• "Environmental pollution is an incurable disease. It can only be prevented."

  • "When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe."

  • "What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another.”

  • "I can find God in nature, in animals, in birds and the environment."

  • "We won't have a society if we destroy the environment."

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IEES/ZHAW Symposium 2012 - Eco-Cities and Ecological Engineering

26 - 28 January 2012: New solutions through transforming traditional ways of thinking

IEES/ZHAW Symposium 2012

Our world is approaching a phase where several resources will become scarce at the same time: energy, nutrients, water availability, space... The wealth and well-being of coming generations will depend on us being able to adapt our economies to the finite world that our planet actually is. 

Transforming today’s cities into sustainable eco-cities is one of the main adaptations that will be necessary. Ecological engineering offers a holistic approach, a wide spectrum of possible solutions and a wealth of business opportunities. It might well become one of the key factors in this transformation process. 

There is a major obstacle against this transition: conventions and paradigms in the minds of planners, engineers, architects and politicians. In the past 200 years, they have been the drivers of an unprecedented success story in our societies. However, today these inherited ways of thinking increasingly represent barriers to new and more sustainable approaches!

This symposium actively addresses these barriers and searches for ways - based on existing positive examples - to proceed beyond them. It will deal relevant issues from water management tu urban development, industrial ecology and source -separation. 

Six keynote speakers, each at the cutting edge in their specific fields will are offering insights and inspiration into how ecological engineering approaches can become reality. During the world-café rounds and the workshops you will get into intensive exchanges with professionals from a variety of fields who share a deep interest in promoting ecologically engineered solutions. 

We live in a world where cities, regulations and minds seem to be built in concrete. We are looking for ways to seed and nurture ecological engineering.


The symposium will be held at the ZHAW School of Life Sciences and Facility Management in Waedenswil/Zurich at the Campus Grüental

Target audience

  • engineers, entrepreneurs, architects and researchers who are developing ecological engineering concepts and are willing to share their insights and experiences about the obstacles they encounter
  • people from businesses or from local, regional or national administrations interested in solutions that are outside the trodden paths they are familiar with
  • professionals from all kinds of fields or politicians searching for innovative and holistic solutions to problems in an open-minded way 

Announcement of IEES/ZHAW Symposium 2012 (PDF, 1.3 MB)

Detailed program (PDF, 1.3 MB) (January 24, 2012)

Online Registration


Accomodation is not included in the symposium fee. Below you find a number of direct links to hostels and hotels in and close to Waedenswil

Hotel Engel Waedenswil

Richterswil Youth Hostel (80 beds)

Landgasthaus Halbinsel Au

Regional hotel list (PDF, 12 KB)

Contact (for content issues)

Andreas Schoenborn, Organizer
Institute of Natural Resource Sciences
Phone +41 58 934 58 10
E-mail: andreas.schoenborn(at)zhaw.ch



Main sponsor


Press photo

Photo legend: WATERBLAD, by Jeroen van Westen en Henk Volkers. Commissioned by Waterschap Regge en Dinkel, photo: Photo Holland 

Photo download (JPG, 168 KB)

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