Tampere to usher in an era of smart urban development

Finland's second largest urban region has invited communities, companies and organisations to contribute to its development.

Tampere has unveiled plans to invest up to €10 billion establishing itself as a fully-integrated and internationally-attractive smart city.

The city says it is prepared to serve as a testing ground for the development of smart solutions to contemporary urban challenges, and both broker and facilitate co-operation between various communities, companies and organisations in a way that promotes economic growth and improves the quality of life for its citizens.

“Our aim is to open up the major challenges faced by the city and develop innovative solutions to them in collaboration with companies,” Anna-Kaisa Ikonen, the Mayor of Tampere, says in a press release.

Tampere, the heart of the second largest urban region in Finland, has also reiterated its commitment to publishing public-sector information, such as budget, location and traffic information, in accordance with the principles of open data.

“Openness, partnerships and a culture of experimentation are the key principles of our new programme,” says Ikonen, referring to the newly-launched development programme Smart Tampere.

“We are confident that the creation of collaboration-based ecosystems will spur the growth of smart companies.”

Teppo Rantanen, the executive director of economic policy, competitiveness and innovation at the City of Tampere, believes the programme will also make the region an even more attractive destination for foreign investment.

“Tampere has a strong history of co-operation with a variety of organisations, and now we have a dynamic process that further encourages active co-operation,” he says.

A number of development projects are already in motion, the press release indicates. The projects will initially revolve around the themes of smart city, smart health, smart industry, smart building, smart infrastructure, smart mobility, smart education and know-how, and smart government and citizens.

Sari Toivonen, a senior advisor at Invest in Finland, is delighted with the willingness of local governments to turn to the private sector for ways to utilise digital technologies as drivers of urban development.

“Finnish cities are definitely more active in opening up their projects also to foreign companies, especially in search of innovative solutions to urban development,” she says.