STUDY VISIT PROPOSAL - UPPSALA
LEARNING FOR THE FUTURE
Uppsala city has the ambition to be a pleasant and healthy place to live - not only today but also far into the future. Uppsala, home to the oldest university in the Nordic countries, has 650 years of educational experience. The city is now a modern centre of learning dealing with new challenges in a creative way. Of the 200 000 inhabitants 45 000 are students. The population is therefore younger and more international than in other Swedish cities.
Uppsala is less than one hour away from Arlanda international airport and Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, can be reached with just a short train ride. Many people commute daily between the two cities. Uppsala is expanding and growing as an integrated part of this rapidly developing region. The city is known for ambitious efforts in environment protection, energy efficiency and climate change prevention. New innovative methods are quickly adopted to make sure the city and the region will develop in a ever more sustainable direction.
The children in Uppsala children learn at an early age how to separate waste for energy production, resource efficiency and to keep the drinking water clean. City buses have biogas tanks on the roof running on gas produced from household food waste and sewage from the citizens.
Reducing car traffic in the city centre is a priority in the city planning of Uppsala. People are encouraged to travel by bicycle on convenient lanes often separated from motor traffic. For a small sum visitors to the city can rent a bicycle and enjoy this healthy mode of transportation. The countryside is only a few minutes away. Air pollution from traffic may seem small in an international perspective but is a constant matter of discussion. In Uppsala nature is always nearby. People enjoy walks in the fresh air along numerous nature trails. They wish the city centre to be clean and healthy too.
Drinking water from the river Fyrisån is naturally purified in the gravel ridge running along the river. This ridge is a remnant from the ice age some 11 000 years ago. Uppsala is located in a beautiful and fertile agricultural area. Seasonal farm products are sold at a farmer´s market in front of the central station. Locally produced food can also be enjoyed in restaurants free from cigarette smoke and supermarkets provide a broad variety of organic and fair trade products.
Learning for sustainability takes place in many ways in Uppsala. There are a number of Green Flag-certified eco-schools and pre-schools as well as schools following the guidelines of the national Sustainable School Award. The youngest children become familiar with nature and learn to enjoy life outdoors together with Mulle, a fantasy character in the forest. Schoolchildren visit a nature school, where nature becomes a classroom for teaching in school subjects like mathematics and language. Natural objects like trees and leaves are used as techings materials. An art lesson can be held on the lake in winter, making ice sculptures.
Uppsala University and SLU, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, both offer a broad variety of courses and programs related to sustainability. You can also find examples of democratic student participation in deciding the course study content. Corporate Social Responsiblity (CSR) has become an academic subject.
Education is the engine for developing Uppsala and the results of learning appear in many forms. There is outstanding research in technology for example solar cells at Uppsala University. At SLU, the university of life science, there is expertise in the area of human well-being such as the role of nature in healing and the importance of green spaces in sustainable city planning.
Uppsala´s business environment is ranked among the top ten cities in Sweden. Medicine, information technology (IT), consulting services and technical innovations are typical knowledge-driven business areas.
Citizens of Uppsala care about democracy, equality, and human rights. On election day 83% of them vote. 48% of city assembly members are women. A Peace Museum is localted in the castle in the middle of town. Numerous citizen groups are active in shaping the future of Uppsala, Sweden and the world.
Welcome to Uppsala to find new knowledge, contacts and inspiration. In Uppsala there is always something new to learn for the future.
© Lena Lindahl 2015