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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 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.

Working at the municipal level with City of Tshwane and City of Aarhus

The program is the first between Denmark and South Africa unfolding at municipal level. The approach and flexibility of cooperating on the municipal level is expected to have a huge untapped potential in forging new partnerships. 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.

Tshwane Executive Mayor at Ambassadors Residence
From the left: Jørgen Erik Larsen, Sefora Masia, Jørn Nim Jensen, Executive Mayor of Tshwane Solly Msimanga, City Manager of Aarhus Niels Højberg, Ambassador to Denmark Trine Rask Thygesen, Bo Vægter, MMC Randall Williams, Carsten Lützen, MMC Sheila Senkubuge, Hanne Skipper Jørvang, Luise Pape Rydahl and Deputy Karina Hedemark at the Ambassadors Residence in Pretoria.

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 further strengthened by the additional Sector Counsellor dedicated to Smart and Sustainable Cities activities in the SSC facility. 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.