Smart Talk: Re-thinking cities with Gordon Feller

Rapid urbanisation and aging of our building stock put serious strains on the quality of life in cities, as well as the management of big infrastructure systems. The smart city paradigm promises to combat these challenges, but its often ignoring a fundamental fact: our cities are old. Smart Retro approach is a novel way of developing cities, as it seeks ways for integrating smart solutions into existing building stock. This text is the first part of Smart Talk series, where world leading experts comment the most burning issues concerning the future of our urban life. […]

Read more

How emergence of smart urban services will change the way we work, move, and live in cities?

For the past half-century, the central functions of our cities – housing, mobility, work and commerce – have remained more or less unchanged. Technical improvements have been incremental, business models have not diversified. Market structures are in many cases still very similar to how they were fifty years ago. It appears, however, that we are about to witness remarkable changes in the way we live, move, work and shop in cities. Did you know sensors will soon contact everything that surrounds us to the Internet? These sensors can be located, […]

Read more

Why do our cities change so slowly? There are 4 reasons behind it

There are established policies, practices and market structures that on the one hand make our urban planning machine automatic, but, on the other hand, make it resistant to change, even when change is strongly needed. So why do our cities change so slowly? 1 THE URBAN ENVIRONMENT IS DEVELOPED BY A CLOSED CIRCLE OF ACTORS, AND ITS DEVELOPMENT IS GUIDED BY CERTAIN CULTURAL AND LEGAL PREMISES. Examples of these premises include an imperative to fulfill the basic needs of the inhabitants, in particular to build enough housing for people to […]

Read more

The new normal of cities – six things that define it

Cities are not like they used to be. Cities all over the world are repurposing themselves and building new narratives of their future success. While the rest of society defines progress in increasingly economic terms, cities have started thinking more about their population and their capacity to create a flourishing environment.  The structure of cities has changed. The 20th century city was dominated by big industrial structures and functional planning that separated production, housing and services into distinct zones. Now the new normal of cities and urban change perceives people, their skills, […]

Read more

The rise of the carbon-neutral Nordic city

Cities now account for 70% of the world’s CO2 emissions. From Oslo to Copenhagen to Växjö, cities both large and small have realised that where states have failed on an international level, cities can still succeed on a local one. Cities have shown the will to take the lead, and in doing so, seem to have realised something vital: if cities are where emissions occur then they are also where emissions can be curbed. Although the targets and measures of cities are local, they are a catalyst for a transformation that […]

Read more

This is the suburb of the future

One exceptional neighbourhood in Stockholm is taking the lead in smart urban development “Bagarmossen is Stockholm’s friendliest neighbourhood,” says Tobias Lind with a smile on his face. Lind knows the city inside out: he has 10 years’ experience in developing suburban areas in Stockholm and now works for Stockholmshem, Sweden’s second-largest residential housing firm. A 20-minute underground ride away from the city centre, the suburb of Bagarmossen is the sort of place where strangers greet you on the street and your lost hat is found and returned to you on […]

Read more

“Nordic Cities Beyond Digital Disruption” is online! Download the publication here

Past two years KTH CESC, Demos Helsinki and 12 other Nordic cities, companies and universities have worked on how actors of built environment can push our cities onto a new path of success by improving inhabitants’ experience through incorporating a new wave of smart urban services to existing urban environments. Nordic Cities Beyond Digital Disruption collects the learnings, tests, urban renewal models and scenarios developed in a beautiful way. Download the publication here.

Read more

This is not a smart city

Urbanisation is one of the most important megatrends to shape global society of the 21st century. However, urbanisation puts a strain on the quality of life in cities, as well as the management of big infrastructure systems, such as city traffic and energy usage. The Smart City approach is the paradigm of urban development in the 2010s. It promises to combat these challenges with new technological solutions; information technology can help to bring about new kinds of co-operation and to enable the interweaving of different city elements (energy, buildings, transportation […]

Read more

For you only: Sneak peak of the amazing publication and invitation for lunch

I think this is the key way to go…..rather than thinking of Songdo as the model. – Saskia Sassen, professor, Columbia University, on “Nordic Cities Beyond Digital Disruption” Many urban areas – both buildings, services and urban activity – are dilapidating. Smart urban services provide new jobs and make cities more livable. The strongest urban vitality comes from the engagement of locals, the existence of good services and fit infrastructure. ”Nordic Cities Beyond Digital Disruption” publication introduces a new way to develop vibrant and smart cities. Join the launch lunch on 6th November […]

Read more

These two smartups will be sent to conquer Ecosummit!

Smart Retro Acceleration Program has proudly reached its home stretch: after 2 great innovation camps, 20+ media hits and 11 startups doing testing in urban environments, 2 smartups will try their wings and represent Smart Retro in Ecosummit, London! This is why Smart Retro project partners voted PiggyBaggy and Fourdeg to Ecosummit, the Europe’s leading smart green innovation conference. What is Smart Retro Acceleration Program? A special acceleration program tailored for sustainable and smart service startups which create solutions for urban contexts. Startups from Finland, Sweden and UK teamed up with large organisations […]

Read more