- There is a definite need for new types of networks and powerful integration efforts to make our cities and buildings more accessible and improve the logistics of living, said Jarmo Suominen, professor at the University of art and Design in Helsinki and researcher at MIT, at a KONE Corporation seminar in Helsinki. The complexity of moving people and goods has reached a stage where we need to change our neighbouring logistics to make urban living work better, Suominen said. Our cities and buildings must me made far more ready to accept the daily flow of people and goods than they are today. Big hubs like airports seem to work better than the cities and buildings today. The reason is that the issue of integrator responsibility has been solved more efficiently in their case, Suominen said.
The question of where or with whom integrator responsibility should lie remains open, but was answered by Suominen in the following general terms:
- It needs to be someone who is a powerful enough operator in the building of societies and also someone who has a clear understanding of the complexity of the issues involved.
Vertical transportation in a larger context
- As a company KONE bases its corporate commitment to social responsibility on the three basic pillars of profitability, sustainability and environmental-friendliness, said Jari Huhtinen, KONE Quality Systems Manager, in opening the seminar. We take a responsibility for promoting this message systematically and clearly and have arranged a series of international seminars dedicated to the subject starting at the Hannover World Expo in 2000, continuing at the World Elevator Exhibition in Beijing last spring and now at this open seminar here in Helsinki. At the same time we put the impact of the services provided by our vertical transportation products and systems into the larger context of sustainable living and overall accessibility.
Design for all
- In planning the environment for people we must face the fact that by the year 2050 the number of young people in Finland below the age of 15 will grow by a mere 1% and the number of senior citizens above the age of 75 by the whole of 75%, said Päivi Tahkokallio of the Finnish National Research and Development Centre for Welfare and Health. The Design for All platform takes its vantage point in the real world, as it is, and has the objective to promote an environment where all can feel comfortable and at home. The challenge of accessibility becomes particularly marked in considering the effect of an aging population. Taking the user into consideration in product development and design is a prerequisite for companies who wish to achieve awareness, accessibility, affordability, availability, appropriateness and in the end acceptance for the products and services, Tahkokallio said.
Organic solutions for inorganic structures
Ecologically responsible construction starts off with a careful analysis of the construction site, production of ecological sensitivity maps and a realization, that buildings are inorganic structures that need to be provided with a biotic content, said professor, architect Ken Yeang from Malaysia, in a special guest lecture at the KONE seminar. There is a need to save arable land, that in turn causes dense construction and puts the focus on the options for urban living provided by massive buildings and even skyscrapers. Our responsibility as architects is to see what we can do to improve the eco-friendliness of these buildings by the many means available to us.
Technology driven elevator development
- The general development of vertical transportation equipment has focused strongly on improving performance and the dramatic results achieved are largely a consequence of efficient utilization of the advances made in technological development, said Harri Hakala, KONE R & D Manager. To put it briefly, achieving more results with the same input. As elevator designers prepare to continue their development drive they give even more attention to lifecycle assessments, the recycling of materials and safety and reliability. This builds increasing availability and accessibility not just into massive skyscrapers and office buildings but also into vertical transportation for housing, Hakala said. The scenarios for future elevator systems are imaginative but so is the urban development of today. Efficient vertical transportation is key to accessibility, now more than ever, Hakala concluded.
The views of the young
The KONE seminar included a workshop arranged for architectural students from the University of Malaya and Finnish Art and Design students from the University of Art and Design in Helsinki. Improving urban life and vertical transportation was the special focus of this seminar and the seven special presentations connected with this theme. Conceptions of elevator waiting time, interaction between people and social experiences in elevators, aspects on the design of the elevator car, integrated urban transportation in Kuala Lumpur, accessibility to public pedestrian districts and future scenarios of urban vertical transportation where the topics of the various work groups of the seminar.
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