Der Europäische Landbote. Transform post #8
Der Europäische Landbote is the title of an essay, written by the Austrian novelist, Robert Menasse. I am impressed by this important book with a positive look on the value of the European cooperation.
The subtitle of the book is :”Die Wut der Bürger und die Friede Europas oder Warum die geschenkte Demokratie einer erkämpften weichen muss”. That is to the point, because the sentiment about Europe has changed during the last years, due to the economic crisis and populist and nationalist movements in several European counties. And I know things are always changing. So, with the upcoming EU elections, I wanted to rethink my views and read this book.
Menasse explains the history of the European Union and its importance for European welfare and peace. This is what Europe bottom line gives: Peace and Welfare. Not always, not always as good as promised, but basically.
More important, Menasse explains the value of European collaboration in solving future problems. National governments can’t solve the big problems of our times alone. Populist movements would like to think so, but transnational problems like pollution, the economic crisis, climate change, energy solutions and security, data protection and immigration are problems of supranational scale.
TRANSFORM, a joint project of six European cities and thirteen partners, works under the umbrella of the FP7 program of the EC. It is about Smart City Development and the energy transformation of cities. This is a future we’re heading. Fighting climate change and making our cities resilient, is a complex challenge that influences almost every part of our lives. The challenge is so vast that my city, Amsterdam, is not fully equipped to solve this alone. Working together with other cities, knowledge institutes and international operating companies gives us the opportunity to look beyond borders and to find solutions elsewhere; solutions on a technical level, on a political level, on the level of DATA gathering, on the level of finance, governance or on a legal level.
TRANSFORM is a group of nineteen partners looking for ways to make our cities more smart, more sustainable and more liveable. All in the spirit of the EC which Robert Menasse so well describes in his book.
I read the essay in Dutch because I could not find an English translation.
(Transform is: The cities of Vienna, Genoa, Copenhagen, Grand Lyon, Hamburg and Amsterdam, and Accenture, AIT, ARE, ARUP, DTU, ENEL, ERDF, HESPUL, HOFOR, Hamburg Energie, IBA_Hamburg, ÖIR and Siemens.)
Ronald van Warmerdam
Sr project manager Projectmanagement Bureau, city of Amsterdam / lecturer TuDelft / Coordinator TRANSFORM