Digital disruption – a new opportunity for old neighbourhoods

The emergence of the digital economy and the need to drastically cut greenhouse gas emissions are changing the way we live and work, faster than ever before. These megatrends have given rise to numerous smart city initiatives that aim to lead cities into a carbon neutral future with the smart use of digital technology.

But let us not forget to work with what we already have. Old cities with old infrastructure need a new version of smart city: a city that is old but offers the functionalities and amenities of the digital era. Nordic cities as innovation platforms for digital services Smart Retro is a Nordic approach to smart city, developed by the Nordic think tank Demos Helsinki, CESC at KTH Royal Institute of Technology and their 12 partners in both public and private organisations. It integrates a new wave of smart urban services into the existing built environment, thus turning retro into smart. In the Smart Retro project we created a model which leveraged two Nordic neighbourhoods, Bagarmossen in Stockholm, Sweden and the City centre of Lahti in Finland, as innovation platforms. The process accelerated the development of 14 urban smart services in

Näyttökuva 2015-10-29 kello 19.25.55

real neighbourhoods in Finland and Sweden.


Publication online now!

This development model is now presented in the Nordic Cities Beyond Digital Disruption report. The model can be applied in different urban environments by different actors.

To find out more, download the publication here:

Nordic Cities Beyond Digital Disruption is authored by CESC/KTH Royal Institute of Technology and the Nordic think tank Demos Helsinki.

Read more about the Smart Retro project:


Outi Kuittinen, Program Director, Demos Helsinki, outi.kuittinen [@], +358 50 326 5582

Karin Saler, Researcher, KTH CESC, saler [@], +46739065244

Praise for Nordic Cities Beyond Digital Disruption:

I think this is the key way to go…rather than thinking of Songdo as the model.

– Saskia Sassen, Professor at Columbia University & author of the Global City.