Nordic Built 2.0 becomes Nordic Built Cities

The future city should be one where both people and businesses thrive in a sustainable way. The Nordic Built principles might just be the key.
Published 05/09/2014 | Last updated 05/09/2014

The Nordic Built programme will be renewed for three more years under the name Nordic Built Cities – shifting focus from the single building to promoting innovative Nordic solutions for livable, smart and sustainable cities and export. It will build upon the previous Nordic Built programme and the principles found in the Nordic Built Charter.


With a broader scope, the new programme will involve different ministries from the Nordic countries and gather the most visionary and executive actors within the building sector and related businesses, such as energy, mobility, ICT, materials and products and services for climate adaption. Together these multi-disciplinary businesses have the potential to create holistic innovative solutions making Nordic cities livable, smart and sustainable.



Why sustainable cities?

Sustainability is becoming an ever more important goal for city development – both in the Nordics and the rest of the world. For decades, the Nordics have been a hot spot for the development of innovative solutions to cities’ sustainability challenges that at the same time also lays the basis for a good city life. We are good at merging sustainable solutions with a strong tradition for design, making attractive cities for both inhabitants and enterprises.



Both political and commercial interest

Nordic Built Cities rests on the belief that we have both a political and a commercial interest in supporting the development of more innovative solutions, and of promoting those solutions. Jeppe Fisker Jørgensen, head of division at the Danish Ministry of Housing, Urban and Rural Affairs, explains:


– Worldwide, the large cities are growing. More than half of the world’s population is living in cities, and the trend seems to continue. This places a huge pressure on the cities and a demand for structure and planning of urban spaces. If we solve these challenges, we create well-functioning cities. If we don’t, the cities will evolve into hot spots for massive environmental and social problems, he says and continues:


– The growing cities opens for big commercial opportunities. Nordic Built Cities rests upon a belief that the Nordics have a commercial interest in fortifying our stronghold within sustainable solutions in cities. One of the aims of this project is to promote our solutions and concepts on a common basis outside the Nordics for the growth and financial benefit of Nordic companies.



Competition, call and export promotion

Nordic Built Cities is one of the five lighthouse projects in the Nordic cooperation programme for innovation and business, and the plan is to make it one of the so-called flagship projects under the Danish presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2015. One of the main activities will be a competition planned for launch in 2015, involving Nordic communities looking for innovative and holistic solutions to sustainable urban challenges related to a physical space. The Nordic building sector will be challenged to come up with sustainable city solutions, creating Nordic consortia that may include related branches, such as smart city technologies, holistic know-how, ecosystem services and material production.


– We are planning for a competition in 2015 on livable and smart Nordic solutions and innovations for sustainable cities. There will be a focus on livable, smart and sustainable urban spaces rather than the single building, and solutions that includes a holistic view on sustainability. Our experience from the Nordic Built Challenge shows that this kind of competition is an effective and flexible way to promote innovative projects on a Nordic level. Other work packages planned are a call to realise the solutions and joint Nordic export promotion. We think that cooperating on developing new and smart solutions increases the attractiveness for the sector, says new Nordic Built project manager at Nordic Innovation, Kristina Mårtensson.



The project is run in cooperation with the following actors: