Nordic cities seek green infrastructure and sustainable food solutions – Cities Today

Will Kreznick

Five Nordic cities have launched an open call to find solutions they can pilot to tackle challenges they have identified around green infrastructure and healthy eating. Helsinki, Vantaa, Stavanger, Copenhagen and Kristiansand are looking for tools which give citizens an input into green infrastructure planning, boost urban farming, and support […]

Five Nordic cities have launched an open call to find solutions they can pilot to tackle challenges they have identified around green infrastructure and healthy eating.

Helsinki, Vantaa, Stavanger, Copenhagen and Kristiansand are looking for tools which give citizens an input into green infrastructure planning, boost urban farming, and support new business models around local, healthy food.

The rapid six-month “agile pilots” are part of the Nordic Healthy Cities project run by the Nordic Smart City Network.

Agile piloting is a challenge-based model for experimenting with new services and technologies in a real-world urban environment with real end users.

One or two pilots will run in Helsinki, Vantaa and Stavanger and those cities will collaborate with and feed back to the other partner cities involved in the initiative as well as the wider Nordic network.

Living labs

Helsinki is looking for digital solutions that can involve citizens in the planning of green infrastructure. The pilots could run in Helsinki’s Smart Kalasatama ‘living lab’ district which is under development.

Vantaa is seeking tools to enable urban farming for residential households.

Stavanger wants to pilot solutions that deliver new business models incorporating local healthy food and making it more accessible and inclusive. The pilot could take place in the Storhaug area of the city.

The open call states: “Co-creation is an essential part of agile piloting. The solutions are developed together with the cities, companies, residents, research partners and other stakeholders.”

It notes that cities can learn about the feasibility of new technologies and services in relation to challenges, while companies get feedback on their product, but that: “Agile piloting primarily aims to create and share new knowledge and understanding, not to result in subsequent procurements or customership with the cities.”

Agile pilots

The call is open until March 28. Forum Virium, the City of Helsinki’s innovation organisation, will manage the pilot submissions.

The total budget for the call is approximately €45,000 (US$54,680).

In a separate project, the Finnish city of Tampere is working with three local companies to explore new methods of sustainable food production.

The initiative will investigate business models for private sector companies as well as the role of the city. It is part of Tampere’s KIEPPI project which is working to create a model for carbon-neutral districts based on circular economy principles.

Image: Daniel Funes Fuentes, Unsplash

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