Nordic Cities Beyond Digital Disruption

The stories of places like Songdo in South Korea or Masdar city in Abu Dhabi fit the classic Smart City mold: technologically highly advanced, newly built cities, planned in a top- down manner by leading architects and technology companies. This, however, is not the reality in which most of us urban-dwellers live: In 30 years’ time, the majority of urban dwellers will still live in neighbourhoods built in the 20th century.

Yet the Smart City approach is the paradigm of urban development in the 2010s. Nordic Cities Beyond Digital Disruption publication introduces a new way to develop vibrant and smart cities. Smart urban services provide new jobs and make cities more livable. The strongest urban vitality comes from the engagement of locals, the existence of good services and fit infrastructure.

Past two years KTH CESC, Demos Helsinki and 12 other Nordic cities, companies and universities have worked on how actors of built environment can push our cities onto a new path of success by improving inhabitants’ experience through incorporating a new wave of smart urban services to existing urban environments. Nordic Cities Beyond Digital Disruption collects the learnings, tests, urban renewal models and scenarios developed in a beautiful way.

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

– Saskia Sassen, Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology at Columbia University, author of The global city: New York, London, Tokyo.

The future city is the outcome of everybody’s right to urban life, an urban life that is not only meaningful but also playful, filled with creativity and dialogue.

– Peter Ache, Professor, Nijmegen School of Management, Radboud University

I agree with everything I read. I am grateful that you (and apparently others) believe that the your existing urban structure and building stock form the foundation for growth. Ah, how we humans have evolved!

– Jeff Speck, City Planner & Urban Designer

I love the idea of Nordic Cities Beyond Digital Disruption because of its approach of our cities largely already being built, certainly in the western world. We need a 21st century solution for 21st century cities.

– Dan Hill, Arup

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