13 November 2009

Irene Cassarino: The social dimension of environmental sustainability

Be the first to share

Environment Park
Experientia collaborator Irene Cassarino went yesterday to the international “The social dimension of environmental sustainability” conference, organised at Turin’s Environment Park with the support of the City of Turin. The event, which focused on the importance of social aspects in achieving environmental sustainability, took place in the context of the CAT-MED European Project (Change Mediterranean Metropolis Around Time).

Here is her short report:

Our shoulders feel heavier today: we just learned from Gian Vincenzo Fracastoro, expert in green energy policies and solutions from the Polytechnic of Turin, and vice-director of its Department of Energy, that the average C02 emission of a Turin citizen is 9 tons per year.

The objective of the Turin municipality is to reduce this by 18-20% by 2010. Solutions, Prof. Fracastoro said, range from a larger district heating (“teleriscaldamento”) network — a method that reuses surplus heat generated from the production of electricity — to the development of renewable sources.

Yet his long-term experience studying, researching and teaching renewable energy matters convinced him that “the major source of renewable energy lies in energy saving”.

In other words, more sustainable lifestyles, together with state-of-the-art eco-constructions (like the building-lab that hosts the events of the Environment Park) will be essential in making us both happier and richer.

Massimo Bricocoli from the Polytechnic of Milan and the University of Hamburg, underlined the importance of the social dimension to enhance environmental sustainability: five case studies from all across Europe highlighted the various roles that city administrations can play in leading housing projects.

In the first case, two elderly educated couples (the so called ‘empty nesters’) decided to move from their big family house to a smaller flat in Berlin within a eco-multigenerational project, where a particular amount of square meters were allotted to people of their age. While they have been very happy with their choice, Mrs Millo, in Trieste, Italy, had a worse experience when she moved into a social eco-house building: the house was said to be very advanced with respect to infrastructure, but since she was not taught how to use it properly, she ended up with very high energy bills and eventually had to switch off all the heating and electrical equipment.

Public administrations — summed up Giovanni Magnano, Manager of the Social Housing Department of the City of Turin –- have a crucial role in making the best of social housing projects. How? By focusing on introduction/learning paths, leveraging virtuoso community dynamics and concentrating on cost reduction potential, not only for the developer, but especially for the residents.

CAT-MED, represented and introduced by the general coordinator Pedro Marin Cots, from the City of Malaga, aims at preventing the natural risk related to climate change by leveraging the convergence of metropolitan strategies and actions. The City of Turin is a member of this project, together with the cities of Malaga, Marseilles, Seville, Valencia, Barcelona, Aix, Genova, Rome, Athens and Thessaloniki, all from the Mediterranean region.

Be the first to share
13 February 2016
[Paper] Understanding user motivations and drawbacks related to product repair
Understanding User Motivations and Drawbacks Related to Product Repair By Nazli Terzioglu, Dan Lockton, Clare Brass (Royal College of Arts) Conference Paper, Sustainable innovation 2015 The Centre for Sustainable Design, London This paper presents the findings from an exploratory …
29 January 2016
[Report] Consumers more frustrated by smart home apps than devices
New report by Argus Insights suggests disappointing apps break user experience, may cause decline in consumer delight over time. The Smart Home ecosystem comprises both hardware devices and software apps and together they are supposed to …
28 January 2016
The Power of Privacy – documentary film
In this half-hour film (commissioned by The Guardian and Silent Circle), Aleks Krotoski travels the world to undergo challenges that explore our digital life in the 21st century. Watch her be stalked and hacked, fight to …
27 January 2016
Remaking Ford into a user experience-driven company
Ford CEO Mark Fields recently declared that Ford would be remade as a user-experience driven company: "We have obviously a lot experience in the car business, over 113 years, and our differentiation is going to be …
26 January 2016
Designing for Crisis, Design for Real Life
It’s easy to design for the idealized user, someone who’s smart, calm, and informed. It’s less easy, and thus more important, to design for a more realistic user: still smart, but harried and uncertain. The …
24 January 2016
The grand illusion of empowerment
Financial times journalist/anthropologist Gillian Tett deconstructs the idea that the internet hands power to the people. In fact, she writes, in most countries power remains firmly in the hands of the elite. The bitter — and …
22 January 2016
Creating age-friendly cities
In a new report the McGraw Hill Financial Global Institute (MHFI) argues that we need a new thinking about how to create "age-friendly cities." Adapting to the challenges of an aging urban population, they write, requires …
22 January 2016
The power of creativity from below
Anthropologist Michael Thompson believes in the power of creativity from below in solving some of the smaller and bigger problems of our time. "People generally are very creative and innovative. Many anthropological case studies have shown …

We are an international experience design consultancy helping companies and organisations to innovate their products, services and processes by putting people and their experiences first.

18 January 2016
Experientia website completely reshaped

Experientia is pleased to announce that we’ve started 2016 with a brand new website. Experientia’s now officially 10 years old, and we decided that the best way to celebrate is by building a new website that showcases our growth – with new projects, new people in the staff, and two new locations in Lausanne and […]

1 January 2016
For when things get personal…
13 October 2015
Experientia report: Design for ageing gracefully

Design for Ageing Gracefully Rethinking Health and Wellness for the Elderly: Public Services Asian Insights & Design Innovation, DesignSingapore Council October 2015

29 September 2015
[Experientia book] Ethnography on elderly health and wellness

As we age, we increasingly depend on public services and the community for support. Well-designed public services can greatly affect the lives of the elderly and their experiences of healthcare. Experientia collaborated with DesignSingapore Council on understanding how the elderly interact with public services and how we can look towards improving their lives with design. […]

2 July 2015
Getting citizens involved in protecting fragile energy environments

A new project funded under the FP7 European Commission framework is getting citizens involved in testing new tools for reducing energy consumption during peak loads, in the hope that its pilot program will set the new state of the art for protecting locations with fragile electricity supplies. One of France’s most fragile regions The Provence-Alpes-Côte […]

5 May 2015
Experientia designer Dohun YuLuck Jang 유록 in Design 4 Disaster

Design 4 Disaster features an engaging illustrated safety manual for ship passengers, a personal project by Experientia designer Dohun YuLuck Jang 유록. After the Korean ferry accident last year, Yuluck (who is Korean) wanted to find a way to make safety manuals more interesting to read. He spent one year designing an interactive safety guide […]

See all articles