Friday, February 11, 2011

Copenhagen Agenda for Sustainable Cities

Copenhagen Agenda for Sustainable Cities (16 page pdf)

The Danish foundation Realdania have asked the Scandinavian think tank Monday Morning to create the Copenhagen Agenda for Sustainable Cities initiative.

Key Quotes:

"Almost 80% of all CO2 emissions are generated from urban activities, which make cities the biggest contributors to global warming."

"We have become used to thinking and acting fragmentally: rather than consulting health experts, geographers and anthropologists, city officials have focused on the technical design of buildings and urban areas. This has resulted in the construction of cities that fail to meet the most basic needs necessary to secure future liveability."

Excerpt- summary of 10 Principles:

"REDISCOVER THE CITY. We need a radical change of mindset: A city is much more than a consumption exhaust. It must become a self-sustaining organism – complementary to nature, rather than hostile opposition.
REDEFINE CITY VALUE. A sustainable city depends on the attitude and behaviour of each urban individual and user. We must encourage a sense of citizenship and individual responsibility towards sustainable values rather than plain consumerism.
INVOLVE EVERYDAY EXPERTS. Sustainable cities are participatory cities. We must encourage user-driven self-governance. Through new partnerships between city users, a common understanding of the sustainable city must be developed and initiatives agreed upon.

BREAK DOWN SILOS. Sustainable city planning is inherently multidisciplinary. Therefore, old administrative structures should be abandoned in favour of innovative, cross-sector cooperation.

REDISTRIBUTE URBAN DECISION-MAKING. Environmental changes do not respect city borders. Vertical cooperation between local, national and international public institutions is crucial to sustainable city planning.

DE-DESIGN URBAN PLANNING. City planning should be people centred, rather than design centred. A city is a constantly evolving organism, and city planning must take a broader perspective than the design of individual buildings.

PROMOTE CORPORATE URBAN RESPONSIBILITY. Sustainable cities and successful commerce are interdependent. Companies must be considered stakeholders and invited to participate in city planning and assume responsibility for urban sustainability.

GO GLOBAL. Climate change is a global challenge. Global cooperation on the development of environmental technologies is essential, and a joint effort to solve the massive problems of the developing world’s cities is urgently required.

EMBRACE CHAOS, CRISIS AND CHANGE. A sustainable city must be adaptable to unexpected change. The ability to both fight current and future climate change is crucial. Flexible governance and an innovative mindset to overcome crisis is vital.

ENCOURAGE PASSION IN URBAN LEADERSHIP. More will be expected of urban leaders of the future. They must be able to manage the complex interconnection of new institutions and partnerships. A mix of business management, political leadership and creativity is demanded from the future generation
of urban leaders."
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