Nordic Urban Labs: Collaboration brings shared learnings

Collaboration brings shared learnings within the Nordic Urban Labs -project.

Nordic Urban Labs – accelerating learning and smart solutions within Nordic cities

The project financed by Nordic Innovation emphasized collaboration and sharing of best practice among the partner cities of the Nordic Smart Cities Network. Five thematic projects were kickstarted in the fall 2018 and have been running in 2019. The collaborative mode of working has enabled sharing of best practices and living lab methods in many ways.

The collaboration projects all gathered together cities working with the same themes. Some of the of the projects were seeking inspiration and experiences from outside the Nordics. Besides the learnings on smart solutions, also methods of living lab work and public private collaboration were shared as part of the process. One example is the Agile Piloting Programme  to accelerate public private collaboration within smart city development used in the Finnish 6 cities, that took first steps in Norway during fall 2019. Furthermore the model of market dialogue run by Copenhagen Solutions Lab was able to reach companies from Nordics widely.

Get to know the projects:

Bergen: Mobility hub academy

The overall goal was to share learnings and best practices from the city of Bergen and encourage other cities as urban labs to develop their own solutions. The mobility hub is a concept for promoting shared mobility in cities, based on the City of Bremen’s “mobil.punkt” concept. The Mobility hubs are promoting environmentally friendly travel solving the last/first mile challenge and coupling different modes of transport in one physical place, and thereby facilitating multi-modal transport for citizens.

The key activities in the collaboration project consisted of a workshop in Bergen with the city of Bremen and the Nordic follower cities. The follower cities Stavanger, Vejle, Tampere, Reykjavik and Tromsø are in different stages in implementing their own mobility hubs. Gaining understanding on digital content in the mobility hubs and the social aspects were the most valuable elements for the follower cities. Live visits at the hubs and discussion during workshop days served as collaboration activities that help to transfer knowledge to build better services for citizens. The learnings supported the development work in the follower cities.


Copenhagen: People and Flow

People and flow project run by the city of Copenhagen brought understanding on how new infrastructure influences how people move around the city as pedestrians or on bikes. The project was seeking the best possible ways to collect people flow data.  A market dialogue was run with 30+ companies with several international companies attending. The results brought new understanding on the benefits of different data gathering methods. The insights were shared with the network cities in a report and in a workshop organized for the follower cities.

A pilot is currently running testing how 24h a day counts from thermal sensors can inform cityplanners. The sensors are installed at the Town Hall Square, where a new metro station recently opened. The data is compared with manual pedestrian counting methods, to see what are the strengths and weaknesses in both collection methods. The data will be gathered until August 2020. The next steps will continue with be methods of analysis.  So far, he project has provided learnings on the processes from privacy issues (GDPR) to securing power at mounting places and how it affects the technology and reach of sensors.