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Sustainable Innovation Conference: Cities & Regions as Catalysts for Smart & Sustainable Innovation

The Centre for Sustainable Design (CfSD), based at the University for the Creative Arts (UCA), will be addressing the importance of cities and regions as drivers for sustainable innovation in its next international conference in Copenhagen at the beginning of November.

Focused on the opportunities that cities and regions offer to act as catalysts for sustainable innovation, the conference will be raising the emerging issue of how innovation in cities and regions across Europe can be utilised to drive sustainable solutions. The conference will also explore how government policy can help to stimulate sustainable innovation in cities and regions.

“Populations are moving towards cities and urban areas, making them hotbeds for environmental problems, but also for innovation. We are seeing a range of grassroots innovation emerging from civil society,” said Professor Martin Charter, Director for CfSD. “Cities and regions are areas that hold a huge amount of potential for the creation and development sustainable solutions; the growth in green business incubators, networks and repair cafes all mean that new ideas and innovations are being born in cities, urban areas and regions that we can utilise to help drive sustainability both at local and national level.”

The CfSD’s 19th International Conference is being held in Copenhagen on 3-4 November and will give attendees the opportunity to hear from experts in sustainability and innovation from China, Denmark, Sweden, Germany and Switzerland, as well as the CfSD themselves.

As one of the greenest cities in the world, Copenhagen’s Chief City Architect Tina Saaby will be speaking on systems, innovation and start-ups in the city and what part they have played in driving sustainable innovation.

The Chief Sustainability Officer for Palo Alto in Silicon Valley, California is giving the keynote speech at the conference and Professor Wang Yi, the Director-General at Institute of Policy and Management in China will be sharing how China is driving innovation and sustainability in its new eco-cities.

“Every country operates differently, each with its own challenges and opportunities for sustainability,” explained Professor Charter. “This conference gives us an opportunity to come together, learn from and inspire each other and drive change without having to wait on a national agenda. A number of sustainable innovation initiatives are localised and a lot of new and emerging eco-innovative products, services or technologies are not designed for a national or global market, so we can harness this expertise in our cities and regions for local or regional use.”

For more information about the CfSD’s Sustainable Innovation Conference 2014, please visit: http://cfsd.org.uk/events/sustainable-innovation-2014/