Resources > Aarhus Sustainability Model
01 Mar 2016

Aarhus Sustainability Model


As the first city, region and capital of culture, Aarhus2017 European Capital of Culture has created a model for sustainable development in the culture sector. Aarhus Sustainability Model (ASM) is a tool, guide and inspiration to anyone working with arts and culture.

We live in a world where the future is, as it always has been, uncertain. Complexity calls for new answers and this is where art and culture can deliver a blow to our conscience, encourage reflection over humanity’s relationship with nature, and provide inspiration for how we can live more sustainably.
“We encourage all of our partners to engage in the Aarhus Sustainability Model.
The key message is: Everyone can take part in creating a sustainable future.”— Juliana Engberg, program director Aarhus 2017

Aarhus Sustainability Model (ASM) is meant as a tool for those working with culture and cultural projects. ASM aims to facilitate the start-up, development and implementation of sustainable

The model consists of three tools: a strategy, a policy and a plan of action, which each make the main challenge of projects – getting a project started – more manageable.

In addition to this the model works with four focus areas that each demonstrate a practical approach to working with sustainable initiatives. Each section concludes with a number of case studies carefully selected from around the world.

Use the tools that are the best fit for your process and use the cases for inspiration.

A 2nd edition will be published in autumn 2016.

Aarhus Sustainable Model - free download in English or Danish