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. […]

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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, […]

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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, […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Smartup statements: Remarket

Remarket is an exciting new online marketplace for quality second-hand clothing. We spoke to its co-founder Marta Jaakkola.   How does the service improve urban life? It’s a sustainable way to shop fashion; shop for clothes. We give you the option of selling your clothing onwards. That promotes a cycle of re-use, without compromising style or quality. Where do you see yourself and the company in 2 years? We hope to become the leading online market place for contemporary second hand clothing in the Nordics. Maybe open up some physical stores too. What does success look […]

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Testing, testing

The battle against the challenges of urbanization and renovation took a step towards reality few weeks ago. 13 startups gathered in Bagarmossen’s district in Stockholm to plan their methods for testing at the Peloton Smart Retro Acceleration Programme’s second Innovation Camp. The programme’s testbed-phase starts in late March and involves the urbanites of both cities of Lahti and of Stockholm. Kvalitid, a service that provides apartment buildings with domestic help from unemployed youth, won the camp’s pitch contest about testing methods with their enthusiastic presentation. These young blokes from Gothenburg had […]

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Kvalitid wins the Peloton Smart Retro pitch contest

The second Peloton Smart Retro Innovation Camp brought together 13 innovative startups from all over Europe in Stockholm. The participants designed tests with larger partner companies and the public sector. The camp concluded in a pitch show won by Kvalitid.   Kvalitid is a service that provides apartment buildings with domestic help from unemployed youth. Joakim Lövgren founded the company to reduce the youth unemployment rate and to facilitate the exchange of help in neighbourhoods.   ”Kvalitid could create a truly scalable global business. They made huge development during the two days of the […]

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Here are the 12 selected firms of the Acceleration Programme

12 companies have been selected for the Peloton Smart Retro Acceleration Programme, organised by Demos Helsinki. The participating firms provide smart and sustainable services for urban citizens. These include City Car Club, Ekerne & Gamla Enskede Lådcyklar AB, Fourdeg, Greenely, IAgree, Meido, MoralGuard, Nurmi Clothing, PiggyBaggy, Remarket, Urban Fruit Initiative and Yhteismaa. In total, we received over 60 applications from all over Europe. “The success of our Acceleration Programme reflects Demos Helsinki’s growing importance in the European startup scene,” says Roope Mokka, Founder and Head of Innovation at Demos Helsinki. This is the fifth time a Peloton Programme has been organised. Demos Helsinki […]

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