Energy sustainability in urban settings: Challenge 2 – How might we foster growth in urban communities to adopt sustainable energies?

Urban populations represent over 50% of world’s people, so how might designers target this greater half of the world into action over sustainable energy practices? As found by our interviews, it can be difficult to adopt certain energy strategies in urban apartment and tenement buildings. This fact is from the lack of autonomy of choice that most urbanites have. Most urban dwellers do not own the buildings they reside in, so therefore they cannot make large sweeping changes without organization with the people they rent from.

As designers living in urban settings, we are poised perfectly to address this topic from the point of view of those who would benefit from the organization of sustainable energy in cities. As well, because many of us have lived in multiple urban landscapes, we have a breadth of knowledge rarely combined in a single place to solve this problem.

Your challenge is to figure out how to organize not only individuals, but entire communities, in urban settings around the idea of creating sustainable options for energy use. Like community gardens, this resource could be shared by the groups maintaining the energy collectors or by the community funding its installation. This could also open doors for higher community interaction, and community resource/knowledge sharing over this often difficult topic of energy use and sustainable practice.

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