Iaroslava Nesterenko

Iaroslava Nesterenko


Low-Tech Haven

Redefining Urban Life Through Energy Transition


My thesis 'Groningen. Low-Tech Haven' explores how the energy transition will impact the cities we live in, how to design living environments, and what we as urban designers can do to preserve quality of life within current shifts. It delves into the intersection of urban design, sustainable low-tech energy practices from the past, and the well-being of urban communities.  
From Russia to the Netherlands, I’ve witnessed contrasting approaches to energy — from abundance to austerity, from centralized supply to decentralized innovations. This dichotomy shapes my research, influencing my perspective on energy transition as a crucial societal and spatial endeavor.  
The layers of the Dutch landscape — shaped over centuries by various energy sources — now await the integration of renewables. How will this new layer change the urban environment of the Dutch context?  
My thesis seeks to redefine energy not merely as a resource but as a fundamental aspect of urban life, shaping both cultural and spatial dynamics. It proposes that prioritizing energy conservation over production is crucial for developing sustainable policies and urban designs. Through a personal narrative that reflects on energy consumption habits, this work emphasizes the urgent need to reassess how we use and distribute energy, taking into account the inefficiencies of current technologies. 
"Groningen. Low-Tech Haven” explores effective ways to make cities more robust, accessible, and community-friendly using straightforward, traditional methods. This approach focuses on reducing energy consumption and lessening reliance on high-cost technologies. Initiatives include fostering urban agriculture, enhancing low-carbon transportation, and implementing community-driven waste management. 

I am developing a toolkit of these practical low-tech solutions to manage various urban resources. This toolkit will be demonstrated in urban setting of Groningen to show how cities can benefit from these principles. The plan covers urban green-blue network, natural climate control through methods like solar envelopes and wind management, and boosting the efficiency of cargo transport, mobility and food distribution. 
This is my invitation: to join a discourse on crafting futures where energy efficiency resonates with every stratum of urban life — pragmatic, sustainable, and above all, human-centric.


Afstudeerdatum: 25 maart 2024
Afstudeercommissie: Jerryt Krombeen (mentor), Jandirk Hoekstra , Hiroki Matsuura
Toegevoegde leden t.b.v. het examen: Marijke Bruinsma, Martin Hopman 

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