Last week we gathered a handfull of urban changemakers in Oslo for a social experiment asking stakeholders within our four pilars the question: “What would be the ultimate urban experiment to disrupt …” Here’s a short summary of their exciting thoughts. 

The built environment: Malin Kock Hansen, Senior advisor in Innovative cities and communities, DOGA

“There is 50.000 m2 of empty buildings only in Oslo, and regarding to Statsbygg about 35% of their 3 million m2 are in average use. At the same time we know that one third of the CO2-emissions in the Nordics comes from the building sector. In addition, every fourth Norwegian feel lonely, and one out of three would like more human contact.

My questions are, what if:

  • Every building would be protected for 100 years after it is finalized?
  • Every building must give back more than it takes to the planet, and document societal impact?
  • We were obligated to always start with the place between the building?”

Urban energy: Trygve Mongstad, CEO and Founder of Overeasy

“My suggestion is to introduce “Energy + Innovation Neighborhoods” in selected cities in Norway. These are defined local areas that are developed with strict requirements for energy compared to the TEK standard, such as:

  • Requirements for solar panels on all (new) buildings
  • Requirements for energy storage, both electric and thermal
  • Requirements for energy flexibility, V2G technology, smart control of VAV, etc.
  • Local support program for the implementation of innovative measures and pilot projects, ideally with a support rate of 50% and a support amount of 500k – 1 million per project, inspired by the “SMART Oslo” program.

More inspiration can be drawn, for example, from Trondheim municipality’s Enova report for the Nyhavna area (Asplan Viak, 2021), as well as similar initiatives in many German cities.

These areas push the boundaries and pave the way for future development and possibilities in urban energy.”

Citizens: Charlotte Aschim, CEO and founder of TotalCtrl

“1/3 of all the food we produce every year is wasted. 1/3.
Contributing to 10% of the global carbon emissions and costing 1,2 trillion dollars each year.

The main reasons: Poor inventory management, expiry dates and manual processes. Right now, about 3.12 billion people (39% of the global population) have obesity, and about 10% of the global population — regularly go to bed hungry. Imagine a world where everyone has food to eat or even better: Imagine a world where everyone have healthy, locally sourced, sustainable and safe food to eat. Circular and profitable supply chains exists. And our future is food waste free?”

Mobility: Jørn Haanæs, Bicycle enthusiast and Investment Director for Climate at Katapult VC

“The ultimate urban experiment is to cure ourselves of Car Brain. We’ve become enslaved by the car, which ironically came with the promise of freedom. Car Brain thinks 1.3m fatalities in road traffic globally is just how it is. Car Brain allows cities to be built for cars, not people. The cure is pretty simple: turn the transportation hierarchy upside down and look at how thriving cities were organized for a few thousand years before we started inviting and subsidizing the car. Put a price on negative externalities – it’s hard but it’ll do wonders.”

Thought triggering or what? We’ll bring this thoughts and suggestions with us into the planning of our Nordic Edge Expo where our theme for 2024 is “Be the change”. And what better way then to flip the question from “what needs to be done” to “what is the ultimate society”? We love to see how our members continue to disrupt their segment of influence and we’re cheering every bit of the way.

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