Greetings CNT 2010! I hope you are all as excited as I was when we began the carbon inventory two years ago. It was certainly an eye opening experience for me, and I am excited to see the improvements your fresh points of view will bring to this iteration of the project. While I am disappointed that I won’t have a chance to be doing any hands on with you, I can’t say I am disappointed to be here in Växjö.
Often called the “The Greenest City in
Europe” (a title given to it by the BBC and adopted by over 500 other media organizations), Växjö has been making strides for several years to cut its carbon footprint and become more sustainable. I can see the efforts that are being made all over. However, they are often so well integrated they are not terribly obvious. The first thing that really stuck out to me was all the bikes.
I arrived in the city on a cold snowy night and when I got off the train there were people biking on the main street in the city center, right there with all the cars. The weather here is very similar to
and as I am typing right now there are still people biking past me through the snowy campus mall. The bicycle parking on campus is abundant and often covered. Even though nearly all of the University’s 15,000 students live on campus, there are very few parking lots for cars. Walking along the lake into the city center people from youth to retirement age, men and women, all bike past. When I discovered the statistic that, as of 2006, 40 percent of households in Växjö didn’t own cars, I wasn’t too surpised. Wisconsin