We want to point out the possibility of exercising good practice in Spanish towns.
Thanks to the boulevard in Vallecas, we have been offered the opportunity to take part in the competition for Good Practice in Dubai. It is an interesting way to support large actions in towns and cities. The first competition of the Good Practice Program was organised for the United Nations Conference, Habitat II, that took place in Istanbul in 1996, “a means of identifying urban policies and actions that, according to sustainability criteria, were proofed to be efficient for improving living conditions in cities and towns and showed ideas and experiences for supporting national reports and acting plans that national committees were preparing for the conference”.
On top of this, Dubai created an international award for Good Practice with the purpose of better identifying it.
José Fariña Tojo says in his article “Good practice for a more sustainable urban growth”, published in CSCAE magazine, common practice is more important than good practice, since in Spain we suffer from plenty of bad practice.
What we want to point out is the opportunity that these awards bring to Spanish towns to make an effort to implement these quality actions and invest public funds on public wellbeing, not on individual benefit.
It seems that nowadays everything is measured with a ranking. Even blogs have their own rankings. In Spain there are about 500 000 blogs. When we started, we never imagined we position ourselves, in just a few months, within the 1000 most influential blogs. Last week we checked the Alianzo ranking to find, to our great surprise, that we were among the top 500! To be precise,we were number 394 more influential blog in Spain…. Great! This is a fantastic news to end the year with. This is working and growing! Thank you all for reading us and thanks to all who take active part.
Today we introduce Antonio Jiménez Torrecillas, an architect I had the opportunity to meet at the Jornadas Internacionales de Intervención en el Patrimonio Histórico that took place in Logroño last month. His work has stricken me as spectacular for combining economical resources and powerful beauty. Without a doubt, it is one of the most creative and interesting works I have seen recently. I hope you agree.
We can all be Makeadores. Anyone who can find valuable what others discarded is a Makeador. The alterego of the person that appears at the very moment he/she is about to make the action of reusing.
It comes and goes, it shows in temporary situations when we are looking for something. Makear comes from “make up”, mending, customising, personalising, repairing, tuning, adapting, sorting out… you make it pretty.
In today’s consumer society, brands are any word, name, symbol or object used for identifying and distinguishing articles by a particular producer from those made by competitors. They infer certain personality and image to the products, so that they become dependant on the brand.
Now MAKEA is born. An alternative to the “use & dispose” culture. MAKEA is a brand that doesn’t sell anything. It represents an attitude of resistance.
MAKEA is the collective intelligence and creativity that turns into useful again what the consumer society has rejected. The idea is to bring back the motto “do it yourself”, extending the useful life of products, going back to knowing how to make things, breaking with the “empty wasting commodity” that sells in boxes the consumer culture.
I bet you are curious to see what we are talking about… well, then, check out this website: makeatuvida.net
A few weeks ago, the British Institute of Structural Engineers published the winners of their international Structural Awards 07. I like some of the winning projects better than others, but there is a little bit of everything among them – slender bridges, complex geometry roofs, intelligent systems for earthquake-resistant structures, even buildings made of lime hemp blocks… but do you know what I could hardly find? Concrete… in return, the term “sustainable” appears in various occasions.
British engineers have surprised me, getting closer to the issue of sustainability, recognising the efforts of professionals who choose their materials to minimise environmental impact; professionals who bear in mind the life cycle of their structures, not only how much money the contractor can save today on a job, the future of which they don’t care about….
Steel prevails in the winning projects. I do know this is the British construction tradition, but I like to think that it is so for many reasons, some of which are positive. If it can favour future rehabilitation, dismantling or recycling of the structures, so much the better.
Despite the British society having apparently taken advantage of general concern about sustainability with their business around “carbon footprints”, I am pleased to see this effort for promoting concern about the environment among yet another group; in this case, structural engineers.
Queremos apuntar la oportunidad de ser Buenas Prácticas para los ayuntamientos españoles en general.
Con el proyecto del bulevar de Vallecas, se nos ha ofrecido presentarnos a la convocatoria de Buenas Prácticas de Dubai. Es una forma interesante de apoyar actuaciones de gran calado en los municipios. La primera Convocatoria del Programa de Buenas Practicas fue consecuencia de los preparativos de la Conferencia de las Naciones Unidas, Hábitat II, celebrada en Estambul en el año 1996 “como una forma de identificar políticas y actuaciones urbanas que, desde unos criterios de sostenibilidad, se hubiesen mostrado eficaces para mejorar las condiciones de vida de las ciudades y pueblos y que aportasen ideas y experiencias para apoyar los informes nacionales y los planes de actuación que los comités nacionales tenían que preparar para la conferencia”
Además de esto la municipalidad de Dubai creó un premio internacional para Buenas Practicas con objeto de ayudar a su identificación.
Como dice José Fariña Tojo en el articulo “Buenas prácticas para el crecimiento urbano más sostenible” publicado en la revista del CSCAE, las practicas habituales son tan importantes como las buenas, ya que padecemos en España de cantidades de muy malas prácticas.
Lo que queremos resaltar es la oportunidad que brindan estos reconocimientos para que los municipios españoles se esfuercen en apostar por actuaciones de calidad e invertir los fondos públicos en el bienestar colectivo y no en el de unos pocos.
Over the last few days, the image of ¡Madrid Limpio! (Madrid Clean!) has suffered some tough attacks by the cleaning service of the city Metro system. The first day I went down to the underground since the stroke started, I couldn’t believe what I saw. It looked like a late 1970’s movie set on the rough streets of New York, where rival gangs were fighting. Infected. It’s bizarre to realise how dependant we are of invisible services. These services have become strong and visible this week. We depend on services we don’t know anything about. On the other hand, we see how much waste we produce in the Metro everyday.
Al Gore, Nobel 2007, has turned climate change into an excellent business, according to an article published in ELPAIS this Sunday. The fortune of the former vice-president of USA is calculated to be around 100 million dollars (when he started the campaign it was calculated to be 2 million). He gets 100 000 dollars or more per conference and he has consolidated a few companies working on the environment. It makes you think.
The next World Sustainable Building Conference SB08 will take place in Melbourne in September 2008.
It sounds like this event will stress the importance of industry and economy as tools for promoting a better built environment: “SB08 has a multifaceted program that builds strong and effective linkages across stakeholder groups to advance sustainability knowledge and practice through market and industry transformation”
Reading about the themes of the conference we find: “There is growing recognition of the importance of whole-of-life thinking (time dimension) in the performance of built assets at all levels – from individual products to buildings to urban infrastructure systems (space dimension) (…) Stakeholders should contribute to improved overall quality of life while minimizing adverse impacts to our Natural Capital. Sustained liveability for future generations is our challenge.”
Here is a spot made by Surconsciente. These guys never stop amazing us with their original proposals.