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Liechtenstein Congress provides fresh impetus

The 4th Liechtenstein Congress came to a hugely successful conclusion at the University of Liechtenstein last Friday. More than 200 visitors from all across Europe attended the event’s lectures and discussions in order to inform themselves about the future of sustainable planning.

The 4th Liechtenstein Congress came to a hugely successful conclusion at the University of Liechtenstein last Friday. More than 200 visitors from all across Europe attended the event’s lectures and discussions in order to inform themselves about the future of sustainable planning.

The Liechtenstein Congress once again proved to be a source of inspiration and ideas for the Lake Constance–Alpine Rhine Valley region and beyond. The attendance of numerous guests from Italy, Austria, Hungary and the Czech Republic attest to this fact. In her opening address, Marlies Amann-Marxer, the Liechtenstein Minister for Infrastructure and the Environment, voiced her pleasure at the high turnout. “The topic of sustainability is a vital one for the population. Today, nobody can stand aloof from this global task.”



Thirty prestigious experts and decision-makers from the fields of business, politics and the environment provided insights into their work. What challenges will sustainability pose to the construction industry in the future? What advantages does it offer investors? What form might a sustainable real estate strategy take? And how can one raise greater social awareness regarding these topics? All of these questions formed the focus of the first day of the congress. 

A presentation of best-practice examples

Werner Sobek, professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, gave one of the event’s many impressive lectures. The architect and engineer has dedicated himself to the topic of sustainable construction for many years now, and only designs buildings that are virtually 100% recyclable and emission-free. Whereas Sobek emphasizes the reusable nature of his materials, Cornel Widmer, Head of Group Real Estate at the Investment Management Division of Zurich  Insurance Company Ltd., identifies enormous potential for savings in the area of domestic engineering. In the 1960s, the energy consumption of an average family home was 180 kWh per square metre. In comparison, a newly built family home today only consumes an average of 55 kWh per square metre.


Panel discussion on the topic “A smaller footprint – creating greater value for the region?”
(From left to right): Ludwig Karg, Peter Droege, Hansruedi Kunz, Remo Looser, Hans-Martin Neumann, Christopher Klages.

Zurich Climate Prize: winners receive their awards

To conclude the first day of the congress, the winning projects of the 2012 Zurich Climate Prize for Switzerland and Liechtenstein were announced in the evening. With the Climate Prize, Zurich Versicherungen supports sustainable projects in the areas of housing, consumption and mobility which contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions and the consumption of resources, as well as promote a fresh perspective. The jury selected three winners out of a field of 100 submissions. With its project for a completely carbon-neutral printing house, the Liechtenstein-based company BVD Druck Verlag AG, headquartered in Schaan, just missed out on a top-three place, and was presented with a commendation prize.


Ludwig Karg, B.A.U.M. Consult GmbH, presented the “Alpstore” research project, geared towards a climate-stable alpine infrastructure.


Autonomous energy models for the region

The second day of the congress focused on the infrastructure of the future: What autonomous energy systems are of interest to the region? How can the electricity thereby generated be stored for the long term? What form might a value chain take which incorporates the country, municipalities and region? Hansruedi Kunz, head of the department for energy in the canton of Zurich and chairman of the energy project group of the International Lake Constance Conference (IBK), made clear: “There are many facets to sustainable planning. The starting point is different for each country, but there are many paths leading to the same destination.” The IBK seeks to preserve and promote the Lake Constance region as a residential, natural, cultural and economic area. It therefore promotes regional togetherness across various boundaries. Kunz’s recommendation to the congress’ participants was, “Now is the time to get started!”




Tangible projects

On the afternoon of the second day, the programme was dedicated to the combination of theory and practice. Various excursions led participants out into nature or to local, climate-neutral enterprises. The excursion to Malbun proved very popular.

The conference’s initiator and organizer, Professor Peter Droege, who holds the Chair for Sustainable Urban Design at the University of Liechtenstein, was satisfied with how the two-day congress went. “It’s nice to see the fruits of many years’ work. Guests who have attended once are happy to return.”

Additional information regarding the Liechtenstein Congress can be found at www.uni.li/li-congress.


Liechtenstein Congress 2013 – impressions from Days 1 and 2
Video of Day 1 and 2 on the YouTube Playlist
Photos available on the Congress website  and on Facebook