A sustainable urban development process based on real needs

Together with Sweden Green Building Council we identified their stakeholder needs and critical areas from a sustainability perspective to further develop Citylab Action – a new certification system for sustainable urban development.

Sweden Green Building Council (SGBC) approached Ocean in the process of launching Citylab Action – a new certification system for sustainable urban development. They wanted to ensure that they created not only a certification process but a tool that enables sustainability in urban development. SGBC is a non-profit organization owned by its members – companies and organizations within the Swedish construction and real estate sector who wish to develop and influence environmental and sustainability work in the industry. These members all play differing parts in the development process with their own timelines and scopes. As such it was crucial to the SGBC team to capture these various needs in relation to sustainability, to ensure a solution that supports the members.

We designed an approach centered around a co-creative workshop with a mix of representatives from the municipality, contractors, housing companies and SGBC. In this workshop we were able to create frameworks that highlighted the “areas of need” and “areas of opportunity”. These frameworks provided the foundation for a round of validation interviews, to ensure prioritisation and relevance for SGBC. The workshop was also used to visually map the needs of stakeholders throughout the development process from different perspectives, as well as critical points where the sustainability angle might be lost and where support is needed. It was a useful process to capture gaps related to handovers and knowledge sharing. We took the time to focus on incentives and possible benefits to certifying a sustainable urban development process. The format allowed the participants to gain understanding of different perspectives and build on each other’s input and ideas.

To complete the process into a deliverable that SGBC could take away and own moving forwards we organized the insights in a visualization. This showed the urban development process with components such as quotes, particular needs as well as highlighting critical points. This allows SGBC to get an overview of the process and more easily see where there is a concentration of needs or critical points in the process. It becomes more visually apparent where to use resources. The delivery enables SGBC to continue the development process of Citylab Action, and be able to tie ideation and potential products to actual needs and critical points in the urban development process. By always being able to tie innovation back to insights, SGBC are suited to ensure that the Citylab Action certification system will be valuable, practical and relevant for the target group. The last part of the certification, that is aimed at a finished city block, is to be released in the fall of 2019.