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Nature based solutions to inspire and shape transformative change 2014

What we can learn from nature to go beyond business as usual. Sustainable innovation is as much part of the software of minds as it is of the hardware of our society.

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Nature based solutions to inspire and shape transformative change 2014

  1. 1. 15/11/2014 Leen Gorissen NATURE-BASED SOLUTIONS TO INSPIRE AND FUEL TRANSFORMATIVE CHANGE Inviting nature at the boardroom table
  2. 2. 15/11/2014 2 © 2013, VITO NV WHY ‘SOLUTIONS AS USUAL’ WILL NOT GET US OUT OF OUR CURRENT PREDICAMENT
  3. 3. 15/11/2014 3 © 2013, VITO NV PERSISTENT Problems
  4. 4. 15/11/2014 4 © 2013, VITO NV » E.g. Mobility problem: congestion More cars road expansion But population growth more cars congestion road expansion PERSISTENT PROBLEMS = problems that tend to re-appear when intervention just targets impacts/symptoms of problems (Rotmans, 2005) » Simple problem solving approaches can bring short term relief but are not appropriate to resolve persistent problems
  5. 5. 15/11/2014 5 © 2013, VITO NV » Complex, long-term and uncertain -> no quick fixes or only technological solutions » Rooted in the structure of the system -> optimization through existing solutions insufficient » Multiple actors and multitude of sectors involved -> different ‘stakes’, vested interests,… » Difficult to ‘manage’ -> it is about the hardware (structure) and the software of the system (culture, practice)  SYSTEM CHANGES ARE REQUIRED TO SOLVE PERSISTENT PROBLEMS. UNSUSTAINABILITY LOCK-IN REQUIRES TRANSITIONS PERSISTENT PROBLEMS
  6. 6. 15/11/2014 6 © 2013, VITO NV BUSINESS AS USUAL FAVOURS ‘SOLUTIONS AS USUAL’ » Simple problem solving, optimisation & efficiency strategies still lead to a postponed negative transition
  7. 7. 15/11/2014 7 © 2013, VITO NV THE WAY OUT
  8. 8. 15/11/2014 8 © 2013, VITO NV We need to reflect on ‘why we see the world the way we see it’ » Reductionist thinking (Newton, Descartes, Aristotle) “Reductive thinking has become such a societal habit that it is seldom questioned by the general populace and even many scientists” (Rogers et al 2013) » Survival of the fittest thinking (Darwin) "Popular wisdom holds that the fittest survive, the strongest, leanest, largest, perhaps meanest – whatever beats the competition. But in healthy, thriving natural systems it is actually the 'fitting-est' who thrive.” (Braungart & McDonough 2009) OUR DOMINANT WAY OF THINKING
  9. 9. 15/11/2014 9 © 2013, VITO NV TRANSFORMATIONAL TIMES ASK FOR TRANSFORMATIONAL CHANGE 9 To stop replicating the past we need ‘vision guided’ system innovation
  10. 10. 15/11/2014 10 © 2013, VITO NV TRANSITION THEORY » While examples of historical transitions (for instance from transport by horse-and-carriage to automobiles, or from sailing ships to steam ships) often boil down to radical and structural change processes without a well- defined and pre-set objective, the present concept of ‘transition theory’ as a working frame is clearly linked with the explicit goal of sustainable development. » Can we organize ourselves to stimulate a positive transition towards a desired and sustainable future?
  11. 11. 15/11/2014 11 © 2013, VITO NV 11 Dominant trend ‘eco-efficiency’ reproduces ‘suboptimal’ solutions Population growth, climate change, ecosystem degradation, biodiversity loss,… Undercurrent counter movements applying nature- based solutions: eg biomimicry, permaculture, ecosystem stewardship… NATURE-BASED THINKING, AN INTERESTING UNDERCURRENT
  12. 12. 15/11/2014 12 © 2013, VITO NV A STRIKING EXAMPLE OF NATURE-BASED THINKING IS THE EMERGENT DISCIPLINE ‘BIOMIMICRY’ Following slides © Biomimicry 3.8
  13. 13. 15/11/2014 13 © 2013, VITO NV IF THE HISTORY OF THE EARTH WERE COMPRESSED INTO A CALENDER YEAR…
  14. 14. 15/11/2014 14 © 2013, VITO NV CITY BUILT BY HUMANS
  15. 15. 15/11/2014 15 © 2013, VITO NV CITY BUILT BY NATURE
  16. 16. 15/11/2014 16 © 2013, VITO NV THE DIFFERENCE IS NOT IN WHAT WE WANT TO ACHIEVE, BUT HOW WE DO IT. Calcium-carbonaat » Exoskeleton built by organisms using local resources: Calcium + CO2 from seawater » At low temp, with little energy and without waste » This process is 450 million years old Cement » Former oceans rich of calcium- carbonate have formed limestone deposits » We have to mine in order to obtain these resources » Heavy equipment, explosives, high temperature and lots of energy (transport)
  17. 17. 15/11/2014 17 © 2013, VITO NV THE HUMAN DESIGN PRODUCES CO2 Mining: 39 billion tons per year Heat treating: >1400°C Packaging Transport equals 6% of humanity’s annual GHG emissions © L-‐R:Dionatan ZibeS, CC-‐BY-‐NC; Wikimedia user Linguis9c Demographer, public domain; Flickr user Judy_&_Ed, CC-‐BY-‐NC
  18. 18. 15/11/2014 18 © 2013, VITO NV Created on site Built to shape Uses CO2 as a building block Low temperature Waste free, not toxic NATURE’S DESIGN SEQUESTERS CO2 © NOAA, public domain
  19. 19. 15/11/2014 19 © 2013, VITO NV BIOMIMICRY = CAN WE LEARN FROM NATURE’S DESIGN?
  20. 20. 15/11/2014 20 © 2013, VITO NV BIOMIMICRY: WHAT WORKS, WHAT IS APPROPRIATE AND WHAT CAN LAST IN A FINITE WORLD
  21. 21. 15/11/2014 21 © 2013, VITO NV EMULATING FROM DIFFERENT LEVELS Form Shape – surface - texture PROCESS A series of operations (ECO)-SYSTEM Netwerk where the whole is more then the sum of its parts
  22. 22. 15/11/2014 22 © 2013, VITO NV LEARNING FROM THE KINGFISHER HOW TO REDUCE TURBULENCE Shinkansen Bullet train travels at 200km/u Problem = noise How to reduce turbulence when exiting a tunnel (different air densities inside and outside)? The shape of the kingfishers beak reduces turbulence when entering the water. Emulating this form into the design of the front of the train resulted in a quieter train, 15% reduction in electricity use, 10% higher speed. © Emily Harrington(c) wildxplorer
  23. 23. 15/11/2014 23 © 2013, VITO NV ₋ For animals that swim so slowly through the ocean, sharks are remarkably clean. There are no free- riders like on the body of many whales ₋ This is because the microstructure of their skin is covered with little denticles © Albert Kok © Mark Carwadine LEARNING FROM THE SHARK HOW TO BECOME NATURALLY RESISTENT TO BACTERIA
  24. 24. 15/11/2014 24 © 2013, VITO NV » Because this texture inhibits bacterial growth, sharks are naturally resistant to bacteria » The company Sharklet mimicked this texture in a synthetic surface for consumer goods, medical equipment etc. » These surfaces deter colonisation by certain disease causing microbes and since this works without killing the microbes, there is no selection for (antibiotic) resistance
  25. 25. 15/11/2014 25 © 2013, VITO NV THAT IS WHY NATURE-BASED SOLUTIONS CAN BE A VALID ALTERNATIVE TO ‘SOLUTIONS AS USUAL’
  26. 26. 15/11/2014 26 © 2013, VITO NV EXAMPLES OF NATURE-BASED THINKING IN FLANDERS, BELGIUM
  27. 27. 15/11/2014 27 © 2013, VITO NV LET’S Z OM IN ON BIO-INSPIRED BUILDINGS
  28. 28. 15/11/2014 28 © 2013, VITO NV » Part of the Hospital Limburg East, design by OSAR Architects » ‘Patient’ central for the design THE CHILDREN’S PSYCHIATRIC CENTER IN GENK Pics © OSAR architects, Boydens.be
  29. 29. 15/11/2014 29 © 2013, VITO NV » Building seamlessly integrated in natural environment » ‘Wellbeing of children and their parents’ is point of departure Pics © OSAR architects, Boydens.be
  30. 30. 15/11/2014 30 © 2013, VITO NV » Warm environment promoting safe feeling of children and well-being of employees » Renewable energy system and use of natural materials (wood) Pics © Limburg Bouwt winter 2013
  31. 31. 15/11/2014 31 © 2013, VITO NV » Visionary design by Holistic Architecture and development by the temporary trade association Mandala » One of the most sustainable governmental buildings in BE THE NEW ADMINISTRATIVE CENTER OF HOUTHALEN - HELCHTEREN Pics ©Kumpen
  32. 32. 15/11/2014 32 © 2013, VITO NV » Integrated in landscape » Organic curved design » ‘Symbiotic way of life’ central in design » Natural materials, renewable energy and smart design Pics © http://www.holisticarch.be/
  33. 33. 15/11/2014 33 © 2013, VITO NV » Nature-based solutions also require more attention to new productive (symbiotic) human cooperation concepts Pics © infobrochure NAC stad Houthalen-Helchteren
  34. 34. 15/11/2014 34 © 2013, VITO NV Pics © http://www.holisticarch.be/
  35. 35. 15/11/2014 35 © 2013, VITO NV LET’S Z OM IN ON BIO-INSPIRED DISTRICTS
  36. 36. 15/11/2014 36 © 2013, VITO NV Sint Niklaas » Greenfield at city border » Key features: Green – Low traffic – Energy efficient – Playful » Key principles: Resilience - Reversibility …ON ECO-DISTRICT CLEMENTWIJK
  37. 37. 15/11/2014 37 © 2013, VITO NV » Northern city border: 28,4 ha including 4 ha shared park » First phase 2012-2015 » 600 houses and school, bakery, meeting place, launderette Pics © clementwijk
  38. 38. 15/11/2014 38 © 2013, VITO NV » Recreation: Playful green belt for young and old » Food: Urban agriculture, flower garden, orchard » Nature: Sloping lands, canals » Education: Vegetable garden & wild flower garden » Water: Infiltration, circulation, recovery, reuse, recreation
  39. 39. 15/11/2014 39 © 2013, VITO NV Leuven » Largest city development project in Flanders » Reconversion of old industrial site » Aim to enrich the city of Leuven with a large green ‘lung’ » In development …ON ECO-CITY TWEEWATERS
  40. 40. 15/11/2014 40 © 2013, VITO NV » 1200 low energy houses in high-rise blocks » Compact living: 5000 people living & working » River ‘Dijle’ is the green vein of Tweewaters » Site is 100% car free » Park of 3,5 ha » District without traditional streets, gardens, fences Pics © Tweewaters
  41. 41. 15/11/2014 41 © 2013, VITO NV » 70 % of open space » Food: edible landscape foreseen » Nature: is concentrated on the banks of the Dijle, functional green and semi natural biotopes
  42. 42. 15/11/2014 42 © 2013, VITO NV Ypres » Compact design » Special focus on affordability …ON ECO-DISTRICT DE VLOEI
  43. 43. 15/11/2014 43 © 2013, VITO NV » Blue green belts as space for socializing, recreation and play » District is designed as a water buffer (canals, streams, ponds, permeable surfacing) Pics © De vloei
  44. 44. 15/11/2014 44 © 2013, VITO NV » Gardens and urban agriculture » Fencing only by endemic plants » Sensitisation program on green roofs and ecological gardening for residents Pics © De vloei
  45. 45. 15/11/2014 45 © 2013, VITO NV LET’S Z OM IN ON BIO-INSPIRED FOOD SYSTEMS
  46. 46. 15/11/2014 46 © 2013, VITO NV SAMENLAND PERMACULTURE CSA IN SINT-TRUIDEN » Former corn field (4,2 ha) redesigned into a permaculture food production system » Underpinned by a community supported agriculture (CSA) business model Pics © Directie Ruimte, Dienst Milieu en Natuur, Provincie Limburg Pics © Directie Ruimte, Dienst Milieu en Natuur, Provincie Limburg
  47. 47. 15/11/2014 47 © 2013, VITO NVPics © Directie Ruimte, Dienst Milieu en Natuur, Provincie Limburg » Permaculture: designing regenerative, restorative, self- regulating and largely self-maintained agricultural systems modeled after natural ecosystems
  48. 48. 15/11/2014 48 © 2013, VITO NV » Producing resilient food systems while improving biodiversity and ecosystem services by mimicking natural solutions Pics © Directie Ruimte, Dienst Milieu en Natuur, Provincie Limburg » Stacking production 4D » Designing with nature rather than against » No use of farming machinery, pesticides, fertilizers
  49. 49. 15/11/2014 49 © 2013, VITO NV FROM FOOD INITIATIVES TO NETWORK DYNAMICS » Permaculture design courses, 19 CSA initiatives, 165 local food teams active, food forests, PC festival, network, practicioners,...
  50. 50. 15/11/2014 50 © 2013, VITO NV LET’S Z OM IN ON ES STEWARDSHIP
  51. 51. 15/11/2014 51 © 2013, VITO NV SIGMAPLAN OF THE PROVINCE OF ANTWERP » Started the SIGMA plan to give back space to water » To develop a safe, natural and economically attractive Scheldt region
  52. 52. 15/11/2014 52 © 2013, VITO NV » Make the ecosystem of the Scheldt more robust » Tides are given free play » Approximately 260 kms of river is involved in the project » Creating 4000 ha of nature and wetlands along the banks (c) Waterwegen en Zeekanaal NV
  53. 53. 15/11/2014 53 © 2013, VITO NV » Restoring tidal nature » By a clever concept of water management: the flood control area with reduced tides (CRT). (c) Waterwegen en Zeekanaal NV
  54. 54. 15/11/2014 54 © 2013, VITO NV » Restoring tidal nature » By a clever concept of water management: the flood control area with reduced tides (CRT). » Natural buffer that protects against floods » Creating a network of mud flats and shoals, salt marshes, channels and brooks. » Each of these biotopes sparkles with typical biodiversity (c) Waterwegen en Zeekanaal NV
  55. 55. 15/11/2014 55 © 2013, VITO NV BOSLAND LIMBURG • municipality of Hechtel- Eksel, • city of Lommel, • municipalitiyof Overpelt, • organisation Tourism Limburg, • organisation Regional landscape Low Campine, • agency for Nature and Forests. » Pioneering case of forest management » Partnership between:
  56. 56. 15/11/2014 56 © 2013, VITO NV BOSLAND’S JOINT AMBITION To implement an integral and integrating policy that – based on the complementarity between the partners and in a maximal collaboration with all the stakeholders and other actors – organizes/optimizes benefits of nature and open landscapes for society today and in the future …while also becoming the most child-friendly forest in Flanders Pics © Bosland
  57. 57. 15/11/2014 57 © 2013, VITO NV » Co-creation of a long term vision » Co-ownership by a partnership » Co-management by a Bosland parliament with an ecological, economical and social house representing all stakeholders BOSLAND LIMBURG Pics © Bosland
  58. 58. 15/11/2014 58 © 2013, VITO NV (c) Dries Gorissen BOSLAND LIMBURG: FROM MASTERPLAN TO MASTERPIECE
  59. 59. 15/11/2014 59 © 2013, VITO NV » E.G. Insect hotels are popular and sold out in shops » Item in national news: MANY MORE NATURE-BASED EXAMPLES…
  60. 60. 15/11/2014 60 © 2013, VITO NV NATURE-BASED THINKING GOES BEYOND SOLUTIONS-AS-USUAL
  61. 61. 15/11/2014 61 © 2013, VITO NV CONCLUSIONS I: INNOVATING LEARNING AND DESIGN » Nature-based thinking targets the software of minds and the hardware of civilization simultaneously; it is about a new way of learning, valuing, designing and acting together » Nature-based solutions inspire us not only to learn about nature but also from nature (biomimicry, permaculture) how to tackle challenges sustainably and so they widen our solution portfolio
  62. 62. 15/11/2014 62 © 2013, VITO NV CONCLUSIONS II: RE-EVALUATING VALUE » Nature-based thinking may inspire us to rethink the value of nature (by viewing nature as a huge library of R&D solutions fit to a finite world for instance) and to rethink the nature of value (shifting from dominance of monetary systems towards multiple value creation for example)
  63. 63. 15/11/2014 63 © 2013, VITO NV CONCLUSIONS III: LOGICAL NEXT STEP » Working/designing with nature instead of against it can save a lot of energy, power and costs while adding additional (non- monetary) value (well-being, health, recreation, biodiversity…) as well » Nature-based solutions can inspire multiple value creation in business model innovation » Integrating nature-based solutions in business/cities/… can inspire an important transition in mindset shifting away from the viewpoint ‘nature as externality’ (Biosphere awareness)
  64. 64. 15/11/2014 64 © 2013, VITO NV » Grin J, Rotmans J and Schot J (2010) Transitions to sustainable development. New directions in the study of long term transformative change (Routledge, UK). » Nevens F, De Weerdt Y, Gorissen L, Berloznic R (2014) Transition in research. Research in transition (VITO NV, Mol) » http://biomimicry.net/; Biomimicry Educational Network; Ask Nature database; Biomimicry 3.8 Institute » http://www.bosland.be/; dries.gorissen@lne.vlaanderen.be » KPC Genk: http://verbiesteti.be/pdf/KPC.pdf » http://www.sigmaplan.be/ » http://www.houthalen-helchteren.be/themes/16; http://www.thvmandala.be/; http://www.houthalen-helchteren.be/_uploads/www.houthalen- helchteren.be/milieu___duurzaamheid/downloads/duurzame_aspecten_NAC.pdf » www.samenland.be; www.permacultuurnetwerk.be » http://documenten.limburg.be/bestandenlimburgbe/klimaatenmilieu/20140924_klimaatneu traal_inspiratieboekje_lr.pdf; minaplanning@limburg.be » file:///C:/Users/gorissel/AppData/Local/Microsoft/Windows/Temporary%20Internet%20Files /Content.IE5/UY8QT4ST/130128_SIGMA-ANB-Brochure.pdf » http://clementwijk.be/project » http://www.tweewaters.be/ » http://www.devloei.be/nl/ SOURCES
  65. 65. 15/11/2014 65 © 2013, VITO NV Leen.gorissen@vito.be Twitter: L_gori THE END

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