As North American cities strive for sustainability, developers turn to Danish companies for smart solutions

Resilience. Sustainability. Tech-savvy solutions for new urban challenges. These are the issues facing the cities of today but especially those of tomorrow.

During the last week of March, Danish companies participated in two Nordic Urban Labs with the Nordic City Solutions trade platform in Canada. Nordic City Solutions, which is part of the Nordic Prime Ministers Initiative, was set up to connect Danish and other Nordic companies together with cities and property developers in North America for procurement opportunities in the areas of healthy, smart and resilient cities.

Both workshops were based on the premise of discussing Nordic solutions for a specific development site with participating stakeholders from cities and private development communities as well as local consultants and stakeholders.

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Workshop participants learn about storm water management challenges in Brampton’s Bramalea neighbourhood redevelopment.

In Brampton, a suburb of Toronto with a population of approximately 600,000, Danish and Nordic participants collaborated with the city, region, and corporate development giant Morguard around the Bramalea City Centre redevelopment- a priority redevelopment project associated with the City’s 2040 Vision. The workshop included background context on the various site challenges, a walking tour with local stakeholders and partners, a reception at City Hall with Mayor Patrick Brown of Brampton, City Councillors and a full-day brainstorming session around the topics of resiliency infrastructure, energy infrastructure and architectural master planning.

“I had the honour and pleasure to attend a phenomenal event based around Nordic solutions, specifically as they relate to the development of our cities,” said Jason Kloss, a workshop participant. “My biggest takeaway is: collaboration! If you are a city and want to achieve Big Picture initiatives, it takes everyone — from both the public and private side.”

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Danish Trade Council Senior Commercial Advisor Pamela Tiller welcomes the group.

In Ottawa, the capital city of Canada, Danish and Nordic participants spent two days working with the most progressive sustainability development project in Canada. The Zibi development, a CAD $1.5 billion large mixed-use redevelopment project is run through a consortia of developers who are targeting sustainability-related procurement. Participating companies learned about the site’s complex aboriginal history as a traditional meeting place for trade, reviewed remediation work on phase one, and met with some of Canada’s top development and construction executives one-on-one to discuss Nordic solutions for sustainability in the project.

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Danish architect Kolja Nielsen of CEBRA Architects discusses sustainability with property developer Scott Demark from Zibi.

Participating Danish companies included Rockwool Group, Altiflex, Velux, COBE Architect, CEBRA Architects and Isoplus.

Additional workshops will take place over the remainder of 2019 in Canada and the United States in key markets such as Toronto, Minneapolis-St.Paul and Houston for companies interested in showcasing their solutions for concrete projects in the North American development industry.

“Nordic City Solutions is an important bridge between US and Canadian urban environments and a Nordic world of sustainability that’s confronting and addressing the growing challenges of the 21st century world –whether those challenges are related to climate change or specific demographic needs,” said Louise Lund Harpøth, Denmark In New York’s Commercial Adviser on Urban Solutions & UN Procurement.

“We look forward to working with cities across the American continent and facilitating key introductions to Danish and Nordic companies with unique solutions for today’s challenges.”

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The Official Medium Blog for the Consulate General of Denmark in New York. For all things Danish, #DenmarkInNY.

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