When work becomes passion and passion becomes reality / Interview Jacob Bundsgaard, mayor of Aarhus & alderman Marc pera Christensen / Go Green Aarhus 2017 / Theory U / The Yes! Municipality / Godsbanen Trailerpark / Furture Practice- Knowledge & Experiments / Entrepreneurial Portraits /City of ceres : How to build a City / Hope is Green / Aarhus University: Student Incubator / Let's Go Co-Create / Steps toward a Sustainable Future / Green Entrepreneurial portraits / Sustainable Footprint / Eco System /The Thornico Building / Spot a Wealthy Investor
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THE THORNICO BUILDING
Aarhus has a green role modelin the town of Rotterdam. TheThornico Building in the centre of Rotterdam, with 30,000 m2 floor space and 800 parking spaces, has been transformed into a green lung and stands as an example of business and environmental conscience successfully going hand in hand.
Thornico – the holding company for Hummel amongst firms – has realized many of their green aims from their Company Karma strategies. Company Karma is the result of globalisation and the fact that businesses interact and sell all over the world. Thornico calls their karma theories a kind of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) that aims to be even more holistic. By this the firm itself as well as it´s customers, partners and a chosen causes will all benefit from investments made. The climate and local environment are matters close to the company´s heart. This passion for combining business and responsibility for the planet has made The Thornico Builin the heart of Rotterdam green. Dan Bjerg, karma developer, Thornico & Hummel explains: “Many people talk about making real estate sustainable but there are very few people that have actually gone and done it. We have planted ivy up one of the walls in the multistory car park, which filters the same amount of CO2 as 200 mature oak trees – it is Europe’s large green wall”. The building’s sheer size and large multistory car park makes it one of the biggest in Rotterdam. At the top of the massive concrete building there is a small green oasis with a panoramic view of the Rotterdam skyline. The rooftop is planted with flowers and moss and is a haven for bees that produce honey. During the night the building is lit up by green LED lights that are energysaving and illustrate the building´s transformation from grey to green. It’s really all about branding. We have turned a grey concrete building into a sexy landmark for Rotterdam, which everybody using the building, including ourselves, benefits from the fact that the city now has a green lung. We hope that we can make people stop up and think: We could do that too”, says Dan Bjerg.
ROTTERDAM AND AARHUS AS FRIENDSHIP TOWNS
Aarhus would be well advised to look over it´s shoulder at Rotterdam and The Thornico Building to exchange ideas and knowledge of rooftop gardens, city beekeeping, watering systems, plant walls and urban farming as well as other green initiatives. Christian Stadil, owner of Thornico and Hummel supports this potential collaboration: “Aarhus and Rotterdam could most certainly join forces and learn from each other’s green transition. A potential friendship town agreement could allow the cities to exchange experiences with urban greening, vertical plant walls, rooftop gardens, urban farming, city beekeeping and more general sustainable urban development – Aarhus also has a lot of experi ences that Rotterdam could learn from”. The green transformation of the building in Rotterdam has created new knowledge and experiences in the practical handling of green real estate. Experiences which may seem simple and obvious but which are definitely worth knowing before planting crawling ivy up a wall or establishing beehives on a roof. “We have gained a lot of experience with the vertical plant wall, which we would like to use to help others. It has been a very dry spring in Rotterdam so we have developed some watering systems to prevent the ivy from drying out”, explains Dan Bjerg. One of the green visions in Aarhus; Aarhus Green Living Lab, which has several on-going projects in Aarhus, dreams of and envisions Rotterdam and Aarhus officially entering into a visionary friendship agreement. This could increase focus and not least action in creating sustainable cities, as well as permitting mutual learning through dialogue and collaboration.
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