Travel to Poland – another mobility of our project Erasmus+

One of the Erasmu+ projects of PGCPI – “Future cities smart and sustainable solutions” held its second mobility in Poland, the city of Bilgoraj. Long journey, tasks, excursions, friendships, pleasure and entertainment, and most importantly – experience. These are the words with which I can briefly describe our experiences during this period.
Our plane was an hour late from Sofia. There was a risk that we would not be able to catch the connection in Frankfurt. There – were long corridors, picky customs officers, running. Finally, the Plane flew to Krakow. Then about three hours by bus to Bilgoraj. Finally a hotel, accommodation, and sleep. The next day we met with other mobility participants from other countries.
We started working on the project. First of all, the reports on the work done so far were presented. All the schools had worked hard. Interesting initiatives were presented, and problems were pointed out. The students from our team had interesting presentations.  After all, they had prepared a lot!
The next day we visited Zamosc, a beautiful town with a historic center and beautiful colorful buildings, an example of the sustainability of the city center from the Middle Ages.
Next day: work in international teams on the topics of smart and sustainable solutions in cities according to the Pecha Kucha model. The students worked for about 2 hours. Disadvantages that were identified: only one computer per group, insufficient IT training of the students from other countries, in general, only our students were the engines in each group, it can not be otherwise!
Another interesting day was the subject of our visit – Sandomierz. The city originated in the early Middle Ages, benefiting from its excellent location at the crossroads of the Vistula and San rivers and along important trade routes. Favorable climatic and soil conditions are a good prerequisite for growing vines, nature is beautiful and here you can see the phenomena of plant species and terrestrial forms. Wonderful only sunny day for us and a great hike (we walked a lot).
We also came to the presentation of common presentations, which took place on Friday. The students did well, I’m not saying great. They lacked proposals for the use of technologies to protect the urban environment.
We received certificates of participation, we made a lot of friends, it was wonderful. The students were very happy, and this was the most important thing. We wish these events to accompany us regularly in the life of our schools.

Our first visit on the project in Bratislava, Slovakia

Future cities -smart and sustainable solutions

Erasmus+ K2 project; first visit to Bratislava, Slovakia

From 16.10 to 23.10.2021 the first mobility under the project Future cities-smart and sustainable solutions took place. A group of teachers and students from PGKPI visited the Vocational School of Transport in Bratislava, Slovakia. Together with project partners from Poland, Greece, and Slovakia, they participated in several events. Students from different countries presented their city and school. The students from our school took part in an online meeting where they told about their work. They presented their research on good practices and problematic ecological areas in Burgas and gave suggestions for smart and sustainable solutions for the urban environment.

Demonstrations of an electric car designed by Slovak students were observed, we “played” fruits programmed with Microbit boards and a practical lesson in electrical engineering.

Each group was tasked to research and prepare presentations on “Forests”, “Soils”, “Waste” and “Air” in Bratislava, which were presented at the end of the meeting.

The hosts showed us the green areas of Bratislava. The workshops discussed the causes of urban pollution and proposed solutions. Students showed their presentations due to these trips. Internet tools were used to show the impressions and facts of the trips.

 

THE THREE PILLARS OF SUSTAINABILITY

MONDAY, MARCH 08, 2021
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Author | Eduardo Bravo

In 1987, the Brundtland report first used the term “sustainable development” as an alternative to the economic system implemented in most countries around the world and which, unlike that system, seeks to meet current needs without compromising the future of future generations.

Five years later, the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992 defined this idea in more detail and established a detailed plan of action, Project XXI, which set three areas on which global, national, and local authorities had to work in order to establish that sustainable development.

THE THREE PILLARS OF SUSTAINABILITY
The three principles of sustainability:

According to the Rio summit, those three pillars would be:

Social equity: covering aspects such as education, health, personal safety, and leisure. The aim is to maintain social cohesion and it relates to respecting the environment and the economic resources of the place.
Economic feasibility: a productive system must meet the needs of that society without jeopardizing the natural resources and wellbeing of future generations. Therefore, its application will be closely related to the needs of the population and environmental limits.
Environmental protection: in order to exploit natural resources without exhausting them and contributing to their recovery for subsequent uses, special environmental protection is required which, as occurred in previous cases, must also take into account the needs of the population and the economic resources of the society in which they are applied.
ELEMENTS OF THE SECOND ORDER OF SUSTAINABILITY
The three principles of sustainability

The main complexity in terms of implementing these concepts is that they cannot be applied independently, but rather they must be combined together.

This leads to the second level of ideas that put the main ones into context:

Supportable: the ratio between the actions aimed at respecting the environment and implementing social measures must be balanced.
Feasible: the respect for the environment and economic development must be possible, pragmatic, and away from unrealistic and unachievable objectives, in order to continue gradually achieving objectives.
Fair: the ratio between economic development and social benefits must satisfy both parties, who must receive in accordance with their requirements and provide in accordance with their possibilities.
HOW CAN YOU PLAN A SUSTAINABLE CITY?
One of the scenarios in which the three principles of sustainability and their derivatives must be applied are cities. A sustainable urban environment shall be one which, among other aspects, takes into account population density, avoiding extremely overcrowded territories and uninhabited places since only by doing this will infrastructures be able to be efficient and financially viable.

Furthermore, both in newly built cities and in historic cities, these infrastructures must be planned in a way that districts allow mixed uses in which commercial retail office and/or residential housing, schools, parks, and leisure spaces come together. This will prevent the so-called commuter towns from being created while also reducing distances, optimizing the use of public transport, reducing pollution, and favoring recycling policies and waste management.

Lastly, the economic activity must contribute to social cohesion through work-life balance policies, support for continuous development, and other aspects that contribute to the improvement of the quality of life of inhabitants, without forgetting its commitment to environmental improvements.

HOW TO MAKE A CHARACTERISTICS OF A PLACE

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Place studies

Character of a place refers to the physical and human geographic characteristics that distinguish a particular place. Since these features can change over time the character of a place can change over time, too.

Place studies must apply the knowledge acquired through engagement with prescribed specification content and thereby further enhance understanding of the way students’ own lives and those of others are affected by continuity and change in the nature of places. Sources must include qualitative and quantitative data to represent places in the past and present. If possible, students can also conduct fieldwork in their local area. Depending on your location, students may observe examples of urban expansion and the environmental changes that occur in the form of newly created subdivisions, residential apartment developments and business service development. These are such things as: shopping centres; office complexes; business parks or office towers; road and rail infrastructure or additional amenities such as schools and parks.

Suitable data sources could include:

  • statistics, maps
  • geo-located data
  • geospatial data, including geographic information systems (GIS) applications
  • photographs
  • text, from varied media
  • audio-visual media
  • artistic representations
  • oral sources, such as interviews

 

Abiotic environmental factors. All components of inanimate nature are included. They are the landforms and rocks  the sunlight, temperature, relative humidity and other components of the climate and the environment, such as soil aeration, soil fertility, natural radiation, etc.

Biotic environmental factors. This is the totality of the impact of the vital activity of some organisms on the existence and development of other organisms. Some organisms serve as food for other organisms. Plants (producers) serve as food for herbivores (first-order consumers). They, in turn, serve as food for predators (second-order consumers). Or some organisms are the habitat of other organisms (host – parasite).

Anthropogenic environmental factors. The set of human activities that cause a change in the environment. One of the consequences of the impact of anthropogenic factors is the change in the habitats of organisms, which threatens their existence. The history of mankind is the history of his labor. Its beginning is hunting followed by the emergence of agriculture, industry, transport, etc., which leads to a strong change in the nature of the Earth. These modifications have an impact on human health and economic activity. This raises the problem of environmental protection through the rationalization of human activity and, above all, the rational use of natural resources. The identification of anthropogenic factors as a kind of ecological factors makes sense of the connection of ecology with environmental protection and gives this science an applied character in various terms – geoecology, engineering geoecology, agroecology, medical ecology and others.

 

ace studies

OUR JANUARY ONLINE CONFRERNCE

On the 23rd of January, we conducted an online conference with partners from Bulgaria, Greece, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia. There were 53 persons – teachers and students that attended the conference. We had a plan that has been published in advance. Firstly, we had to show the work that has been done during the last two months. Students have prepared their presentations about their countries, towns, and schools. The approaches were different. The facts and pictures were interesting and picturesque. We became aware of the fact that every country is unique and has something to tell us. This is why we wished harder to go there and see all these beauties because everywhere one can see a piece of paradise. Everybody had done their best to present the school, their city, and their countries. Our next task was to vote for the project logo and motto. The winner was the Bulgarian team. Here you can see the chosen logo. And the motto is: “Bring nature into cities with IT!” The other suggestions are on the Facebook profile-

https://www.facebook.com/futuregreen.cities

We were shown two educational presentations about how to make electronic maps of our cities and how to work with the Cisco academy. And at the end, we discussed our future tasks on the project. I think this conference was very useful and successful.