Members opened BLOXHUB with Sustainable Cities in Focus

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After the official ribbon-cutting and speeches, BLOXHUB members opened with their own program of keynotes and debates

At the heart of BLOXHUB is knowledge sharing and co-creation among the 160+ organizations, companies and researchers in the BLOXHUB community. And BLOXHUB’s first week in the new BLOX building was fittingly full of debates and keynotes by our members focusing on urban tech, sustainability and inclusiveness.

On Monday, International Federation for Housing and Planning (IFHP) held a conference together with the Danish Architecture Festival on designing socially sustainable cities.

When it comes to the economy or climate change, we have a number of tools in place to measure progress,” said Morten Nielsen, Strategy Director in IFHP. “But what about people? We really have no proper way of measuring social sustainability – how inclusive cities are.

IFHP is currently working on a Social Cities Index together with the London School of Economics, which will be launched at the World Cities Summit this July.

We want to be part of building bridges across cities and help disseminate new solutions and best practice cases,” said Morten Nielsen.

Getting stuff done
Keynote speaker at the workshop was founder of New Localism Advisors Bruce Katz, who argues that a structural shift will change the way, we approach problem-solving dramatically. And that this is the golden moment for cities:

It used to be that we began from the top down, ie. Began at the top of the nation state. But as cities have become the engines of the global economy, and the world have become network-driven, cities are now the vanguard of problem solving. They’re more efficient and pragmatic than the politics of nation states. They get stuff done,” said Mr. Katz.

He highlighted the necessity of global platforms for exchanging knowledge and best practice cases among cities.

We must think local to global. The transfer of innovation must happen across cities – and this is where we need international intermediaries like the C40 network and IFHP.”

Designing for the Future
Co-creation was key when engineering firm WSP and C40 Cities discussed future-ready design. IKEA, Bonava and Siemens mobility also participated in the debate on how to incorporate sustainability in all designs.

The buildings, infrastructure and cities we design today are there for decades, so we have to design for the future as well as today,” said keynote speaker David Symons, UK Director of Sustainability from WSP. 

Just following engineering design codes leads to designs that are only partly ready for the future, WSP’s research shows. Today’s session shows the enthusiasm for organisations work together to design future ready projects.  It’s exactly what BLOXHUB is about and why it’s so exciting to be based in the building,” said David Symons.