Copenhagen welcomes city delegates from China and India for Nordic Master Class

Liveable and sustainable cities are vital to global well-being. Cities are where people want to live, invest and work. Cities are also the engines of economic growth – but they are facing unprecedented challenges due to a changing climate, population growth, shifting demographics and resource scarcity. However, the role that cities can play in solving global challenges and climate change cannot be overstated.  To this end, the coming Nordic Master Class in Sustainable Urban Development will delve into how cities can lead the way to a sustainable future.

Cities play a decisive role in shaping a more sustainable future economy and quality of life. City councils around the world spend a lot of resources on developing their own strategy tools for city planning, and most of them recognise the importance of dialogue and stakeholder engagement. However, often they struggle with finding effective ways of executing a proper participatory process.

The Nordics distinguish themselves by flat organisational structures, human-centric and citizen engagement methods, openness and collaborative, holistic approaches to urban development. In addition, the Nordics stand out as world leaders in the green transition of cities.

The region has, for instance, efficiently transformed industrial cities into vibrant urban areas, placing importance on architecture and public space design and by incorporating elements such as clean harbour baths and an extensive network for bicycles. In addition, the Nordics are known for their energy- and resource efficiency and have taken numerous climate adaptation measures. These efforts have positioned the Nordic Brand as a global green leader among the strongest in the world.

Nordic cities have, due to Nordic virtues such as citizens involvement, public-private partnerships and cross-sectorial collaboration, been on the forefront in dealing with climate issues threatening the physical and social cohesion in the cities, thus making great progress and endeavours that in many ways can be imitated or transferred to other regions than Northern Europe. That is one of the central aims of these master classes; to expose and teach about holistic approaches to change and that transparency and trust between problem owners (the cities) and solution providers (companies, organizations, citizens) make way for breakthroughs.

– Jakob Stolt, Senior Project Manager at EIT Climate-KIC

Stakeholder collaboration as inspiration

The Nordic Master Class in Sustainable Urban Development is a co-venture by EIT Climate-KIC and Quercus Group. The class will welcome another two delegations, one from Chinese cities and regions and one from India, after the visit of a North American delegation in September 2018.

The city of Copenhagen, Denmark, will be the framework of both classes and responsible for creating most of the content. While Copenhagen will serve as the backdrop for most of the classes, other cities from Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark will also be strongly represented and incorporated into the programme.

The Nordics are characterised by a high degree of collaboration between the stakeholders engaged in creating sustainable cities. In many other countries on the other hand, the private sector, citizens and the government are far less in contact with each other when developing and planning their cities.

The in-depth focus on the unique, collaborative forms of the Nordic countries can serve to inspire foreign visitors. Furthermore, these collaborative models are also useful in introducing the participants in the master class to a range of entry points both to the private sector and to specific businesses.

The master class will have a special focus on three modes of collaboration that serve the dual purpose of giving participants an understanding the collaborative models and set-ups as well as making introductions that are conducive to increased exports. These modes include:

  • Living Labs: Through visits to different living labs, the participants will be introduced to a unique feature of the Nordics’ sustainable urbanisation, while meeting multiple cities and businesses that can demonstrate their concrete solutions.
  • Cluster-visits: Through visits to triple-helix and public-private organisations, the participants will learn about the collaborative set-ups that Denmark is pioneering, while being introduced to the premier platforms for getting in touch with green businesses in Denmark.
  • Company presentations: The master class especially wants to emphasise the use of both public and private businesses as collaborators, but also as implementors of various sustainable urban solutions.

The master class will introduce professional speakers, webinars, site visits and a visit to Malmö, Sweden, in order to introduce the participants to the Nordic strengths within urbanisation and city development.

The Chinese delegation will be in Copenhagen from 19–24 May, while the Indian delegation is set to arrive a month later with a class from 16–21 June 2019.

Serving specific interests

The master class and its content is tailored to suit the individual market and the class participants to the greatest extent possible.

Each master class considers the nature of the delegates as to tailor it to serve the needs and solutions needed for the specific cities and regions participating. Learning approaches have to be taken into consideration as well, as different cultures call for different angles of how to best present the knowledge and material, so that it is more comprehensible of what to do Monday morning, when the delegates get back to their own environment and have to deal with several stakeholders.

– Jakob Stolt, Senior Project Manager at EIT Climate-KIC

The ambition is to offer a varied learning journey that hopefully will inspire the participants and equip them with new insights and tools from the Nordics, which can be used to approach the participants’ respective cities’ challenges and ambitions.

By offering and building upon a wide range of themes, the programme will encourage new learning impulses by focusing on interactive formats and interaction between people. Focus is deliberately placed on these points, as discussions and dialogues between people is the most stimulating way to learn and co-create.

During the course, the participants will meet and engage with those who shape cities in the Nordics on a day to day basis. These key notes, speakers, lectures, guides and coaches all mirror the collaboration unique to the Nordic approach to sustainable urban development, as they represent city administrations, businesses and knowledge institutions from across the Nordic countries.

The approach is to create a sharing environment, where challenges are discussed openly and new relations are built. Inspiration and learning are primarily stimulated by real-life examples and direct interactions with practitioners.

In doing so, the aim is to help spread sustainable solutions and liveable cities to the rest of the world. Not merely by supporting the spread of solutions and ideas, but also the underlying knowhow needed for successful implementation.

 
Location
Denmark
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