The Nordea Fund has announced it is investing 86.2 million kroner in a number of projects to improve living conditions in Danish cities. The money will be channelled into initiatives that bring city dwellers into contact with nature and give them the opportunity to make their own food produce.
Among the 13 projects chosen for investment are urban gardens in a number of cities, including Aarhus, Odense and Copenhagen, and an initiative to grow mussels and other seafood delicacies in Aalborg.
Social and environmental goals
Henrik Lehmann Andersen, the head of the Nordea Fund, explained there were a number of advantages to encouraging this type of project. “City dwellers can get out in the fresh air, use their bodies and meet neighbours across generations and cultural and social boundaries,” he said in a press release.
“The projects also take into account the principles of sustainability – in part by growing local produce and partly by giving participants the knowledge and tools to use to protect nature.”
Meeting modern challenges
According to Helle Søholt, the founder and CEO of Gehl Architects, the projects also serve to meet some of the challenges posed by urbanisation and globalisation.
“As more people move to the cities, the proportion increases of people who don’t have access to a garden and the number of children who grow up without earth under their fingernails and grass on their knees,” she said.
“It is therefore natural that there arises a need for nature close to the cities. Another factor that makes city nature and local communities so important is globalisation. Climate change, the financial crisis and so on are abstract for most people, and they therefore react by engaging themselves locally and dealing with concrete and down-to-earth things – in a literal sense.”