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As we head west and into Texas, strong collaborations with progressive innovation hubs and city leaders are emerging from San Antonio to Austin. This week, our colleagues Lotte Breengaard, Program Director of Urban Partnerships, and Martine Kildeby, Director of Global Networks & Partnerships, have been at the forefront, facilitating workshops, nurturing connections, and cultivating collaboration opportunities with North American partners.

Deepening Partnerships

Circular San Antonio is a beacon in the Texan innovation landscape. Their commitment to the circular transition presents a unique opportunity for us to make a tangible difference in the city’s future. Just a few hours’ drive north, in the city of Austin, city representatives are searching for solutions to transform buildings in energy-effective ways. This opens up opportunities for our member companies to contribute their knowledge.

Amidst the vibrant energy of the South by Southwest Conference, a gathering renowned as one of the world’s largest, we extended our reach by welcoming partners from Norway, Finland, and Germany as part of the Urban Hub Europe network. The ensuing dialogue explored how collaborative efforts can propel innovation and effect change within urban landscapes. Promising opportunities emerged, including a prospective partnership with developers and corporates, indicating the far-reaching impact of our presence at these events.

Reflecting on the experience, Martine Kildeby emphasizes the need for purpose-driven innovation. “While technology garners attention, there’s a growing need for ethics and human-centric values in the development of AI and technological monopolies,” she emphasized. At SXSW, there was a strong emphasis on solutions supporting equality, achieving climate goals, optimizing city development, and enhancing human well-being. Sustainability was not just a buzzword but a guiding principle that gained more and more attention.”

Workshop on Transforming Urban Spaces

In Austin, Lotte Breengaard orchestrated a dynamic two-day workshop to craft decarbonization guidelines for existing and prospective civic and commercial buildings. Supported by the Danish Energy Agency, this collaborative effort engaged BLOXHUB members GXN, SHL—Schmidt Hammer Lassen, Ramboll, Arup, Leapcraft, and Backscatter/Agora alongside local authorities and stakeholders.

The workshop delved into the intricacies of building transformations, exploring tailored energy efficiency strategies conducive to Austin’s distinct climate and urban fabric. Participants embarked on discussions underpinned by technical, social, and financial perspectives, ensuring a comprehensive approach aligned with Austin’s Climate Equity Plan.

Key insights surfaced, emphasizing the efficacy of retrofitting as a sustainable and time-efficient solution, particularly for underutilized or aging structures. The significance of data-driven decision-making was underscored, emphasizing the alignment of actions with carbon reduction targets. Moreover, the imperative of community engagement in shaping retrofit strategies emerged, highlighting the multifaceted nature of decarbonization efforts.

Sarah Talkington, representing the City of Austin, lauded the collaborative spirit, expressing anticipation for the resulting playbook’s impact on the Sustainable Buildings component of the Climate Equity Plan. Her sentiments echoed the collective optimism shared amongst participants, reflecting a shared commitment to effecting meaningful change in the pursuit of sustainability.

As our US Odyssey continues, we remain steadfast in our mission to foster cooperation and drive innovation to create a more sustainable future across the Pond.

Stay tuned for more updates on our US projects, opening business opportunities for BLOXHUB members in the USA.

To learn more about our US projects, reach out to Martine Kildeby, Director, Global Network & Partnerships, at

To learn more about our workshops, reach out to Lotte Breengaard, Program Director of Urban Partnerships, at