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Financing Sustainable, Climate Neutral Cities

As part of the Smart City Business Event, this three-day digital workshop series explored what barriers and possibilities exist in amplifying city innovations and enabling cities to reach their sustainability goals.

The Viable Cities Finance project hosted four workshops at the Smart City Business Event: The Road to Smart City Live between 2 and 16 November. Viable Cities’ Finance is a research project that examines how financial actors and cities can best collaborate to fund the achievement of the sustainability-related goals of Swedish cities. The project is led by SEI in partnership with Cleantech Scandinavia and Misum at the Stockholm School of Economics.

Workshop schedule:

1. The City Perspective – November 2, 14:30-16:00 CET

In the first workshop, a panel of European cities discussed how they are financing their sustainability plans, what funding gaps currently exist and what other barriers that limit their impact.

Confirmed speakers:

  • Gustaf Landahl, Head of Department of Planning and the Environment, City of Stockholm
  • Frans-Anton Vermast, Senior Strategy Advisor Low Carbon and Connected Urban Planning, Amsterdam City
  • Serge De Gheldere, Lead at Futureproofed & Klimaazaak
  • Bud Braughton, Smart Columbus Project Manager


  • Fedra Vanhuyse, Head of Societal Transitions Unit – Senior Research Fellow, SEI

2. The Role of Private Financial Institutions – November 9, 13:00-14:30 CET

In the second workshop, private financial institutions discussed the needs expressed in the first workshop, and dug deeper into the financing gap and brainstorm solutions.

Confirmed speakers:

  • Carl-Emil Lindholm, Director, Infranode
  • Heimen Visser, Fund Manager, PrimeVest Capital Partners
  • Helena Olin, Head of Real Assets, AP2
  • Kristoffer Aanerud Nielsen, Advisor, Climate & Sustainable Finance, SEB


  • Aaron Maltais, Program Director, Stockholm Sustainable Finance Centre

3. Funding Mechanisms – November 16, 13:00-14:30 CET

The third workshop focused on different types of funding mechanisms – from citizen crowdfunding to green and sustainable bonds, from public private partnerships initiatives to government funding mechanisms and everything in between.

Confirmed speakers:

  • Isabella Longo, Project Director (BIT Habitat) at Barcelona City Council
  • Dr.-ing. Alanus von Radecki, Sustainable Technologies for Cities & Urban Governance – Fraunhofer Morgenstadt Initiative
  • Mayur Mukati, Senior Associate, Sustainable Finance Solutions
  • Liza Rose Cirolia, Senior researcher, the African Centre for Cities
  • Will Sibia, Founder at URBS


  • Astrid Nilsson, Research Associate at Stockholm Environment Institute

4. The Business Case – November 16, 14:30-16:00 CET

By taking the lead in the urban transition to climate neutrality, Europe will strengthen its role as a global driver of sustainable growth, creating new investment opportunities and new and better jobs. This workshop drew from the three previous workshops and sparked a constructive conversation between industry, the cities, civic organisations, government and financial institutions on the possibilities and the barriers.

Confirmed speakers:

  • Julio Lumbreras, Mission Board for Climate Neutral and Smart Cities
  • Robert Westerdahl, Partner at Material Economics
  • Jorn Verbeeck, Head of Research and Innovation at Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy (GCoM)
  • Alice Charles, Lead, Cities, Infrastructure & Urban Services, World Economic Forum
  • Roland Hunziker, Director, Sustainable Buildings & Cities, World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)
  • Liisa Raasakka, Head of the EIB Group Office for Sweden


  • Fedra Vanhuyse, Head of Societal Transitions Unit – Senior Research Fellow, SEI
Published on February 14, 2022
Event start date
01:30 pm
Event end date
03:00 pm

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