Denmark and Sweden - A Sustainability Mission

Denmark and Sweden – A Sustainability Mission

Trip to Copenhagen and Malmö, Sweden aims to be a first-hand case study and information exchange about economic development through sustainability and clean technologies.


Date: May 4-10, 2019


The Pittsburgh Technology Council and Fortyx80 are pleased to present details on our next benchmarking mission to Denmark and Sweden. We will visit Copenhagen and Malmö to learn about successful sustainability initiatives and their effect on economic development.  

Much like Pittsburgh, this region has a 
deephistory based in heavy industry followed by economic struggle. Now, they are successful models for urban renewal. 

The trip aims to be a case study on successful economic development through sustainability initiatives and technology innovation. Our goal is to learn and bring best practices back to the Western Pennsylvania region. 

We will spend most of our time in Copenhagen, one of the world’s most livable cities, with a day trip to Malmö, Sweden. We will exchange ideas and best practices with local leaders on successful economic development through urban revitalization, sustainability and clean technologies.  

About Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen is an urban success story. A leader in modern urban planning, Copenhagen’s first success started in the 19940’s, with the Finger Plan, which created the infrastructure for structured urban growth.  However, industry moved out of the city. Unemployment in the mid-to-late 1980’s was 17.5%. and in the 1990’s they realized that they needed to change the status quo.  They successfully transformed the city of Copenhagen from an ailing manufacturing city to one of the wealthiest cities in the world and their success provides a 21st-century model for global urban renewal. Their current goal is to become CO2 neutral by 2025 while strongly focusing on growth, employment and quality of life.

About Malmö, Sweden

Located directly across the harbor from Copenhagen, and with a metropolitan population similar to that that of Pittsburgh, Malmö was once a harbor city with heavy industry. During the 1960s, their textile industry collapsed, followed by the collapse of the ship building industry in the 1980’s resulting in the abandonment of the industries and docklands on the north coastal part of the city. Realizing that traditional industry was not returning, the city changed course and worked to revitalize and reinvent itself.  Malmö’s goal is to be climate neutral by 2020 and by 2030 the whole city aims to run on 100 per cent renewable energy.

About the Program

The mission will be a three-day program, with an add-on optional day excursion at a cultural tourist spot.  We will be based in Copenhagen for the majority of the trip, with a day trip across the harbor to Malmö. Site visits to see the revitalized areas first-hand, and interactive sessions with local stakeholders will round out the program. Our local hosts are just as interested in learning from us as we are interested in learning from them and we expect an active idea exchange. Once we return to Pittsburgh, we will reconvene the group to talk about how we may apply what we learned at our organizations and overall in Southwestern Pennsylvania. 

Program Cost: $399 plus the cost of travel and lodging

Agenda (Subject to change). More to be confirmed. 


Saturday, May 4 – Depart Pittsburgh

All attendees to arrange individual travel plans. As we get closer to the trip, we will introduce, in advance, those booked on the same flights. 


Sunday, May 5 – Arrive Copenhagen

Arrival date. Early evening informal gathering at a local bar in the city center. 


Monday, May 6 – Copenhagen Program Day 1

All attendees are on their own for breakfast and coffee.

Group to meet at 9:45 in front of City Hall. 


Morning Program


Program: Future Cities and Planning for Sustainable Urban Development: Creating a Bold Vision 
Sustainable urban planning in Copenhagen started in the 1940’s with the ‘Finger Plan’ -- five ‘fingers’ based on suburban S-train rail lines—with green areas between each ‘finger’.


The city has already done much and is famous as an international model for sustainable urban planning. We’ll learn the “Copenhagen Model,” a public/private corporate model that combines the efficiency of market discipline and mechanisms with the benefits of public direction and legitimacy. And we will hear their plans for the future though Co-Create Copenhagen, as they aim to become CO2 neutral by 2025. 


Group Lunch


Tour: Architectural Walking Tour – An architect from Schmidt Hammer Lassen will guide us on a walking tour to see examples of sustainable architecture in the Carlsberg areaof the city. Attendees will learn first-hand about how area architects have used sustainable technologies to make the city a 21st-century model for global urban renewal. 

Attendees are on their own for dinner. 

Tuesday, May 7 – Copenhagen Program Day 2


All attendees are on their own for breakfast and coffee.

Group to meet at 8:30 in front of city hall for a 10-minute walk to BLOXHUB. 

Program and Tour: Sustainability as a Catalyst for Economic Development



BLOXHUB is a new urban innovation hub that brings together companies, organizations, and researchers to co-create solutions for a better city. 

BLOXHUB is the Nordic hub for sustainable urbanization that was founded on the belief that the challenges of global urbanization and climate change require new ways of collaboration. BLOXHUB is a Nordic launchpad for future urban solutions and a gateway to the Danish & Nordic markets for international companies. 

Group Lunch


Tour: EnergyLab Nordhavn

The EnergyLab Nordhavn project integrates research, development and demonstration and is a large-scale project that contributes to the grand challenge of transforming the energy system to efficiently integrate a large share of renewable energy, a means to support international and national climate goals. 

From April 2015 until October 2019 the project EnergyLab Nordhavn – New Urban Energy Infrastructures will develop and demonstrate future energy solutions. The project utilizes Copenhagen’s Nordhavn as a full-scale smart city energy lab and demonstrates how electricity and heating, energy-efficient buildings and electric transport can be integrated into an intelligent, flexible and optimized energy system.


Potential Evening Group Activity/Dinner – TBD


Wednesday, May 8 – Day trip to Malmö, Sweden


All attendees are on their own for breakfast and coffee.

Group to meet at 7:45 in front of city hall for a 45-minute drive to Malmö

Program:  Sustainability in Malmö.

In Malmö, we will hear their own unique story about urban transformation and sustainability. We will discuss infrastructure and transportation challenges and solutions, environmental management, and economic development through clean technologies. 

Group Lunch




Tour: Bo01 – City of Tomorrow

Bo01 was realized on a former industrial estate/port where the ground was polluted. The Bo01 district is supplied by 100% renewable energy and serves as an example for sustainable urban renewal far beyond Sweden’s borders.

Bo01 represents the first step in the process of transforming the 160 hectares of industrial estate and port. When completed, the area will offer homes to 30,000 people.

Tour: Augustenborg – Eco-City

The Eco-city Augustenborg is a successful project in transforming a run-down neighborhood into an environmentally sustainable and attractive place to live. Aspects of the Eco-city Augustenborg include the energy-efficient renovation work carried out on 1,600 rental apartments (89% of the housing stock in the area); the development of an integrated open storm water management system to solve local flooding problems and the use of green roofs. 

Attendees are on their own for dinner. 


Thursday, May 9 – Optional Group Trip

Day trip to Elisore/Helsingør and North Zealand. (Additional Cost: $100-$150 depending on group participation - TBD)

This historic region is packed full of royal castles, cultural sites and beautiful beaches. We will visit Kronberg Castleand a small quaint fishing village. (6 -6.5 hour trip)

Friday, May 10 – Return to Pittsburgh

Who Should Consider Attending? 

All professionals who are interested in learning more about the economic development benefits of sustainability initiatives and clean energy will be encouraged to apply. We anticipate our mission to include a diverse array of participants including: business leaders, executives from Pittsburgh’s non-profit institutions, technology companies, universities, manufacturers, policymakers and funders. 


If you are interested in joining us, please fill out the application located here.

If you have any questions, please contact Monica Takacs at: 

More details will be announced soon as we confirm the details of the trip.  


Sponsorship Opportunities 

If you are interested in sponsoring this trip, please contact Monica Takacs,
5/4/2019 - 5/10/2019

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