Anne Habraken / Research Director FNRS

Uliege / Engineer PhD on Materials & Mechanics

The translation of this testimony was generated automatically by a translation program. Thanks for your understanding.

Engineer in materials, I evolve in the field of mechanics and construction. The concern of recycling is present today however the design integrating the disassembly and the recycling is still far from current practice. The market still aims for quick and cheap solutions. Ecological initiatives must be enhanced by successful examples, legal constraints and strong financial incentives.
Closer to 60 years old than 50, mother of 3 children, I live in Wallonia. For more than 25 years, I have promoted bicycle and Low Waste solutions just by practice. The seeds have grown up and I am proud to see the climate responsible choices of my children. Almost two years ago, my life changed and big family house was the past. I chose not to move for a smaller 4-façades house or even an apartment in a classical building but to live with my sister, the time of developing a project of grouped settlement named “STIRA”. Driven by the need to reduce ecological footprint, we develop the concept of a single building with twelve flats. Each one, with its small living room, bedroom(s), a shower and a kitchen stays under the usual flat area because the habitants share a large polyvalent hall, a laundry room, a workshop, a bicycle garage. The optimal management of water, energy, the choice of materials, dry toilets are challenges that occupy us. A garden, a kitchen garden, the pooling of equipment, shared cars are approaches promoted as well as collaborative governance. This project is turned towards the diffusion of the knowledge. Already one of the partners is actor of a democratic school, another one is a potter. Personally, active in an association taking care of willow plantations, I am accumulating knowledge in classic and wild basketry. A well-designed basket can live for decades, be repaired. The CO2 cost of a tool or toy box, a wicker cradle is much lower than any plastic object. Artisanal practice based on natural resources reduces the consumption of products and energy. Any home-made device takes time, possible to find if society evolves to more intergenerational solidarity. In STIRA project, partners did not know each other at the basis. Definitely looking at alternatives to individual housing greedy in m², energy, water, the group evolves and lives for two years. We are ready now to buy a field and show that citizen collaborative alternatives are not just utopia.

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