Interview of TEDxMaastrichtSalon speakers: Beatrice & Raymond

On the 18th of May, Maastricht-LAB and TEDxMaastricht organised TEDxMaastrichtSalon in the St. Lambertuskerk, Maastricht. The theme of the day was the city & urban development. Beatrice and Raymond had a great talk about how small things can change the world: Every man his own tree!

Read there interview below and watch their talk here!

Tell us more about your current projects, how are you making a difference in the world?

We strongly believe in the power of the community. People who act independently from the government, get a lot done. This requires a lot of optimism, enthusiasm, confidence and an open attitude. Although we work in different fields, this is something that binds us. Besides planting trees on balconies, we also plant seeds in people.  We plant ideas. We encourage people to grow.

What is the current state of the field you work in? What direction do you think it’s going in?

Things that used to be essential and organic are more and more handled in a mechanical way. From used to be created with intention and spirit, often only the form remains, the appearance.  Business and individuality are very important. People move to the big cities, and their influence is growing stronger and stronger. .

Lately, we are seeing some new attitudes develop: residents are starting to take care of their own surroundings again, independent from the government. A so called “bottom up movement”.

What does a city mean to you?

A city consists of many different villages that have grown together. There are many different small communities, tribes, and people are living close to each other. This makes the city a “breeding-ground” for ideas. More and more people move to the cities, which will increase their power.

Looking back on your career, what advice would you give to the young generation who wants to make a difference in the world?

Just believe in your ideas, keep on working on them, make mistakes, continue to believe, adjust and slowly you will make a change!

What is a great book/article you read lately? Who are your top influencers?

We were inspired by the artist Friedensreich Regentag Dunkelbunt Hundertwasser (Friedrich Hundertwasser) and his manifesto: Your window is a right – your tree is a duty. It’s a journey into the land of creative architecture where you come across window rights and tree tenants and uncontrolled irregularities; uneven floors, woodlands on the roofs and spontaneous vegetation. He campaigned for the preservation of the natural habitat and demanded a life in accordance with the laws of nature. He found it very important to create space for “tree tenants”, trees living on buildings, whichcould grow outside. The tree tenant pays rent in a currency much more valuable currency than humans’, because it creates oxygen, improves the city climate and mutes noise. Another influence is the Bosco Verticale in Milan, Italy, by the architects Stefano Boeri, Gianandrea Barreca and Giovanni La Varra. It is called Bosco Verticale because each tower houses trees between three and six meters on the balconies.

Where can we learn more about you (Twitter, Blog, etc.)?

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