We can change the weather - 100 cases of changeability


Crosstalks Publications

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This 4th CROSSTALKS book documents 100 tangible local initiatives from all over the world that fit into a constructive and holistic movement for social and ecological change. Drawing from a pool of personally driven research and bottom-up projects, the book singles out 100 cases in different, yet interrelated domains. The selection itself was motivated by scientific researchers, architects, artists, political thinkers and entrepreneurs who try to make a positive difference in our quest for a future of prosperity, freedom and fun without undermining nature and humanity.


'You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.' Bob Dylan wrote in 1965. Today, in 2010, you don't need to be a specialist to see we are entering an era of high risk for humanity. We don't need more political talk, more reports on climate change and unstable financial markets, more reports on resource depletion and pollution. We need tangible local initiatives - and this book shows they exist.

The light we see is 13 billion years old. Maybe that reality expanding fact alone conditions us as human beings much more than we want to admit. Is it one of the reasons why we cherish the mistakes and revelations that occurred when history was being made, then sit back and do nothing? Is it also why we cannot seem to focus on a long-term vision for our planet? Or is it because it is easier to live with guilt than with regret? What is the evolutionary argument for the persistent impasse of the human race with regard to environmental, financial, demographical, educational, social, economical and political disintegration? Do we need a global short circuit of everything virtual and technological before we become human again?


Since its launch in 2003, VUB CROSSTALKS has been offering an open platform to all stakeholders concerned with our future, whether driven by open source software models, co-designing interfaces of all kinds, socio-economic and human concerns about health care, energy and sustainability at large. Our bottom-up and interdisciplinary projects and programs have succeeded in inspiring and motivating people to connect, interact and positively change their perception and reflection.

We encourage people to think beyond their function and in the same sense we ask our public and readers to do the same. Only then we can freely and confidently explore a fertile (brown) soil and develop a long-term exchange platform. In the best case scenario, this will lead us to well-considered and seamless connections between scientific, social, economical and emotional arguments.

Something like street art, but we prefer to do it on recycled paper. The main aim of this volume of 100 cases is to break through the barriers of predominant mediated and economic governances. We want to stimulate cross-disciplinary and long-term thinking without fostering shortcuts. That's why we don't come up with short-term, ready-made solutions or with the umpteenth white paper, but rather we go for specific challenges and inspiring cases of change and changeability. Most of these originate from the personally driven research and bottom-up projects of scientific researchers, architects, artists and entrepreneurs.


(excerpts from "Hoping Against History" by Marleen Wynants, the prologue on p. 5)


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1/ The Big Struggle Why does urban growth require the erasure of public space and nature? - Julien De Smedt
2/ Flooding Risk in Brussels Water retention capacity of geological units - Kevin De Bondt & Philippe Claeys
3/ School Food Revolution Food and sustainable city-regions: lessons from around the world - Roberta Sonnino
4/ Biomodd as a Paradox - Angelo Vermeulen & Diego Maranan
5/ Possible Futures for the European Parliament - François Schuiten
6/ MELiSSA Energy efficiency and life support in spaceflight and planetary stations - Max Mergeay
7/ Sailing Cargo around the Globe Doubling profits by protecting the environment - Leen de Baat
8/ Las Nubes From the good life to a better life - Stijn De Witte & Filip D'Hulster
9/ Energy: a Cultural Good - François Pachet
10/ The Limits of Population Growth - Paul Gerbrands
11/ Designing Low Energy Practices The effect of co-designing household appliances - François Jégou
12/ Fighting Climate Change The CO2logic approach - Antoine Geerinckx
13/ Physalia Positive energy amphibious garden - Vincent Callebaut
14/ Copenhagen was not a melting glacier: Three extreme climate propositions - Jean Paul Van Bendegem
15/ Rotor The re-use of construction and demolition waste-materials -Rotor asbl
16/ Laptops Unite! Supercomputer for climate simulation - Peter Hanappe
17/ Zeekracht A wind farm master plan for the North Sea - OMA
18/ Seamless Design - Danny Venlet
19/ Recentre Center for sustainable design - Natascha Rommens
20/ Prosperity without material growth - Dirk Holemans
21/ A passive & zero-emission village in former sand quarry: A case of sustainable urbanism in Walloon Brabant - Sebastian Moreno-Vacca
22/ Eco-design Tools Sustainable Product Development - Karine Van Doorsselaer
23/ Solar Cemetery - Sarah Vanagt
24/ Macrobiotics A sustainable way of life and eating - Mieke Pieters & Jan Vervecken
25/ Wind Controls Wind A music installation based on wind control - Walter Hus
26/ OPOWER Behavior-based energy efficiency: reliable, sustainable & cost-effective - Alex Laskey
27/ Enhancing intermodal transport A call for combining intermodal transport and electric vehicles - Cathy Macharis & Joeri Van Mierlo
28/ Circus Hotel Berlin Keeping the writing on the wall - Andreas Becker
29/ PLATOON Organization for Cultural Development - Tom Buschemann & Christoph Frank
30/ Carrotmob Using economy for a better ecology - Frank Delattin
31/ Sustainability Metering Tool for sustainable (school) construction - Luc Eeckhout
32/ Seenergy An interactive map showing energy activities - Olle Dierks
33/ The Case of Edmond A. A displaced system for alpha repair - Bartaku
34/ 'Green' means more than just money when choosing a college Finding a truly green campus may require some research - Kelly Vaughn
35/ Music Fund Music as an instrument for development - Lukas Pairon
36/ Assessing Sustainability Sustainability assessment - a tool to (re)orient energy transitions - Jean Hugé & Tom Waas
37/ Carpooling for Cargo TRI-VIZOR: The world's first cross supply chain orchestrator - Alex Van Breedam, Bart Vannieuwenhuyse & Sven Verstrepen
38/ Resilients - FoAM & partners
39/ Commercial Credit Circuit (C3) A financial innovation to structurally address unemployment - Bernard Lietaer in collaboration with STRO
40/ Sustainability and the Utah Experiment - Sven Gatz
41/ Global Warming The Dilemma of Social Cooperation - Dirk Helbing
42/ Eager To Know/Altijd Willen Weten - Alexander Nieuwenhuis
43/ Grow your own Food Market: A proposal with apartments, vegetable gardens and a wind turbine - Zwarts & Jansma Architects
44/ (Ant)ARCTIC Matters From Expedition to Exhibition - Dixie Dansercoer
45/ The Kaaba-abaak is storming - Speedism
46/ NoiseTube & BrusSense Participatory sensing for sustainable urban life - Matthias Stevens & Ellie D'Hondt
47/ The Connected Urban Development Program - Nico Villa
48/ Creative ecologies & participation: Le Son du Nous - Atau Tanaka, Jamie Allen, Kazuhiro Jo
49/ A plea for redundancy - Rudy Dhont
50/ University Hospital Brussels IT assisting to reach the green nirvana - Rudi Vandevelde & Marc Noppen
51/ OpenStructures A design research project by Thomas Lommée - Ils Huygens and based on a text by Thomas Lommée
52/ Decision Timing Model for inter-event times in human decisions - Josep Perelló
53/ Sustainable Dystopias - Stefano Boeri
54/ Colruyt Group Intermodal Transport: one step closer to sustainable sourcing - Yoeri De Frenne
55/ Art Basics for Children From art library to curiosity and autodidactic interaction - Gerhard Jäger
56/ IntelliGator A distributed energy control mechanism - Gerrit Jan Schaeffer, Maarten Hommelberg & Patrick Vanschoubroek
57/ The Climate Express Bringing people to Copenhagen and Copenhagen to the people - Michael Stevns
58/ Sustainability and Systems NOW - Takashi Ikegami
59/ Manifesto for responsible innovation - Jan Van Mol
60/ Flanders Smart Hub goes cleantech - Wouter Florizoone
61/ Unfinishable Markermeer - John Palmesino & Ann-Sofi Rönnskog
62/ Sensing the system Reducing moral distance from global climate change - Caroline Nevejan
63/ Poldermosque Pluricultural reality in a green, social and economic sustainable building - Cihan Bugdaci & Ergun Erkoçu
64/ Oyakudachi Stories - Lydia Giménez-Llort
65/ The Terror of the Sustainable - Rob van Kranenburg
66/ EMOVO Multi-disciplinary research and training center for energy and environmental technologies - Peter Van den Bossche
67/ AVERE/ASBE Back to the future - Joeri De Ridder
68/ Julie's Bicycle Taking the heat out of the music industry - Alison Tickell
69/ ChinaConduct Can the West learn from China? - Jeanne Boden
70/ Just freedom A deliberate move from energy efficiency to energy sufficiency - Adrian Muller
71/ Integrating Standards, Ecodesign and Users The ISEU project - Grégoire Wallenborn
72/ Move for Climate The best way of improving fuel efficiency is to use cars less - Els Heyvaert
73/ BAD/POWER - JL Again
74/ Picnik A call for friendly food - Annabel Meuleman
75/ Arpia If Beauty can save the World, can Art save the Planet? - Arpia
76/ Thirty Pilot Networks Promoting energy efficiency and climate protection in Germany - Wolfgang Eichhammer, Eberhard Jochem & Harald Bradke
77/ A Public Authority's Perspective on Transport & Logistics - Jacques Devos
78/ Territorial Connection Back to where the river flows - Bas Smets
79/ Future Railway Stations Heading towards the 'Architecture of Wonder' - Salvatore Bono 80/ ETAP New lights on old stereotypes - Christ'l Joris
81/ The Bella Center A zero-emissions lighting project for Copenhagen - Steven Scott
82/ Energy Efficiency in R&D Recycling knowledge across domains - Simon Dewulf
83/ Backcasting Techniques - Alistair Guthrie
84/ FOODMOOD The narrative facets of food - Alok b. Nandi
85/ Yin and Yang - Lulu Wang
86/ Ecotherapy and Ecopsychology A holistic, human ecological, psychological and philosophical approach to a society and planet in crisis - Dimitri Devuyst
87/ Drive Electric Reducing energy consumption in transport by a factor of 2 - Joeri Van Mierlo & Cathy Macharis
88/ DESIS Design for social innovation and sustainability - Ezio Manzini
89/ Shrinking Cities Urbanism vs. the Growth Paradigm: Shrinking Cities - Elke Beyer
90/ Which management for tomorrow's society? - Laurent Ledoux & Roland Vaxelaire
91/ 3E Driving the sustainable ambition of developers - Geert Palmers
92/ Case Study: Recycling Automobiles University education in 'Industrial Ecology' - Saul M. Lemkowitz
93/ Louvain-la-Neuve From a new university town to a regional center - Pierre Laconte
94/ Greening the IES Creating an environmentally friendly workplace Ólöf Söebech
95/ TeamTank 'Need it, work it, do it. Makes us stronger, faster, smarter.' Tine Holvoet & Curdin Tones
96/ Entropy Crisis A biochemist's view on the conservation and dissipation of energy Lode Wyns
97/ Alcohol-fuelled internal combustion engines De-carbonizing transport and securing energy supply - Jeroen Vancoillie & Sebastian Verhelst
98/ Biomimicry Nature's hidden recipes - Gauthier Chapelle
99/ Green ICT Nomadic Applications - Nico Verplancke
100/ Some Fundamentals from Physics Energy, Efficiency and Life: A Very Special Relationship - Nicolas Glansdorff


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