Sustainable Cities, MSc in Engineering

Scott Martin Allison

Scott Martin Allison

Scott has more than 5 years’ experience working with climate change strategies, technologies, and innovation since graduating with an MSc in Sustainable Cities. Scott is part of the international department from CLEAN and leading the Nordic Solutions for C40, a Nordic platform developing partnerships that combine the strengths of the Nordics to deliver solutions to global climate change challenges.

Scott is working together with C40 Cities and their City Solutions Platform, a platform supporting early engagement and innovation between the private sector, NGOs, research institutes and cities working with complex climate challenges. To date he has worked with the cities of Athens, Melbourne, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Seattle, Stockholm, Sydney and Tel Aviv.

Scott is leading CLEAN's project developments in multiple international markets and has hosted a number of workshops, spoken at numerous international events and to international delegations on the topics on innovation, collaboration, and driving the green transition.

Why did you choose to study Sustainable Cities?

My interest in sustainability has grown since doing a bachelors in Human Geography back in 2009. I had a great opportunity to work at the City of Stockholm right after when Stockholm was the first Green Capital of Europe. All the activities made me realise this is what I want to do as a career. After a few years working around Europe I decided to take a masters to further develop broaden my knowledge and skills within sustainability, which the MSc in Sustainable Cities was perfect.

How did you experience your study time at the university?

My experience was really positive. Having had a few years between finishing my bachelor and starting my masters at Aalborg University, I felt ready to focus my studies. The SusCi master provided the broad sustainability knowledge I was looking for with the opportunity to focus on topics that I found most interesting. I think the best part of the SusCi masters was the varied academic backgrounds of my classmates. Studying with engineers, economist, sociologist among others enabled great discussions (disagreements sometimes) and the chance to really learn different perspectives from my classmates.

Did you do an internship?

Yes. I was an intern at CONCITO, Denmark’s Green Think Tank. There I got the opportunity to work on a research project on Emission Trading Schemes. I was given the freedom to do the research and utilised CONCITOs connections to speak with different stakeholders, including the former Director General for the Environment at the EU Commission. After my internship, I stayed on as a student worker, helping on a number of projects including educational courses at high schools in Copenhagen. I would strongly recommend an internship whilst studying. The internship allows you to build up your network in the field which is vital for when you finish your education.

What skills from your education can you use in your present job?

I am a Senior Project Manager at CLEAN, the Danish Cleantech Cluster, where I am leading CLEANs projects in the Nordic Region and our partnership with C40 Cities through the C40 City Solutions Platform. The main skills from the SusCi education that I use daily is the knowledge of working in groups with people from varied backgrounds. I am working with Cities from all over the world on complex sustainability issues, and by having a broad knowledge of the different sectors really benefits my job. For example, I am just back from facilitating co-creation workshops in Brazil on organic waste challenges, where there was a focus on waste management but also the opportunities of connecting the energy, water and transport systems into future solutions.

What interesting projects have you been involved in?

Since I have been at CLEAN, I have been involved in developing and running the C40 City Solutions Platform, a C40 programme that supports cities with complex sustainability challenges by driving early engagement between the public and private sectors. CLEAN is the delivery partner and I have run co-creation and innovation processes in 8 cities; Athens, Melbourne, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Seattle, Stockholm, Sydney and Tel Aviv, engaging over 300 international solution providers to co-create solutions for challenges including flood management, urban heat island effect, renewable energy, waste management and mobility. For example, Seattle developed a new internal framework of how to work with the private sectors; In Melbourne, the city has begun to develop a cloudburst masterplan focused on innovative flood management solutions from Denmark; and in Sydney we facilitated a partnership between the city and distribution company Ausgrid, the latter co-invested  $1.5million AUD in the solar incentivisation programme.