S.W.A.T. A sustainable intervention??

In my recent studies I’ve traveled towards Vietnam to do a sustainable intervention for the S.W.A.T. -Hanoi studio of Building technology. This is an interesting thought: Traveling by plane to the other side of the world to make a “sustainable” intervention. How can one make a sustainable intervention by traveling half over the world using the most polluted way of transport? But I believe it was as I will explain in this column.


Vietnam is an interesting country with a booming economy. It is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Between 2006 and 2012 it had an average growth rate of 6%. Besides this Vietnam houses a population of 85,789,573 million people, measured in 2013, (from http://www.worldatlas.com/) and has the 13the largest population of the world.  And its population is still increasing.

In a lot of ways it is like Europe and America during the 20ste century. Everything is about making money the fast way. They want to live the American dream and this is the problem, because the American dream is almost the definition of UN-sustainability. It’s about getting richer than anyone else, take what you can take before someone else takes it and showing of you riches by consuming goods.


Developing countries like Vietnam living the American dream is the real problem of the 21st century. For the sake of the world they shouldn’t copy the behavior of the western world from the last century. Developing countries like Vietnam should look at the western world and instead of copying it they should learn from it and skip some of the blackest pages of human history. The question is if they will, but several governments are trying, as for example the Vietnam government. This was the reason the S.W.A.T. studio was invited to do a workshop in Vietnam. They are looking of ways to change their behavior, increase the knowledge of the future generation and making them more aware of sustainability than the current generation.


The S.W.A.T studio helped in reaching these goals. In this respect the S.W.A.T. studio has increased the awareness of the modern generation that will shape the future and maybe help them prevent living the American dream and help them towards a sustainable society. This was the real sustainable intervention of the S.W.A.T. studio, not the actual project.



Robert-Jan Vos

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