Urban Sustainability in Denmark and Sweden, June 26 – July 1, 2016

Urban Sustainability

This delegation focuses on key elements of a sustainable city including:
• Mobility: providing options for moving people safely and efficiently while using less resources
• Economic growth and competitiveness: developing regional strengths to compete in a global market and attract high growth industries
• Clean energy infrastructure: incorporating micro-grids, smart technologies, neighborhood scale power plants, a greater amount of intermittent clean energy sources such as wind and solar requires a new way of financing and planning.
• Affordability: Strategies for keeping cities affordable for a diverse range of people

Improved Mobility

Site visits and meetings will include the following:

-Creating a bicycle culture

-Multi-modal transit planning

-Bicycle infrastructure

-Conversion of above-ground parking lots into public spaces and pedestrianizing downtowns

-Public/private partnerships for funding mass transit

-Bike tour throughout the city, including suburban to urban commuting (Green Ways)

-Integrating typically non-biking community into bicycling through education

Economic Growth and Competitiveness

Site visits and meetings will include the following:

– Creating a regional identity

– The policies for creating the Oresund Region

– The economic development experience in the Oresund Region

– Land use developments as a result of the Oresund Region

– Public/private partnerships for funding mass transit

Healthy and Sustainable Environments

Site visits and meetings will include the following:

– Smart grids

– Locally produced power

– Natural stormwater management

– Street design with energy efficient in-ground trash and recycling pipes

– Combined heat and power; district heating and cooling

Quality Neighborhoods

Site visits and meetings will include the following:

– Morning presentation by Gehl Architects on Gehl’s theories of people-centered neighborhoods

– Tour of neighborhoods by Gehl Architects including low income and affordable housing

– Development of new, energy efficient neighborhoods

– Redevelopment of Augustenborg, a low income community, to increase the quality of life for people and be more environmentally sustainable 

– Combining industrial and recreational uses

– Zero energy housing development

-For program features, click here
-For registration form and pricing, click here
-For background information, click here
-For draft itinerary, click here

Convening of Washington State, Danish and Swedish Climate and Energy Professionals April 11-12, 2016


Through our Climate and Energy Convening of Washington state, Danish and Swedish professionals i-SUSTAIN is providing an opportunity to do something different and meaningful — a bi-directional sharing of actionable knowledge between influential public, business and NGO leaders from Washington state, Denmark and Sweden who are pursuing climate and energy goals. Our approach is collaborative and interactive in which everyone who participates is a partner and the content reflects tangible real-life experience that is meaningful in comparison. (Add here: We would like to thank our partner, the Scan/Design Foundation, and our other key supporters, the District Energy Alliance, UMC, Daniels Real Estatet, ZGF, Enwave, Washington State UTC, Snohomish PUD, and Emerge Leadership.


convening image updated

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The April 11-12, 2016, convening theme is:

Combined Heat and Power and District Energy—Overcoming the Obstacles, Realizing the Benefits

There is a great deal of interest in Washington state to utilize the efficiencies inherent in modern district energy systems—however, several hurdles have to be overcome in going from concept to implementation. i-SUSTAIN is organizing a series of “roll up the sleeves” invitation-only workshops and site visits from April 11-12, 2016, in which high-level, influential professionals from Washington state, Denmark, Sweden, and other regions come together to work through issues related to financing, management of the conversion of steam to hot water, system expansion, and operations. Our efforts during these days will be based on projects under serious consideration, including the University of Washington campus and the redevelopment of the Washington state capitol campus, along with district energy for smaller communities.

Two free open-to-the-public events will also be offered—see below.

 Workshop Content (invitation-only)

A series of workshops in Olympia (April 11), Seattle (April 12), and possibly other Washington state cities will include the following:

  • Making the case—how to explain cost/benefits of district energy
  • Understanding financing options, including public/private partnerships
  • Modernizing existing systems to utilize water instead of steam
  • Policy and technical aspects of integration of district energy into the grid
  • Expanding campus systems into nearby neighborhoods
  • Converting combined heat and power plants from fossil fuels to biofuels
  • The impacts of using natural water sources in district energy
  • Community economic development through PUD ownership of district energy systems

Public Events in Olympia/April 11 and Seattle/April 12

Event details and RSVP here. 




Site Visits (Invitation Only)


  • Amazon-Westin Building data center heat exchange
  • The Washington state capitol campus


Without the contributions of our partners, participants and supporters, this convening would not be possible.  We thank you for your input and assistance.

Partial list of Participants

  • Danfoss
  • Embassy of Denmark
  • University of British Columbia
  • University of Washington
  • UMC Energy & EnvironmentCity of Olympia
  • Vulcan Inc.
  • Isoplus Piping Systems

Please express your interest to partner or participate to sandy@i-sustain.com and CC patricia@i-sustain.com


-For background information, click here

Arts, Architecture and More in Cuba, March 25-31, 2016


i-SUSTAIN is leading an Arts and Architecture tour to Havana and the Viñales Valley, Cuba, March 25-31, 2016.  The program includes an architectural bike tour of Havana, private tours of artist studios and workshops, art schools and museums, tours of neighborhoods, urban rehabilitation projects, and a classic car cooperative. We will also go to the fishing village of Cojímar, made famous by Ernest Hemingway, as well as Finca Yoandra, a farm located in the neighborhood of Mantilla that produces more than a 100 varieties of organic fruits, vegetables, and medicinal plants. The farm also serves as a community center, providing social programs and leisurely activities for the local elderly. To top it off, we will visit Viñales Valley, the most beautiful place in Cuba and another organic farm cooperative, Finca Confianza.  Excellent food, music and dance will be enjoyed every day.

For program features, click here.

For registration forms click here.

For background information click here.

For program itinerary click here.

Photos of past events:

DSCN2093 DSCN1931 _JCM2793 _JCM2733


Climate and Energy Delegation to Sweden and Denmark, Sept. 18-23, 2016

Gågader i Købmagergade, her nær Runde Tårn. Arkitektur og byplanlægning. Foto: © Michael Bo Rasmussen / Baghuset. Dato: 14.06.11
Foto: © Michael Bo Rasmussen / Baghuset. Dato: 14.06.11

i-SUSTAIN has led over 25 urban sustainability study tours to Denmark and Sweden and is leading two more in 2016.

  • Our 2nd delegation specifically about Climate and Energy will highlight how energy policy in Denmark and Sweden is part of a larger set of policies, including land use, transportation, solid waste management, architecture, economic development (both local and national), forest management, and environmental protection. We will also experience the strength of having an aligned commitment between government and industry to achieve defined goals, and the economic development benefits from a clean energy economy.  Sept. 18-23, 2016
  • Sustainability in Suburban Cities: Many suburban cities that have lagged behind their bigger city counterparts in improving bicycling, pedestrian and public transit infrastructure, developing vibrant areas in which to both live and work, adopting clean energy technologies and more are realizing the negative economic development ramifications of their former choices as corporations and people choose to locate in cities that have these amenities.  This delegation will bring suburban public and business sector leaders to suburban cities in Denmark and Sweden to see how they have redefined themselves and become more relevant to what millennial and others are looking for today. Dates in 2016, to be determined.

Cycling the Wine Country of Portugal, Sept. 25 – Oct. 2, 2016


New at i-SUSTAIN:  i-SUSTAIN Adventures.  Although we like to think of all our trips as being adventures, they have been oriented exclusively toward professionals interested in making cities better for people while reducing greenhouse gasses and resource consumption.  i-SUSTAIN Adventures is for anyone who wants to explore a place in a sustainable manner. Our first foray into this is a bike tour of the Alentejo wine region of Portugal.  Cycling past castles under dazzling blue skies, rolling through fields of wildflowers, olive and cork trees, this delightful bike tour celebrates the Alentejo wine region, an area of Portugal that many consider to be the last vestige of old Iberia. Medieval walled villages, white-washed and trimmed in blue, dot the hilltops while plains of wheat and oats spread out below, freckled with small flocks of sheep and goats. We’ll experience the majestic tranquility of Alentejo towns and villages; from the graceful town of Evora with its Roman and Moorish heritage to delightful Castelo de Vide with its picturesque medieval Jewish quarter and tiny synagogue – the oldest in Portugal.

Date: late Sept/early Oct. 2016