The city of Utrecht is the fourth biggest city of the Netherlands, placed in the middle of the country, an important hub for transport. Since the past few years, Utrecht has developed itself from the provincial capital to a middle sized European city with highly educated, young citizens aware of international possibilities. The city attracts international students, companies, creative entrepreneurs and tourists.
 This also means a lot of potential knowledge and know-how regarding our contribution to global issues like fair trade and climate change. The GAIA focus of Utrecht was related to everyday choices people make around food, clothes, transportation, energy etc. Together with different target groups, Utrecht tried to increase the awareness regarding these choices. All in order to realize a mind shift.


Contact: Bharti Girjasing b.girjasing@utrecht.nl


In the middle of the Netherlands, within five kilometres of the historical city of Utrecht (the provincial capital), lies Nieuwegein. The municipality Nieuwegein was was founded on 1 July 1971 as one of the New Towns in Europe. Nieuwegein lies on the territory of the former municipalities of Jutphaas and Vreeswijk, now two historic centers of Nieuwegein. The young town was created as a direct result of the housing shortage that the provincial captial was facing. The population has grown from 13,000 in 1971 to more than 61,000 in 2015. The city is complete but still developing, open for improvement through innovation. Its residents make the city what it is today.


Contact: Alex de Bree AR.deBree@nieuwegein.nl

The City of Newcastle upon Tyne is situated in North East England and is the region’s most populous city. It is one of the UK’s ten Core Cities Group, economically the largest areas outside of London in England, Wales and Scotland. GAIA sits well with the ambition to be an International City. All local partners engaged through GAIA have been keen to inspire new actors into environmental sustainable development. GAIA inquiries have focused on areas with large inequalities of resources who also are most impacted by the UK government’s austerity programme with disproportionate cuts to northern and urban areas. Inquiries have also looked to test how community centres and business can become new and effective actors. 


Contact: Paul Staines paul.staines@newcastle.gov.uk

The city of Malmö is Sweden’s third largest city and situated in the very south. Malmö stands out as a young, international, friendly and innovative city, aiming to become world leader in sustainable development. Historically however, the city lived off heavy industries and suffered from major pollution, but have the past decades undergone a transformation into a post-industrial era with growth in biotech, IT och service area. The challenges approached in the GAIA project are behavior change towards more sustainable choices, and how to work with informal education and nudging in raising awareness on global development.


Contact: Elin Hasselberg elin.hasselberg@malmo.se

SWEDESD stands for Swedish International Centre of Education for Sustainable Development and it is a centre at the Faculty of Educational Sciences at Uppsala University. SWEDESD supports capacity building, policy development and integrated and collaborative research related to Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). Within GAIA SWEDESD has contributed with facilitation, process design and action research.


Contact: Martin Westin martin.westin@swedesd.uu.se

The project is co-funded by the European Union, through DG-DEVCO’s DEAR programme. Development education and awareness raising (DEAR) aims to inform EU citizens about development issues, mobilise greater public support for action against poverty, give citizens tools to engage critically with global development issues, to foster new ideas and change attitudes.


GAIA - Global awareness in action. Design by Azote