Can Cities Learn from Each Other? The Hong Kong- Malmö Sustainability Collaboration
An analysis of the Hong Kong - Malmö
Waltraut Ritter, Björn Gunnarsson
World Environmental Education Congress
1 July 2015
Can Cities Learn From Each Other?
Background: Malmö Hong Kong Sustainability
"We share a common vision of the vital role of sustainable development
to our community and future generations" Hong Kong, China-Malmö, Sweden "Sustainability Charter",
Can an open innovation approach be applied to sustain the collaboration?
2011 The cities of Malmö and Hong Kong signed the sustainability charter.
Renewable energy, waste treatment, sustainable transport, innovation and
Share information, experiences, best practices to the environment.
Strengthen the link between Hong Kong and Malmö.
Study visits between Malmö and Hong Kong.
Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks as third party of the collaboration.
Innocarnival in Malmö inspired by Hong Kong and supported by Hong Kong
Science and Technology Parks.
Waste management in Hong Kong inspired by Malmö.
How can local community activities strengthen
learning exchanges between Malmö and Hong Kong?
Who are the current and potential stakeholders in
Can an open innovation approach be applied to
sustain the collaboration?
Population: 7.3 million
Density: 6690 inhabitants/km²
Area: 1 108 square kilometers where
443km2 is country park
Green space per capita: 3m²
Bikes: 0.5% of daily transport,
62 000 bike trips a day.
2012: Above average
(Asian Green City Index, Siemens.)
5.7 tonnes CO2 production per capita, 2012
Distance between Hong Kong and Malmo:
8648 km or 5374 miles
Population: 316 000
Density: 897 inhabitants/km²
Area: 355 km²
Green space per capita:35.01m2
Bikes: 25% of all transport is by bikes. 100
000 bike trips a day
2014: No 1 in Sweden
2015: No 23 in Sweden
4 Tonnes CO² production per capita, 2012
Aims of the project
Developing a workable collaboration platform for cities (communities, academia,
business and government)
Defining urban practices, where community groups in different cities can learn from
each other on:
Urban Gardening (Food Resilience)
Green Buildings (Old and New Buildings)
Mobility (Increasing non-motorized mobility)
Flooding (Mitigation strategies)
Innovation Spaces (e.g. Living Labs, Innocarnival)
Exploring common grounds for exchange and communication.
Defining benefits from international community collaboration.
Contributing to open innovation research
Theory: Urban sociology
Collaborative Planning Theory:
Citizen participation is a crucial tool to gain credibility for government.
Citizen participation can improve quality of environment, programme and planning
since participants have special knowledge contributing to quality.
Participation shall increase responsibility and inclusivity.
Participation shall decrease anonymity and alienation in neighbourhoods.
Empowerment through collaborative learning.
Training and resources enabling members to participate as real and equal partners.
Local communities recognized as dynamic, diverse entities and as actors in
We consider urban gardening as a tool for:
Greening the city
Self-sufficient food supply
Educating about sustainable living
Meeting point for and different cultures and generations
Learning how to collaborate cross generations and cultures
Urban Gardening examples
Malmö: Odla i Stan (Cultivate in the City)
Strengthen community and get children and elderly to meet each other.
Creating a safe and attractive neighbourhood.
Finding and testing crops from participants native countries to create inclusivity.
Hong Kong: Time to Grow
Teaching the Hong Kong community to grow vegetables in the city and to live a low-
Lack of space to be self-reliant from food.
Rooftop gardens, implying that community groups and social enterprises get access
to roof space.
A major focus area with regard to GHG reductions.
Sustainable approach to waste management.
Sustainable energy systems.
Buildings are major contribution to CO² production in cities
Built area in Hong Kong:
264 km² of a total of 1108 km². Equals to 24% of the total area.
Built area in Malmö:
38.07km² of a total of 158,36 km². Equals to 24% of the total area.
Buildings take up 61% of all greenhouse emissions in Hong Kong.
Both cities experience challenges with space and need to densify the city.
Malmö Municipality limits extension of the city to the outer highway since the best soil of
northern Europe is next to the city border.
Country parks in Hong Kong covers 443km² .
Green Buildings examples
Greenhouse (Augustenborg, Malmö)
Each flat has a large balcony with space for gardening.
Passive design, solar energy, innovative green design.
Social aspect: garden as meeting place, theater, pre-school.
Energizing Kowloon East Office
Saving space by revitalize unwanted land under a fly over.
Reusable material. Steel structures that can be reused in the future.
Strategic plan for pedestrian
Hong Kong (transport)
No dedicated strategy for
Innovation Space in cities are public spaces where different groups can
meet: citizen/city halls, libraries, living labs etc. What spaces are there
in Hong Kong and Malmo? How are they used?
Innovation activities involving different groups:
Example: InnoCarnival, originally organised in Hong Kong by the Hong
Kong Science and Technology Parks.
Online idea management: Malmo.se/initiativet
Outline for an inter-city collaboration
platform for cities
Community involvement in Western Harbour (“Green Buildings”) as a
model for an inter-city collaboration platform.
“Det goda samtalet” (The Good Conversation), dialogue between
developers, municipality and citizens, as inspiration.
Users, entrepreneurs and developers can share information and experience
to create new ideas in both cities.
Ongoing learning space of exchanging knowledge and values.
Different experiences of urban
Integration of marginalised groups.
Strengthening the community.
Inclusive and accessible for
everyone to participate.
Easy access to land due to space
anc acceptance and support from
Not technically advanced growing
Education of a healthy living.
Self-reliance of food supply.
Not very accessible since they
are limited to roofs and walls.
Technically advanced due to
Current status and next steps:
Dialogue between the cities started autumn 2014 in the context of the
BODW (Business of Design Week), where Sweden was partner country
We are now exploring partnerships, funding and needs of the
communities to sustain the project.
Next step is to establish networks between communities in the two
Presentations and seminars
WEEC 2015 (World Environmental Conference), in Gothenburg, June 29 - July
2nd, 2015. Presentation of research project.
The Hong Kong – Malmo sustainable
collaboration project is open to anyone interested
in the topic.
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