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Sustainable Rotterdam

The city is re-inventing itself

Solar Mini-Symposium

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Design for Sustainability and the Delft Design Institute are organizing a mini-symposium entitled The future of Photovoltaic (PV) Powered Products, on the 19th of December 2006.

14:00- Welcome by the Chairman - Dr.ir. S.Silvester (DDI)
14:05- Integration of PV technology in products - Prof. dr. ir. H. Brezet (DfS)
14:30- The future of PV technology - Prof. dr. W.C. Sinke (ECN - Utrecht University)
14:55- Advanced policies for the acceleration of renewable energy implementation - Prof. dr. Th.B. Johansson (IIIEE - Lund University, Sweden)
15:20- Tea Break
15:45- Discussion (Lead by Dr.ir. S.Silvester)
16:45- Drinks

The future of photovoltaic (PV) Powered Products
from 14:00-17:00 in Hall B (AULA)
Delft university of Technology
Mekelweg 5, Delft

For more info, contact DfS

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posted by Oriol P., 11:50 AM | link | 0 comments |

Citybike - free bike system

Check the Flickr set for more pics

Talking about bikes, in Vienna we saw the free bike system Citybike combining sustainable transport solutions and product branding. Users can register directly at the terminal or at the site. "For hiring a bike you need a credit card, either from Master Card or Visa". Alternatively, Tourist Card holders may use Citybike without a credit card.

I also found free bike systems in cities like Trondheim (NO) and Copenhagen (DK). This systems differ with Citibike in the hiring aspect; those use a coin-return system similar to the one of supermarket carts, making it accessible to a larger scope of citizens.

Up to what extent it's necessary to request private data to use a free bike system?

posted by Oriol P., 11:31 AM | link | 3 comments |

Electric bicycles for young & healthy commuters

Caspar van Roosmalen is an student of Industrial Design at DUT currently working on his master's graduation project. The challenge is to make electric bikes attractive for the youth in a context (NL) where such artefacts are generally used by handicapped and elderly.
Here are some thoughts from Caspar;

The electric bicycle is available for several years now and in the Netherlands best known as a solution for elderly people to be able to cycle longer. If the current problems of the electric bicycle are solved it could well be a valuable new means of transportation for commuters.

The average Dutch commuter travels 17 km from home to work each day, a trip that takes about 30 minutes. For distances under 5 km 24% of the Rotterdam commuters use their car and a large number walk or use their bicycle. For distances above 5 km 65% use their car.
An electric bicycle could be a useful alternative to the car and has advantages in urban traffic for various reasons. Cycling can be a relaxing way to go to work. An electric bicycle takes little space and therefore is fast in dense traffic. It decreases parking problems. There is no air and noise pollution. And not the least the support mechanism enables you to cycle a longer distance (5-17km) easier.

There is also a counter side to this story. The Netherlands has great cycling facilities. Its flat geography makes it easy to ride a bicycle and the country has a long bicycle tradition. These factors make it more difficult to introduce an electric bicycle for young people since it is associated with elderly and disabled people - after all why use peddle assistance if you are fit?

A new design of an electric bicycle could only be successful for commuters if its image is improved and the price is low.

How could the image of the electric bicycle be improved to make it attractive to young, healthy commuters?

Leave your thoughts here or send an e-mail to Caspar,
casparspost [at] hotmail [dot] com

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posted by Oriol P., 11:11 AM | link | 4 comments |

Going Urban

Little is known about Future of Cities World Congress to be held in Copenhagen (Sept'07; 23-26) but it seems the organizers decided to set up the scene by showing us a timeline where the transition from urban and rural rates is dynamically illustrated. We'll keep an eye to the newsletter to get the program and updates.

posted by Oriol P., 11:07 AM | link | 0 comments |


If visiting Barcelona, you shouldn't miss Offjectes; concepts and designs for a change of century, featuring the work of Azuamoline, Curro Claret, Marti Guixe, Nani Marquina, El Ultimo Grito, Vaho, and many more Spanish designers.

15-11-2006 - 15-04-2006
Museu de les Arts Decoratives

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posted by Oriol P., 11:03 AM | link | 0 comments |

Find me at

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The upcoming days you can find me at
If you plan to attend any of these events, let me know and let's start a conversation.

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posted by Oriol P., 3:45 PM | link | 0 comments |

Get a World-class Branded City in 5 Steps

Saturday, November 04, 2006

How does the city contribute to make citizens' life meaningful? How does it serve as a tool to develop their activities? Shoot-&-run doesn't work here. Branding requires long term commitment to the story and values of a product or service.

It is what you have to offer that counts, and a bit of communication:
  1. Identify core values of your city. What does it stand for? It is about accepting reality and extracting those values that unify every single citizen.
  2. Define your personality. Every city has its own characteristics that make it unique; some are classic, contemporary, or eclectic. Can you clearly define yours? Act consistently.
  3. Develop a consistent imagery. If branding is about telling a story that adds value to the product, it helps when there are recognizable visual elements attached to it. Design a logo, font type, colors, and style. Stick to it and apply to any media support. Additionally, exploit local imagery.
  4. Preach by giving example. Translate values into actions when practicing city management and policy making. (I.e. don't spend money publicizing the economic penalization of littering and at the same time allow it in public events)
  5. Be open to ideas and contributions. Let the community build into city values. Provide communication channels; make it easy to speak out and always provide coherent feedback.
Note: Landmarks definitely contribute to build city brand, as long as it adds to the story and it is appropriate for the context.

I bet that if for your city, you're able to tick each element of the list with the mark done & in place, then we are talking about a world-class branded city. Citizens become fans when high level of engagement with the story is achieved.

Proposal: For your city or town, name two examples for each element of the list. How many can you get on a scale of ten? Use the result as yardstick and act accordingly.

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posted by Oriol P., 12:26 AM | link | 0 comments |