Hedonistic sustainability – the ultimate win, win. |

How better do we really want to build our post-covid world? There exists the tantalising prosect that we can create infrastructure to meet our climate and hedonistic needs concurrently, examples of which were springing up across the world before covid arrived. So are our decision makers going to be courageous or revert to type?

During a fam-trip to Copenhagen a few years ago, our guide pointed to the horizon and described the plans to build an incineration plant for the city which would manage waste, generate power and provide a ski hill for the previously piste-free city of Copenhagen. The vision (voted for by Copenhagen residents) sounded inspired but the true magic of the development has to be seen up close - it’s a massive industrial structure. Normally these buildings just blight, but this one generates power and a great deal of happiness on its ski slopes. It is truly visionary and the brainchild of Bjarke Ingels, the inspirational Danish architect who has coined the expression ‘hedonistic sustainability'. Hedonistic sustainability is the design of a sustainable solution which produces enjoyment as a parallel output. Skiing on a rubbish incinerator is one towering example of this concept, allowing the Danish to enjoy one of their great sporting pleasures in the heart of their low-lying islands. Brilliant minds like Bjarke Ingels will be required to make our future world better on multiple levels.

Train travel is widely regarded as the least climate damaging forms of mid- to long-haul transport. So long as person to person contact persists, then travel is as much of a sustainability conundrum as waste disposal is. So how about making the journey part of the experience as well? Art classes or cheese tasting sessions whilst transiting Belgium, panoramic observation carriages when skirting the Swiss glaciers, or conference facilities on dedicated German trains. Dual uses that make the sustainability aspect more widely adopted by bringing added joy to the consumer.

Sustainability is developing across our event locations, whether it be in the shape of photovoltaic panels in ski areas, electrification of resort transport or the shift to locally produced food stuffs. The brilliance of Bjarke Ingels is to add the hedonism to the sustainability – no straightforward task. But the prize is clear, to devise solutions that benefit our world and enhance our experiences. This way our world retains or enhances its beauty, and we can justify exploring more of it.

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