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Lund and Stockholm lead the way in new, powerful climate initiative

The climate transition in Sweden is now taking a big step forward. Lund Municipality and the City of Stockholm have been granted funding to develop a powerful tool for the transition to climate-neutral cities.

During Transition Lab Forum 13 in Kristianstad, a kickoff was held for the planning of the first two system demonstrators in Sweden. Lund Municipality and the City of Stockholm will be pioneers. In the picture, Erica Eneqvist presents the City of Stockholm's plans.

The transition needed to create sustainable and climate-neutral societies by 2030 requires new, bold approaches to fundamentally change our social and economic systems. To find these new ways, Viable Cities and Vinnova, together with a number of pioneer cities and other key stakeholders, have launched the development of the System Demonstrators for Climate Neutral Cities tool.

It is now clear which two cities will receive funding to plan for system demonstrators that can pave the way for transition in many cities: Lund Municipality and the City of Stockholm. Lund and Stockholm are among 23 cities in Sweden and 112 cities in Europe mobilizing around the mission of climate neutral cities by 2030. This new initiative is part of this mobilization.

To bring about change in huge areas, all relevant actors in society need to be mobilized - business, government agencies, municipality, region, civil society and academia.

A holistic approach to complex challenges

The municipality of Lund receives funding to plan a system demonstrator, CoAction Lund, in the northeastern part of the city. The district around Brunnshög, Ideon and Medicon Village is one of Sweden's most densely populated areas with a lot of traffic. There, together with a number of stakeholders, they will create a mobility system with reduced emissions while maintaining accessibility. The mobility system will also be linked to a climate-neutral energy system in the area.

- The interest from various actors in Lund has been enormous. The fact that so many organizations here are prepared to do what it takes and want to be involved in such an initiative is very exciting. When we work together on a large scale and take decisive action on difficult issues such as parking, behavior and energy sharing, we can achieve the goal of a climate-neutral Lund by 2030.

- Markus Paulsson, CoAction Lund project manager

In the system demonstrator Snabbsam, the City of Stockholm and its partners will work for a comprehensive change in travel habits, land use and vehicle fleet in the inner city of Stockholm. This is a step towards an emission-free inner city and a climate-positive Stockholm 2030. In Snabbsam, the environmental zone planned in central Stockholm will be used both as an engine and a window of opportunity in the quest for a transport-efficient and emission-free transport system that eventually extends far beyond the zone's boundaries.

- Reducing emissions from the transport sector while improving the quality of life for those who live and work in Stockholm requires broad collaboration, courage and system understanding. For us, Snabbsam is an excellent context to achieve all this through dialog, cooperation and joint action with business, the public and academia. Together we make Stockholm a more attractive place and contribute with a smaller climate footprint globally.

- Gunilla Glantz, Transport Director, City of Stockholm

What is a system demonstrator?

The system demonstrators are intended to take a holistic approach to complex challenges, such as those in the initiatives above: zero-emission transport, zero-emission areas and energy-positive neighborhoods. To bring about change in such vast areas, all relevant actors in society need to be mobilized - business, government agencies, municipality, region, civil society and academia.

Moreover, all the knowledge generated by the work needs to be gathered so that the insights can be put to good use and pave the way for transition in many places, in Sweden and around the world. They will help create the 'new normal' in critical areas to accelerate and strengthen the transition to climate neutrality.

- We have taken a big step towards climate-neutral cities now that planning for two system demonstrators can begin in earnest. Our ambition is that many cities around Sweden and the world will be able to speed up the transition thanks to this.

- Olga Kordas, Viable Cities Program Manager

- Lund and Stockholm are now at the forefront of climate transition of cities. Their work in these initiatives will generate knowledge on how to make the transition in practice, which other cities can benefit from. This includes how different actors in society can be mobilized, new ways of working with innovation, and how we use the possibilities of digitalization.

- Darja Isaksson, Director General of Vinnova

Facts and figures

  • The idea of developing the System Demonstrators for Climate Neutral Cities tool has been initiated by Viable Cities and Vinnova as part of the Climate Neutral Cities 2030 mission.
  • It has been explored in a co-creation process between the cities in Viable Cities' Climate Neutral Cities 2030 initiative, the other government agencies cities in the same initiative and other key stakeholders.
  • The planning phase for the two system demonstrators, in the municipality of Lund and the city of Stockholm, will last until summer 2024. During this phase, they will develop frameworks and conditions for implementing their system demonstrators.
  • In spring 2024, they will be able to apply for funding to implement them in 2024-2027.
  • The total budget for implementation is SEK 60 million for the three years, with Viable Cities and Vinnova contributing half of the total.
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Viable Cities is a strategic innovation program with the mission Climate neutral cities 2030 with a good life for all within the planetary boundaries. The program is funded by the Swedish Energy Agency, Vinnova and Formas and is coordinated by KTH.

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