Chalmers Initiative Seminar on Global Challenges - Local Actions

Chalmers Area of Advance Built Environment would like to welcome all faculty members, researchers, students and stakeholders to join our first Initiative Seminar. The seminar will focus on how Chalmers tackles global sustainability challenges through local initiatives in various research fields within the scope of Built Environment. Through this occasion we would like to highlight series of activities and projects done in different parts of the world such as Africa, Asia, South America as well as in Sweden.

Chalmers Area of Advance Built Environment would like to welcome all faculty members, researchers, students and stakeholders to join our first Initiative Seminar. The seminar will focus on how Chalmers tackles global sustainability challenges through local initiatives in various research fields within the scope of Built Environment. Through this occasion we would like to highlight series of activities and projects done in different parts of the world such as Africa, Asia, South America as well as in Sweden.
The seminar will be held in English, and will take place 5-6 December 2013 at Chalmers Kårhus, Campus Johanneberg. Attendance is free of charge, however registration is required due to the limited number of space.
Twitter hashtag during the Initiative Seminar is #globalChalmers
N.B.: Due to lack of interest, the previously announced Poster Competition has been cancelled. 
Day 1, 5th of December
Global challenges and local actions in the Built Environment
Introduction by Lars Börjesson

Moderator: Henriette Söderberg


Keynote by Mohammed El Sioufi:  Sustainable urban development challenges: a global perspective
Chalmers increasing focus on Africa - how to establish and build on strong links 
Presented by Jörgen Sjöberg
The Area of Advance Built Environment and its strategies.
Presented by Stefan Forsaeus Nilsson and Karl-Gunnar Olsson.
Students’ perspective on global challenges and local actions.
Presented by Anna Larsson and David Martinez.
Panel discussion: How should Chalmers move forward internationally with current potentials? 
Panel participants:
Jörgen Sjöberg
Mohammed El Sioufi
Stefan Forsaeus Nilsson
Karl-Gunnar Olsson
Anna Larson
David Martinez
Moderator: Henriette Söderberg
LUNCH – special presentations at companies booth
Chalmers portfolio of local actions
Introduction to showcase of local actions and socio-technical solutions
Moderator: Björn Malbert
 14.05 – 14.15
Reality studio, Kisumu, Kenya
Presented by Björn Malbert.
Reality Studio is a design studio within the Master Program Design for Sustainable Development at Chalmers Architecture. It has been run in Kisumu since 2005 in cooperation with local teachers and students. Originally this studio was given by Lunds University with support from UN-Habitat och participation of Chalmers. Since 2008 it is given by Chalmers Architecture and during the last years with support from Chalmers president office. The studio contains household studies, system analysis and design propsals that can support solutions of everday life problems for local communities, households or businesses. The studio is based on field studies and collaboration with various local stakeholders. Reality studio has also been the engine for the extended collaboration with Kisumu stakeholders and actors within Mistra Urban Futures on the so called Kisumu Local Interaction Platform (KLIP).
14.15 – 14.25

Kisumu Local Interaction Platform: Ecotourism Flagship Project in Kisumu

Presented by Naomi Apali Mgoria, Jooust University, Kenya. 

One of the local interaction platforms of Mistra Urban Futures is “The Kisumu Local Interaction Platform” (KLIP). KLIP has a flagship project that is dealing with eco-tourism, whose aim is promoting transformation of eco-tourism as a viable and alternative source of livelihood and community empowerment through innovative approaches by integrating climate change adaptation. The complex challenges in eco-tourism require collaboration between a variety of stakeholders, from the public sector, academia, civil society and the practice from and around the environs of Kisumu city. Thus the project has Swedish support (Chalmers University of Technology) and in Kenya is mainly driven by Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology, based in Bondo Town. The current activities undertaken are research, training and capacity building workshops, symposiums, exchange programmes and community partnership projects. 

14.25 – 14.35

Kisumu interaction platform (KLIP) on Market Places​

Presented by Geoffrey Wasonga

 14.35 – 14.45
Building academic capacity in Tanzania
Presented by Krystyna Pietrzyk
The cooperation of Chalmers/Architecture with ARDHI University in Tanzania is traced starting from the supervision of a PhD student from Tanzania, participation in the Sida project including common supervision of PhD students, the networking within the East African Region, up to designing the University platform for regional studies and applications.  Especially the Sida project “Capacity Building for Sustainable Land Development, Environmental Management and Poverty Alleviation” organized according to Agreement on Research Cooperation between Sweden and ARDHI University in Tanzania is presented. The results of the project in the form of three licentiate theses and PhD courses are exemplified. Issues concerning Marketplaces, Health Care Facilities, and Health & Safety Risk Management in Building Construction Sites are the matter of cooperation.
14.45 – 14.55

Entrepreneurship as a Tool for Economic Development – experiences from Uganda

Presented by Kristina Henricson Briggs
Entrepreneurship as a tool for economic development became an item on the development aid agenda in the years after World War II. After having fallen out of fashion, it returned in the 1980s, when the fallacies of other economic development interventions had become apparent. The notion that entrepreneurship is a key for economic growth is today an important part of national development strategies in both developed and developing countries. As a means of introducing a more organized approach to entrepreneurship and a model of encouraging it, business incubator initiatives are established in developing countries. Such initiatives are intended to diversify economies, commercialize technologies and to create jobs and wealth. However, research has previously shown that there is unclarity regarding the effectiveness of certain interventions, such as business incubators, on economic development. How and under what conditions is it valuable to translate the concept of business incubation from the developed to the developing world? Would mobilization of existing entrepreneurship be more fruitful than attempts to create it? And, how do we avoid falling back into our own ethnocentric perspectives in our initiatives for economic development?
14.55 – 15.05

Artificial Groundwater Recharge in Botswana

Presented by Lars Rosén
Water scarcity is a major challenge for sustainable development in Botswana and calls for integrated water resources management, including measures to avoid water losses, efficient use of water, and introduction of water saving technologies, as well as for water re-use and recycling. Artificial groundwater recharge (AR) is a well-established technique to increase available water quantities for water supply and to improve water quality. Water scarcity accentuated by urban growth, especially in semi-arid and arid regions, has meant a growing interest in artificial groundwater recharge as a basis for water supply by collection of surface water runoff for infiltration to avoid evaporation losses. The presentation will give an overview of ongoing work by Chalmers for developing a water safety supply model in order to evaluate the potential for AR in eastern Botswana.
15.05 – 15.35

​COFFEE BREAK.   All presenters gather in a discussion corner during coffee break

 15.35 – 15.45
Sustainable housing solutions for low income families in the Philippines
Presented by Holger Wallbaum
The Hilti Foundation together with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific, and the Homeless Peoples Federation of the Philippines, work in a joint project on the production of and construction with triple bottom line building solutions made from bamboo, coconut husk and other materials. It is seen that alternative building materials are an entry point for housing low income families in a more sustainable and disaster-resilient way. With affordable housing being a highly complex problem, the project contains multiple working streams too. Among others, the materials are undergoing comprehensive technical testing, a Life Cycle Assessment to prove their environmental saving potential and a social inclusive business model to enable scale-up with value creation in place.
The project motivation and the state of the art will be introduced in the presentation.
 15.45 – 15.55
A socio-technical systems approach to water and sanitation in Bolivia
Presented by Sebastien Rauch
Access to water and sanitation is a pressing issue for many in Bolivia, one of the poorest countries in Latin America. Two on-going PhD projects at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering aim at
(1) characterizing existing water and sanitation systems in remote and urban settlements in Bolivia and
(2) understanding the socio-cultural and economic contexts in which these systems have developed in order to select adequate technologies and spread sustainable practices. This presentation will describe the projects and will provide some insight into drivers, barriers and triggers for system implementation. 
 15.55 – 16.05
Leapfrogging electrification in Tanzania – wishful thinking or realistic opportunity?
Presented by Sverker Molander
Electrification, as part of the modernization of energy systems in developing countries, is a crucial step influencing the productivity of the entire society and through that  giving possibilities for better livelihoods. The ways to achieve electrification, based on renewable energy sources, is however challenging. Our interdisciplinary research in Tanzania is dealing with the connections between humans their environment and the technologies they use, trying to identify barriers an opportunities for improved access to electricity. The research has worked with identification of renewable resources  and the social structures involved in the reshaping of the rural energy system, and the consequences of electrification.
 16.05 – 16.15
Oil Palm for Biodiesel in Brazil – Potentials and Trade-offs
Presented by Oskar Englund
Oil palm is the world’s most productive oil seed and thus a land efficient feedstock alternative for biodiesel. In addition, it can be very profitable for farmers to shift from traditional crops to oil palm cultivation. However, most of the current global oil palm plantations were established at the expense of tropical rainforests, with severe impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem carbon stocks as results, radically reducing the benefits of displacing fossil fuels with biodiesel. This study aims to increase the understanding of Brazil’s potential to produce palm oil biodiesel and the tradeoffs with other objectives that large-scale oil palm production could entail. It includes
(1) spatially determining the net present value (NPV) of establishing new oil palm plantations for biodiesel production in different future scenarios, and quantifying the corresponding economic biodiesel potentials;
(2) identifying to what extent there are tradeoffs between oil palm biodiesel profitability and conservation objectives;
(3) analyzing the effectiveness of a LUC carbon pricing scheme in steering oil palm production away from land where conversion would bring unacceptable impacts on biodiversity or ecosystem carbon stocks; and
(4) analyzing how a realization of road infrastructure plans would affect the economic potential of oil palm biodiesel and corresponding pressure on natural vegetation. The results unveil a very large economic potential for Brazil to produce oil palm for biodiesel; without causing any LUC C emissions and without inflicting on HCV areas, a total of 86-106 Mha land is available, corresponding to a biodiesel potential of 8.1-9.2 EJ/a, or 15 % of the global petrodiesel demand.
 16.15 – 16.25
Waste to resources: Can local solutions tackle a global problem?
Presented by Isabel Ordoñez Pizarro
Waste management is a global challenge, as is resource depletion and pollution generated by untreated discards. Developed countries tend to have the most sofisticated waste management systems in the world, but they generate significantly more waste too. Developing countries with simpler systems achieve much higher levels of recycling, spending only a fraction of the resources invested in the west. What is preferable?
 16.25 – 16.35
Presented by Sverker Alänge
16.35 – 16.45

The Centre for Urban Studies in Hammarkullen - a joint learning initiative

Presented by Pål Castell

Since 2010, Gothenburg University and Chalmers are managing a centre together in the suburban housing district Hammarkullen. One core idea is that the universities should be present not only in the city centre. This gives us an opportunity to work interdisciplinary and in close collaboration with actors in the local community to develop knowledge about socially inclusive urban development. It has been an important platform for research projects, as well as for master courses focussing on participative design and planning methods and sustainable renovation of the million programme (mass housing districts).

16.45. - 17.00.
Minor Field Studies (MFS)
Presented by Mikael Mangold and Ida Helgegren
​17.00. - 17.15. ​Time for discussion
NGOs  involving students in local actions
  • CSS    - Dagsu Demir
  • Engineers without Borders -  Presented by Lukasz Szychlinski
  • Architects without Borders in Sweden-  Presented by Pål Castell and Nathalie Mair

The non-profit association Arkitekter utan gränser (Architects without borders) is part of the international network Architecture Sans Frontières (ASF). We work with planning and construction projects of different kinds in different parts of the world, always based on the vision of a just and sustainable development. We work with development and spreading of knowledge and skills, and we try to raise awareness about social inequalities. Our aim is to provide a forum for architects who want to act in solidarity. Several of our projects have started with students' ideas at Chalmers and other schools. "Green Canteen" is a new project concerning the development of cooking and eating facilities at a Tanzanian school. It is based on an innovative and comprehensive approach where design supports the pedagogy, integrating energy, water, waste and food systems.

Wrap up by Stefan Forsaeus Nilsson
Mingle dinner
Day 2, 6th of December
AoA Built Environment – a platform for global collaborations and local actions
Registration - For those only attending Day 2
Opening Day 2
Challenges: Wrap up from Day 1
Presented by Stefan Forsaeus Nilsson
Session 1:
Johanneberg Science Park: Local industries focus on projects involving Chalmers
  • Introduction  by Maria Ådahl
  • Positive footprint housing - Presented by Christer Malmström (Malmström Edström Arkitekter Ingenjörer AB)
  • HSB Living Lab - Presented by Anna Olofsson
  • Discussion

Moderator: Maria Ådahl

 10.30. - 11.00.
Session 2:
Statens Vegvesen
Presented by Greg Morrison
 10.45 - 11.15.
Coffee Break
Session 3:
Climate KIC
Presented by Holger Wallbaum and York Ostermeyer
Climate-KIC is one of three Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) created in 2010 by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT). The EIT is an EU body whose mission is to create sustainable growth. The Climate KIC supports this mission by addressing climate change mitigation and adaptation. It integrates education, entrepreneurship and innovation resulting in connected, creative transformation of knowledge and ideas into economically viable products or services that help to mitigate climate change. 
There are numerous opportunities for Chalmers in this network, ranging from student exchange over project applications to support for Spin-offs and Start-ups in the climate sector. This presentation will give a short overview over KIC activities and options for Chalmers.
Closing, by Stefan Forsaeus Nilsson
The programme will be updated regularly.







Published: Fri 18 Oct 2013. Modified: Fri 20 Dec 2013