How do we make cities green, clean and livable? RUW organized a study trip to two pioneer cities when it comes to sustainable development, Copenhagen and Malmö, to find out!
With a group of 30 students of different study programs and nationalities, we visited government agencies, companies, social enterprises and community led projects connected to one of the three themes central in this study trip: Urban Climate, Urban Food, Urban Metabolism.
Our trip started in Copenhagen, with a visit to a European project called Sharing Copenhagen. The city intends to be carbon neutral in 2025, and is therefore investing in climate adaptation and green mobility. Sharing Copenhagen involves citizens in the efforts of moving towards a more sustainable city, and shares knowledge and experience with other cities in Europe. Another highlight of our trip to Copenhagen was the visit to ARC recycling center, which gave us insights into the functioning and practicalities of waste recycling and biogas production. Also on the program was a city bee project called Bybi, that involved homeless people in Copenhagen in beekeeping and honey production at various places in the city. There is even a beehive on top of the town hall and at the airport! We also visited a roof top food garden, a community garden and had dinner with a group of active citizens who set up a food cooperative in order to source local and organic food with their community.
Towards the end of our trip, we crossed the bridge to Sweden for a visit to Malmö. This was once an industrial city that now transformed into one of the greenest cities in Europe, with sustainable living and eco-smart innovations at the core of its development. We visited eco-neighbourhood Augustenborg, where we had a guided tour over green roofs and through a smart grid of water channels and ponds, capable to keep the area dry during (future) storms. The Western Harbour tour guide showed us a futuristic living area, a leading example world wide of an urban residential area with ecological sustainability and environmental adaptation as its main characteristics. For example, there is an underground heath capturing system and houses are energy neutral and have an indoor waste recycling system. We also visited a municipality project called ‘Eat Smart’, providing all public institutions like schools and hospitals with fresh, healthy and organic food while at the same time educate children and citizens about the importance of a healthy lifestyle.
Before and after visits, in the evenings and during parts of the weekend, we spend ‘free time’ with the group. We had breakfast and dinner together, went on a bike tour, discussed about lessons learned during the trip, shared personal experiences and got to know each other even better during the World Cup Football matches. We look back at an interesting and inspiring study trip during which we learned about climate adaptation, closed loop systems and urban food approaches in two Scandinavian cities. It was a great opportunity for students to explore different dimensions of sustainability and ‘quality of life’ in cities and to get to know examples from the field. Sharing these experiences with a very diverse and enthusiastic group made the trip for the participants, and the organization, an unforgettable experience!
Thanks to the support of WUF, we learned about the challenges of sustainable urban development and got to know innovative solutions and inventive ideas for creating green, clean and liveable cities! Sharing this knowledge and experience with students from different study programs and nationalities made the trip truly inspirational!
View a selection of the Photos!