A blog from University of Borås

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Green cities in the world

There is now a competition in the world to have "green", "carbon neutral" and "sustainable" cities. It is an interesting development, in which different cities are going to have less negative impacts on the environment. Hammarby Sjöstad is one of the districts in Stockholm (Sweden), that was established at the end of 1990s to win the olympic competition, but remains as a good example of sustainable cities. It attract several thousands visitors every year from all around the world. Another interesting example is Masdar City in Abu Dhabi (UAE), which is mentioned as the world's first carbon neutral city. Africa will also be part of this competition. The first green city in Africa is planned near Abuja (Nigeria) and called Abuja green city.

Borås is also working in this line since 1980s. The city has a goal to become fossil-free and sustainable city before 2020. The city was a pioneer in Sweden and has had a great development in the past, but still long way to go!

Monday, October 17, 2011

We, other organisms and natural resources!

There are millions of microorganisms and macroorganisms living on earth. In billions of years, the nature has created a perfect balance and synergy between these organisms and the available resources. If we follow the lifetime and recycling of a material, we realize that there are many different species involved in lifetime of the organisms. Each species take a little bit of the energy available in the material and provide the raw material or food for the next organism. We can follow for example how CO2 become a tree and fruit to serve many species until it becomes CO2 again.

However, we human, cut this chain and consume the materials and convert it directly to CO2 without thinking of other species. It means the lifetime of the materials we use has much shorter lifetime compared to what other species do in nature. More thinking about this fact can create enough jobs and possibility for everybody in the world, without quick consumption of our natural resources!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Waste Recovery in Brazil

We were last week in Brazil and made three agreements with the mayors and universities in different cities including Fortaleza and Sobral in north east of Brazil and Macae in vicinity of Rio de Janeiro. Macae is the city of petroleum of Brazil with about 80% of the total oil production in Brazil. The population of the city has expanded enormously in the last decades, and is now close to 300,000. Fortaleza is a also a fast growing tourist city with about 2.5 million inhabitants, while Sobral is the second largest city in the same province with about 200 thousand people. Macae and Fortaleza built their Waste Recovery with their municipalities, universities, companies (private and states) and also NGOs. Sobral is also planning to build it soon. Therefore, a lot of exchanges and collaboration between Sweden and Brazil in this field is expected to start soon, in education, visits, project planning, and implementations of various projects in waste treatment and resource recovery. Let's hope the best for our Brazilian partners!

(A child in a fruit market in Fortaleza, whom will hopefully have a better life, when we build a biogas plant in the market)

(Fortaleza, which has one of the best beaches in Brazil)