Suggestion: Oslo-Denver-Initiative

Suggestion, 2008-08-28 |Draft|

(deut­sche Fas­sung)

Harald Keg­ler

The “Oslo-Den­ver-Initia­ti­ve” (ODI) – An initia­ti­ve of CEU and CNU aimed at prac­ti­cal mea­su­res in urban and regio­nal deve­lo­p­ment in order to redu­ce the effects of cli­ma­te chan­ge

On the occa­si­on of the Inter­na­tio­nal Con­gress of the CEU “Urban Design and Cli­ma­te Chan­ge” to be held in Oslo in Sep­tem­ber, 2008, the Coun­cil for Euro­pean Urba­nism (CEU) and the Con­gress for New Urba­nism (CNU) are star­ting a joint initia­ti­ve of trans­at­lan­tic co-ope­ra­ti­on for prac­ti­cal mea­su­res to be taken in urban and regio­nal deve­lo­p­ment against cli­ma­te chan­ge. The foun­da­ti­on pro­cess of this initia­ti­ve will be com­ple­ted with the CNU con­gress that will be held in Den­ver in June, 2009.

This initia­ti­ve is open to all inte­res­ted par­ties, and is not restric­ted to Euro­pean / US-Ame­ri­can part­ners. Nevertheless, it is dri­ven by the intent that the­se two glo­bal regi­ons have a spe­cial respon­si­bi­li­ty with regard to cli­ma­te chan­ge, and thus, should be the first to con­cen­tra­te their efforts on under­ta­king effec­ti­ve steps in the field of urban and regio­nal deve­lo­p­ment against cli­ma­te chan­ge.

A dou­ble stra­te­gy is pur­sued in this pro­cess: the reduc­tion of alrea­dy exis­ting effects of the cli­ma­te chan­ge in urban regi­ons, that is essen­ti­al­ly for­ced by man, and the pre­ven­ti­on of fur­ther incre­a­se of cli­ma­te chan­ge by means of urban regio­nal plan­ning and urban con­trol.

The initia­tors are awa­re of the fact that Euro­pe and the United Sta­tes of Ame­ri­ca as important indus­tri­al regi­ons par­ti­ci­pa­te in a spe­cial way in the cli­ma­te chan­ge and thus have an out­stan­ding respon­si­bi­li­ty in this respect. On the other hand, they have alrea­dy initia­ted a who­le string of dif­fe­rent mea­su­res in order to take action against cli­ma­te chan­ge. Moreo­ver, it is obvious that the con­se­quen­ces of the chan­ge con­cern to a gre­at extent cities and regi­ons, which are only to a small degree respon­si­ble for the cli­ma­te chan­ge for­ced (indu­ced) by man. That is why the­se regi­ons are invi­ted to take part in this initia­ti­ve. Tru­ly effec­ti­ve steps can only be initia­ted in a world-wide dia­lo­gue. Around the world the­re are a lot of initia­ti­ves dealing with cli­ma­te chan­ge, but only a few of them deal expli­ci­tly with this sub­ject from the urba­nistic point of view, par­ti­cu­lar­ly with regard to the prac­ti­cal approach of urban and regio­nal deve­lo­p­ment.

The glo­bal cli­ma­te chan­ge with its social, eco­no­mic, cul­tu­ral and eco­lo­gi­cal dimen­si­ons is one of the top chal­len­ges for man in the 21st cen­tu­ry. As the majo­ri­ty of peop­le live in cities, urba­nis­ed and sub­ur­ba­nis­ed regi­ons, which incre­a­se the cli­ma­te chan­ge as a result of car­bon dioxi­de, and thus live in dan­ger zones with respect to the con­se­quen­ces of cli­ma­te chan­ge, it is one of the most important tasks that the cities and regi­ons are first to deal with cli­ma­te pro­tec­tion and pre­ven­ti­on. A lot of attempts have alrea­dy been made in this direc­tion, too.

Nevertheless, we are still at the begin­ning. The­re is still a gre­at defi­ci­en­cy in the are­as of urban design, urban and regio­nal plan­ning and con­trol of urban and regio­nal deve­lo­p­ment. The ener­ge­tic reor­ga­ni­sa­ti­on of city regi­ons, the crea­ti­on of com­pact, de-cen­tra­li­sed housing spaces, the com­plex eco­no­mi­c­al hand­ling of resour­ces or mini­mi­sa­ti­on of auto-depen­den­cy – all the­se belong to the prac­ti­cal requi­re­ments of urban deve­lo­p­ment.

The Oslo-Den­ver-Initia­ti­ve wants to draw the atten­ti­on to the urba­nistic dimen­si­on of cli­ma­te chan­ge and, at the same time, it wants to beco­me effec­ti­ve in a prac­ti­cal sen­se. Moreo­ver, it sees its­elf in the tra­di­ti­on of the initia­ti­ve for a “Sus­tainab­le Deve­lo­p­ment” that was star­ted 20 years ago in Oslo with the “Brundt­land Report”. Cli­ma­te chan­ge has drawn the atten­ti­on to a neces­si­ty for effec­ti­ve actions.

The aim of the Oslo-Den­ver-Initia­ti­ve is, from the point of view of the urba­nistic bran­ches, the pra­xis and the sci­ence in the area of urba­nistic cli­ma­te pre­ven­ti­on and cli­ma­te impact reduc­tion, as fol­lows:

  1. to con­cen­tra­te the exchan­ge of new prac­ti­cal expe­ri­en­ces, methods and know­ledge,
  2. to initia­te part­ners­hips of various insti­tu­ti­ons, orga­ni­sa­ti­ons and par­ti­ci­pants,
  3. to spread the prac­ti­cal results of con­cre­te mea­su­res so that they can be dis­cus­sed,
  4. to inclu­de poli­ti­ci­ans and lob­by repre­sen­ta­ti­ves and to sen­si­ti­se them for the neces­si­ty of urba­nistic approa­ches,
  5. to initia­te and sup­port con­cre­te pro­jects and mea­su­res with model cha­rac­ter.

In the peri­od bet­ween Sep­tem­ber 2008 and June 2009 all inte­res­ted par­ties are invi­ted to par­ti­ci­pa­te in the for­ma­ti­on and orga­ni­sa­ti­on of this initia­ti­ve. During this time CEU and CNU will estab­lish the pre­con­di­ti­ons for working effec­tively and faci­li­ta­ting the effec­ti­ve­ness of “ODI”. Plea­se address sug­ges­ti­ons for par­ti­ci­pa­ti­on and con­cre­te orga­ni­sa­tio­nal pro­po­sals to:

- for the CEU
– for the CNU

Harald Keg­ler Ray Gindroz
Chair of the CEU Chair of the CNU

Oslo, Sep­tem­ber 2008

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