Green Town Stockholm is a grass root led initiative to meet the growing challenge of environmental, financial and urban issues. On a central street in Stockholm, Sweden, Green Town Stockholm will create a large scale showcase of the best of sustainable energy efficient design and technology. Many countries are aware of the increased urgency in addressing the problems of increased urbanization. However, most focus on new projects, new buildings. Green Town´s focus is on improving the urban infrastructure already in place. Our approach is that environmentally sustainable measures must go hand in hand with financially sound practices while at the same time promoting a friendlier, more social user context.
All areas of sustainability are addressed: retrofitting, energy efficiency, green roofs, urban agriculture, waste management, water regulation, power sourced from green clean energy, as well as measures to support biodiversity and local ecosystem services. All users are targeted: tenants, shopkeepers, businesses, real estate owners, visitors to the area as well as lawmakers.
The potential payoffs are huge: a healthier, more beautiful environment provides
residents with a better quality of life, attracts tourists, raises property prices, saves resources, is cost and energy efficient, creates new clean-tech jobs and opportunities for businesses. People feel inspired and excited about the possibility of affecting their future. An increased awareness leads to gradual behavior changes. All this while at the same time promoting a friendlier, more social and resilient society. A win-win situation for all.
As a first step, we focus on consumer behavior. In Sweden, we drink the most coffee per capita in the world. Tens of thousands of paper and plastic coffee cups are thrown away each day. A huge waste of energy and resources. With our CoffeeCup project, we try to nudge the the consumer into a more sustainable coffee consumption. The coffee shops on Tegnergatan have all agreed to reduce the price of takeaway coffee by 5 Swedish crowns when the consumer brings the specially designed Green Town Stockholm coffee mug. The mug itself is made of metal, is free from harmful plastics and can be used over and over again. The economic incentive of saving money as well as the feel-good effect of saving our planet while enjoying their daily cup of coffee will kickstart a change in consumer behavior patterns in other areas as well.
The business owners on the street see Green Town Stockholm as a way of attracting more customers. The interest for this vision for Stockholm is already huge – the local newspaper is just waiting for the CoffeeCup project to start.
Stockholm can become a leading example in the world for how to deal with the increased demands of growing urban populations by demonstrating how to use the Earth's limited resources efficiently and prudently. Ultimately, we aim to inspire other cities around the world to implement similar initiatives.