10m2 of City
design – Ryszard Rychlicki / Karolina Ferenc
location – Poznan, Poland
We believe that future cities should be friendlier to their inhabitants and should be adapted to their daily needs. Such cities cater for the needs of their residents. Cities around the globe function in a more and more uniform manner, therefore such problems as overpopulation, traffic jams, water and air pollution, deficiencies of public transportation, scarcity of greenery and housing crisis are commonplace.
More and more people, not only big city dwellers, rely on bicycles as a basic mode of transportation. This is due not only to unreliable public transportation and traffic congestion, but results from environmental awareness and profit and loss account – driving and finding a parking lot in congested urban areas is unreasonable. The same mechanism has been observed in Poland, where even with the smaller number of cars, the traffic is extremely intense making commuting in a private car virtually impracticable and surely unbearable. Living in overpopulated cities has become nuisance – people ponder over quality of life and how it can be ameliorated. Developed cities such as Copenhagen, Stockholm or Hamburg invested in green multimodal mobility systems consisting of integrated public transportation networks encompassing road, rail and water transportation fitted out with dedicated lanes for pedestrians and bike routes. Such networks have been supplemented with bike parks which are located in convenient areas thereby facilitating commuting without the need of resorting to cars. Doubtlessly, such a system encourages local populations to be more active not only in physical sense but also in social dimension. In particular, in Scandinavian countries it has been shown that urban infrastructure may be organized, planned and managed in people friendly manner. Not only we do believe but we have experienced that pedestrians and cyclists friendly cities are just more agreeable. Certainly, such a change requires a detailed plan and a strategy for which local authorities are responsible. Urban space consists of space for social and public life; a proper management thereof contributes to better quality of life. Awareness of necessary changes grows in societies and we, as designers, should analyze the needs and adapt our designs accordingly. Cars in cities cause problems not only from the perspective of smooth public transportation but also from the perspective of parking space. Very dense urban fabric – especially in city centers resembles a large parking lot. Playgrounds, parks, squares or even sidewalks and to some extent even roads are converted into parking lots. Scarcity of bike parkings is another problem.
Our aim is to reverse this tendency and to provide city dwellers with a choice what they want to do with the space that surrounds their residence, work or places of leisure. We offer town communities – inhabitants, institutions, organizations and other stakeholders, whose members commute on bikes, a solution that involves reprocessing of waste into a green bike parking lot/compartment. This project aims at encouraging people to sort waste and is meant to make people aware of the potential that is hidden in recycling. To carry out the project one needs empty tetrapak boxes used for liquid food or drinks.
Milk and other liquids boxes are made of multiple materials therefore they are hard to process, as they consist of PE that renders them practically non-biodegradable.
Based on REKARTON data in 2012 in Poland 10.5 % of milk and juice boxes were recycled. It is not much, but slowly and surely, also in Poland, people have been successful in implementing tetrapak processing technologies. Such technologies make it possible to recover high quality cellulose fiber used in cardboard manufacture. Aluminum and PE separated from cellulose are further used as additives to plastics in the manufacture of garden furniture or waste cans. Another way of utilizing waste boxes is to mill them; the pellets that are obtained as a result of milling are flat or spatially pressed. This process is possible thanks to PE that is contained in box material. PE when heated works as pellets adhesive. Derived product is sturdier than wood composites such as MDF and is water resistant. In Brazil and in India, roofing materials are manufactured from separated cellulose and pressed aluminum combined with PE (fot. 01).
Since 1990, in Germany Tectan® has been manufactured – this material is also derived from tetrapak. Products are made by injection molding.
It is important that products obtained from recycled boxes may be reprocessed thereby leading to what was defined as a material closed life-cycle.
Our goal is to create a project that will not only offer an ad hoc solution in which tetrapak boxes and technology may be employed but the whole industry of tetrapak reprocessing could be initiated in Poland. As in other countries, we do not have alternative road to follow – either we reasonable reprocess this material or else, we are going to sink in flood of non-biodegradable waste. Let us follow the path which will take us to recycling perceived not as an unpleasant necessity but a common and everyday practice.