To help bring out services or products, in the first Smart Retro programme we teamed up with a number of top organisations. From the construction industry to energy, from housing and property to retail, from research to community building, these organisations shape our cities and urban life.


Aspelin Ramm Infill

Infill’s business concept is based on urban repair and densification, one aspect of which involves building urban housing on small and complicated plots of land, other which is transformation of existing buildings and city structures. Building densely means building environmentally efficiently and contributing to a better use of resources. Infill is a part of Aspelin Ramm.

We at Infill think that the new sharing economy will affect how we think about urban development in the years ahead, we want to be part of this workshop to increase our competence and to contribute with our experience.

City of Lahti

“Our aim is to accelerate the growth of new services and business ideas, which would benefit from the investments made in the city environment.”

The City of Lahti hosted an innovation camp event and offered urban testbeds for proofing the concepts that took part in the Smart Retro Acceleration program. Lahti also provided the expertise of the city’s experts to the use of the companies.

Lahti is 9th largest city in Finland with 103 000 inhabitants and 5500 employees. It is a local authority and municipality with broad spectrum of public services ranging from social, health care, educational, technical to environmental services.

Lahti was the fastest growing city of Finland after the second World War, and the city’s built environment was largely formed during 1950-1970’s. Thus we are suddenly facing the refurbishment need of the majority of buildings.  At the very same time, the city center of Lahti is undergoing a large change in traffic, transportation and parking systems and refurbishment of buildings. However, it is not clear to what extent those physical changes in the urban structure will impact on sustainability of  public and private services. Our aim is to accelerate the growth of new services and business ideas, which would benefit from the investments made for the city environment.


Citycon is a leading owner, manager and developer of urban grocery-anchored shopping centres in the Nordic and Baltic regions, with assets under management totalling approximately EUR 3.3 billion and a market cap of approximately EUR 1.6 billion.

Headquartered in Helsinki, Citycon is the No. 1 shopping centre owner in Finland and Estonia and among the market leaders in Sweden. Citycon has also established footholds in Lithuania and Denmark. Citycon owns 36 shopping centres and 33 other retail properties. Its shopping centres are located in urban environments close to where customers live and work and within close reach of public transport, health care and municipal facilities.

Citycon has been listed on the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki stock exchange since 1988.

Citycon ́s core shopping centres in Finland are Iso Omena in Espoo, Myyrmanni in Vantaa, Trio in Lahti and Koskikeskus in Tampere. Citycon is an active shopping centre developer. In Finland there are two on-going redevelopment projects. The shopping centre IsoKristiina is being thoroughly redeveloped and expanded in Lappeenranta. Iso Omena will be expanded by half in Espoo. The terminus of the first part of the Western metro line and the feeder bus terminal will be placed under the shopping centre Iso Omena.

The Smart Retro -project linked to our targets via development of urban and viable city centers. We want to be involved in their future development and creating new thinking and fresh ideas. Co-operation with the surrounding community and citizens are important to us.

Demos Helsinki

Demos Helsinki is Finland’s only independent think tank. We help organizations, companies and communities to succeed in the future. We do this by connecting action of people to the best understanding on the change of the society.

Demos has an extensive history in working with companies, NGOs and ministries, the parliament, municipalities and other organisations of the public sector that are willing to widen their perspective and renew themselves. Demos Helsinki is the coordinator of Smart Retro. In the heart of Demos’ work is extensive, high-quality research. We have produced scenarios, recommendations and experimentations, which give new insight into grasping the great challenges of the future. Conducting a big part of the research work in Smart Retro and leading the first Smart Retro Acceleration Program is a precious extension to our previous work.

Futurebuilt Oslo

Futurebuilt is a ten-year programme (2010–2020) with a vision of developing carbon neutral urban areas and high-quality architecture. The aim is to complete 50 pilot projects – urban areas as well as individual buildings – with the lowest possible greenhouse gas emissions. The pilot projects are set to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transport, energy and material consumption by at least 50 per cent. These prototypes will also contribute to a good city environment with regard to ecological cycles, health and the general impression of the city.


Granlund is a Finnish design, consultancy and software company that focuses on customer relationships, people and innovations. We have over 50 years of experience and we employ over 500 HVAC, electrical, property, energy and software specialists. Our operations are based on mutual trust and long-term partnerships with our customers and our services focus on the entire lifespan of a property or community. The core of our expertise is energy efficiency. According to our employee satisfaction surveys, our staff sees Granlund as reliable workplace with a clear vision and a strong drive to promote development. We value experienced experts and want to help younger people to develop their skills.

Granlund and Smart Retro

Granlund Manager is your choice when you are looking for a versatile and flexible solution that is constantly being developed and that allows you to manage and control maintenance costs, reduce risks and ensure energy efficiency.

Granlund participated in Smart Retro to discover and test innovations that will enhance the offering of Granlund Manager. We are interested in developing tools, insights and business models so that Granlund Manager can continue to help our users to live sustainably in the buildings and communities that they inhabit. The core focus of Granlund Manager is to reduce costs for our customers by promoting energy efficiency in the built environment. As part of Smart Retro, Granlund’s aim was to harness the power of the individuals when aiming to make buildings and communities more sustainable and more efficient. Instead of just monitoring from afar we are interested in using tools such as gamification platforms and reward systems to motivate users to provide feedback and hints as to how operations could run more smoothly.

K-Citymarket Paavola & Kesko

“Understanding the next step of daily goods online-shopping needs exactly this kind of approach and collaboration that the Smart Retro Acceleration Program represents.”

K-Citymarket Lahti Paavola is a department store focused on daily groceries and a light selection of clothing, sport equipment, electronic devices, music and toys. It opened its doors in 1971. It is a member of K-Citymarket chain of Kesko and serves approximately 1,1 million customers per year with a turnover of 16M€.

Approximately 55 trade professionals work in K-Citymarket Paavola. As all 80 K-Citymarkets in Finland, also KCM Paavola is run by an independent entrepreneur.

KCM Paavola is located in Lahti city center. Naturally the future of the center area affects also the future of the company. On a more general level, with the first Smart Retro programme we were eager to learn about logics, trends and tendencies that will be creating the future of consumers and will be the basis for our future decisions as well. We want to force ourselves to look further forward despite the daily nature of our business.

KTH Royal Institute of Technology

CESC – Centre for Sustainable Communications is an interdisciplinary research environment, situated at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, the largest and oldest technical university in Sweden. CESC provides a forum for knowledge exchange and collaboration between industry, the public sector and research. Together with its partners, CESC conducts innovative research on ICT for sustainability aiming to contribute to a change of society in a sustainable direction. CESC’s interest in the Smart Retro project was in exploring ICT solutions for sustainable urban development in a real-life setting. In this way, we could get a better understanding of how these solutions can be implemented, as well as bridging the gap between ICT developers and urban stakeholders.

Oslo National Academy of the Arts

Oslo National Academy of the Arts is Norway’s largest college of higher education in the field of arts. The Academy’s aim is to educate artists and designers with the ability to both reflect on and experiment in their chosen field and make lasting contributions to the diversity of our society. Including a diverse set of creative disciplines and closely collaborating with the School of Architecture and Design, the Academy saw the first Smart Retro programme as a modern and innovative approach to built environment.

Stockholm Business Region Development

“The SBRD was proud to  bring in expertise from a large network of companies and experts in the Stockholm region.”

Stockholm Business Region Development is Stockholm´s marketing and business promotion company in co-operation with 52 municipalities in the Greater Stockholm Region.  Our 20 experts are involved in strategy work, event and co-operations to strengthen start-ups, innovations and expansion of selected industries.  Cleantech and services for sustainable and ICT -driven urban development are the sectors of highest importance for the sustainable growth and international competitiveness of this fast growing region. 140 000 new flats, large investments in new energy and water systems as well as retrofitting of old housing areas are planned until 2030. The environmental city districts like Hammarby Sjöstad and Stockholm Royal Sea Port function as international living labs for sustainable life styles, e-transports and smart energy systems. In 2050 Stockholm will be a fossil fuel free city.

The SBRD was proud to join the project and bring in expertise from a large network of companies (3000 cleantech companies in the region) and experts. During the Innovation Camp, we were happy to introduce selected innovative solutions for energy upgrading, smart housing and recycling of energy and materials.

Read more about the companies at and


Stockholmshem is a public housing company since 1937, owned by the city of Stockholm. Stockholmshem is the second largest housing company in Sweden, with 50 000 tenants. Over the years, the business has been refined towards management and rental of housing.The commercial premises consists mainly of smaller premises within our housing areas.

Stockholmshem has 279 employees which manages the property portfolio of 383 properties with nearly 25,400 flats and over 3200 premises. The annual turnover is almost 2 billion SEK and the property value is 33 billion SEK. The vision of Stockholmshem is to provide all our tenants a living that by all means is welcoming, comfortable and safe. Every day.

In 2011 Stockholmshem started a new project in a district of Stockholm called Hökarängen. The name of the project was ”Hållbara Hökarängen”, “Sustainable Hökarängen”. The aim with the project was partly to strengthen local business and other important local activities, partly to support and develop sustainable lifestyles among the local inhabitants.

The project reached its goal and turned out to be a rewarding way of working with local development. Therefore Stockholmshem decided to try this method in other districts as well, choosing Bagarmossen as the follow up.

Joining Smart Retro gave us an opportunity to find and involve entrepreneurs and startups in Bagarmossen, and support them to develop and grow. The corner stone of our work is to support and develop local creative business and clusters.


“In Smart Retro our aim was to learn new approaches how to develop services in the residential areas with end-users.”

YIT leads the way in the construction field. YIT creates more attractive and sustainable urban environments by building housing, business premises, infrastructure and entire areas. YIT has a strong market position: it is the largest residential construction company in Finland and the largest foreign residential construction company in Russia. YIT is also one of the largest business premises and infrastructure construction companies in Finland.

YIT is pursuing well-managed and profitable growth in all businesses in Finland, Russia, the Baltic countries and Central Eastern Europe. In 2013, the company’s revenue was approximately EUR 1.9 billion. YIT operates in seven countries and has more than 6,000 employees.

YIT aims at being a leading European developer, builder and service provider creating shared value with high responsibility. We aim at improving our quality and customer service further and continuously introduce new and innovative housing solutions for consumers. Our success is first and foremost based on skilled employees and continuous development of competence.

In Smart Retro our aim was to learn new approaches how to develop services in the residential areas with end-users.

Nordic Innovation Fund

The first Smart Retro programme’s main funder was the Nordic Innovation Fund. Nordic Innovation funds Nordic projects that boost innovation and competitiveness in the Nordic business sector and lead to commercial and sustainable development. The first Smart Retro programme was part of Nordic Innovation’s Nordic Built Programme. Nordic Built is a Nordic initiative to accelerate the development of sustainable building concepts. Nordic Built was initiated by the Nordic Ministers for Trade and Industry. It combines key Nordic strengths, provides attractive and effective arenas for collaboration and realises concrete projects that demonstrate world-class scalable solutions.