Sustainable cities – the Nordic way

27.04.15 | News
Karin Beate Nøsterud/
Sustainable urban planning was one of the items on the agenda at the meeting of the Nordic ministers for regional development on 27 April. On the same day, Nordic Innovation hosted Nordic Built Cities Arena, a conference about innovative Nordic and global solutions for sustainable cities.

As part of the Danish Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2015, the Danish Ministry of Housing, Urban and Rural Affairs and Nordic Innovation (a Nordic Council of Ministers body) have launched a competition, which will run in 2015–2017, aimed at devising innovative solutions for urban spaces.

The Nordic Region is full of fascinating urban spaces, and the Danish Presidency seeks to nurture this tradition.

“The Nordic Region has a good track record when it comes to thinking about urban spaces that function well within growing cities. There is strong political interest in these expanding cities being good places to live. We also have a strong economic interest in selling innovative products and solutions for them,” says Carsten Hansen, the Danish Minister for Housing, Urban and Rural Affairs, who also doubles as Minister for Nordic Co-operation and is chair of the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2015.

Nordic Built Cities Arena

On 27 April, over 200 people, including three ministers and a range of experts, attended Nordic Built Cities Arena in Copenhagen. The conference was organised by Nordic Innovation, the Danish Ministry of Housing, Urban and Rural Affairs and the Danish Business Council.  As well as the competition, the conference focused on exporting Nordic ideas and solutions.

The main objective of the competition is to develop smart, attractive and sustainable solutions for urban areas in the Nordic Region. However, it also seeks to encourage the effective marketing of Nordic solutions for growing cities around the world, and to ensure that the focus of these efforts is both Nordic and international.

Sustainable urban spaces competition

The competition consists of three phases. During the first phase, from March to June 2015, cities, local authorities and companies from all over the Nordic Region will compete to be one of up to eight urban spaces to host local competitions.

During the second phase, from August to December 2015, the Nordic construction industry and related services will be invited to submit concept proposals for the selected spaces. For each space, a local jury will select a maximum of four finalists to proceed to the next phase.

During the third phase, from December 2015 to May 2016, the finalists will work closely with the owners of the spaces chosen and draw up final proposals. One winner will be chosen for each space, and the winning concepts will be realised as development projects. Finally, an independent jury of Nordic and international experts will announce the winner of the overall NOK 1.2 million prize.

Nordic Built Cities will also be part of the wider Nordic initiative, under the banner “New Nordic Climate Solutions”, in the run-up to COP21 in Paris in December.

Further info about the conference Nordic Built Cities and Nordic Built Charter.