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About the course

A program designed to create understanding of global driving forces behind the growth of sustainable cities, how they lead to new customer needs and what solutions are currently available worldwide.

When cities develop, they create a need for highly-developed ways of tackling the new commercial and competitive terms that arise. The ultimate goal is to create sustainable communities. That means that buying and selling focus on value-creating, integrated solutions and developing business jointly with other members of a network. The Executive Program in Sustainable Urban Systems is aimed at senior executives in companies, authorities and organisations that want to work together on urban development and sustainable communities.

A program designed to create understanding of global driving forces behind the growth of sustainable cities, how they lead to new customer needs and what solutions are currently available worldwide. Research findings within technology, finances and community development mixed with practical cases, discussions and practical experience from business and industry.


  • Part 1 – A growing market for sustainable cities

Every day we hear of something that has a more or less direct impact on the urban environment and community development. It could be a company or state institution reaching agreement on a new initiative. A political initiative to promote commerce in growth areas. Social issues, traffic problems or flooding. How do they affect us and the organisations we work for? What are the strongest drivers behind developments? During the first part of the course, we will provide an international overview and define the framework for continuing the program.

  • Part 2 – Strategic challenges

The growth and spread of service industries is particularly noticeable in the more urban parts of Sweden. What role does urban planning play in this context? How can infrastructure such as energy, water and refuse collection be developed? And what are the strategic challenges facing the regions and cities of Sweden? What are the strategic challenges facing your organisation?

  • Part 3 – From strategy to new solutions

Urban systems are facing severe pressure for change, in common with many businesses. In some instances, this will lead to radical transformation. For example: when a company that is a major employer closes down, and a totally new commercial structure develops. Major technical or social changes are other examples. Change can occur even within an existing framework. What are the drivers? What is the underlying strategy and what technologies are deployed? We also look at vulnerability in urban systems and discuss how flow can be made more robust.

  • Part 4 – Operative measures and development

Urban systems coordinate a wealth of different techniques, intentions, needs, lifecycles and processes. Public and private interests are the same, short and long term timescales are involved and there are different ways of perceiving the future and running businesses. The city is the arena that must continue to be attractive to live in. Because you are a part of all this, you need to understand where your organisation fits in, now and in the future. How can we achieve better results? What can we learn from the movement of boundaries between the bodies involved? Who are the key people?

  • Part 5 – Next generation urban systems

The drive towards the sustainable urban system is an ongoing process. Measures initiated today will have widely varying timescales and it can take a long time before we see certain effects. Investment in new structures is often long-term. All the above make heavy demands of our ability to understand progress, react to future situations and choose strategies that are robust and flexible. What impact do the new information and communications technologies have? How can the new flow of people and goods create other criteria? How will we perceive a new type of city? What characteristics of the urban systems of the next generation are already apparent?

  • Part 6 – Leading and executing change

Greater sustainability also implies moving a system, business or organisation from its current position to a new one. That involves not only what has to be done, but also how to do it to ensure success. The final part of the program will engage your experience and what you have learnt from the program on change initiatives for the organisation you are responsible for, giving you support in introducing new content, execution and selling the concept. It will focus on proposals for the process, executive leadership, stakeholders and communications. You will also be given the chance to test your proposals on other participants.

Who should attend

Participants include leading scientists and lecturers from Swedish and foreign universities and business schools, plus business leaders and experts with commercial experience.

Trust the experts

Christian Pleijel

I live on a small island in the Baltic Sea, the size of Manhattan but with only 250 inhabitants, and work as a Program Director at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm where I am responsible for leadership and change. I lecture and I do some research on freshwater issues, see my 2017 st...


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