Sustainable cities

For the first time in human history, more people are living in cities than in the countryside. According to the UN, 6.5 billion people or two thirds of the global population will live in urban areas in 2050.

This worldwide urbanization is creating huge challenges for cities: The air must be breathable, the water in the taps must be drinkable, the traffic needs to flow, homes need to be heated or cooled, wastewater needs treating and removing, the streets must be lit, and extreme rainfall needs to be handled.

Cities need new and smarter solutions to handle the increasing pressure on resources, and under the heading Smart City a number of cities worldwide are already trying to identify solutions to these challenges.

At DTU, we are contributing to sustainable urban development. Green energy and energy-efficient solutions are two of our fortes, and our researchers are, for example, working closely together with authorities and companies as part of the EnergyLab Nordhavn project, where we are experimenting with combining heat and power, energy-efficient buildings, and electrical transport in a single intelligent system.

Foto: Sabina Askholm Larsen, DTU

Articles on sustainable cities

For the first time in human history, the number of people living in towns and cities exceeds the number of people living in the countryside. Inevitably, urbanization gives rise to a number of challenges. Read about the contribution being made by DTU to the development of sustainable cities.

Learn more in the theme 'Sustainable cities'.


Facilities within sustainable cities

EnergyLab Nordhavn is a thriving urban laboratory in Nordhavn, Copenhagen, where DTU is conducting research into intelligent energy systems.

DTU is opening two new laboratories that will study technical geology, geotechnics, and the development of sustainable construction materials.

Intelligent Control Lab (Photo: Torben Nielsen)

PowerLabDK is one of the world’s leading test laboratories for energy systems. Here, companies, organizations, students, and researchers from Denmark and abroad can develop and test future large-scale electricity and
energy technology solutions.


Sustainable cities research grants

Billions for large innovation network

A European network for developing tomorrow’s cities and means of transport has received an EU grant totalling several billion Danish kroner, and will potentially become one of the world’s largest innovation networks for addressing tomorrow’s transport challenges.

Read more


Student projects on sustainable cities

Food waste is a major problem. Students from DTU are investigating the issue at Roskilde Festival.

A start-up and two DTU students are measuring how and when Roskilde Festival’s food stalls and guests use water. The aim is water-saving solutions.

Vegansk desseert vinder konkurrence om fødevareinnovation. Fra venstre: Andrea Lauridsen, Reem El-Moussa og Sarah Nyrup. Foto: Mikal Schlosser

A group of students from DTU have made a vegan mousse based on chickpea cooking water, which won the competition for innovative and sustainable foods.


Interdisciplinary cooperation


Water on the agenda

Water really has a key position on the global agenda. The problems are diverse, and vary from region to region. In 2014, DTU established Water DTU to ensure that engineers take an interdisciplinary approach. The centre also establishes cooperation with external players.

Read more the Center for Water Activities