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Wind is free : the city of Frederikshavn and the quest for civic sustainability Wright, Peter Alexander


As Global Warming becomes an increasing problem, many cities across the world are looking for ways to reduce their harmful emissions and become more sustainable. Some cities are trying to accomplish this by adding park space, constructing more energy-efficient buildings or using electricity to power public transportation. These changes, while facilitating a reduction in emissions, do not allow a city to become sustainable because they are on too small a scale, nor do they account for emissions caused by other aspects of a city. The existing theories on sustainability in cities are insufficient. They cover certain aspects of sustainability, but they do not address the entire city as a whole. They also fail to discuss the most important concept of sustainability, which is sustainable energy. Sustainable energy provides environmentally-friendly, inexpensive energy without the harmful side-effects or exorbitant costs associated with fossil-fuel plants. This paper attempts to prove that a city can only be completely sustainable if it is powered solely by sustainable energy sources. To prove this, a case study of Frederikshavn, Denmark will be provided. By 2015, Frederikshavn will be the first city in the world powered exclusively by sustainable energy. The civic authorities in Frederikshavn are following a top-down approach that ensures that the sustainable energy conversion proceeds successfully, while at the same time being beneficial to both business interests and the local population. If and when Frederikshavn is successful, the techniques used and the lessons learned will be transferable to other cities in the world. This will ensure cities become increasingly sustainable, and Global Warming will be addressed in an appropriate manner.

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