Experience the Swedish way of “sustainable” life
Join a team of aspiring city planners, environmental engineers, designers and forward-thinkers on a STEM adventure across Scandinavia. Get to know new friends and colleagues as we set off in Stockholm — a hub for sustainable urban design. Orientation begins on a live-aboard sailboat, where we engage in teambuilding exercises, learn about the current and historic environmental realities of this region and pick up a few sailing skills along the way. Marvel at how Sweden’s bridge and rail systems efficiently transport residents over and under its sparkling waterways. Nearby, in Hammarby Sjöstad, see how city planners, community leaders and everyday Swedes work together to maintain a sustainable way of life. Ride Stockholm’s famed rail system not as a passenger but as a keen observer of how urban engineering and design directly impact multiple layers of society. Gamla Stan, Stockholm’s medieval Old Town, provides rich context for how urban development builds on a solid foundation and constantly evolves.
Policy, planning and pollen
In what's often referred to as Europe’s greenest city, Växjö offers a blank slate of opportunity for eco-minded urban designers. Visit the city’s urban vertical garden to learn how innovative horticulturalists are yielding more food in less space without relying on GMO crops. Sustainable urban gardening is just one of the many factors that planners of a modern green city need to be mindful of. After getting acquainted with the area’s natural beauty, we head out on a bee tour to gain an up close understanding of how bees act as indicators for the amount of green spaces and flowering vegetation a given area requires. Back in the city center, meet with officials and get a firsthand education of how policy, finance and public awareness campaigns play a key role in the success of any sustainability effort. Learn the science behind designing a public park system and the math and accounting behind small solar initiatives.
Meet the most environmentally-friendly neighborhood in the world
The future of cities is happening now, in the Swedish town of Malmö. Venture to Bo01, which began as an experiment in sustainable design and has since proven that large-scale green living works. Learn about sustainable building practices and how innovative heating and cooling systems help people save in every way. Talk with the green pioneers who are proud to call this neighborhood home and witness how a pro-environment mindset has led to improved quality of life. In the district of Hyllie, discover how engineers are thinking beyond the physical energy grid and giving rise to a new technological power grid. See firsthand how apps and technology create greater accountability and lead to smarter use of resources. We spend a day in Augustenborn, where green vegetation-covered roofs efficiently absorb rain water and reduce the heat island effect during summer months. Not to mention they provide a natural habitat for migrating birds.
From bicycling to upcycling
Copenhagen has spent the better part of 30 years investing in and promoting a bike-first transportation culture. To see the positive effect of those efforts, all you need to do is head out for a ride on the country’s first bicycle superhighway. This intelligently designed system interconnects central Copenhagen with a suburban town 22 km away, and offers cyclists a safe smooth ride to and from work each day. Collect data and conduct interviews with everyday cycle commuters. From there, we take an urban architecture tour, focusing on how deliberate aesthetic choices lead to more productive public spaces and foster a greater overall sense of community. Study the technology behind Denmark’s most important and impactful windfarm. Then, venture to Christiana, an autonomous neighborhood just outside of central Copenhagen to experience the concept of “upcycling”, or taking discarded objects and reusing them to create something that serves a new purpose.