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Nordic Solutions for Sustainable Cities,

A detailed study of the innovations and measures implemented by eight Nordic cities

When the Nordic Council of Ministers and city leaders of Copenhagen, Helsinki, Mariehamn, Nuuk, Oslo, Reykjavik, Stockholm and Tórshavn wanted to promote what makes their cities the most sustainable in the world, they turned to Arup.

Arup assembled a team of energy and sustainable city consultants, led by Mark Watts, to design and write Nordic Solutions for Sustainable Cities – a catalogue of sustainability innovations, policies and technical solutions that can be used by other cities seeking a low carbon future.

28 sustainability interventions for cities

Drawing on experience producing the Climate Action in Megacities baseline study for the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group and referencing its findings, Arup identified seven distinct challenges faced by city governments today: urban planning, transport, street lighting, energy, water, smart information management and changing behaviour and attitudes. Arup then grouped the sustainability interventions of the Nordic cities to match these city challenges: showcasing how the Nordic cities are leading in addressing these challenges.

In all, 28 sustainable city innovations were catalogued against the the seven city challenges, clearly demonstrating the leadership of the Nordic Cities in green growth.

Furthermore, with 61% of today’s global urban population live in settlements of similar sizes to the Nordic Cities, the catalogue has a global relevance and proves that being smaller is not a barrier to taking positive sustainable action.

Arup was commissioned for the project following the success of an earlier, similar study for the city of Copenhagen. The resulting report Copenhagen: Solutions for Sustainable Cities sets out a roadmap for cities seeking greener footprints.

Nordic Solutions for Sustainable Cities was presented at Rio +20 Sustainability Summit in June 2012.