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Eurban Update

Vol. 11, October 2015
Dear reader,

In our second issue of the Eurbanlab Showcase series we highlight the development of Almelo City Hall, a BREEAM-NL Excellent building in the Netherlands. By showcasing urban innovations we aim to share inspiring stories on sustainable urban development and increase our knowledge on its barriers and succesfactors.

In our Newsflash we collected some interesting news-items such as Amsterdam's first vertical forest building and the UK's Royal call for a switch to low-carbon investment.
In this month's Featured Article, we look at the development of green roofs in Europe. Iulia Pisca (Essential Green Roofs) provides an overview of their benefits and opportunities in her article "Green Roofs - The Upper End of Building Insulation".

If you have something you would like to share with the community in our next Eurban Update, please feel free to send us an e-mail. Thank you for your interest in Eurbanlab!

Kind regards,

Roger Toussaint
In this version of our Eurban Update:

Showcasing Urban Innovation Newsflash Featured article

Showcasing Urban Innovation

The aim of Showcasing is to share inspiring examples of sustainable construction projects, thereby increasing our shared understanding and awareness of successful innovations. We add inspiring examples to our European library and create beautiful Showcasing booklets. We share them through our external newsletters, on our public events and website. Interested in Showcasing your innovation? Read about the possibilities on our website.

Almelo City Hall - Designed for BREEAM Excellent

As part of a larger plan to revitalise the city centre of Almelo, the newly built city hall is an example of sustainable construction and modern design. With sustainability as the cornerstone of its design, the building is currently one of the most energy efficient public buildings in the Netherlands. The building will receive its BREEAM-NL Excellent certification later this year. City Hall Almelo is an interesting example, as it shows that highly sustainable buildings are achievable with current technologies and under very tight budgets (...)

> View the full showcase...


Please find below the latest news from the Eurbanlab community, current topics in sustainable urban development and other short updates.
World will pass crucial 2°C global warming limit
Pledges by nations to cut carbon emissions will fall far short of those needed to prevent global temperatures rising by more than the crucial 2°C by the end of the century. This is the stark conclusion of climate experts who have analysed submissions in the runup to the Paris Climate talks later this year.
> Read full article... (via TheGuardian)
Apply now for the 2016 European Capital of Innovation Award
After the success of the first edition of the European Capital of Innovation Award in 2014, the European Commission has launched a second, even more ambitious, edition to celebrate the European city which is building the best “innovation ecosystem”...
>

Amsterdam to receive its first Vertical Forest

Last week, Dutch-based architecture firm MVRDV was announced as the winner of the Ravel Plaza design competition, whose challenge was to develop a plot of land in the bustling financial district of Amsterdam. MVRDV’s model—which was selected after seven months of deliberation by the city officials—involves three foliage-covered towers that combine as one building, housing offices, residences, and commercial properties. Designed in collaboration with OVG Real Estate, the building will be located on Beethoven Street, adjacent to the headquarters of ABN AMRO (a Dutch state-owned bank) and beside the Amsterdam Football Club’s sports complex. 

According to MVRDV, the project was conceived with the aim of creating a multiuse building that would be innovative, sustainable, and, to a large degree, open to the public. “We combine the quality of living in a green environment with the centrality and excitement of an urban environment,” said MVRDV cofounder and architect, Winy Maas. “The homes will have bay windows with beautiful views and large balconies with lots of vegetation, turning the whole building into a kind of village green.” There has been no announcement on when construction will begin or its projected completion date.

Royal call for switch to low-carbon investment

Prince Charles urges investors to play a key role as future-makers by pressuring governments to take decisive action on climate change.
The heir to the British throne, speaking to a gathering of some of the world’s leading investors controlling billions of dollars’ worth of funds, said it’s vital that finance markets send a strong signal to politicians about the need for a global agreement on climate change. Prince Charles said global warming is an increasing source of risk to the financial community, and investing in projects that will help the world stay within a 2˚C rise in temperatures over pre-industrial levels need not hurt investment returns. “All investors must decide whether they are future-takers or future-makers,” he said.

> Read full article...

The Brave New World of Ecomodernism

Ecomodernism holds that not only are humans driving the future of our world, but through technology can decouple our future from natural ecosystems. In this process the world would turn into urban enclaves surrounded by mechanically farmed agricultural lands and islands reserved for nature. It is a vision of naive young urban professionals.

> Read full article - via TheGuardian

Featured article

We aim to include a featured article in each newsletter. These articles provide in-depth information into current developments or interesting innovations. If you would like to contribute by sharing your insights, please send us an e-mail and submit your idea for the next newsletter!

Green Roofs - The Upper End of Building Insulation

The issue of buildings being energy inefficient has been acknowledged in Europe as early as the 1990s, but it is the current global warming concerns that have spurred efforts to improve the sector. Poorly insulated buildings lose heat in winter and need additional energy to be kept cool in summer. The wasted energy often translates in potential energy savings and avoided CO2 emissions. It comes to no surprise that the European Commission and EU Member States fast tracked policy measures to improve that, with most significant results being noted after 2000.

Policy directives focus on improving the energy efficiency through building envelope upgrades. Most often, this consists of wall, floor, door and roof insulation. Since the implementation of the policy directives in late 1990s, the energy efficiency of the building stock improved by 21% across EU countries, amounting over 70Mtoe (Million Tonnes of Oil Equivalent) cumulative energy savings since. The low hanging fruits of building efficiency are insulation of windows, doors and floors, which have been largely embraced by popular demand. Less popular, yet equally efficient insulation option is the insulation of the roof surface, which can deliver up to 10% savings in energy use for cooling and heating.

> Read the full article...
What is an Urban Innovation?
Eurbanlab defines Urban Innovations as "urban (re)development projects that incorporate systemic innovations, involving new or modified concepts, systems, products and/or techniques, that contribute to low-carbon, climate resilient development, on the scale of a street or upwards.
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