Climate change is the defining issue of our time and we are at a deciding threshold. As we face the threats of nature, dwipbox emphasizes the urgency to be climatically sensitive and advance to a better greener future.
As the long term solution to the inevitable climate change is to reduce the carbon emissions due to human activities, designers around the world come together to create and design carbon-neutral and better yet, carbon-negative environment. Carbon-neutral activities release net-zero carbon emissions into the atmosphere whereas carbon-negative activity creates an environmental benefit to reduce the additional carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Our society today face a variety of environmental challenges. Many of these challenges arise from cities due to the intensive use of resources. Fortunately, an array of concrete solutions and initiatives of the challenges are being developed and enforced in cities around the globe.
Earth Hour City Challenge:
The EHCC is a WWF initiative to reduce the net carbon footprint in the world. Over half the population of the world reside in cities and are responsible for 70% of the carbon emissions produced. The challenge invites the cities to report at least one mitigation action and one commitment to reduce the carbon footprint.
EHCC aims to highlight the various challenges and solutions faced by the cities to identify options and promote collaboration between these cities. Thus far EHCC has over 300 cities participating in the challenge that have reported about 400 climate commitments and 2500 climate mitigation and adaptation techniques. Enhanced by WWF’s social media campaign “We Love Cities”, the availability of information of the cities actions for climate change has increased public participation and support in the involved cities.
Living Building Challenge:
The International Living Futures Institute stands for being “socially just, culturally rich and ecologically restorative”; and this premise is upheld in all their programs. One such program, the Living Building Challenge, is proved as the world’s most rigorous performance standards for buildings. The inexperienced building certification program uses the flower as a figure as a result of the perfect engineered atmosphere ought to perform as cleanly and with efficiency as a flower. The challenge flower comprises of seven performance petals: place, water, energy, health & happiness, materials, equity and beauty. Specific issues are detailed within the 20 imperatives of these petals. The LBC certified buildings give more than they take, thus creating a positive impact on human & natural systems surrounding it. As every facet of LBC is performance-based, the building receives a certification when it is measured for 12 consecutive months after completion.
Amanda Sturgeon, the CEO of ILFI believes people are more drawn to LBC because of the connection between the Living Building and the change they want to see in the world. The LEED, although a highly successful program, has more of a black-and-white approach as compared to the LBC that promotes creativity and out of the box thinking regarding the built and unbuilt environment.
6Aika – Six City Strategy:
The six largest cities of Finland – Helsinki, Espoo, Tampere, Vantaa, Oulu and Turku collaborate to form the 6Aika or the Six City Strategy. Approximately 30% of the country’s population resides within these cities where they come together to tackle the common urban challenges.
Started in 2014, the cities have organized up to 26 co-operation projects with a budget of 45 million Euros. The total budget for 2014 to 2020 claimed to be 100 million Euros. The cities develop and innovate new services incorporation with the customers and consequently gain hands-on knowledge to improve
customer service. The cities now function as open innovation ecosystems for new services and businesses that enhance new types of partnership and co-operation models.Today, the program consists of more than 50 smart city projects.