New report: 15 ideas to make your city green

03.06.21 | News
Grønne træer i byen
Kristoffer Holm Pedersen

The submerged rain beds with green planting at Tåsinge Plads can absorb large quantities of water from the neighbourhood in the event of heavy rain.

The state of nature is deteriorating rapidly, and biodiversity is on the decline also in the Nordic Region. This is just one reason why it’s important to think about nature in our towns and cities. A new report funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers brings together proposals from 15 Nordic towns and cities for how good living environments can be created in green urban areas.

Green urban spaces are important for people’s health, animal and plant life, and biodiversity. Green spaces help to clear the air of pollution and reduce noise. Yet green spaces rarely have a prominent role to play in urban development. A new report funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers compiles the experiences and knowledge of 15 towns and cities. The report aims to inspire more places to adopt sustainable urban development with an emphasis on making our cities greener.

Nature playground and cloudburst protection

In Jyväskylä, Finland, the green belt – a ring of nature around the city – will involve the city’s residents and protect natural environments. A climate district in Copenhagen, Denmark, combines a green space with the processing of large amounts of rainwater in connection with cloudbursts. And in Varbergaskogen in Örebro, Sweden, a nature-inspired play environment has been created that encourages both adults and children to get moving.

These innovative initiatives range from strategic urban planning to grassroots projects. The report includes a variety of Nordic towns and cities, taking into account the fact that not all urban areas have the same resources to implement sustainable urban development projects. Consequently, there is inspiration to be drawn from both high-level investment projects as well as low-budget initiatives.

Exchange of experiences across borders

The Nordic countries have several similarities when it comes to their climates and urban challenges. Consequently, there’s a sound basis for the countries to learn from each other and to work together to identify innovative new solutions for green and sustainable development. The 15 examples of green urban development therefore come from across the length and breadth of the Nordic Region.

About the report

The report has been prepared by the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences on behalf of the Swedish National Board of Housing, Building and Planning and the Nordic Council of Ministers’ working group for sustainable cities and is funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers.

Nordic Council of Ministers’ working group for sustainable urban development

The Nordic Council of Ministers has set up a working group for sustainable cities for 2019 to 2021. The focus of the working group is to bolster co-operation and the exchange of experiences on Nordic solutions for sustainable urban development. Green spaces in our towns and cities play a central role in this process.

The report is another step on the path towards achieving the Nordic Council of Ministers’ vision of making the Nordic Region the most sustainable and integrated region in the world by 2030.