Nordic City Challenge 2018

The Nordic City Challenge 2018 was arranged in Copenhagen, Denmark in October 7th-10th 2018. See here for the course description 2018.

This year the challenge case concentrated on developing Kulbanekvarteret, a city block under a renewal project, and characterized with high amount of social housing, feelings of unsafety in the area, disconnectedness and general poor quality of the urban space.

All the student groups succeeded in creating innovative, inspiring and highly impressive solutions for the future development of the area. The winning proposal, “Tree Hygge Interventions”, was characterized by the jury as being “simple, focused, mobile, cohesive and feasible”. See below for the proposals and their summaries, and here for the press release with pictures!

The winning team, Team 4: Tree Hygge Interventions

Members of the winning team:

  • Aino Vasankari, Environmental politics & regional science, University of Tampere
  • Alexis Neukirch, Environment & natural resources, University of Iceland
  • Antti Takkunen, Spatial planning and transportation engineering, Aalto University
  • Janna Kampers, Architecture and planning beyond sustainability, Chalmers University of Technology
  • Monica Quevedo, Climate change, University of Copenhagen

Summary of the proposal:

“Kulbanekvarteret is a diverse area of renewal in southwest Copenhagen with social housing projects. It’s experiencing several challenges such as physical borders, social barriers and ecological degradation that have created a disconnect between people and nature. Therefore, seven hectares of land will be reshaped into a park. This area offers potentials such as a central neighborhood location, an attractive topography, and a willingness of co-creation from the locals. Thus, we envision using the space to connect people and nature and create a sense of community, which will enhance well-being. To meet our objective, we propose to establish social and ecological connections through modular green wall interventions and a lighthouse made of recycled materials. The modular walls will provide vertical planting space, habitats for pollinators and birds, and seating options, as well as creating cozy spaces for gathering of locals. The lighthouse is a wooden structure with a bicycle-powered generator connected to lights, creating opportunities for education, engagement, and highly-visible gatherings. Our implementation strategy includes intermediate action plans where residents can engage in the development and maintenance of the area; interventions include forming hyperlocal media and hosting small projects such as birdhouses construction in cooperation with youth organizations.”

The other talented teams and their proposals:

Team 1, Nature-based community identity, summary of the proposal here.

  • David Enarsson, Social-ecological resilience for sustainable development (MsC in sustainability), Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University
  • Jorge Ahumada, Architecture and Plannign Beyond Sustainability, Chalmers University of Technology
  • Pei-Yu Lin, Visual Communication Design, Aalto University
  • Philippa Simmonds, MSc Global Health, University of Copenhagen
  • Riikka Porkola, Urban Theology, University of Helsinki

Team 2: The Tree Huggers, summary of the proposal here.

  • Viktor Carlson, Industrial Design Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology
  • Lea Samanta Nash Castro, Global Health, University of Copenhagen
  • Julia Falck, Architecture/Bachelor of Science in Technology, University of Oulu
  • Anna Kintsurashvili Creative Sustainability in Architecture, Aalto University
  • Endre Lønne Hatlem Physical Planning/Urban planning, Norwegian University of Science and Technology NTNU

Team 3: Growing together, summary of the proposal here.

  • Melissa Ingaruca, Social-ecological resilience for sustainable development, Stockholm University
  • Biljana Janjusevic, Architecture and Urban Design, Chalmers Univ. of Technology
  • Finja Dähne, MSc Global Health, University of Copenhagen
  • Jiri Santaharju, Urban Theology, University of Helsinki
  • Yu-Yi Huynh, Urban Studies and Planning, University of Helsinki

Team 5: Connecting across scales, summary of the proposal here.

  • Pinja Myllykoski, Planning geography, University of Helsinki
  • Mathias Wigum, Master of Physical Planning, Norwegian Univ. of Science and Technology NTNU
  • Sophia Plitt, Social Ecological Resilience for Sustainable Development, Stockholm University
  • Fang-Shiuan Chang, Creative Sustainability, Aalto University


Program for the Nordic City Challenge in Copenhagen, Denmark 7.10.-10.10.2018


Venue: Schaeffergarden, Gentofte, Copenhagen

15.00 Check-in
15.30 Welcome to the Nordic City Challenge 2018
16.00 Networking, getting to know each other, pitching skills, meeting your team mates, going through the pre-tasks (some afternoon snacks available)

16.45 Introduction to the case

17.00-18.00 Inspirational talk and discussion                                                                                  18.00–20.00 Dinner at Wohlert, dining with your team mates                                             20.00–22.00 Networking and leisure


7.00 –> Breakfast in Wohlert
8.15 Transport from Schaffergarden, meeting in the lobby. Lunchpack for everyone in the reception. Please take with you everything you need during the day (e.g. jacket, sneakers, laptop, notes, lunchpack).
9.30-10.15 Case presentation, Niels Wilken Silkjær Pedersen, Kulebanekvarteret Project 10.15-12.45 Visit to the case location
13.00 Lunch break
14.00 Meeting the stakeholders: Different perspectives to Kulbanekvarteret
15.30 Transportation back to Schaeffergarden
17.00 Case work start in own teams (snacks available)
19.00 Dinner in Wohlert
20.00-22.00 Leisure and networking
7.00 –> Breakfast
8.30 Inspirational talk:  NCC 2017 experience, Donovan Moloney, NCC 2017 alumnae, University of Copenhagen
9.30 Case work in teams (tutoring available throughout the day) in the group rooms  (10.30 Coffee and fruits available)
12.30 Lunch
13.30 Case work in teams
15.00 Coffee break
Case work continues
19.00 Dinner and networking
Deadline for presentations at 23.55. The teams hand in their work at 23.55 pm at the latest.
7.00 –> Breakfast (checkout until 10 am)
9.00 Preparing for presentations, writing short summary (max 200 words).
11.00 Lunchbox to go
12.15 Bus leaves from Schaeffergarden, please be there on time
12.00 Presentation of the case solutions to jury, discussion and feedback

Venue: Nielsine Nielsen Auditorium, Maersk tower

15.30 Coffee & sweet snacks
16.00 Award ceremony
16.15 Group picture
16:30 Reflection of the case work
17.30 Snack available
17.45 Goodbye –The end of Nordic City Challenge 2018


Organizers: HanaAcademy, Hanasaari – the Swedish-Finnish Cultural Centre, Aalto University, Urban Academy network, Nordic Sustainable Campus Network (NSCN) and Aalto University School of Engineering

Funders: Nordplus Horizontal                                                                                            Partners: School of Global Health and University of Copenhagen

Course materials 2018

The material for the pre-assignment was sent to all course participants by email.

Links to use in the pre-task and in preparing for the intensive days: