Anne Tihon / Professeur émérite

Université catholique de Louvain / Philologie classique

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My experience is private: in recent years I have noticed worrying changes in my garden, including a decrease in the number of birds, disappearances of insects, bees, a decrease in amphibians, not to mention periods of drought and heat waves. We try to encourage the presence of birds and insects, we avoid pesticides, and we advocate the maintenance of agricultural areas and against the abuse of urbanization. This applies to my commune (Court-St-Etienne) but especially to Louvain-la-Neuve where the centre is completely disfigured by the accumulation of buildings and the development of the shopping centre to the detriment of fair trade and better distributed in the city (all this under the aegis of a mayor of the Ecolo party and the University).
As for my professional experience, I have often protested against the working conditions in the FIAL Faculty Building (UCL): simple glazing, lack of insulation, excessive heat in summer, freezing cold in winter, exposed electrical wires, early and insufficient repairs… More than twenty years ago, this building should have been renovated not only for the comfort of those who work there, but to avoid energy loss.
Many changes are needed: we are experiencing a return to the old regime, where the distance between rich and poor is becoming excessive and unbearable for the least favoured: more social justice is needed, the renovation of public buildings (courthouses, conservatories!), the rapid completion of the RER to limit traffic congestion towards Brussels, etc. More broadly, huge cruise ships should be banned and, above all, they should be prohibited from approaching coasts and threatened cities (such as Venice), low-cost flights should be limited, public transport should be encouraged, fast, comfortable and punctual, car access to the centre of large cities should be limited: car park and ride facilities could be created, with frequent shuttles (electric buses) as in Salzburg or in other cities… or access to the centre could be taxed as in London. We should educate people not to throw away empty cans anywhere, clean up with children, issue tickets to drivers who impose “music” on everyone at full speed… But enough for now!