In 2003 Duncan Crowley participated in the “Eco city Banja Luka” project in Bosnia. Only a few years earlier, this part of the world was in a horrific civil war, which saw the break up of the old country of “Yugoslavia”. The project was set up by the EASA network. Different workshops happened and the results were presented in an art exhibition in the state art gallery. The mayor and general city council supported the project.
The following is content taken from the EASA blog: eco city banjaluka
“eco city project – banja luka” could and indeed should become the most exciting global architectural project, an example of a new direction in a new age. if it gathers sufficient momentum, it will happen. its up to us to make that momentum
the worlds population is moving into the urban, sustainable city living is the problem we as designers must create the solutions for. This project is attempting to face this challenge.
Personally I think today’s architectural vision is lost, this is exactly the thing architecture and indeed the world needs.
Placing it in the Balkans is the most appropriate position for it due to recent wars.
ecotopia happened in Ireland last summer, hopefully it will happen in banja luka sometime soon, sustainable living can happen out in the woods but we have to make it happen in our urban world
www.ecg.rs.sr is the website of the eco city banjaluka group
easa.antville.org is the main COMMUNICATION SPACE for this project, anyone can contribute to it, so it will grow as the project itself does. See the latest on what’s going on, contribute your input and help make this idea of ECO CITY a reality
below are links to the wider global discussion about this project
make the world a better place…please do
Content also communicated on Oxford Indymedia at: INDYMEDIA stuff exhibited in Bosnia state art gallery
INDYMEDIA stuff was exhibited in the state art gallery of Banja Luka, Srpski Republic (serb half of Bosnia) as part of ECO CITY GROUP`s 2 week exhibition there in april 2003. after the initial, 2 week long, stage of project: ECO CITY BANJA LUKA.
– banja luka “no plastic” project
– ecotopia @ zelenkovac 2005
or industrial area of BL
– indymedia bosnia
– ECO CITY BANJA LUKA awareness project
o Street theatre – music – art
o “hi neighbour” youth project – nelson development center – GETO – young researchers
o internet – EASA – eco mags and sites – ark schools @ world
– curitiba and banja luka – twin towns
– EARTH DAY festival – 22 april 2003
– Convergence festival < irish ecological festival with ECO CITY debate with leading figures on issue>
– ECO PARADE – Friday 18 april 2003 < as opening part of exhibition >
o Tree planting @ ECO PARK <field between university and river>
o River and open dirty water pumped in
o Hi neighbour
o Old fort
o Open space < street theatre >
o Main street
o City hall
o Art gallery
– feedback sessions every evening 6.45
– malu eco parade @ uni – tomorrow, tue @ 1.00
o street theatre – eko sign
– eko footprint
is a fine image of the city, notice how the banks are still left natural with many trees
Bosnia finds out about indymedia
ECO CITY GROUP
make your choice
EKO GRAD BANJA LUKA
is the online communication space during workshops and used as part of exhibition: open system on wall (it grew as more people contributed to site forum) and in book form, EKO BOOK, which is now held in KIC, local media centre/ pub in banja luka
The San Francisco Ecocity:
Ecocity World Summit 2008, Conference Director Kirstin Miller read following declaration
An ecocity is an ecologically healthy city. Into the deep future, the cities in which we live must enable people to thrive in harmony with nature and achieve sustainable development. People oriented, ecocity development requires the comprehensive understanding of complex interactions between environmental, economic, political and socio-cultural factors based on ecological principles. Cities, towns and villages should be designed to enhance the health and quality of life of their inhabitants and maintain the ecosystems on which they depend.
Ecocity development integrates vision, citizen initiative, public administration, ecologically efficient industry, people’s needs and aspirations, harmonious culture, and landscapes where nature, agriculture and the built environment are functionally integrated in a healthy way.
Ecocity development requires:
1. Ecological security – clean air, and safe, reliable water supplies, food, healthy housing and workplaces, municipal services and protection against disasters for all people.
2. Ecological sanitation – efficient, cost-effective eco-engineering for treating and recycling human excreta, gray water, and all wastes.
3. Ecological industrial metabolism – resource conservation and environmental protection through industrial transition, emphasizing materials re-use, life-cycle production, renewable energy, efficient transportation, and meeting human needs.
4. Ecoscape (ecological-landscape) integrity – arrange built structures, open spaces such as parks and plazas, connectors such as streets and bridges, and natural features such as waterways and ridgelines, to maximize biodiversity and maximize accessibility of the city for all citizens while conserving energy and resources and alleviating such problems as automobile accidents, air pollution, hydrological deterioration, heat island effects and global warming.
5. Ecological awareness – help people understand their place in nature, cultural identity, responsibility for the environment, and help them change their consumption behavior and enhance their ability to contribute to maintaining high quality urban ecosystems.
Key actions needed:
1. Provide safe shelter, water, sanitation, security of tenure and food security for all citizens and with priority to the urban and rural poor in an ecologically sound manner to improve the quality of lives and human health.
2. Build cities for people, not cars. Roll back sprawl development. Minimize the loss of rural land by all effective measures, including regional urban and peri-urban ecological planning.
3. With “ecocity mapping” identify ecologically sensitive areas, define the carrying capacity of regional life-support systems, and identify areas where nature, agriculture and the built environment should be restored. Also identify those areas where more dense and diverse development should be focused in centers of social and economic vitality.
4. Design cities for energy conservation, renewable energy uses and the reduction, re-use and recycling of materials.
5. Build cities for safe pedestrian and non-motorized transport use with efficient, convenient and low-cost public transportation. End automobile subsidies, increase taxation on vehicle fuels and cars and spend the revenue on ecocity projects and public transportation.
6. Provide strong economic incentives to businesses for ecocity building and rebuilding. Tax activities that work against ecologically healthy development, including those that produce greenhouse gases and other emissions. Develop and enhance government policies that encourage investment in ecocity building.
7. Provide adequate, accessible education and training programs, capacity building and local skills development to increase community participation and awareness of ecocity design and management and of the restoration of the natural environment. Support community initiatives in ecocity building.
8. Create a government agency at each level – village, city, regional, national and international – to craft and execute policy to build the ecocity and promote associated ecological development. The agency will coordinate and monitor functions such as transportation, energy, water and land use in holistic planning and management, and facilitate projects and plans.
9. In policy at all levels of government and in the decision making bodies of all institutions – universities, businesses, non-governmental organization, professional associations and so on – address in the plans and actions of those institutions specifically what can be done through the institutions’ physical design and layout relative to its local community to address global heating, the coming end of fossil fuels and global crisis of species extinctions.
10. Encourage and initiate international, inter-city and community-to-community cooperation to share experiences, lessons and resources in ecocity development and promote ecocity practice in developing and developed countries.
Postscript, 12 years after and Duncan has been accepted to continue this line of investigation in the Brazilian city of Curitiba. Yesterday he was accepted to do a masters with MADE (Meio Ambiente e Desenvolvimento – Environment and developemnt) in the public state university UFPR. His area of research: “From the village to the city. Confronting climate change by constructing ecocities” (December 17 2015)
He has been living in Brazil for nearly 2 years and set up or helped set up:
– EcoCity Group Curitiba
– Curitiba Pelo Clima (Curitiba for the climate)