You'll catch it at some minutes past from Korsvägen, where you go by tram 6. The bus drives then over the mountain to Björndammen, or by the way; catch the bus at Svingeln, but then you have to go now and take a tram 1, or, well, we can go together to Heden with 765 and then take the bus in either direction. Or change in Partille Centrum at '45" from bus 510, which goes from Centralstation."











Maps as well as simplicity are the necessity to get a well working Public Transportation. Imaginary maps of routes and time schedule, glues into our heads, especially if routes have to fit to each other to not get stuck in a boring place with nothing to do, except of waiting. To make it easier nowadays, the transit companies often have software so we, the people can check best way between two points. Public transit seems to have endless of solutions both as a visual system, nodes to change between buss, train, tram and subway, as well as the vehicles in itself, as these double buses in Luzern and the triple -buses in Hamburg.

Today's theme is about public transit and the variation between.

In the book from 2007, Transit Maps of the World, Mark Ovenden and Mike Ashworth collected all urban rail systems on earth. Some for billions of people in the megacities and some for some houndred thousand in the smaller cities makes it interesting to see how the systems became what they are today. In the picture above from Geneva; the street is a mix between cars, trams, walking people and bikes.

Trams in the city of Freiburg have the space in the middle of the road, and cars at the sides, where the cars have to cross some. In the neighbourhood of Vauban where cars are limited and ground covered with grass to reduce the sound (left above), the tram takes most of the transportation to the city center, as well as bikes. City center in Freiburg is also car reduced and it's only the tram you have to watch out for.

Heidelsberg is one of the most beautiful cities in Germany, but not so beautiful in the new part as in the old part. In this picture it seems as it is the rail's false -some more green maybe?

Funny sign in Stockholm, just a reminder for pedestrians of the new line. The city runs a big subway system, light trains from the city center to suburb and buses.

Like as in Geneva, Olso offers a mix between pedestrian, busses, cars and trams. A little bit caotic. Oslo also got their subway under the ground. But what can be done at the picture above?











Old trams uphill/downhill for the turists in San Fransisco and a more modern sort of tramsystem, Muni were it's more flat in the surroundings. The city uses buses mostly in town and BART, Bay Area Rapit Transit (shown in picture, taken at the web), a mix betweeen subway and train, for the longer distances in the San Fransisco Bay area. But for most, they use cars. To to find the bus routes is hard in SF if you don't know them, as they don't allow people who are not in the system to go to the system; bus stops do have no schedule information.

Warszawa in Poland has a tram system from 1865 when it was draged with horses, the system converted to electric trams in 1907. The system is the second largest in world, and with that- one of the most used. Warszawa have 1/4 green space in the city, see more pictures from the city here.

Above; Göteborg runs with both several tramslines and buss routes. In the picture, one of the old tramcars together with cars on the side. Göteborg has plans to make Västlänken, a subway with a wish to reduce the car commute to the city. But what to do with the car commuters in the city?













In the picture is a tram road without cars, and pedestrian on the sides. Cars have to turn another way (right picture). A very common sight were the trams are, the feeling is different, it is a little bit more harmonic, with people walking and not so many cars as in Geneva center, Freiburg center and shown above in Istanbul. But were the cars are in Istanbul.. it's a lot of cars. And even if traffic jams are a fact, people have to take the car anyway. A city were they had a successful change was in Bogota in Colombia. From a city in chaos; frequently car jams and accidents; to a city with a bus system that works as a subway, and that with less money invested than for a subway. You can find a complete list of Light Rail, Light Railway, Tramway and Metro systems throughout the World, at their homepage.

What can we expect from future? Bigger and more systems for public? In this picture, Lausanne in Switzerland, the new metroline; "the mountain goat", straight up the hills.

And Zermatt with no cars, used the lift system to go to the mountains.

What do we see more of in future? More public transit is a yes by sure, but more roads and cars? Take a look at this video in another future before you say yes.

Monday, September 13, 2010

The perfect society

The human social ideal . . . is the attainment of an universal human society in which all human individuals would possess a perfected social intelligence, such that all social meanings would each be similarly reflected in their respective individual consciousnesses — such that the meanings of any one individual’s acts or gestures (as realized by him and expressed in the structure of his self, through his ability to take the social attitudes of other individuals toward himself and toward their common social ends or purposes) would be the same for any other individual whatever who responded to them (Mind, Self and Society 310).

Mead’s vision seems to imply a society of many personalities (Mind, Self and Society 324-325) in perfect communication with one another. Every person would be capable of putting herself into the place of every other person. Such a system of perfect communication, in which the meanings of all symbols are fully transparent, would realize the ideal of a universal human community.

Mead recognizes, of course, how far we are from realizing the universal community. Our religions, our economic systems, and our communicational processes are severely limited. At present, these historical forces separate us as much as they unite us. All three, for example, are conditioned by another historical force which has a fragmenting rather than a universalizing effect on modern culture, namely, nationalism (see Mead, Selected Writings 355- 370). Mead points out that “the limitation of social organization is found in the inability of individuals to place themselves in the perspectives of others, to take their points of view” (The Philosophy of the Present 165). This limitation is far from overcome in contemporary life. And “the ideal human society cannot exist as long as it is impossible for individuals to enter into the attitudes of those whom they are affecting in the performance of their particular functions” (Mind, Self and Society 328). Contemporary culture is a world culture; we all affect each other politically, culturally, economically. Nonetheless, “the actual society in which universality can get its expression has not risen” (Mind, Self and Society 267).

Text from the website Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy; George Herbert Mead (1863-1931)

Upon time perspectives

We find that each generation has a different history, that it is a part of the apparatus of each generation to reconstruct its history. A different Caesar crosses the Rubicon not only with each author but with each generation. That is, as we look back over the past, it is a different past. The experience is something like that of a person climbing a mountain. As he looks back over the terrain he has covered, it presents a continually different picture. So the past is continually changing as we look at it from the point of view of different authors, different generations. It is not simply the future [and present] which is novel, then; the past is also novel.
-George Herbert Mead, Movements of Thought in the Nineteenth Century 116-117

Upon altruism

-To think that you can live completly alone is a false assumption.

Everything we do is dependent on collectivism in one way or another. We are social constructed, and so are our built environment. How can we live here without thinking of the consequences of others?

-To beileve that everyone can, if correctly informed, make correct decisions is not right.

A marked driven- approach to solve environmental issues, is a too slow road. And in the end, when everyone tries to make profit from environmently friendly goods- then what?

Why capitalism is doomed to fall is explaned simple here; Crash course in economics . Read also when Herman Daly answers the question; Can we grow our way to an environmentally sustainable world? And see my own argumentation why ecological modernisation may not be the best alternativ for human future and Death of Liberalism as a point of view from Immanuel Wallerstein .

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Theme: why so ugly?

City environments offers a lot; closeness to other people, closeness to shops, busninesses, activities.. or it should. In the early 90', a book called Varför är det så fult? (translated; Why so ugly?) discussed this and how the car is both the urban planner and the landscape architect. The author put the question to the eco-architect and researcher Bengt Warne and got this answer (translated); "it is due to the greed for power and money which has got to be a driving force in our society. Greed instead of love. Exploitation of people and nature have been profitable and also it has been given a status".

To understand it better, I want to, with some pictures, show how cars plan our cities and how cities can look like when no one wants to be the one that make cities more beautiful. In the picture above is the street between the Bus terminal and the Subway/Train Terminal in Oslo. Meaning, this is the first thing you meet when you arrive with bus or train. The street is a bridge, which I like. But what do we see when we enter this city? Cars, streets, huge buildings. Hi Oslo, nice to visit you!














When people don't feel the togetherness with their part of town, they don't care how it look like. Or to clean it up. At the first picture above, a huge garbage collection, exactly the same place as last time I visited Stockholm. Why? Why?

The place at the picture above is strange, sad and ugly; in one side Riddarholmen and in the other the Old Town (in Stockholm, Sweden). A road in the middle of the beautiful center. I don't think so many tourists see this place, if they don't have a map and really wants to. Why, why, did you take away the river and built this ugly road instead?

It is not only cars who smells.. in this picture above an area where it's dirty with environmental toxics in Stockholm. Wear safety clothes and be ready to inhale some, because this smells. They are going to clean it now, because they realized that they can build expensive apartments here. Maybe that is better than a toxic forest?

Oh, recycling! But what happens when people put their toilet stuff here... and other stuff..

This is the new Rail Station in Umeå (Nothern Sweden). No beauty here, only ugliness and a working place still. Asphalt, cars and some boring buildings is what meets you when you visit Umeå by train. Where is the city? (Answer; you need to take a car or bus there). But you can buy an apartment if you like and have the river as your view.



Nothing worked at the new station. Black signs and wrong track even if they only got 2. You can found your way here by car, but if you try anything else, by bus for example, this is what you have to handle; fence, a broken street and ugliness. Right picture is the other side of the station, the view here is unto the hospital. Just four days before these pictures was taken, Sweden's king was there and opened the station. Yes, a very glamorous look. Maybe he stayed inside the house and took the plane here as it takes 10 hour by train from Stockholm.


With examples from the Nordic countries, we might think the problem with ugly cities is more common in other countries, where the planning is "bad" and no garbage collection can be found at all. Like US, because of the cars, and cities where it is too crowded and poor, where City Development is just whats happen and not planned at all. But in fact, ugliness are spreading, as there are no profit in having beautiful cities. In those pictures here, from Istanbul, a lost city- beautiful in old times, now falling apart. Pictures shows some of the city's not so beautiful or safe spaces. The side of Istanbul where the tourists don't walk, a forgotten place.. Wants some more? See Ecocity Amersfoort just for its uniformity.

But what can we do about it? Can we make the connection between better health and more beauty in cities? As Bengt Warne said in the end of his argumentation; "Now we have to make peace with nature, both within us and around us. We need to make peace with our origins and our future. Today it is spoken more often about a sustainable society, a society in harmony with nature. Let us begin a love affair with nature".

Think about this wise words and do not forget that I try to visible the beautifulness in cities; take a look at my collection of Eco projects and feel some hope for humanity again!

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Parody as Protest


Billionaries for Bush was a grassroot movement under the period of George W Bush to show discontent to the current president and his political policies. What they did was to take the role of the other part, in this case billionaries, and shown in that way what they thought was absurd. With jewels, suits, ties, hats, cigars, champagne and limousines they were on the streets with placards as "were is the profit in peace?", "fuck the poor", "tax wages not wealth", it's a class war and we're winning", "survival of the richest", "widen the income gap".. parody as protest.

A clever, to not say ingenious way to get media attention. See more at http://billionairesforbush.com/photos.php

Can the concept be used again, in Sweden? Prof. Brian Palmer wonder if any wants to "rapidly build a team of Millionaires for Reinfeldt (Rika för Reinfeldt), who would show up with memorable placards at Reinfeldt's upcoming talks and other Alliance events".
Events would probably be in Stockholm, before the Swedish election 19th of September- meaning SOON. Want to join? Contact me.


Prof. Brian Palmer is an antropologist who have been studing the Swedish democracy for a long time. See him in this interview, about the regime shift, talking a little about Fredrik Reinfelds book "The sleeping people" (meaning the Swedish people), and the prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldts advises from Bush to win this year's election in an inverview from 2008. See the book, George W Reinfeldt : konsten att göra en politisk extreme makeover by Per-Anders Forstorp & Brian Palmer, and the previous post Upon Equality and Personal reflection on why and how .

Monday, September 06, 2010

Eco-town Amersfoort

Amersfoort as an eco-town? This video shown below, made me so enthusiastic as we decided to go to the Netherlands as a last stop at latest journey. Video and more information from this site; asc, Academic for Sustainable Communities.

video

Three new settlements so far; Nieuwland, Kattenbroek and Vathorst, where Nieuwland looks like an ordinary residential area, Kattenbroek is cool when looking at google maps, but as a couple who moved from the area said "it felt like we lived in a fish bowl, tourists were there all the time to take pictures of the architecture", as it was very easy to get lost in dead-ends and circular roads, I understood what they meant by "a lot of tourists running around"; they were trapped!, and then the area of Vathorst.. Well, before thinking to much good thoughts here.. take a look at the pictures.

Yes, they have their own character in each block.. click to zoom.












Amersfoort have the best bicycle roads I ever seen, a car free beautiful little city center, and many elements close to an ecocity/eco-town, but sadly, this project, "Eco-town Amersfoort", as something for the whole city, fails in the "sustainable social part", its not there, no mixed-used buildings, no activities, straight streets.. nothing to do, the dependence of cars..

  I have to ask myself the question, even if people apparently does; who wants to live in those straight streets? It is far to walk to the bus or the train station (both the central station and the new one in Varthorst is far away from the center), in text they say 400 meter from every house to a bus stop, well we walked 20 minutes to catch the bus after being in Varthorst, the area is not completed yet..
  As seen in the pictures, it was so boring to walk at the streets here as we just took the fastest way. Varthorst as well as Nieuwland, Kattenbroek, is just a huge residential area for living. With those houses in two stores high, and with a need to use the car, I would not call this an ecological area, or a social sustainable area, this is suburban sprawl! And I don't care if they tells that they saved some old trees as they did, this is not good at all anyway.

I may be too hard, because this is a new settlement and not finished yet. But as I'm interested in discussing why its so hard to make something called an ecocity/eco-town, this is a good example for doing that; this is just another try to make a so-called sustainable area. This time it failed most in the long distance, were I have to argue that if calling something "eco-", it should be connected and not requires that much transportation. See step one in my explanation of what an ecocity should have.













At the end, just before sunset, we found these houses, which made the whole day walk in the new settlement in Amersfoort worth it, so called "ecological houses", as we saw next day: for more than 500 000 euros.

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