Choice Architecture in Urban Space

The target of one million electric cars by 2020 is a good example of trying to solve the mobility problem by replacing our fossil-fueled car fleet with an electric car fleet, leading to more throughput of materials, more energy required for production, and more waste.

Pressure Points as leverages for Urban Transformation

The idea of finding and beginning a process of change in identified pressure points is nothing new. It has been used, often intuitively, in many locations and settings throughout the world.

Current Environmental Strategies and Why They Don’t Work

Efficiency improvements are usually seen as the first step in ‘sustainable’ resource management. However, taking efficiency measures as a starting point is fundamentally wrong.

Belgian brownout refugees?

Belgium is gearing up for electricity shortages predicted for this winter. The reason for the possible shortage is the sudden reduction of national production capacity due to the unexpected shutdown of 3 damaged nuclear reactors this year, and the closure of several gas power stations over the last years (due to declining profitability).

Federal Environmental Agency (UBA) in Dessau

In 1992 the decision was made to move several federal offices to the new Bundesländer. In 2005, the UBA was moved from Berlin to Dessau in Saxony-Anhalt, a state that has experienced radical demographic changes (shrinking) since German reunification.

S-House: Factor 10 building using renewable resources

Parallel to the transition from fossil to renewable energy, a transition from conventional to renewable materials is necessary. Most ‘sustainable building’ projects however focus mostly on the energy part. This building showcases the functionality of its building materials made from renewable raw materials while reaching passive house standard.

Villa Vals, Hundertwasser, Matmata and Yaodong

An inspiring example of subterranean building, integrated in the landscape and taking full advantage of the earths thermal insulation. Looking at vernacular architecture can teach us a lot about “locality” and diversification.

Office Building RWS Terneuzen

Although it is a bit tricky to find, this building is definitely worth a visit if you are into sustainable building. Unlike many other “sustainable” buildings, this building incorporates many aspects including material (re)use, renewable energy (canal water, solar), natural ventilation and the water cycle (helofytenfilter, green roof).

Portraits from Above

Self-built settlements on the roofs of high-rise buildings have been an integral part of Hong Kong’s history for over half a century. Rooftop structures range from basic shelters for the disadvantaged to intricate multi-storey constructions equipped with the amenities of modern life. (Rufina Wu, Stefan Canham

BedZED sustainable community

Beddington Zero Energy Development is the UK’s largest mixed use sustainable community. It was designed to create a thriving community in which ordinary people could enjoy a high quality of life, while living within their fair share of the Earth’s resources.

Manizales / Zeri Pavilion - bamboo construction with German building permit

This 2000 square meter bamboo pavilion by Simon Vélez and Marcelo Villegas was constructed for the ZERI Foundation (Zero Emmissions Research and Initiative) at the Expo Hanover 2000.

Energy-plus Guessing, the story of a Mayor and an Engineer

A former poor rural Austrian town bordering Hungary with no industry, a high unemployment rate and 70% of weekly commuters to Vienna transformed itself into an energy autonomous town in 2001 and is now producing more energy (heat, fuels, and electric power) from renewable resources than actually can be consumed in the town.


a reference blog on resources, cities and transformation


We do not have the intention to list as many sustainable buildings as possible or paste fancy pictures without a purpose. Our driving thought is that we are in the need of a major transition in thinking and we need to get inspired. That doesn’t mean we all have to start wearing second hand clothes and live in straw buildings but we have to approach ‘living’, ‘moving’, ‘using’, ‘creating’ in a different way. Many designers, urban planners, architects and many other creative people are frontrunners for change and frontrunners need to be appreciated and shared.

Be inspired!

The team

Katleen De Flander
Katleen De Flander
Environmental Manager
Juan Pablo Ayala-Cortés
Juan Pablo Ayala-Cortés
Industrial Designer
Social Scientist


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