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7th Community Forum - El Gouna on the Way to Becoming a Green City

Presenting concepts to make El Gouna carbon-neutral
Lupe

14 Febraury 2015, El Gouna – The seventh edition of the El Gouna Community Forum was dedicated to the topic “El Gouna on the Way to Becoming a Green City”. Representatives of OHD, students of TUB Campus El Gouna and external experts presented their ideas for turning El Gouna into an eco-friendly location.

The event was opened by Prof. Schäfer, Study Dean of the Urban Development Program and initiator of the Community Forum. He stressed the unique role of TUB’s Campus for El Gouna and how the research conducted here can benefit the town as well as the entire Red Sea region, especially when it comes to issues of environmentally-friendly solutions for life in the arid climate and with regards to ensuring the sustainability of settlements along the coastline.

Sherif Abdel-Aziz, Marketing Manager of El Gouna, presented the initiatives that El Gouna has already undertaken on its way to become a sustainable destination. He especially mentioned the Green Star rating system, which has certified numerous hotels in El Gouna for their environmental efforts and was co-founded by OHD. The latest, and probably biggest, project revolves around making El Gouna a carbon-free city. A team of Italian scientists has already conducted an analysis of greenhouse gas emissions and suggested ideas to significantly reduce this amount.

Tying in with the previous topics, a joint team of students from the study programs in Energy Engineering and Urban Development presented the results of their ongoing term project on measures towards a carbon-neutral El Gouna. Throughout the semester they conducted a thorough estimation of the locally emitted greenhouse gases and developed strategies to reduce and mitigate the emissions. Another team of Energy Engineering students showcased their concepts for switching El Gouna’s electricity supply to renewable energy sources. The idea envisions a mixture of wind, solar and concentrated solar power, which is a technology to retain the sun’s heat in a storage medium for later use in electricity production.

After the break Christoph Banhardt, Research Associate at TUB Campus El Gouna, provided an introduction to his research, which revolves around energy for buildings. His self-built measuring equipment was met with great interest by the audience.

Prof. Hansen of the Department of Ecological Impact Research and Ecotoxicology at TU Berlin talked about various types of indicator systems to assess the ecological performance of cities. His explanations were supplemented by Papon Dev, a recent graduate of the Urban Development program. For his Master’s thesis he looked into the Egyptian Green Pyramid rating system and enhanced it with a number of additional indicators that are typically found in other international systems.

The seventh Community Forum was concluded by an open discussion round in which the audience expressed its enthusiasm about the presentations. A wide consensus emerged that El Gouna’s vision of becoming a green, sustainable, and carbon-neutral town is an ambitious target, which requires the joint efforts of town management, the private sector, and local residents.

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