Vejle: Resilient City

The Rockefeller Foundation founded “100 Resilient City’s” in 2013. Their goal is to help cities around the world to become more resilient to the physical, social and economical challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century. Vejle, Denmark is one of those 100 cities.
100RC supports the adoption and incorporation of a view of resilience that includes not just the shocks—earthquakes, fires, floods, etc.—but also the stresses that weaken the fabric of a city on a day to day or cyclical basis.
Examples of these stresses include high unemployment; an overtaxed or inefficient public transportation system; endemic violence; or chronic food and water shortages. By addressing both the shocks and the stresses, a city becomes more able to respond to adverse events, and is overall better able to deliver basic functions in both good times and bad, to all populations.

The city of Velje is the only resilient city in Scandinavia and the first in Europe to come with a strategy. Other resilient cities around the world include Washington, New York, Rio de Janeiro, Rotterdam and Singapore. The CRO (Chief Resilience Officer) of Vejle is Jonas Kroustrup and I interviewed Charlotte Holm Andersen & Jette Vindum.

Charlotte & Jette showed welcomed me at the municipality in Vejle where they have an exhibition which explains the all aspects the RC Vejle is working on. The main problem of this city is water. The city is surrounded by mountains and is build around a lake. When it rains a lot the water rises and this can lead to floods. They don’t see this as a problem but as an opportunity. The exhibition is very well designed and interactive. A 3D map shows the history of the city, by sliding through the different years on an iPad the model changes form and shows the growth of the city throughout the years. Also the level of water is indicated and shows how it affects the city.

The way they handle sustainability is something to learn from. They don’t just inform or try to keep everyone to strict rules. They involve the whole community and let everyone have their say in all the projects they are working on. All the gathered input is used in the endproduct.

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Green Tech Center

One of these projects is the Green Tech Center. I was welcome by an very enthusiastic woman named Jeanette. Wat really strikes me is that everyone in the community is very proud of the resilient city and all the projects.
The Green Tech Center is based on the triple helix basic: the municipality, university and private sector working closely together. Their goal is to help startups and medium sized companies grow and develop their products within the green field. The green field could be anything from energy production (wind power, geothermal), energy storage and energy usage.
Jeanette introduced me to some to the companies who are working here on innovative ideas. For example she showed Orogenic ApS who makes batteries for electric cars and  there was a company who made the solar panels for the award winning new headquarter of the United Nations in Copenhagen.

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