Recent Posts

High-rise (again): If it needs an elevator, don’t build it.

The discussion keeps coming back: high-rise buildings or not. Cities and towns can’t resist falling in love with high towers.that is, the project developers and politicians. Last year I had the opportunity to explain to a council committee in Utrecht and to a mixed political audience in Eindhoven what is…

Continue Reading High-rise (again): If it needs an elevator, don’t build it.

We need yearly a land-budgetting

The Netherlands is grappling with its land. With its land management and spatial planning. From all sides, there’s a demand for scarce land: by livestock farmers for pasture and spreading manure, they want to expand more and more. But also for construction, roads, and solar parks. And data and distribution…

Continue Reading We need yearly a land-budgetting

How long do buildings last? 75 year…? 500 year…?

How long do buildings last? There’s little scientifically sound to say on the matter, and there are hardly any studies that have fundamentally examined it. Like the question: when does a building lose its primary function as a dwelling when no maintenance is carried out? In other words, when is…

Continue Reading How long do buildings last? 75 year…? 500 year…?

Large City fires in 2100 ( ‘D-Day’….)

The year 2100: Finally! It’s the year 2100, and for the first time, CO2 emissions from buildings will start going down. It should have been already zero by 2050, but due to spreading emissions over the lifespan of buildings, it’s only mathematically the case from 2100 onwards. Yearly that will…

Continue Reading Large City fires in 2100 ( ‘D-Day’….)

Sheep (and wool and land and etc.)

Regularly questions and discussions arise about wool and sheep [1]. Is it effective and/or useful, is it better/worse than alternatives, and so forth. Time to delve into that and try to put it into perspective. First, let’s look at some numbers: There are approximately 800.000 sheep in the Netherlands, producing…

Continue Reading Sheep (and wool and land and etc.)

Fever: we are at 38.7, and rising

Lets look ate the climate problem in another way: At a 1.5-degree increase, you have a fever, 38.5 degrees. You stay stay indoors, and move as little as possible; you don’t want to cause further damage. Because in various activities, you quickly start sweating and get tired. You won’t train…

Continue Reading Fever: we are at 38.7, and rising

Stress test for cities

It will be cities that in the coming decades (and partly already now), will have to face people’s problems most directly. Which was my reasoning in my recently published book ‘Post Fossil Life.’ ( in Dutch, later this year in English). To start with Interpersonal problems, as we already see…

Continue Reading Stress test for cities

Pay the Fish ( No, not the fishmonger, the fish)

We just fish the fish from the sea, without any consideration. The fish is not asked anything. And they are not paid for. We haven’t even sown those fish. So, at a fish stand, they are earning money with something they have taken from the sea for free, from a…

Continue Reading Pay the Fish ( No, not the fishmonger, the fish)

On Freedom: and a Short and a Long term government

Our biggest problem is that people, or humanity, do not observe or respect boundaries , to anything, and when facing them, they also want to constantly push those boundaries. And when starting to talk about boundaries, it quickly becomes a discussion about the freedom to choose for oneself. During Corona,…

Continue Reading On Freedom: and a Short and a Long term government

Capitalism and Comfort: a segregation of state and economy is needed.

I have to admit, capitalism has worked, allowing us, at least in our part of the world, to live in luxury. Even the poorer part of society here with us don’t have it as bad as in large parts of the rest of the world. However, the whole system has…

Continue Reading Capitalism and Comfort: a segregation of state and economy is needed.