My Year in Review: 2013

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As it’s the last day of the year, I want to take this opportunity to look back at some of my personal moments of 2013 which has been a year of transitions, challenges, learning and so many great and diverse experiences for me. Let’s do this chronologically and with some pictures:

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January started with a little adventure: Together with hundreds of other crazy Vancouverites, I participated in the annual Vancouver Polar Bear Swim on New Year’s Day, meaning that I took the plunge into English Bay despite the ice-cold water and other dangers (see above). Apart from that, I continued to enjoy living in the world’s most beautiful city, working at BC Hydro, listening to fantastic talks such as Jeff Tumlin’s on “Sex, Neuroscience and Walkable Urbanism” and eating everything Vancouver has to offer from Poutine to Japadog. But above all, I enjoyed my first live NHL games, watching my fabulous Vancouver Canucks against the lame Ducks and Flames.

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Apart from working, it was time to enjoy the snow around Vancouver in February by going snow shoeing on Mt Seymour and snow tubing on Cypress Mt. Apart from that, I again learned a lot about Vanouver’s Greenest City efforts, its history as well as public space and urban design during some great talks and discussions, did some runs along Vancouver’s Seawall and also managed to improve my ice skating skills. Guess this sounds like a typical month of February in Vancouver.

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In March, it first was time to say good-bye to my Vancouver Whitecaps when they played their season opener against Toronto and then to say good-bye to my colleagues at BC Hydro, to some great, new friends and to the beautiful City of Vancouver as my one-year Canadian work permit expired at the end of the month. But before that, I enjoyed exploring Deep Cove and Steveston, celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, learning about the West End’s history at the Roedde House Museum and – as I did so many times during the past year – cycling along the Seawall.

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Before returning to Europe, I went on a multimodal trip (going by bus, train and car along the coast as well as walking, cycling and using transit in the cities) along the US West Coast in April, enjoying the fascinating cities of San Francisco and Portland as well as the diverse beaches, parks, forests and landscapes of California, Oregon and Washington. The trip ended back in Vancouver where I used my last 24 hours to eat a hotdog from Japadog, sushi rolls at Kadoya, a salmon burger at Go Fish, a Nanaimo bar at my favorite Blenz, ice cream from Marble Slab Creamery and the city’s best Poutine at La Belle Patate. As one can imagine, it was hard to leave this delicious city!

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After returning to Austria at the end of April, I tried to get used to life in Austria again during the month of May. Fortunately, I soon realized that not much has changed at home during the past year and two great events – the annual EARTHtalks and the Vienna Energy Forum – made me quickly realize that there are also some inspiring people and events in Vienna. So, it was about time to get settled in Austria’s capital again.

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At the end of June, I had the unique opportunity to join 500 other young climate activists from 135 countries for Global Power Shift – a week full of interesting talks, conversations, workshops and activites – in the exciting and vibrant city of Istanbul. Apart from learning a lot about campaigning, getting to know so many enthusiastic climate activists and sharing experiences on a global level, I was especially moved by the stories of young people from the Pacific Islands who shared their fears that they might lose their home, culture and identity because of rising sea-levels. This was an urgent call for ambitious climate action that I wanted to share back home in the months to follow.

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July was the month when I finally turned 30. Apart from that, I enjoyed summer and seeing my favorite club SV Austria Salzburg earning a sensational win against SV Groedig in the first round of the Austrian football cup. That’s it for July, more or less.

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As August was extremely hot in Austria, I was glad to spend some time at some beautiful lakes in my home province of Upper Austria. Moreover, I finished my first MOOC elearning course on “Climate Literacy: Navigating Climate Change Conversations” on Coursera (coincidentally offered by the University of British Columbia in Vancouver) and did a lot of campaigning for the Green Party as the Austrian parliamentary elections were approaching.

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On September 29, the Austrian parliamentary elections were at first disappointing due to the smaller than expected growth of the Green Party. Nevertheless, in the days and weeks to follow I got more satisfied as there were some impressive results in my home region and because I got almost 400 preference votes. As I’ve run for office for the first time (albeit not on a promising place on the party list), I enjoyed being part of our diverse green movement and talking to so many citizens during the campaign. Finally, I also enjoyed some awesome events such as “TEDx Vienna City 2.0” and started to work as a Consultant for environmental support schemes at M27 Finance in Vienna in September.

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In October, I particularly enjoyed going to Stockholm for a long weekend where I got to know this beautiful city and the fascinating district Hammarby Sjöstad, a role model for sustainable urban development. Not to mention the Bob Dylan concert! In Vienna, the “Urbanize” festival for urban explorations, the “salon publik” conference on privatization and the loss of urbanity, a talk by Dennis Meadows, and the “Viennale” Vienna International Film Festival were further highlights of the month.

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In November, it was time for the relaunch of AndreasLindinger.AT which should now attract a broader audience thanks to the switch to English and the clearer focus on the interconnected issues of Democracy, Climate Change, Sustainability, and Urbanism. And thanks to many interesting events such as TEDx Vienna “Unlimited”, the Zero Emission Cities and Smart Cities Week conferences, panel discussions on Austria’s environmental challenges, our global energy challenges, and the planning history of Vienna’s Donauinsel or a talk by Daniel Yergin on “Future Energy“, I also had a lot of new content for this blog.

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Finally, the month of December brought another successful Coursera MOOC elearning course on “Climate Change” (offered by The University of Melbourne) and some other Christmas presents such as a new iPad Mini which should further facilitate blogging, tweeting and other forms of communicating stories and exchanging ideas in 2014. I hope you enjoyed my personal review!

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As a bonus, here’s the list of interesting books that I’ve read in 2013: Happy City (Charles Montgomery), The Urban Food Revolution (Peter Ladner), Lean In (Sheryl Sandberg), The Signal and the Noise (Nate Silver), The $100 Startup (Chris Guillebeau), The Power of Habit (Charles Duhigg), The 4-Hour Workweek (Tim Ferriss), Zurück zur Mobilität (Hermann Knoflacher), Selbst denken (Harald Welzer), Das Echo-Prinzip (Yussi Pick).

And the list of interesting books I started reading in 2013 and hope to finish in 2014: The Life and Death of Great American Cities (Jane Jacobs), If Mayors Ruled the World (Benjamin R. Barber), Triumph of the City (Edward Glaser), State of the World 2013 – Is Sustainability Still Possible? (Worldwatch Institute), A Journey – My Political Life (Tony Blair).

And some interesting books that are already on my Kobo Glo eReader, waiting to be read in 2014: The End of the Suburbs (Leigh Gallagher), Walkable City (Jeff Speck), Arrival City – The Final Migration and Our Next World (Doug Saunders), Public Places – Urban Spaces (Tim Health), Urbanism without effort (Charles R. Wolfe), The Price of Inequality (Joseph Stiglitz), The Race for What’s Left – The Global Scramble for the World’s Last Resources (Michael T. Klare), Thinking In Systems (Donella Meadows).

Not to mention the recent books by Jan Gehl, Bruce Katz or David Harvey and so many other books I’d like to read soon.

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And finally, here’s the obligatory list of activities from 2013, consisting of 8 symposia or conferences, 34 talks or panel discussions and 10 other events that I’ve attended in the previous year:

 

Top 10 Highlights of 2013

01/10 Talk by Jeff Tumlin “Sex, Neuroscience and Walkable Urbanism” (SFU, Vancouver)

02/07 Panel discussion “Greenest City 2020 State of the Union” (SAP Canada, Vancouver)

02/21 Talk by Mark Kingwell “Is public space a public good?” (SFU, Vancouver)

05/16 EARTHtalks 2013 (Hofburg, Vienna)

05/28 Vienna Energy Forum 2013 (Hofburg, Vienna)

06/24-30 Global Power Shift (ITU, Istanbul)

09/20 TEDx Vienna “City 2.0” (Weltmuseum, Vienna)

10/08 Urbanize Panel discussion “Post-Auto-Mobil” (Hundsturm, Vienna)

10/21 Future Lectures Talk by Dennis Meadows (WU, Vienna)

11/2 TEDx Vienna “Unlimited” (Volkstheater, Wien)

 

Symposia and other conferences

05/16 EARTHtalks 2013 (Hofburg, Vienna)

05/28 Vienna Energy Forum 2013 (Hofburg, Vienna)

06/24-30 Global Power Shift (ITU, Istanbul)

09/15 Vienna Research Festival “Smart City” (Naschmarkt, Vienna)

09/20 TEDx Vienna “City 2.0” (Weltmuseum, Vienna)

11/02 TEDx Vienna “Unlimited” (Volkstheater, Vienna)

11/06 Zero Emission Cities conference (City Hall, Vienna)

11/26 Smart Cities Week (Ares Tower, Vienna)

 

Panel discussions and other talks

01/10 Talk by Jeff Tumlin “Sex, Neuroscience and Walkable Urbanism” (SFU, Vancouver)

01/29 Talk “Fuel Cell Systems and Power Converters” (ICBC Salon, Vancouver)

01/31 Talk “Drivers of the 7 Billion” (SFU, Vancouver)

02/07 Panel discussion “Greenest City 2020 State of the Union” (SAP Canada, Vancouver)

02/12 Talk by Matt Hern “In defense of an urban future” (SFU, Vancouver)

02/21 Talk by Mark Kingwell “Is public space a public good?” (SFU, Vancouver)

02/26 Movie screening and discussion “Gritty city: Vancouver in the 60s” (Hollywood Theatre, Vancouver)

05/13 EARTHtalks movie screening “A Fierce Green Fire” (De France, Vienna)

05/14 EARTHtalks movie screening “Just Do It” (De France, Vienna)

05/14 EARTHtalks movie screening “In Transition” (De France, Vienna)

05/22 Citizen dialogue “Vienna 2025: Urban development” (ODEON, Vienna)

05/23 Panel discussion “Mut zur Nachhaltigkeit” (Kommunalkredit, Vienna)

06/11 Panel discussion “Feministisch herausgefordert” (ChickLit, Vienna)

06/12 Talk by Scott Maier “Fact checking and Data literacy” (MQ, Vienna)

09/03 Talk by Gabi Moser “Die Akte U” (Akropolis, Kirchdorf)

09/13 Talk by Wolfgang Pirklhuber “What do we eat in the future?” (Forum Hall, Bad Hall)

09/17 Webinar “100% Renewables” (BCSEA, Vancouver)

09/19 Panel discussion “Greenest city conversations” (SFU livestream, Vancouver)

09/20 Walking tour “Good practice” (Rochusmarkt, Vienna)

09/23 Citizen dialogue “Vienna 2025: Participation and direct democracy” (ODEON, Vienna)

10/07 Urbanize Panel discussion “Future housing” (AzW, Vienna)

10/08 Urbanize Panel discussion “Post-Auto-Mobil” (Hundsturm, Vienna)

10/13 Walking tour “A sustainable city” (Hammarby Sjöstad, Stockholm)

10/21 Future Lectures Talk by Dennis Meadows (WU, Vienna)

10/22 Movie screening and discussion “Apple Stories” (Topkino, Vienna)

10/23 Talk by Dieter Helm: “European Energy Policy in the New Geopolitical Context” (ÖGAVN, Vienna)

10/23 B.A.U.M. stakeholder dialogue “Sustainable change” (Cafe Griensteidl, Vienna)

10/25 Panel discussion “Salon publik #3” (AzW, Vienna)

11/06 Panel discussion “Energy future at the crossroads” (MOYA, Vienna)

11/11 Panel discussion “Challenges for Austria’s environmental/climate/energy policy” (Parliament, Vienna)

11/13 Talk by Johannes Meier “The End of Business-As-Usual?” (ÖGAVN, Vienna)

11/13 Panel discussion: “25 Years of the Donauinsel” (AzW, Vienna)

11/21 Talk by Daniel Yergin “Future Energy” (WU, Vienna)

12/11 Book presentation by Ugo Bardi “Plundering the Planet” (Impact Hub, Vienna)

 

Other activities

01/01 Polar Bear Swim (English Bay Beach, Vancouver)

05/15 Demonstration against neonicotinoids (Parliament, Vienna)

05/15 DerStandard Bühnenzeitung Storytelling event (ODEON, Vienna)

05/21 Demonstration “Nicht umfallen” (Parliament, Vienna)

05/24 Convention of the Green Party of Upper Austria (Volkshaus, Pichling)

06/29 Anti-coal demonstration (Istanbul)

09/06 Opening festival Ottakringer Street (Ottakringer Street, Vienna)

09/20 Festival “Tag des Respekts” (MQ, Vienna)

10/25 Exhibition opening “ZusammenHalt!” (KosmosTheater, Vienna)

11/12 Expert dialogue “Smart Working” (Deloitte, Vienna)

Posted on December 31, 2013 in Miscellaneous

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About the Author

Andreas Lindinger is a Vienna-based business consultant, sustainability expert and urban thinker passionate about livable cities, sustainable transportation, renewable energy and civic engagement. Andreas offers a transdisciplinary business, finance and sustainability background, industry expertise in energy, mobility and environmental consulting and broad international experience gained in Vienna, Vancouver, Berlin and Dublin. Make sure to also check out Vienncouver.com and to follow @lindinger on Twitter.

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