Sustainable building in a Danish era of public de-regulation: Political ideology or Ecological Modernisation?

Jesper Ole Jensen, Kirsten Gram-Hanssen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearch

Abstract

In recent decades, Denmark has gained a reputation for being an environmental frontrunner in sustainable building, through a number of initiatives in new buildings, urban renewal and building operation. However, lately this has changed and this article discusses whether the right-wing government, which came to power in 2001, caused this effect or if this setback for sustainable building is part of a broader international trend. The article presents examples of new Danish policies to promote sustainability in the building sector, and on recent examples of sustainable buildings. The policies and examples are analysed within the concepts of Ecological Modernisation and it is discussed whether traditional top-down regulating tools can be replaced by voluntary agreements. The article concludes that trends of Ecological Modernisation as tool-ification and normalisation of sustainability are dominant trends in new Danish sustainable building. However, it also concludes that policies and new institutional arrangements like product panels, tools, standards, and energy labelling of buildings have not been able to involve the sector actors in sustainability (contractors, consultants, builders and consumers), and therefore has been a limited success. Though it also concludes that we still see examples of grassroot-driven sustainable settlements that emphasise a different approach to sustainability than the eco-modernist approach, and that they do it with quite a good deal of popularity in the population.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe 2005 ENHR International Housing Conference
Publication date2005
Publication statusPublished - 2005
EventThe 2005 ENHR International Housing Conference : Housing in Europe: New Challenges and Innovations in Tomorrow's Cities - Reykiavik, Iceland
Duration: 1 Jan 2005 → …

Conference

ConferenceThe 2005 ENHR International Housing Conference : Housing in Europe: New Challenges and Innovations in Tomorrow's Cities
CityReykiavik, Iceland
Period01/01/2005 → …

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