Lynedoch EcoVillage Development Wins Award

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A case study of the Lynedoch EcoVillage Development written up by Eve Annecke and Mark Swilling was presented at two major international conferences this last week. These were the Sustainable Building 2004 Conference that was organised by the CSIR (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research) and which took place at the Spier Estate, and the a forum on Sustainable Construction organised by the Holcim Foundation which took place in Zurich. The CSIR conference is part of a series of regional conferences taking place around the world as part of the lead-up to the UNEP (United Nations Environmental Programme) Conference in Tokyo in 2005 which will be a global conference on Sustainable Building. The Sustainability Institute made two presentations at the CSIR conference. The first was the case study – this paper is available on request from . The second was an entry into a best practice competition – this was compiled by ARG Design in partnership with the Sustainability Institute. An international panel of judges from Europe, Africa and Asia voted the Lynedoch EcoVillage Development the winner in the ‘Community Project’ category. The prize is a ticket to the Tokyo conference, plus accommodation and conference fees. In addition, the CSIR selected seven of the best papers from the Africa region presented at the conference for presentation at the Tokyo conference – again supported by an air ticket, accommodation and conference fee. The case study by Eve Annecke and Mark Swilling was selected as one of the best seven papers. The Holcim Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Holcim International, the largest global cement company in the world. It is headquartered in Zurich and owns what used to be called Alpha Cement in South Africa. Holcim has come to the conclusion that sustainability and sustainable development in particular is a major challenge that it needs to face. As part of this strategy it has set up a range of global and regional awards – the regional awards are $200 000 each, and the global award is $300 000. The Holcim Foundation is orchestrating a major global awareness campaign around these awards. This is organised in partnership with the following major Universities: MIT in the US, University of Sao Paulo in Brazil, University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa, University of Shanhai in China and Swiss Institute for Technology. Major academic leaders from these institutions were requested to select projects at a two day meeting of 60 experts from around that took place in Zurich this past week. The Lynedoch EcoVillage Development was selected as one of five projects from around the world that best demonstrated the meaning of sustainable construction within a developmental context. This meeting was a kind of think tank in preparation for the regional and global award process that will commence shortly. One of the keynote speakers was Professor Mohamed Yunus from Bangladesh – Chairperson of the Grameen Bank and renowned champion of poverty eradication via micro-finance facilities. The Lynedoch case study was very well received.