Sønderborg, Denmark

Sustainable development and the ‘4-17-42’ way of thinkingTo propel development, the city of Sønderborg is prioritising three interdisciplinary areas: citizenship, health and sustainability.Vision and motivationIt is Sønderborg’s intention to augment the positive outcomes of current projects focused on environmental, economic, social and cultural sustainability. The city expects to further enhance the quality of learning, intensify external partnerships, and engage all citizens in the process of becoming a learning city.Challenges and goalsApart from having achieved outstanding results in the reduction of CO2, Sønderborg continues the pursuit of its efforts to:become a sustainable city;expand learning in informal spaces; andintensify the use of modern technologies in the learning processPlan and implementationThe ‘4-17-42’ way of thinking is Sønderborg’s main project as a Learning City. The three figures 4, 17 and 42 stand for:The 4 policies for sustainability:the Environmental sustainability policy;the Economic sustainability policy;the Social sustainability policy; andthe Cultural sustainability policyA link to the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Investing into quality education for all, sustainable energy and global partnerships for sustainability.The 42 Key Features for Learning Cities: Ensuring coherent thinking and linking activities with tools to monitor results and boost development.In addition, ProjectZero offers scientific and educational tools promoting a ZEROcarbon future from Kindergarten to PhD levels and envisions sustainability as a natural way of living.
City population
City GDP per capita
More than USD 25,000
Average number of years of schooling
Member since
City award
Lauritzen Mr Erik
Focal point
Ms. Julie Juel Anderson
Education in sustainability has a focus which reaches out to all sectors and forms a platform for cross-sectional cooperation, within public organisation and with citizens