Welcome to Vejle! A growing Danish municipality of 115.000 inhabitants, of which 55.000 live within the main city, Vejle.
Our city is growing and our aim is to attract more citizens and students, foster new businesses and ensure that new local jobs are created. By 2030 we want to reduce our Co2 emissions by 70% in alignment with the goals set out in the Paris agreement. We believe that ambitions on growth, attractivity and climate neutrality go hand in hand as part of being a resilient future-fit city.
Our location within Denmark is central - geographically and logistically we connect North, South, East and West. For centuries, Vejle has been an important center for trade and commerce and today it continues to be both a relevant hub for businesses and a vibrant place for city shopping.
The area around Vejle is known as the Danish manufacturing center and in Vejle this is particularly related to the food sector. Of the total private employment, 20% (8.000 jobs) are related to food industries - across agriculture, industrial processing, food service or related industries such as packaging and process equipment.
Privileged with access to water, a rich nature and historic and cultural sites, tourism is important in Vejle. Gastro-tourism is gaining traction with small scale producers collaborating, and also the city food scene is on the rise with michelin star level restaurants.
In the business park Food Innovation House we facilitate the collaboration and continued development of the food industry in our area, including supporting new start-ups. The municipality has created the Culinary Institute by Vejle, which aims to support the positive development around food production and food as service and experience. And more dimensions are added, as we also work towards the public service and the broader role of food in connection with health and wellbeing, education and culture.
We see food as an important pillar to our city resilience going forward and realizing our ambitions for a prosperous and sustainable future. Food industry is important in Vejle. Around 20% of all private employment is in the the food sector. An analysis from 2018 shows the weight and structure of the food industry Vejle and the surrounding region (Vejle is part of the business region Triangle Region).
Why we are part of Cities2030
Vejle is part of the Cities2030 project to support our ambition of a prosperous and sustainable future. We see food as much more than nutrition - it feeds not only the people of our city, but is central to our growth and attractivity. Also the food production and agriculture in our area accounts for about 35% of the Co2 emissions and with our climate action plan we will also be looking to find new solutions and grow new partnerships with the food sector.
In the framework of Cities2030 we will set up a temporary living lab that connects our businesses, citizens, knowledge institutions and the municipality itself to explore how food system affects our city and experiment with new solutions to improve status-quo.
No one part has the answers alone and therefore we believe the living lab concept will bring us value. The prospect of working together with other cities and gain network and learning is a big motivation for Vejle as our capacity as a mid-sized city is limited.
Our interests/ anticipated topics
We will be working to explore the full scope of our food system and how it looks within Vejle and the surrounding region. We will in particular be working with the Food2030 agenda towards our climate plan, our resilience strategy and our policy for business and economic growth to see how we enhance our efforts with the food focus. We want to see how we as a city and municipality can create the best conditions for existing and new businesses to capture value from some of the current challenges in the food system – in Denmark and beyond.
To single out some of the specific topics we anticipate to be part of our living lab activities:
- Short value chains and how can the city procurement be a lever for more consumption of local food
- Fostering new start-ups in the FOOD2030/city region food system framework, e.g. circular economic business models, Smart Food etc.;
- Welfare with food, e.g. food as school and life skills, food as health etc.
- Climate action and sustainable food production, i.e. plantbased diets;
Food as social glue, i.e. integration of city-region community
Vejle is committed to susainable development and green transition.
- Resilience strategy 2018, Resilient Cities network
- Climate Action Plan (C40 CAPF)
- Development and growth 2020, Circular Economy, greentech, digital, food and manufacturing
- Rural development
|Culinary Institute by Vejle Erhverv (Vejle Municipality) wants to create food innovation that creates more plant-based dishes with local food
|We need a greater focus on using local food - both among the general population and among restaurants
|We need more tools to reduce food waste at home, in public kitchens and in restaurants
|We need more knowledge about sustainable food, knowledge that changes people's behavior
- Municipal food procurement
- Climate action plan, partnership with agriculture and food industry
- Growth and development strategy, green tech, food, circular economy and digital
- Resilience strategy
- health, education
Our Local partnership – Living lab promoters
Vejle Municipality is the only regional Cities2030 partner in Denmark but will be involving several entities like the Culinary Insistute, Start-up Vejle and The Spinning Mills. In terms of living lab activities Vejle will be working closely with the many partners of Culinary Institute and Food Innovation House which reach and collaborate with almost 500 companies in the food industry, for instance the network of local small scale producers Madværket. In particular, Vejle will also align its activities with the University of South Denmark who are actively involved in the Food2030 agenda and promoters of living lab concepts in the surrounding region.