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Working together to build smarter cities: Denmark

  • Working together to build smarter cities: Denmark
  • Working together to build smarter cities: Denmark
  • Working together to build smarter cities: Denmark
Mar 31, 2015

With several strategies, i.e. the ambitious target of Copenhagen being carbon neutral by 2025, Denmark has earned its reputation as the leading country in the transition towards a green society.

Today wind energy covers 39% of its electricity consumption, approximately 40% of all commutes being conducted in Copenhagen are by bicycle and it has gained the leading position on the climate change performance index.

Thorn, part of the Zumtobel Group, has a long founded base in Denmark with sales offices operating there for many years. In 2014 this moved a step further when Invest in Denmark (a department in the Danish foreign ministry) and Thorn representatives started working together to discuss, create and deliver smart city solutions.

Invest in Denmark is working hard to attract international companies to Denmark which is having positive effects. It has attracted many large corporations and their green policies and projects play an important role in helping Denmark become carbon neutral.

During the summer months of 2014 both Thorn and Invest in Denmark were involved in many of the projects which were initiated in the Oresund region. One of these projects was DOLL (Danish Outdoor Lighting Lab), which is Denmark’s new platform for demonstrating future-oriented LED road lighting solutions. DOLL’s aim is to create energy efficiency and intelligent indoor and outdoor lighting solutions, and to generate jobs.

By working with Thorn, Invest in Denmark developed an appreciation for smarter city lighting and control. The department consequently took a tour of the Zumtobel Group headquarters where they discussed Thorn’s proactive approach to sustainable lighting solutions.

Following this, both parties participated in PE International’s Product Sustainability Round Table in October 2014, which was hosted by Zumtobel Group. The Product Sustainability Round Table is an exclusive group of companies from various industries with leading product sustainability practices.

The Zumtobel Group was represented by Sebastian Gann, Project Manager Future Lighting Solutions, and Wolfgang Bernecker, Business Initiatives Manager from Thorn, who conducted a workshop of mixed participants from marketing and sustainability backgrounds to look at the best ways to market sustainability.

Wolfgang comments: “The workshop was an interesting experience and opened the eyes of both the marketing and sustainability experts. The outcome has given us an excellent opportunity to rethink the internal interfaces and create more interesting customer journeys on sustainable topics.”

Building on a great relationship, Invest Denmark invited Thorn to speak at two main events during November: The Smart Cities Fair in Munich and The Media Architecture Biennale 2014: World Cities, in Aarhus.

The Smart Cities Fair, Munich, Germany, 5 November 2014

In order to further promote opportunities for collaboration and encourage investment from other companies, Invest in Denmark organised a Smart Cities Fair, which attracted many of the visitors from the Eurocities 2014 conference, which ran simultaneously.

As the name suggests, the theme of the event was smart cities in Denmark, with a particular focus on outdoor lighting, intelligent traffic solutions, welfare technologies and climate change management in cities, such as flood prevention.

Michelle Reple, Zumtobel Group’s Outdoor Lighting Specialist, delivered a presentation on Thorn’s work and experiences with DOLL, as well as the strategic considerations behind a stronger collaboration in Denmark. She also discussed the future of Smart Cities and the exciting new LED street lantern for major roads, which has been developed in collaboration with the City of Copenhagen and will be installed in Spring 2015 in Copenhagen.

Media Architecture Biennale 2014: World Cities, Aarhus, Denmark, 19 – 22 November

The Media Architecture Biennale (biannual) features talks by some of the world’s leading experts and creatives within the field of media architecture. Keynote and invited speakers are selected and invited based on their impressive track record within the field of media architecture or because of their interesting perspectives. The event also features an academic conference with 13 presentations based on rigorously peer-reviewed papers. Amongst the speakers were international architects, SnØhetta, who also designed the 2013/14 Zumtobel Group Annual Report.

Thorn’s Business Initiatives Manager, Wolfgang Bernecker, shared Thorn’s experiences of working on the DOLL project, and its plans for the Oresund region and smart city solutions at a side event of the Media Architecture Biennale.

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