By Cristina Pestrea, Institute for Cultural Diplomacy
During the second day of the International Symposium on Cultural Diplomacy and Human Rights: “Towards a Global Human Rights Culture: The Need for a Collective Alliance in the Protection & Promotion of Human Rights” organized by the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy in Berlin, the architect and designer Dietmar Köring held a lecture on the topic ‘The Spine of Europe: Energy, Rivers in the Air’.
Mr. Köring began by reflecting on the role of energy in the modern world and raised questions such as “what is influencing our energy at the moment?”, “how do we use technology and computers?”, and “should we make a return to more natural energy sources?”. He discussed these questions and argued that energy generates welfare and how we use and organize our resources is essential in the 21st century. An interesting point in regards to this is the structure and organization of our cities and, especially, how we implement the concept of smart cities as part of a smart governance. He emphasized the importance of utilizing all our current knowledge about technology and energy in planning and formulating such smart governmental systems.
He continued his lecture by discussing the importantance of reflecting on how rivers and canals are distributed in cities, as well how we balance energy and electricity needs with a sustainable environment. In terms of energy, he explained, there are no differences among regions, as energy travels from country to country without limitations and borders.
After the lecture, during the Questions and Answers session, one of the participants asked about the use of energy and resources in the develoment process of cities and countries. Mr. Köring answered by saying that we can learn many lessons from history in this respect, and asserted that research from large enterprises and companies can help when natural systems are not efficient.
Another participant asked how we can improve the organization and generation of the energy in societies and, especially, in cities. Mr. Köring explained different tools that could be used to achieve this aim, such as the improvement and implementation of solar systems in Africa. Questions as to the funding and investment to research and improve all of those tools were also raised, to which Mr Köring suggested the possibility of receiving money from European institutions.