Western Harbour Malmo

Freiburg Green City – Success factors

Michael O'Hare - June 14, 2009

What can we learn from Freiburg’s sustainable city development?

In my last post, I wrote about how I think trams, pedestrianised streets and solar energy all contribute towards making Freiburg an outstanding city for people.  Freiburg’s presentation to the EU Green Capital competition lists success factors Freiburg think helped make the city what it is.

Here is Freiburg’s list of sustainable city success factors:

  1. Vision of integral sustainable development
  2. Consensus on sustainability across all political parties
  3. Network of different stakeholders
  4. Participation of citizens
  5. Citizens‘ commitment

The same lessons from Freiburg and Malmo?

Freiburg have used different words, but the overriding message is almost exactly the same as the output from Malmo’s Sustainable City Conference.

As a reminder, Malmo’s message was:

  1. Multi-stakeholder involvement is crucial. We can’t all be experts.
  2. Make it trendy, make it visible.
  3. Transcend the political and bureaucratic barriers.

In both cities they believe that you should get everybody involved, do trendy things that work towards a strong vision, and get politics to work for you, not against you.

People enjoying their city in Freiburg
The Altstadt (Old Town) in Freiburg. As well as the town hall, you can see people walking, sitting and generally enjoying their city.

I think we can learn from the similar messages of Freiburg and Malmo. Is it a coincidence that both Freiburg and Malmo have made wonderful cities for people?  And they have both made world leading city redevelopments, Freiburg with it’s Solar City and Malmo with the Western Harbour.

What do you think about the success factors of Freiburg?


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