Categorie: urban

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…

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EU: No Net land Take ?

A new regulation is in the making in Europe: No net land take. PBL ( NL environmental assessment agency) recently organized a meeting on the topic.[1] It’s an interesting approach and wording, but what’s really the point? First, there is the assumption that no more land should be sacrificed to…

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Jaime Lerner – Curitiba

Just recently, in May, Jaime Lerner passed away. He more or less invented sustainable urban development. A little tribute. Everything has to be sustainable or circular these days, including the cities. Now, is there a city that has already applied many of these principles, where there is something to learn?…

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Forgot 1 SDG (11) : Calamity proof cities

Last time, I even forgot one goal: Sustainable development Goal 11, Sustainable cities. Again, the question: what is sustainable? So much has been brought together under that heading, all nice things for people, that it does not really help us very much, when it comes to energy and resources. On…

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Urban heat islands, a growing problem

Urban heating, or at least the increase thereof, has been in the spotlight for some time. And the basic effects were known to me. But after hearing a lecture by Math Santamouris during a recent Conference, a whole new world opened up for me. He gave a good overview of…

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How (and why) to avoid high-rise buildings…

Architects love to be able to design and build an iconic tower. And a city counselor can leave his signature with it. Well, it happens that the world is urbanizing, and that we see a lot of high-rises in planning, framed as ’there is no other way’: we have to…

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m2 living per capita in Europe, and consequences

It sometimes seems that the built environment, and the adjustments to achieve a sustainable society, are of the same nature everywhere. But that is by no means the case when we zoom out, to Europe for example. There should be no less than 250 million homes become energy-neutral.* [1] A…

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Circular cities..? Real time material flows for London

Since it looks as if we are going to introduce the climate measures for buildings mainly via municipalities or cities, I have recovered some of my older research material about urban sustainability, developed when I worked at Wageningen University. The urban approach makes sense, buildings are not isolated functions, they…

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A square, music, and musings on Value

One of the most authentic squares I have ever ‘occupied’ , and one that I consider the best when it comes to symbolizing sustainable living, is in … ..: Well, I’m not going to tell where exactly, otherwise it might become too lively. As the city of Maastricht has experienced…

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Vertical F(r)a(r)ming …

There are some strange excesses in the need for more sustainability, and especially with regard to the undefined “greening” of things. One of these, and you notice it more and more, is the tendency to plant trees on buildings. Not on the roof, as you might expect, but especially around…

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