Nordic Smart City Roadmap

Nordic Smart City Roadmap

The Nordic Smart City Roadmap provides a framework for smart city work in cities and municipalities both in the Nordics and internationally – describing the positive societal effects of smart city initiatives and identifying the principles we will adhere to and the barriers we will work together to overcome. The overriding aim is to show how a more holistic and people-centred perspective on what constitutes a smart and sustainable society can contribute to concrete and positive impacts.

Nordic values: Collaboration, inclusion, and equality

The Nordic Smart City Roadmap is based on common Nordic values: a strong sense of trust, commitment to the common good, sustainable living, equality, collaboration and co-creation, openness, and inclusion.

It aims to change the perspective from a largely centralized, technology-driven, top-down approach, to a more collaborative approach where inhabitants (citizens, townsmen, villagers, rural people) as well as businesses, the voluntary sector and academia are invited to take part in solving dilemmas and overcoming barriers. Hence, in the Nordic Smart City Roadmap, technology is an enabler (as well as transformative) for addressing diverse individual and societal needs. But the real game-changer is collaboration and co-creation.

The Roadmap therefore wants to promote principles – conceptual, ethical, and political guidelines – that honour a more humancentric, inclusive and collaborative approach to developing smarter and more sustainable communities. With these values as building blocks, the ambition is for Nordic cities and municipalities to act as drivers and facilitators for collaborative processes, employing new technologies whilst at the same time empowering, protecting and putting forward the interests of the inhabitants.

Small colorful houses

Action Areas

The Nordic Smart City Roadmap is based on a holistic approach to bring positive societal change within five action areas:

  1. Leadership: Local and regional governance models play an active role in collaborating and sharing knowledge. Citizen emancipation is at the core of participation and innovation processes
  2. Inclusion: Cities and regions have a strong commitment to increase the accessibility of spaces and services, to provide equal opportunities, and incorporate the voices of communities and grassroots organisations
  3. Living Environment: Planning the built environment focuses on circularity, respect for living ecosystems, regenerative thinking, retrofitting infrastructure and combinations of nature-based urban design with new technology
  4. Digital Communities: Approaching data as a shared resource can establish a relationship of trust with citizens and empower communities with user-driven technology
  5. Health and Well-being: The pursuit of greater health and well-being can stretch smart city activities beyond technological innovation to directly impact resident lifestyles and become more socially relevant

People walking on the street

The next step

The Nordic Smart City Roadmap provides Nordic and international cities and municipalities with a good starting point and a solid framework for developing their own smart city strategy. It should encourage cities and municipalities to use the roadmap and commit to its principles

It is also an invitation to collaboration. As the next step, both public and private organizations and companies are invited to share urgent problems, as well as methods and tools that can help move us from barriers to solutions. In this way, we want to demonstrate how the roadmap can be realized in practice – promoting the development of smart, attractive and sustainable communities in the Nordic region and beyond.

The process

The Nordic Smart City Roadmap has come into being through three open digital workshops gathering input from more than 200 people from across the world. In addition, valuable input to the process has been provided through a Nordic panel consisting of smart city experts from different sectors and disciplines.

The working group behind the initiative consists of the following organisations:

Nordic Smart City Network, Nordic Edge, Design and Architecture Norway, Demos Helsinki, Danish Design Center, Danish Architecture Center, Bloxhub, Iceland Design and Architecture, Nordic Urban Resilience Institute.

The Nordic Smart City Roadmap initiative is funded and supported by Nordic Innovation, an organization under the Nordic Council of Ministers.

Read the Nordic Smart City Roadmap in full here