The Urban Futures Forum Nordic is described below. The information is subject to change and is for information purposes only at this stage. For more information contact


This document is the outline for an informal, high-level roundtable Forum on the emerging agenda for new sustainable urbanism, to be held in 11-12 May 2015 (subject to change) for around 100-200 invited guests in Malmö, Sweden.

The Forum is held in association with first Urban Futures Forum which took place in Copenhagen in October 2013, and the second to be held in Pittsburgh in November 2014, with the intention to emphasise

the sustainable urban developments achievement of principal cities in the Nordic region,
Nordic governmental leadership in sustainable urban development
the potential in Pittsburgh & other US cities, to revive their urban development model using Nordic examples
the coalition of actors able and interested to support sustainable urban futures in the Nordics and US

and the opportunity for business and social collaboration from the Nordic region to Northern American urban areas. For fuller details, see

The event is a consultation initiative led by Futureperfect Association, in collaboration with principal sustainability-focussed municipalities of the Nordic region including the Cities of Malmö, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Helsinki, Oslo, in partnership with the City of Pittsburgh and its Mayor’s Office, the Brookings Institution, the US Embassies to the Nordic countries, the Heinz Endowments (Pittsburgh), Demos Helsinki, Resource Vision and others. Additional intended partners include Monday Morning, Copenhagen Cleantech Cluster, Realdania, White Architects, NCC, Fores, and major US and Swedish businesses in the built environment, other actors from the Nordic region.

The Forum will be announced at the fourth Futureperfect Festival on Grinda in August 2014, and will be further developed during a delegation visit to Copenhagen, Malmö and Stockholm – by leadership of The Heinz Endowments and the Brookings Institution – in October 2014.


The general goals of the Forum continue the tracks laid down by the first Urban Futures Forum and intend to achieve the following in the realm of sustainable urbanism:

setting a new, value-creating agenda;
convening the expert and actor community, and supporting partnerships;
animating exchange, increasing insight & informing policy-making;
bringing focus and support to specific projects and actors.

The themes also extend on the base established in Copenhagen and PIttsburgh, and thus include

liveability and urban form
resources and infrastructure
climate adaptation
enterprise, trade & investment
partnerships, governance & investment ‘asset-living living’  and internet.

The emphasis is issues which add value and long-range strategic advantage, while achieving environmental sustainability, and social goals, rather than mere environmental problems and costs.

Specifically, beyond the work of the Copenhagen Forum, the Nordic Forum will attempt to link principles and best practice and vice versa, by involving major projects and concrete actors direct in the dialogue. It will emphasise how to link best practice from Nordic cities and regions to emerging and redeveloping cities and regions in the post-industrial US context.


Participants are drawn from urban development and lifestyle sectors including property developers, planners, architects, development financiers, lifestyle technology leaders, infrastructure owners and investors, and related agents of urban fabric, including content / program agents from food, retail, culture.

Discussion will take place over two working days in May 2015, with mostly different participation for for each day.

Goals for the event are

an advanced agenda for sustainable urbanism, based around opportunities not legacy problems
a showcase of business and social achievements
reinforced linkages between Nordic and North American municipal actors – public and private – in particular between the Nordic region (and its constituent leading cities) and Pittsburgh and the South West Pennsylvania region.



The Action Dialogues are focussed on the investigation and promotion of best-practice, through the voices and achievements of urban project, company and activity leaders themselves. They involve c.60-120 project managers and organisation leaders, and a group of invited contributors, collaborators and observers, divided into themes with the following actions:

reviewing the thematic outputs of the Copenhagen & Pittsburgh Urban Forums and related events
presenting and discussing achievements and endeavours in themed mini-workshop groups
developing proposals in plenary session proposals to increase engagement with their work

Young people are invited to participate as observers and commentators in the day. In parallel with the Action Dialogues, there will be a BRIEFING EXCHANGE where policy-makers, social actors, and commercial actors can meet in smaller groups. Also on day 1, public lectures and a small exhibition will be presented.

Day 1 will culminate with a reception and dinner for all participants, where contributors to the Action Dialogues can meet with participants in the Leadership Forum, and other guests are invited to connect.


The Leadership Forum is focussed on setting the agenda – for formal policy and planning, and business strategy and innovation, for the Nordic region and more broadly, and in particular supporting relevant insights for Pittsburgh.

It will involve c.40-80 thought and practice leaders across the fields of sustainable urbanism, using the insights from the dialogues day, and the outputs from the first Urban Futures Forum, to evolve the recommendations and framing agenda in theme groups and plenary discussion, in the following ways:

short inputs from each presenting their background, outlook, ambitions for the urban futures agenda
breakout groups leading pre-structured discussion
theme group report insights and proposals to the the plenary group.

Overarching input will be provided by the hosts and John Manoochehri. Facilitators will support the overall proceedings, and ensure concrete outcomes. Outcomes will be threefold:

An advanced, value-creation agenda on sustainable urban living – specific to both the Nordic region and generally relevant to comparable city regions – emphasising social and commercial opportunities, signed by all participants.

Secondly, the meeting will generate a showcase of best practice, and ‘best actors’, presented in connection with the agenda items, to show progress and challenges in practice.

The issues and opportunities of Pittsburgh, the technical and commercial skills of the US in sustainable built environment; and the potential of the Nordic region and its cities, and related institutions, to help leadership and advance performance in Pittsburgh, North America and worldwide, will be investigated, correlated, and arranged into an action plan, in time for further development at the Urban Futures Forum in Pittsburgh.


Participants arrive on Sunday 10 May and stay in Malmö, Sweden. Event starts with a tour of Malmö sustainable sites.


08.00 BREAKFAST TOUR Mobile breakfast and tour of Malmö sustainable sites
10.00 WELCOME & INTRODUCTION Introduction to Practice Dialogues
11.15 GROUPS Review of Copenhagen and Pittsburgh Forums, by theme
11.30 GROUPS Project / product / activity presentation
12.00 WORKING LUNCH Continued discussion in themes
13.00 GROUPS Project / product / activity presentation
15.00 PEER REVIEW Theme summaries, proposal development
15.30 BREAK Coffee
16.00 GROUPS Finalisation of proposals
16.30 PLENARY Presentation of proposals, action takeaways
17.00 CLOSE Thanks & summary
18.00 RECEPTION Welcome, Exhibition, Mingle of Day 1 & 2 participants, and guests
19.30 DINNER Introduction to Forum


08.00 BREAKFAST Informal discussion in theme groups
08.30 WELCOME & INTRODUCTION Introduction to Leadership Forum
08.45 PLENARY Theme Introductions
09.00 GROUPS Theme review, proposals development
10.30 BREAK
10.45 GROUPS Proposals development
11.45 PLENARY Reports / Discussion
13.00 GROUPS Proposals development
14.15 PLENARY Reports / Discussion
14.30 GROUPS Review & Rank Proposals
15.45 BREAK Coffee
16.00 PLENARY Reports / Discussion
17.00 CLOSE Thanks x 3