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The Charter

  • Published 10/04/2018
Stating ten principles for liveable, smart and sustainable Nordic cities and buildings – taking energy, climate, economy and people into account.

The Charter is the foundation of the entire Nordic Built Cities programme. It offers a platform for cooperation by providing a common set of fundamentally Nordic values. The 10 principles represent the strengths and aspirations of the Nordic approach to make liveable, smart and sustainable cities and buildings.


The idea behind creating the Charter is threefold:

  • To make liveable, smart and sustainable cities and buildings, many different actors need to contribute to the process, and there is often a lack of communication along the value chain of the building sector. The Charter can be seen as a platform of 10 principles, which the many diverse disciplines and interests of the building sector and related sectors can agree upon and use as an outset of increased cooperation.
  • It contains relevant design principles that can function as the starting point of any new urban development, building or renovation project. By starting out with these principles you ensure that the basic interests we all have in our built environment get covered in the final product.
  • It represents a joint Nordic brand for the skills, products and services of a united Nordic building sector and related sectors.



The principles of the Charter were created at a very intensive two-day workshop in Copenhagen in 2012. The five Nordic governments hosted the event and 75 leaders from some of the most forward-thinking businesses in the Nordic building industry attended. The result was the 10 principles of the Charter.


The Charter is also what connects the Nordic Built Cities programme with the Nordic Built programme, which was carried out in the period 2012-14.



Download the Charter


It is available for download in 7 different languages:






To see examples of the Charter principles in practice, you can download the 30 Sustainable Nordic Buildings publication.

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