Blog del mobiliari urbà

Sustainability and sensitivity in urban furniture and public spaces

After the dismal failure of wanting to transform Europe into the most competitive economy in the world, the new Europe 2020 strategy scores three priorities:

Smart growth based on knowledge and innovation, sustainable growth, promoting a more efficient management of resources and a green and competitive economy, inclusive growth, fostering a high level of employment that generates economic, social and territorial cohesion.

Very “macro” values. From the “micro” companies, we wonder how we can provide coverage for real needs of the population and, at the same time, ensure environmental sustainability of the product, without losing sight of economic sustainability.

Thanks to the design, urban furniture can be attractive, durable and becomes a socializing element that interacts directly and functionally with the user.

At the same time sustainable philosophy allows a careful production process from beginning to end and can measure their environmental impact accordingly. This does not mean that quality is lost at any time or that it stops having what it takes to be good furniture, on the contrary, it provides competitive advantage, differentiation, added value, reduces costs and reduces environmental impact at every stage of the product life cycle, ensuring in turn a profit for the actors involved and the end user.

 

In the case of urban GRISVERD benches we manufacture with recycled plastic reduce the carbon footprint by 34%, the same impact generated by the route of a car in 1250 kms.  This is the environmental benefits our sustainable urban furniture brings, but not the only one, by using these materials the maintenance is reduced to zero, therefore large cost savings. It should also highlight the educational value and promote environmental sensitivity of using environmentally friendly materials in public spaces.

 

Thanks to the program “Living 100 years. Longevity and future city” by ICEX and thanks to the cooperation of our company with the architect Roberto Morales in the project “Transmitting knowledge across generations” our vision is focused to solve recent social concerns:

  • Facilitate and channel the role of older people as active participants in the transmission of knowledge and values to younger people.
  • Create opportunities for meeting and joint reflection among older people and different stakeholders, promoting the analysis, discussion and communication.
  • Remove physical barriers in the street furniture and public space that limit the inclusion of disadvantaged people.

 

Medellin´s exemple

On 20th November I visited Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona#smartcityexpo.

For about 6 hours I was walking between projects, enterprises, public administration, etc…but the one I enjoyed the most  was Medellin´s City Stand.

Medellin has gone from having a high rate of crime and unemployment to receiving the award as the most innovative city, the city continues to work to remain in that position, and to be at the forefront of global trends in innovation.

Medellin is a global example of urban and social transformation, thanks to the educational programs, culture and urban space  for its inhabitants. The city is working to create quality jobs and improve wellbeing for all.

How?

By the Social innovation, defined as the development and implementation of new

Ideas (products, services and models) to meet social needs, create new social relationships and deliver better results.  It serves as a response to the social demands that affect the process of social interaction, addressing improvement human welfare.

These social innovations improve the capacity for people to take action. They are based on creative citizens, civil society, local communities or companies. They are an opportunity for the public sector and the markets, so that products and services meet the individual and collective aspirations.

Some key points:

-Information processing: An approach to city problems in order to undestand the causes and determine the appropriate actions to solve those issues.

-Open innovation ecosystem made up of multiple stakeholders from around the world.

-Space for thinking on knowledge generation as a contribution  in “cities for life”.

-Successful experiences database.

-Virtual programs related to these topics, like in the appstore,  we can find apps related to city topics.

 

Strategy?

The center of Medellin, will have in February´15 the plattform “citiesforlive” in production that will propose “Plans” (basic strategic guidelines) aimed at solving the problems of requesting cities.

They want to share what they believe as a commitment to life. A social, political and moral objective on which they  have been working, based on the principles of  good governance  and participate society, working together, innovatively, to insure the governance conditions necessary for development, for the validity of the public, for social justice and general transformations required by the new urbanism.

 

Just wonderful, congratulations!

 

Youtube      MEDELLIN BEFORE AND AFTER

 

In Grisverd, sustainable urban furniture wue are working the project “Transmitting knowledge across generations”, this exemple can help us to create urban elements that promote this values.

Useful prizes

We are fanatical about usefulness (without neglecting aesthetics), in all areas of personal and, above all, professional life. We are not interested in superfluous design that is only added to products to beautify them; rather, we believe there must be a functional compromise and an emotional and well resolved physical outcome.

This notion that seems so obvious, the idea that design should add value to products and services, as we know, is not so clear… for instance, who was it who designed the financial system, which only benefits those with deep pockets? Recently we were surprised by the new padded material for football goals that prevents serious injuries to players and the folding CubyKayak offered by Alterdeco.

But what excited us most, of late, was the prize in kind offered by the Catalan Waste Agency, in category A (products) in the latest Design Awards for Recycling for our AALB street furniture (incidentally, AALB is a contraction of AALBORG, in tribute to the commitment that countries acquired to sustainability in the Charter): a report on the estimated carbon footprint of the product, with the aim of communicating the reduced environmental impact of a product and improving its positioning in the recycled product market. 10 out of 10!

Finally, an organisation that is consistent with its principles and avoids conventionalities and self-aggrandisement. May this serve as an example and raise awareness in organisations!

Change and innovation is possible in all sectors! The Prize for Entrepreneurship could consist of consultancy and advice creating a company and a business plan, or perhaps the Prize for Responsibility could be to reduce the wages of those in high office that we all sustain between us…?

A joy!

Welcome to our blog!

Welcome to our blog!

After reading a few articles (thank you, Neus, for the links and crash course) on how to do a corporate blog, I accepted the challenge of being faced with a blank page.

The writer is me, Asun Colom, responsible for marketing, quality and much of the administration at Grisverd. I am a person who is continually learning and who believes that if we do nothing to save this world, soon there will be nothing to save. Passion, creativity and desire are the tools I use every day.

Grisverd is the product of four generations of ironworkers who preceded us, each of them adapting to the needs and demands of their time. One of these, Santiago Oriol, was a master blacksmith who worked with the great architect Antoni Gaudí. In coming posts I’ll tell you some stories that will “give you goose bumps”.

The blog will discuss the day-to-day life of a small enterprise that, taking advantage of the economic crisis, decided to create a new line of business (design and manufacture of sustainable street furniture) with a different product, market and segment to what had been the traditional line of business… a feat not for the faint-hearted!

See you very soon…