From 2 to 6 October 2023, a group of fifty Eco-managers from the Małopolska Voivodeship visited Denmark. The aim of the study visit was to exchange experience and gain inspiration for the effective implementation of measures to improve air quality. The trip was organised by the Marshal’s Office of the Malopolska Region and the National Energy Conservation Agency in cooperation with the Danish Embassy in Poland and the State of Green Denmark.
The visit began with an introduction to the REALDANIA project, which is a fully self-financing philanthropic association with around 175,000 members. The organisation supports projects in the environmental, construction and other areas. Pelle Lind Bournonville, international affairs advisor, presented the municipal climate programmes ‘DK2020’ and ‘Klimaalliancen’. This was an excellent opportunity to learn more about how cities are dealing with the challenges of climate change.
The group then travelled to STATE OF GREEN, whose activities are based on international partnerships, energy, water and circular economy solutions. The Director of Analysis – Ulrik Raabjerg Sondergaard – presented the tenets of the Danish Green Transformation. It was an opportunity to learn about sustainability innovations and strategies implemented by Danish cities. Representatives from the Danish Ministry of the Environment also gave their presentations.
Another highlight was a visit to Velux Living Places, where Marie Elkjaer talked about the concept of environmentally friendly living places. The participants then visited the historic wooden settlement of Banegaarden.
On the third day of the trip, participants travelled to Sonderborg, where they learnt about PROJECT ZERO. Allan Pilgaard Jensen presented local solutions aimed at decarbonising the city.
Another highlight of the programme was a visit to DANFOSS headquarters. Representatives of the company presented its strategy and ideas related to ESG. Participants had the opportunity to learn about modern technologies related to decarbonisation and smart point-of-service solutions.
On the following day, participants were received in Aarhus by representatives of the City Council. Elinor Bek Thomsen and Janne Roesen presented the climate plan for the city. Examples of implementation related to clean air policy and energy efficiency in buildings were also discussed.
The participants then visited DOKK 1, where they learned about the DIVAIRcity Aarhus City Lab project on air quality. Hans Christian Bugge talked about the Smart City and the importance of technology for various aspects of city development.
The final item on the programme in Aarhus was a local visit to Plushusene. There, the eco-managers toured an environmentally friendly residential complex.
On the last day of the trip, participants travelled to Middelfart, known as ‘ClimateCity’. There, Morten Westergaard presented activities related to the fight against climate change in the region. They then visited Føns Nærvarme, where the local community has set up a district heating plant, probably the smallest in Denmark.
The visit to Denmark was full of inspiring meetings and presentations. Participants had the opportunity to learn about innovative solutions in the field of sustainable development and the fight against climate change. The trip was organised as part of the implementation of the LIFE Integrated Project entitled ‘Implementation of the Air Protection Programme for the Małopolska Region – Malopolska in a healthy atmosphere’, LIFE-IP MALOPOLSKA/LIFE14 IPE PL021.