North American Delegates Visit the Nordics for Sustainable Urban Development Inspiration

Most of the world’s inhabitants live in cities. The density of our cities puts our urban infrastructures under immense pressure and causes social and environmental challenges. This calls for new, innovative approaches to urban planning. The world is looking to the Nordic countries who have been successful in creating livable, sustainable cities. A group of North American city officials joined our Nordic Master Class in Sustainable Urban Development running from 16 to 21 September 2018 in search for innovations and methods to implement back home.

Nordic cities have managed to keep a position in the top five of indexes measuring liveability, sustainability and innovation. To learn from the Nordic example, a delegation of municipal officials representing five North American cities joined the first Master Class programme allowing cities worldwide to learn from Nordic cities. The programme has been designed and organised by EIT Climate-KIC and Quercus Group with support from the Danish Business Authority – Erhvervsstyrelsen. 

Co-Benefits as a Recipe for Success

Some of the participants were particularly inspired by the Nordic co-benefit approach:

“The Nordics have been leading the way by enabling social and environmental wins trough financially sustainable business models. To me, that is the recipe for success.”

Antonietta Minichillo, Manager of Community, Innovation and Resilience in the City of Brampton, Ontario.

Brampton is a suburban community dealing with higher emissions than the rest of the Toronto metropolitan area.

“Environmental innovations have traditionally been considered a form of charity here, however with this new inspiration I feel confident that it will be easier to engage partners in my agenda,”

said Minichillo.

During the one-week Master Class, participants were inspired by experts, innovators and concrete examples of urban development for liveability, sustainable energy solutions, climate mitigation, smart and sustainable urban mobility and more from around the Nordics.

Achieving Behaviour Change

To a wide extent, the technologies are already here. What remains to change are consumer behaviours and mindsets. How do we achieve wide adoption of climate friendly and sustainable behaviours? This was a central focus for many of the participants, who collectively expressed that they appreciated the chance to harvest inspiration from real-life examples of the facilitated cultural change needed to achieve the paradigm shift towards sustainable city life – the Nordic way.

 

 

 
Location
Denmark
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