New White Paper: Urban Innovation for Liveable Cities

By State of Green, September 20, 2016

A holistic approach to sustainable city solutions.

Our cities are growing and so are the challenges to make them liveable. Creating a liveable city means taking a holistic approach through public-private partnerships and cross-sector collaboration, enabling smart, urban solutions that not only make cities prosperous, but also healthy, safe and attractive places to live in. Danish cities hold a long tradition for implementing urban development projects through holistic planning where the concern for the environment, people and businesses go hand in hand. 

This whitepaper highlights sustainable approaches across urban mobility, water, climate adaptation and intelligent energy, demonstrating how long-term planning across sectors are key elements in creating liveable cities built on holistic, sustainable solutions.

Download white paper: Urban Innovation for Liveable Cities

Launched at Climate Week NYC
Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen (presenting State of Green’s new white paper together with executive director Finn Mortensen) yesterday in his closing keynote speech at the “Urban Innovation for Livable Cities” conference in New York pointed to Copenhagen as an example that cities around the world can and should go green.

-We need to act now, and we need to do it together. We can learn from one another and engage in partnerships, Lars Løkke Rasmussen said, underlining that Danish companies are more than ready to contribute to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The conference, which also featured a number of Danish companies,  was arranged by Danish Cleantech Hub in cooperation with a number of partners. More than 200 high-level participants from both sides of the Atlantic discussed how the public-private dialogue can deliver innovative solutions to urban challenges. 

Urban Mobility
When you live in a city, you need to get around, but environmental concerns about emissions and endless car queues on the roads are challenges that demand solutions of mobility. The Danish approach to mobility management integrates different modes of transportation while also addressing climate and environmental concerns, such as decreasing private car use and congestion and increasing the use of bicycles. The key to successful mobility management is to incorporate several levels at the same time where collaboration between both public and private actors is paramount to success.

– Read more about: Urban Mobility

Just a decade ago, most cities in Denmark saw water as something to hide and remove in sewers. Today, the harbor water in Copenhagen is clean enough to swim in and the area around the Harbour Bath has flourished. This has been achieved through an integrated approach to urban water management, combining a broad range of environmental, economic and social strategies. Although initially more complex, it is ultimately more cost-efficient from an overall societal perspective. When investments in blue infrastructure are integrated early in the urban planning process, synergies can be achieved and costs reduced. 

– Read more about: Water

Climate Adaptation
Danish experience shows that climate adaptation can also present an opportunity to rethink urban development and gain greater value from investments. Rather than coming at the expense of urban living, climate adaptation can contribute to greener and more liveable cities. For instance, instead of expanding the underground sewage system, surplus water can be led to structures above the ground such as green beds, canals or lakes around the city. These serve a dual purpose as they – in addition to increasing the stormwater drainage capacity – also function as recreational areas, which help cool the city and increase biodiversity.

– Read more about: Climate Adaptation

Intelligent Energy
The homes of the future are intelligent, energy-efficient and energy producing buildings. A smart home can use and produce resources intelligently, incorporating sensors for lighting, climate control, smart metering, energy management and communication systems to control production and consumption of resources. Incorporating intelligent buildings into the energy system – grid-connected, energy-producing buildings – saves energy costs and reduces CO2 emissions, and helps balance increasing shares of electricity produced from fluctuating sources such as solar and wind. Here, district energy provides an answer to power tomorrow’s urban communities and smart cities in the most intelligent way possible. Copenhagen is a good example. Here it all started with one small local system in 1903 and now 98% of the city is supplied by district heating.

– Read more about: Intelligent Energy

White Paper Content
– Creating Green Liveable Cities: The human dimension in sustainable city planning

Urban Mobility:
– Collaboration for a Transition to Sustainable Transportation: Creating synergies and exploiting opportunities through collaboration between different stakeholders

– Alternative Modes of Transportation Create Socio-Economic Benefits: Measuring the socio-economic benefits of alternative modes of transportation

– Rethinking Urban Water for New Value in Cities: Developing visions, common goals and integrated solutions

– The Importance of Public Awareness and Political Targets: Creating public awareness of the value of water and political focus on NRW reduction

Climate Adaptation
– Creating Resilient and Liveable Cities with SUDS: Using rainwater as a resource to create green urban spaces with added benefits

– Cross-Disciplinary Collaboration in Climate Adaptation: Creating synergies and saving costs through collaboration between different stakeholders

Intelligent Energy
– The Future of District Energy: Realising a strong global potential

– Smart Buildings: Automation makes buildings a flexible part of the energy system

Download white paper: Urban Innovation for Liveable Cities


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