The challenges of the GGJ Enschede 2019 - DesignLab are related to our theme "Water, Energy and Sustainable Living". The case owners will be present during the event to support the creation process by giving guidelines to the participants. However, we want to encourage the participants to think "out of the box", so there are no red lines when developing solutions! Below you can find information on the three cases that we will work on this year.
How can the University of Twente implement our carbon calculation tool to provide pupils with insights to their footprint?
Everything product, service, activity or process has a carbon tag. CO2 equivalent is the unit used in Life-Cycle Analysis methodologies to define the externalities related to climate change derived from a specific procedure or through the whole life-cycle of a product. Thus, it is a useful way to compare the impact of products or activities with one another, and determine which of them is more “eco-friendly”. However, there is also a price for CO2 emissions established worldwide, derived from the regulations introduced by policy makers which created an exchange market for CO2 emissions. Using this, it is relatively easy to quantify the economic value of the CO2 emitted in any process.
The University of Twente is committed to playing a role in the fight against climate change. They have implemented a few sustainability measures around the campus which show their initiative. However, there is still room for a lot of improvement, and measures such as a carbon calculation tool could be implemented. This would allow the UT to communicate to its students and staff the impact that their actions have on climate change, making them aware of their footprint and thus leading to more responsible choices.
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How can we motivate people in the Twente region to use more sustainable mobility options?
Many city authorities and nations are debating on implementing vehicle bans in efforts to better manage congestion, pollution and urban planning. Yet, the number of vehicles in the streets continues to grow and city populations demand for more efficient and affordable transportation. Moreover, the main challenge that authorities and policy makers deal with is to stimulate a change in people’s mobility behaviour.
The principle behind a more sustainable mobility is depicted by the “Sustainable Mobility Ladder” presented in Figure 1. On the one hand, the challenge is to pass from Conventional Transport modes to Active Transport options. On the other hand, that’s not enough if the travel behaviour does not change. The desirable travel behaviour is that people choose as their first traveling option an Active Transport mode and as their very last option a conventional one (fossil fuel). Thus, as the first step to start climbing the ladder: how can we incentive people to start using electric and shared mobility options?
Figure 1. The Sustainable Mobility Ladder
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Interactive, tangible models for education and water management
How can we empower Overijssel and Gelderland citizens and policy makers to create their own innovative water resilience solutions?
The Netherlands (and the planet) face climate change in different ways and therefore, communities need to prepare and get ready to make decisions at an increased pace. The frequency in which extreme water events occur has increased considerably the last years (events that used to occur 1 in 100 years now may happen 1 in 10 years!). Long lasting periods of draught and heat stress, but also torrential rains that flood the inner and outer cities can affect farms, local industries, businesses neighbourhoods and houses. In these cases, regions with citizens educated in good practices for water usage, that can get actively involved in implementing sustainable water measures in a regional level, can become the national leaders in water management.
Education about good practices regarding water use, sustainable water management systems, water scarcity events and response to them is the key. The knowledge gap between scientists, policy makers and citizens is big and therefore it becomes complicated for the different groups to understand each other, even when they have the same objective. If scientists, policy makers and general public could discuss around the same table, solutions would be more transversal, and citizens keener on adapting them.
If the 2,4 million inhabitants of the two Dutch eastern regions Overijssel and Gelderland set ambitious water resilience goals, have the potential to become national leaders. It becomes clear that what is primarily needed is to develop meaning and purpose that would drive the city and the citizens towards ambitious goals for educating everyone on what to do better. It is a policy design challenge that requires attention in both big and small scales: while bigger plans should be coordinated and supported, local initiatives should be given space for innovation and creativity. With more and more active citizens participating in initiatives, it is essential to share local regional and national information and knowledge effectively in order to implement new strategies through local neighbourhood councils. At the same time, local initiatives fuelled by intrinsic motivation should be given space to compliment the broader policies without many restrictions. Success of such policies could even attract newcomers to settle in the region due to their interest taking action for climate improvement.