‘Encourage diverse idea exchange’ – a Q&A with Rikke Petersen from CopCap

Who is the person who has most influenced the way you think about cities and technology?

Jan Gehl’s humanistic city planning approach.

What is your most surprising prediction?

Upcycled materials (perhaps not too surprising)! Several firms are already investing heavily in such business models and in research & development of upcycled materials. Yet, there is not an overall consensus on how to approach it. There are several barriers in scaling such sustainable building procedures. However, if the 2030 sustainability agenda is to be achieved, this will be a crucial element that  needs to be implemented in the construction industry. It is just a matter of time before new technologies will take over and ‘circulate’ building materials into new sustainable buildings, which is why I predict  a much greater focus in the nearer future.

Why Greater Copenhagen, why now?

Greater Copenhagen is a sustainable urban building hub that flourishes for several reasons. There is a vast political momentum for moving the construction sector into a sustainable direction. In part through the Climate-Partnerships facilitated by the Danish government that focuses on public-private approaches. And through clusters of firms that embrace new smart-tech and urban solutions. This enables creative – and innovative – solutions that are in demand for achieving the Paris Agreement, and the ambitious 2025 climate vision for Copenhagen.

What 2-3 books / podcasts would you recommend?

PublicationsOne of my biggest interests is the circular economy in the building industry. That is why I encourage everyone to read Ken Webster’s book ‘Circular Economy – A wealth of flows’. Ken Webster gives a pragmatic analysis of how to convert a linear economy into a circular economy where resources are reused, recycled and where the energy becomes conserved. These insights are truly useful when working with circularity in the building sector.

Where is the best place for new ideas?

BLOXHUB is the place where you will find an ecosystem that is founded on innovation and new thinking. It is the Nordic Hub for sustainable urbanization and it just flourishes with ambitious people, companies, researches that all share big ideas on how to solve the problems of the cities of tomorrow through green innovative solutions. I always leave BLOXHUB with a smile on my lip, as it is just such a great feeling of being surrounded with likeminded people that are fighting for better cities. It is a must visit for new ideas.

Who inspires you?

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation aiming to inspire a generation to re-think, re-design & build a positive future through the framework of a circular economy.

What else?

Unfortunately, it is no secret that gender diversity in the construction industry is incredibly low. That is why I would like to highlight Madame Architect. It is an online-platform profiling and celebrating women in architecture from different job positions, generations, and nations. It is inspiring, both for men and women, to get diverse stories from all corners of the industry. One must not forget that when you value diversity, you encourage diverse idea exchange impacting innovation and creativity. This is a crucial factor that’s needed to challenge status quo of the building industry and move it towards a more sustainable direction.

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