11 May 2022

The Intelligent Cities Challenge (ICC) organised its third Geographical Chapter Meeting (GCM) online on 28 April 2022 for participating Nordic ICC cities. This meeting brought together 8 Nordic cities and showcases great examples of how collaboration is key for innovation.

Cities attending included Aarhus (Denmark), Espoo (Finland), Jyväskylä (Finland), Karlskrona (Sweden), Pori (Finland), Skellefteå (Sweden), Tampere (Finland) and Turku (Finland). The event was led by Anne-Mari Järvelin (4FRONT) and welcomed by Dana Eleftheriadou (Head of Cities and Proximity Team, DG GROW), and representatives from Business Tampere, KPMG, Prizztech and SERN.

The purpose of this meeting was to provide ICC cities with time for debate and reflection on Green Economy strategy and solutions. The Mayor of Pori, Aino-Maija Luukkonen, underlined the political and strategical context of the shift towards a green economy. It was also an opportunity for Nordic mentor cities to provide advice and inspire invited cities and opening discussions to come up with joint solution regarding challenges faced.

The announcement of the 100 EU cities selected to be part of the EU Mission for 100 climate-neutral and smart cities by 2030 was also highlighted during the meeting. Amongst these 100 cities, 23 are ICC cities and more intel on this Mission can be found on our article “23 ICC cities selected for the EU Mission 100 climate-neutral and smart cities by 2030”.

Key outcomes

Thanks to a series of presentation from several Nordics ICC cities, participants were able to broaden their knowledge concerning the Green Economy solutions.

  • Following the presentation from Aino-Maija Luukkonen, the Mayor of City of Pori (Finland), participants understood that the shift towards Green Economy can also be used and seen as an opportunity for business growth and attractiveness for a city. And this is something that the Intelligent Cities Challenge (ICC) can promote and is aligned with as well.
  • Iris Kriikkula from the City of Turku (Finland) shared the city’s ambitious plan to be Climate Positive from 2029 onwards and gave insights on how they are planning to achieved this. For instance, the city has developed a model to assess impacts on climate and environment during the life cycle of construction projects.
  • The innovative use of robots to clean the cities was presented by representative from the city of Aarhus (Denmark) Søren Tranberg Hansen. They developed their first national robot strategy in 2020 to clean up the rubbish in the city, but also doing autonomous and emission-free driving and collecting. This strategy is being developed and studies with the ITK City Lab to further spread it at a national level.
  • Similar to the presentation of Turku (Finland), the City of Espoo (Finland) presented how they are considered as a centre of excellence for sustainable development and shared concrete examples of how they achieve this status.

Looking forward

ICC cities participating in this meeting reached consensus on the benefits of this type of meeting as a starting point for deeper collaboration between cities. They believe that it is beneficial in a geographical level to be able to share know-how and good practices in face-to-face meetings with concrete themes and targets.

The ICC appreciates all active participants and looks forward to the upcoming Geographical Chapter Meetings.