Smart Retro: A novel way of developing cities with digital services

Many urban areas – buildings, services and urban activities alike – are dilapidating. To tackle this problem, Demos Helsinki, KTH CESC and 12 other Nordic cities, companies and universities came together to start Smart Retro – a 2 year project (2014–2015) on how actors of the built environment can push our cities onto a new path of success. This was to be done by improving the experience of inhabitants through incorporating a new wave of smart urban services to existing urban environments.

During the project, the Peloton Smart Retro Accelerator Program brought together startups, cities and corporations to develop new innovations and business models. The program used rapid experimentation to put ideas into contact with real users in real urban testbeds. The findings of Smart Retro were put together in a final report, Nordic Cities Beyond Digital Disruption. The report outlines the current state and challenges of Nordic cities, introduces three backcasting scenarios for the future of cities and draws together lessons learned from the accelerator program.

You can read more about Smart Retro on the project website.