Stockholm (NordSIP) – The municipality of Odense in Denmark is to receive DKK 12 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) for two projects in sustainable green urban development directed at the local handling of rainfall to contribute to energy savings and green solutions. The investment is also expected to spur the municipality to create business opportunities for companies offering circular solutions for waste management.
“With the ERDF’s investment in Odense, we will be able to develop and test new technologies that can contribute to sustainable green urban development while creating growth and new jobs in Danish companies,” commented Sigmund Lubanski, deputy director of Erhvervsstyrelsen, the Danish Commerce and Industry agency.
The ERDF’s allocation is a response to the increasing demands being placed on European cities in terms of handling rainfall-induced waste by the combination of rising rainfalls and the estimate that roughly 80% of the EU’s population will inhabit cities or urban areas by 2020. The allocation will be used to implement specific parts of an already existing strategy for sustainable urban development in Odense as part of its drive to become Denmark’s ‘greenest metropolitan area’. The municipality itself will finance other initiatives.
The ERDF together with Danish partners is investing DKK 1 billion annually in activities designed to create growth and employment across Denmark in the period from 2014-2020. Approximately DKK 72 million of this has been allocated to investments in sustainable green urban development around the country. With DKK 53 million earmarked specifically for urban projects, municipalities with over 30,000 inhabitants are eligible to apply for EU co-financing for sustainable green urban development. Erhvervsstyrelsen will open for applications this year.
Odense municipality will test new technologies focusing on so-called ‘Smart City development’ in cooperation with VandCenter Syd as part of its efforts on rainwater, according to a press release from the Danish news agency Ritzau. A virtual ‘Climate Tech Lab’ will be set up to assist in developing smart solutions, while the city will simultaneously hold dialogue-based town hall meetings to ensure the involvement of Odense’s citizens. Educational institutions will also contribute the latest research in the field.
The municipality will also focus on creating growth opportunities and development space for local SMEs wishing to develop products and services supporting circular waste management, which will take place in cooperation with Odense Renovation A/S, a waste management company.
“Odense Renovation wants to take the lead in implementing the circular economy together with Odense municipality,” said Odense Renovation chairman Mads Søndergaard Thomsen. “We therefore invite local entrepreneurs and large and small local companies to a knowledge exchange and testing of new products and services in the waste management area. We are convinced there are lots of good ideas in the city that support the circular economy in innovative waste solutions.”
The new green initiatives will be launched in the spring of 2018.
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