To savour the real-world implications of our climate work, the Carbon Market Watch team visited an industrial zone seeking to decarbonise and a sustainable co-housing project.
The Carbon Market Watch team recently enjoyed a fascinating and stimulating visit to the scenic university town and medieval city of Ghent as part of our annual retreat. The first day involved an insightful cycling tour to the Port of Ghent. There, we learned more about the industrial zone of the city, its efforts to decarbonise and the challenges it faces.
The port area hosts companies of varying scale that operate along the River Scheldt. Witnessing firsthand the environmental impact of these activities and efforts to reduce it tied in closely with many of the themes and issues that CMW deals with on a daily basis.
In the afternoon, Policy Director Sam Van den plas invited us to his co-housing community ‘Bijgaardehof’: 59 dwellings and a neighbourhood health centre now occupy the site of an abandoned factory. The project showcases the transformation of a vacant brownfield location into a community founded on the principle of sustainability, that combines urban nature with urban agriculture. It is an impressive project and colleagues marvelled at the ambition of not only a comfortable, modern home powered without the need for gas but one that has a workshop, play area for children, and winter and roof gardens.
Our warmest thanks to our tour guide Lieven from the Gandante association of city guides for his informative excursion told in good humour; to our colleague Noemí for capturing the day with her exceptional photography skills; and, of course, to Sam and his neighbours for their generous hospitality.
Enjoy some photos from our day out in Ghent.