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Day 1: Focus on a sustainable future

Sustainability was the theme of the fourth International Congress Liechtenstein, which was held at the University of Liechtenstein on Thursday, 6 June 2013. Day 1 was opened by the Liechtenstein Minister for Infrastructure and the Environment, Marlies Amann-Marxer.

Sustainability was the theme of the fourth International Congress Liechtenstein, which was held at the University of Liechtenstein on Thursday, 6 June 2013. Day 1 was opened by the Liechtenstein Minister for Infrastructure and the Environment, Marlies Amann-Marxer. 

A summary of Michaela Caroline Bojes and Nico Lang; photos by Mohammad Hekmati - students in the Master's degree programme in Architecture

On the occasion of the 50-year anniversary of the University of Liechtenstein’s Institute of Architecture and Planning, the 2013 Liechtenstein Congress addresses the responsible use of resources, the demands for regenerative architecture and the autonomous “Bodensee/Lake Constance–Alpine Rhine Valley Energy and Climate Region”. In the two-day event, which is open to the public, experts and interested parties will discuss sustainable investment, as well as the future of mankind in a world filled with untold challenges.

Speakers and guests of the Liechtenstein Congress (f.l.t.r.): Guy Castelain Perry, Peter Droege, Francesca Sartogo, Ulrik Sylvest Nielsen and Conor Moloney.

The congress is based on a partnership with the government and other groups within the country and the region, and is supported by international sponsors. 

Dialogue between experts and local residents 

In her opening speech of this year’s event, Minister Marlies Amann-Marxer pointed out: “As Minister for the Environment, I am pleased to hear about events that try to increase people’s awareness about sustainability. Global as well as local issues are discussed here, and this is in line with our understanding and makes the congress a success, which can also be seen from the numbers who attend. I would like to invite people to the congress and to let themselves be guided by experts on how to make their everyday lives more resource-efficient.” 

Minister Marlies Amann-Marxer

Professor Droege, who holds the Chair for Sustainable Spatial Development at the University of Liechtenstein and is the initiator of the congress, commented during its opening: “This is the fourth Liechtenstein Congress. As at the first congress five years ago, our focus is on a number of themes surrounding the issue of sustainability in architecture, urban development and real-estate development. The second day will focus on the completed research project ‘Bodensee/Lake Constance–Alpine Rhine Valley Energy and Climate Region’ as well as the new research project ‘Alpstore’. The questions to be discussed in relation to these include: to what extent can our country and our region achieve self-sufficiency with regard to renewable energies, and what benefits can be gained?” 

Congress-initiator Peter Droege

One of the internationally renowned speakers was Cornel Widmer, Head of Group Real Estate, Investment Management, of Zurich  Insurance Company Ltd. He reiterated the clear international targets for a sustainable future: “By 2020, we aim to reduce our CO2 footprint by 20% and achieve the 2,000-watt society by 2050. How will these ambitious goals be achieved? On the one hand, it involves building technology. Energy-efficient improvements are being driven forward and the primary energy balance will be drastically reduced. Politics plays an important role in driving forward this development,” thought Widmer. His special concern is to strike a balance between economics and ecology. “180 kWh per square metre is the energy requirement for a single family home built in the 1960s. By optimizing existing houses, we have lowered the primary energy demand to 55 kWh per square metre.”

The Liechtenstein Congress 2013

Conor Moloney, Head of Regions and Communities of BioRegional London, appealed to the audience with his holistic approach, focusing on the “One Planet Communities” rules, such as zero carbon, zero waste generation and sustainable transport. Moloney expressed his thoughts on the 2013 Liechtenstein Congress, stating that “Everyone comes away from each congress with new ideas. People engage with future challenges, which involves significant inner reflection. It is also an opportunity to connect with other professionals and exchange information.”

Conor Moloney

Zurich Climate Prize: winners receive their awards

The first day of the congress concluded with the Zurich Climate Prize for Switzerland and Liechtenstein. The Climate Prize promotes sustainable projects in the categories housing, consumption and mobility which contribute towards reducing CO2 emissions, lower the consumption of resources, increase energy efficiency or bring about changes in attitude. The prize money is funded by Z Zurich Foundation.

In the 2012/2013 competition, an independent panel of experts and business personalities picked three winners from 100 projects entered for the prizes of CHF 60,000, CHF 40,000 and CHF 20,000. They also awarded a special prize of CHF 10,000 in each category. A company from Liechtenstein was among the eight finalists: BVD Druck Verlag AG from Schaan only just missed a place on the podium. Its project for a completely carbon-neutral printing house won a commendation prize for its commitment.

On the campus of the University of Liechtenstein

Further Informationen about the Liechtenstein Congress at www.uni.li/li-congress.

Liechtenstein Congress 2013 - Impressions day 1
Video day 1 on the YouTube Playlist
Photos the congress website