On November 17, 2022 we hosted our second SDG Day – this year for the first time on campus and this time focused on SDG 11: Sustainable Cities & Communities.
Around 150 participants attended the second Sustainability Day at FHWien der WKW. Under the motto “Be smart. Act responsibly.” they took part in interactive workshops, got to know the Austrian of the Year 2022 at an exciting keynote speech, discussed “Climate neutral cities” at the high-profile panel discussion and made valuable contacts at the networking coffee breaks.
The SDG Day 2022 started with an interesting workshop for lecturers with Gabriele Faber-Wiener, founder and director of the Center for Responsible Management. As a leading university of applied sciences for management and communication, it is not only important for us to live the SDGs at our university of applied sciences itself, but also to integrate them into the curricula and thus prepare our students as future specialists and managers for a responsible job in management. In line with the workshop title “What does the climate crisis & sustainable business have to do with my course?”, our lecturers were therefore given valuable tips and suggestions on how to integrate sustainable and responsible business into every course at FHWien der WKW.
In three further interactive workshops with Karin Huber-Heim, Roman Kellner and Elisabeth Gräf as well as Julia Waldegger our students and lecturers learned,
- how the simulation model En-ROADS supports strategies for coping with climate change and helps to dispel climate myths,
- what opportunities exercises from improvisational theater offer in conveying sustainability knowledge, and they
- analyzed their personal carbon footprint and reflected on how they can reduce their emissions.
A great plea for city life
A great plea for city life was made by the renowned economic and climate economist Gernot Wagner from his 70 m2 decarbonized rental apartment in New York. Gernot Wagner lives climate-friendly living here every day with his wife and two children.
In his exciting online keynote “Cities and the climate crisis“, he gave us exclusive insights into his everyday life in the Big Apple, but also told us why it is more climate-efficient to live in the city than in the countryside (and suburbs). He also outlined the future vision of “Open Streets,” in which pedestrians, cyclists, restaurants and businesses “reclaim” the streets and make cities more attractive with more green spaces, pub gardens, etc. to bring more young families back to the city. For him, true urbanization is an important means for climate protection.
In addition to a social rethink (city life is a way of life), this naturally requires modern technology, such as heat pumps, insulation, induction stoves, folding electric bicycles, etc. City living is not about what goes on inside the home itself, but in front of it/outside. We need to move away from the suburban single-family home with its own pool and/or playground – i.e., the proverbial “my home is my castle” – to the advantages of a city with a diverse selection of playgrounds and recreational facilities in close proximity and without the long commutes by car.
He was born in Amstetten and he currently teaches and conducts research at Columbia Business School. Previously, he was at New York University and Harvard University. His book “Stadt Land Klima” became a bestseller.
Afterwards, this year’s SDG Awards were presented. Congratulations to this year’s award winners:
- Katharina Lin won the prize for the best Bachelor thesis. Her thesis is about “Media stereotypes and their impact on ethnic minorities: Asians as a Module Minority”.
- Astrid Koger won the prize for the best Master’s thesis, which she wrote on the topic “Getting Too Green: An Experimental Study About the Effects of Environmental Claims on Consumers’ Reactance and Purchase Intention in Advertising”.
- David Dobrowsky, Birgit Schaller and Simone Zwickl were delighted to receive the SDG Award in the award cateory “SDG in teaching“. Katharina Rotter came in second place.
High-profile panel discussion on “Climate neutral cities”
To crown our SDG Day, Carmen Dilch, Academic Expert & Lecturer at FHWien der WKW, moderated an exciting panel discussion on the topic of “Climate neutral cities”.
On the panel were Hubert Rhomberg (Rhomberg Holding, CREE), Lina Mosshammer (VCÖ – Mobilität mit Zukunft), Rosemarie Stangl (BOKU – University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna) and Anna-Vera Deinhammer (Österreichische Gesellschaft für nachhaltige Immobilienwirtschaf, Circular Economy Forum Austria).
The discussion covered a wide range of topics: from a 15-minute city, in which all routes should be reached within 15 minutes without a car, to circular economy and resource conservation, to plants as building materials and green spaces as multifunctional areas, to land sealing, in which Austria is unfortunately the European champion, and photovoltaic systems over parking lots, to the European Green Deal and EU taxonomy, as well as the statement “The most sustainable thing to do is not to build.” – exciting topics related to climate neutral cities were highlighted and discussed.
If Vienna wants to become climate neutral by 2040, it will be tight and there is still work to be done, was the unanimous tenor of the panelists. There are goals, but concrete measures are still lacking, they said.
Did you miss our SDG Day? No problem! On our event platform you will find the video recording of the keynote as well as other interesting podcasts from our radio station Radio Radieschen to listen to and the awarded Bachelor and Master theses to read.
We would like to thank all participants for an exciting and inspiring Sustainability Day at FHWien der WKW! We are already looking forward to the next SDG Day 2023!