HRH The Crown Princess' speech at "The City of the Future", Milan Design Week, 8 September 2021

Offentliggjort den 9. september 2021 / Published on 9 september 2021

Excellencies, minister, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

Good morning,

The global pandemic has brought about unprecedented social and economic challenges and deep sorrow for people and communities all around the world. This is certainly true for Italy as one of the first countries to truly feel the devastation and impact of Covid 19. Not being able to be together with family, friends or our colleagues has impacted greatly, our fundamental need for close relations and social contact. It is after all, our social interactions that give meaning to our lives. 

So, it is a great joy that we can be together here today physically, real people in real – and beautiful – surroundings. And it is also a thrill to be able to travel once again, and with the destination being Milan – who can complain.

Hopefully, we have reached a point in the pandemic where we can begin to also focus  on other challenges our societies are faced with and that need our attention.

I understand that the Italian Recovery and Resilience Plan focuses on the green transition and the need to invest in areas such as waste management, energy efficiency in buildings, renewable energy and e-mobility.

And today’s discussions will consider questions, such as; How do we identify and develop opportunities in response to the challenges that are so pressing? What are the demands of a ‘Future City’? How do we design and build the ‘Future City’? And how can we best form untraditional and innovative partnerships – where we look beyond the ‘usual suspects’? And how can collaboration on all levels and across sectors accelerate what we are aiming to achieve? And what can Italy and Denmark create and achieve together?

As it is often said, Rome was not built in a day. And Rome was certainly not built by one person in a day.

Key players in urban planning, waste management, air quality, water, heating, cooling and energy sectors will be looking for innovative solutions to respond to the most urgent needs and challenges in our societies. Synergies need to be created and competences from diverse fields should be drawn upon. Be it in; architecture, design, urban planning, waste recycling, alternative and optimised uses of water resources or energy efficient solutions. In many places, just to name one challenge, extreme weather events are becoming more frequent, and climate adaptation is already today a priority in many cities.

Building the City of the Future and a Circular economy around it is about creating resilient and more liveable urban areas, where sustainable architecture contributes to green living and a better quality of life for everyone.

As two countries who are renowned for their strong traditions in design and innovation and for their architectural and design heritage, Italy and Denmark have a great deal of learning and experience to share. This is also true when it comes to cooperating on developing new innovative solutions with external partners and other countries.

Today, I am proud to present Creative Denmark’s White Paper focused on the importance of designing the circular society, which is an essential building block for a sustainable future.

At the core of the White Paper is a number of new circular business models based on zero waste, design for disassembly as well as inspiration on how to create circular neighbourhoods.

The White Paper suggests a holistic approach. For example, it also focuses on the important contribution of essential creative industries in ensuring the cultural and behavioural change required for a successful transition to a circular society.

Creativity, in Denmark, has almost always been a key element in responding to complex problems. And simplicity, functionality, and aesthetics - along with sustainability, accessibility, and inclusivity - are also key elements of Danish design. That is why and how our architects, our designers, our innovators, our researchers and so on ensure that people and society are at the core of their visions and  their products and solutions. 

Today, more than ever, there exists unprecedented opportunities for companies that have green thinking, sustainability and design as an integrated part of their DNA.

Creating The City of the Future requires us to work together – my hope is that our discussions today can inspire further collaboration and sharing between our two countries.

Thank you.