The Nordic Smart City Network (NSCN) received funding for a new collaboration project, Nordic Healthy Cities, that runs until April 2022. The project has a total budget of 10.200.000 NOK of which 5.000.000 NOK is direct funding from Nordic Innovation.
The aim is to create supportive urban environments and living, to improve health and quality of life, and thus support Nordic Innovation’s vision of a sustainable and integrated health region. NSCN will cooperate with private companies to deliver sustainable solutions to deal with the health challenges brought by increased urbanization.
Today, more than half of the population in the world lives in urban areas. By 2050, the UN predicts that this number will increase to about two-thirds of the world’s population. As a result, the cities of tomorrow will be dense and above all, congested. In other words, sustainable development cannot be achieved if we do not change the way we organize and build our cities.
The Nordic Healthy Cities project serves to mitigate and prevent health challenges and set the public sector as a driver of innovation in close partnership with private companies. Efficient urban planning and management practices must be in place to deal with the health and wellbeing challenges brought by urbanization. Data-driven development of the urban environment serves to improve health and the quality of life, as well as functional city developments such as climate protection initiatives.
The Nordic Smart City Network brings together 20 cities from 5 Nordic countries that will soon decide on 5 collaboration projects. The cities are now developing and sharing project ideas that will lead to a final decision before summer 2020. The 5 projects will test new innovative practices to tackle health effects in future urban areas. It is of great importance to both NSCN and Nordic Innovation that the projects are innovative and prioritize the transfer of learning to other Nordic cities and potentially other and bigger markets. By sharing knowledge and learnings from innovation projects and by collaborating with private businesses, the Nordic cities will scale successful projects within their city to other partner cities. Individually, each of the Nordic cities might be a small player in the global arena, but together in the network we gain a critical mass, a safe environment to experiment and try new solutions, and a place to share learnings that can benefit the whole region.