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Learning with AiREAS

Every year the local High School in the Netherlands, Fontys, organizes an international gathering of students from other European countries. During a week they are challenged to work together on certain topics. These students came from the background of IT and Business Studies. Fontys was already charmed by the regional measurement network for air quality in the region. It therefore contacted AiREAS with the question if we would like to participate and present a case? We accepted of course, with gratitud. In view of the diversity of the background of the students, I decided to bring our challenge to the level of Healthy City development. During my opening presentation I took the students to the mindset of Sustainocracy, the one of shared responsibility for our core values, including our health and a healthy envirionment.

Since there were also students in Business Studies I also took them into the thinking of 4 x WIN. They were grouped in multidisciplianry teams to work on their own healthy city contributions. As usual there was a touch base moment to see where they stood in the middle of the week. All were motivated and already had basic ideas of what they would present at the end of the week.

Also the local government and our technological institute, TNO, did some related inspiration sessions, showing the local cohesion around health and health based city design.

Initially there were four groups of about 10 students. We expected 4 poster presentations but finally were presented with 6. Some groups had split up because of outbursts of ideas that wanted to see the light too.

The students were enthousiastic about the learning environment in a real life case of city development. Our institute at home does not work this way, they said. This was an eye opener for us, a new world of awareness that we would like to pursue further.

Sustainocracy wishes us all for 2022

“In Sustainocracy we develop our wellness driven society as a shared cocreation and joint responsibility, not a political nor commercial delegation”. All (people and institutions) are welcome to join….

Our air quality and health approach

Air pollution in Europe is the primary cause of premature death. In the region of Eindhoven (Netherlands) we initiated AiREAS, a cooperative approach involving all local stakeholders.

Since 2011, when AiREAS was founded, we invite all societal stakeholders to take responsibility together for the air we breath.

To date we have 23 municipalities signed up “to make visible the invisible” through a shared measurement network. This installation is serving various purposes: 1. for scientific research about pollution in three sectors: city environment, airport and intensive cattle holding. 2. To benchmark local for local, low cost measurement initiatives of citizens (often also coordinated through the AiREAS community). 3. To help measure progress when changes are introduced in society by the partners or as a group in 4 x WIN cocreation projects.

During 2022 we expect to initiate new 4 x WIN initiatives by building multidisciplinary local or regional communities around certain priorities. Here are a few examples:

Mobility transition

This transition is much more than converting petrol cars into electric versions. We start with the question “why mobility in the first place”? And if mobility is needed, what clean and comfortable alternative can I use? So, as far as this 4 x WIN is concerned, working from home is part of the mobility plan. How can people to their work effectively? When do they need to commute and how would they do this with least impact on their environment. If people work more from home they could save time for leisure, familiy time and maybe do more outdoors in terms of recreation, sport or excersize. All this will show newly emerging mobility patterns requiring different services, infrastructures, products, facilities, etc. In order to do this effectively all stakeholders need to be involved in the processes together and at the same time.

Greening neighborhoods

Greening neighborhoods is more than getting volunteers to do some neighborhood gardening. It represents the conversion of large cemented or brick stone areas into living green for recreation, food, water management, etc. Engagement with citizens involves the transformation and care taking of their street, trees, gardens, parks, etc.. They involve their children, teach them about the edible part of nature around them, how it helps to cure certain issues, the importance of plants for our air quality, etc. Above all it develops the respect for our natural environment and the joy for living nature in all seasons.