Kolding (Denmark)

The slogan of the Danish Municipality of Kolding is "We design for life", which reflects the municipality's emphasis on co-creation and participation, particularly in enhancing local sustainability. Kolding has strong focus on education, and has seen a significant increase in the number of students moving to the area in the last years.

Kolding is part of the Triangle Region of Denmark, which consists of seven Danish municipalities that cooperate economically and politically.




Sustainability focus: Kolding - "Sustainable City"

In 2017 Kolding launched a new initiative titled "Sustainable City". The motto of the project is "more citizen, less public management". The initiative is situated in a repurposed container, titled the "come-tainer", as citizens are invited to come and work on sustainable projects together with the municipality. The container is movable and will start in the campus area, where thousands of students study and live. Many students are already engaged in projects. Some of the initiatives in the ”Sustainable City” that will be completed in 2017 are:

  • Repair events (learn to repair electronic devices, clothes, and bicycles)
  • Green projects (urban gardens, planting trees, etc.)
  • Sustainable festivals (Green streets, food waste, etc.)

The container itself is also a sustainable project. In order to use the container for project work and as a showroom, it was fitted with walls, a ceiling, insulation, windows, doors, heating,  and so on.

To do so in a sustainable way, the city engaged a project group consisting of the local handicr

 Kolding School of Design, and a project team working on the reuse of building materials. The overall aim is to ensure that the container is a place where people want to meet and join projects.afts school, the

The Sustainable City project is the result of a number of initiatives implemented over the last 20 years. Previously, projects had to be created and completed by the city staff only. In the last years the municipality has seen that citizens – especially students – are eager to participate and to involve themselves in the sustainable development of the city. It therefore makes sense to join forces and to make it easier for citizens to contribute.  


The need to knows

  • 2004: Co-founder and Chair of the Procura+ European Sustainable Procurement Network and active participant since then
  • 2009: Participation at COP 15
  • 2011: Charging points for electric cars installed
  • 2013: Hybrid buses launched
  • 2015: DGNB certified home for the elderly is built
  • 2016: Hydrogen station opened for cars to refuel
  • 2016: Sustainable neighborhood with social housing is developed
  • 2015: 10 years with Green Shops in Kolding
  • 2017: Sustainable City is launched together with the “come-tainer”
  • 2018: Heating Plant with biofuels will replace plant with fossil fuels


  • Kolding was awarded as Ecocity by the Danish minister of Climate Change on 2008
  • Kolding won the Energy award 2011 handed out by the Danish union Energiforum Danmark
  • Kolding won the Green Procurement award 2015 handed out by the Danish Forum for Sustainable Procurement

What the city has to say

"Our focus on sustainable development started in the 1980s and escalated in 2009 when Copenhagen was the host of COP 15, the United Nations Climate Change Conference. At that time the Danish government awarded three cities who made a special effort to promote sustainable development. Kolding became one of the three Ecocities and since then we have worked hard to enhance sustainable development in Kolding.

We have also reached several remarkable results that I am very proud of. Our effort is wide-ranging and shows the various areas that we as a Danish municipality are in touch with in our community. Examples are: sustainability in public buildings (DGNB-certification), promotion of electrical and hydrogen vehicles, organic food in public kitchens, adaptation efforts to climate change, educating professionals in the building industry on energy saving, converting the heating systems into being fossil free and much more.

In Kolding we want to make the sustainable choice easier for our citizens. To do that we will move from the city hall and into the streets of Kolding. We will meet our citizens on their home field."


Jørn Pedersen, Mayor of Kolding Municipality

ICLEI and Kolding

Kolding has been an ICLEI Member since July 1998.



www.koldingkom.dk, Grøn i Kolding Facebook page, Procura+ Kolding Page

Photographs provided courtesy of the city.