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How Do We Design For The Future?

Some 14 years ago, when I first started the environmental education project Guerrilla Verde (2009), if you spoke about circular economy and circular or sustainable design people had hardly heard of it. Nowadays, it is an important topic and we constantly see more and more of it around us. I had the opportunity to discuss How can we design for the future? with two pioneers in their domains, Andreas Kipar, Landscape Architect | LAND Co-Founder, CEO & Creative Director and the inventor of the “Raggi Verdi” [Green Rays] in Milan, and Douwe Jan Joustra, Director, ICE-Amsterdam, Founder of the Ecomimicry Institute, at the Climate Change Summit, October 4-5, in Bucharest, Romania.





We are witnessing the depletion of natural resources, urbanization, and increasing use of technology in our lives, wondering where is all this leading and how can we shape our society around these things in a positive meaningful way. What we know is that the Covid-19 recovery requires a resilient circular economy. The call for a more resilient, circular, and low-carbon economic model has garnered support from a growing number of businesses and governments over the past few years and appears today more relevant than ever.


At the intersection of these challenges, one topic stands out - the importance of making cities more human and nurturing a strong sense of connection, shedding light on what cities should care about the most – people. Businesses and consumers actually can make a difference in the transition to a more sustainable way of living. But first, we need to understand a little bit about what it is exactly is sustainable architecture. Sustainable architecture is a form of architecture that incorporates a design that is environmentally friendly and built to be sustainable.


We don’t have time! That’s why today it is more important than ever to share ideas and solutions on how to create opportunities for the future of our cities and combat climate change. In doing this, we must always go ‘back to the future, rediscovering the vocation of our cities - Andreas Kipar, Landscape Architect | LAND Co-Founder


When thinking about the future of the cities, some trends we have identified: cities are being planned and designed for people, with ‘green’ streets, new corridors, and public spaces as centers of social life, 15-fifteen minute cities - cities that are being designed in a way that most services are within a 15-minute walking or cycling distance, creating a new neighborhood approach and, most importantly, cities that adopt circular models based on a healthy circulation of resources, and on principles of sharing, reusing, and restoration.



We know that ecological natural systems can be very resilient - when they have a lot of diversity and diversity is the key to resilience and developing eco-mimicry, we need to find ways to use ecology as an inspiration for the economy. - Douwe Jan Joustra, Director, ICE-Amsterdam, Founder of the Ecomimicry Institute


Not only does government or industry have to find solutions for sustainable development, but usual citizens have to realize that we have a role to play in this and that we make a difference in moving this forward and getting us to a better future for everyone. What is even more important is that we need to act together to achieve the amount of change that we need to tackle the challenges of our times.


Article based on the discussion from the panel How Can We design for the Future?, October 5, Climate Change Summit, Bucharest Romania, 2022.


About the speakers:

Andreas Kipar, architect, landscape architect, and urban planner Andreas Kipar is the founder and creative director of the international landscape architecture studio LAND, with offices in Germany, Italy, and Switzerland. He is the creator of Milan’s “Green Rays” model, which connects different areas of the city to encourage new slow mobility from the center to the periphery. This model, internationally recognized as a pioneering model of green urbanism, has also been replicated in different European cities. Andreas Kipar and his team were also overseeing the landscaping for EXPO 2020 in Dubai and will tell us today more about his vision for green cities.


Douwe Jan Joustra is a consistent thinker and doer in the circular economy, a senior expert, and an international speaker. He introduced the concept of circular economy in the Netherlands after he had a supporting role in the development of Cradle to Cradle in the Netherlands. Douwe Jan Joustra has a background in systems ecology, and transition management and was responsible for process innovations focused on climate-neutral cities. He initiated Circular Fashion during the period he was Head of Circular Transformation at C&A Foundation. Joustra is a member of the Advisory Committee of the Circular Apparel Innovation Factory. He is the owner/managing director of ICE-Amsterdam (Implement Circular Economy) and is a founding partner in the Ecomimicry Institute.



photo: Andreas Kipar, Nicoleta Talpes, Douwe Jan Joustra, Climate Change Summit, October 4-5-, Bucharest, Romania, 2022





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