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Strategic Smart and Sustainable Cities Sector Cooperation Program

The Strategic Sector Cooperation continues to grow, and the Danish Embassy in South Africa added a Smart and Sustainable Cities cooperation to the portfolio in March 2017.

The program is the first between Denmark and South Africa at municipal level. The cooperation is connecting the City of Tshwane in the Gauteng Province with the City of Aarhus, the second biggest city in Denmark. Both cities are keen to strengthen their international outlook through mutually beneficial partnerships.

The Gauteng province is an economic powerhouse not only in South Africa but also in Sub-Saharan Africa with plans and visions for building attractive sustainable cities and growing the green economy. Historically, the peculiar urban planning during apartheid resulted in disintegrated cities, and with the current urbanization in the Gauteng region there is added pressure from the infrastructural and service demands of the growing population.

Denmark has a lot to offer both in terms of urban planning, smart city solutions, sustainable solutions, public participation, cross cutting collaboration between administrations and between the public and private sector, which all could prove very useful in a South African context.

Through the strategic partnership, Denmark shares its experiences regarding urban migration, strategies for policing and safety, crime prevention and dealing with the scourge of drug addiction and various other areas of expertise. These projects have the potential to change the urban landscape of the area through sustainable development initiatives.

Tobias and New mayor

Right: Denmark’s Ambassador Tobias Elling Rehfeld and Pretoria’s Mayor  Randall Williams discussing joint projects. The discussions are aimed at furthering the strategic pillars of the cities’ integrated development plans. - Pretoria News Nov 11, 2020 Picture: Supplied

Focus areas of the Smart and Sustainable Cities Cooperation

The program focuses on solutions to create smart and sustainable cities by exchanging know-how on regulatory frameworks between the two cities and extending networks of competences within the private sector. More specifically, the program focuses on activities around:

  • City planning and development,
  • Growth – business, workplaces and livelihood
  • Water and energy

The program is facilitated by Sector Counsellor at the Danish Embassy dedicated to Smart and Sustainable Cities activities. The Sector Counsellor provides technical skill and resources to facilitate the partnerships in the programme and embodies the link between the Danish and South African partners.