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The collaboration will promote development, which is important for both the city and business

The ambition for sustainable urban development is growing rapidly, which puts palpable demands on both new solutions and new partners. “As the city’s energy company, we must interact and work in unison with large scale operators from the business community. Together, we represent a strong force for influence and change,” says Henrik Forsgren, Senior Project Manager at the R&D department at Göteborg Energi.

Gothenburg is in the midst of its greatest ever leap forward in development. By 2035, 80,000 new homes and workplaces will be constructed, providing a densely packed cityscape facing a completely new set of conditions. And Gothenburg is not alone. New districts and modern development areas with a prominent sustainability agenda are emerging across several Swedish municipalities.

The journey of change has begun. By way of example, the electricity grid will be developed more over the next five to ten years than has been the case over the past 70. Gothenburg Energi must always be in step with this development and act as a facilitator. Discussions with the business community and academia are extremely important in order to identify trends and needs,” says Henrik Forsgren.

Partners at the same table

In the DenCity project, which is being managed by CLOSER at  Lindholmen Science Park, sustainable freight and passenger transport is being developed and trialled based on the dense city. In addition to Göteborg Energi, more than 30 organisations within the municipality, academia and the business community are part of the initiative.

In this development project, all parties get to meet at the same table, something which is not always a given. We design solutions and business models together, and we also identify obstacles that we will need to jointly overcome if we are to achieve a modern urban development with electrified transport. These could include the impact of having to speed up the installation of an expanded charging infrastructure or discussions about rules that we want to adjust to allow electrified lorries to drive in the city centre,” says Fredrik Cederstav, Project Manager at AB Volvo, which is part of DenCity.

Promote each other’s development

Over the course of the project, AB Volvo has launched two models of electric lorry for urban distribution and waste collection that are being operated within the framework of DenCity. For example, deliveries of fresh produce are being trialled to 13 Coopstores in central Gothenburg.

“Without the project, it’s not sure whether we would have had Sweden’s first fast charger for heavy vehicles in Gothenburg. It provides us with unique opportunities to assess how our vehicles work commercially, identify what the customer wants and conduct field studies with the drivers. This is crucial input for us for both our business and our continued technological development. It is also valuable information for the energy company and the municipal operators involved to allow them to adapt to a changing market ,” says Fredrik Cederstav.