Nordland County Council is working on a strategy on urban and regional development. The strategy will constitute a conceptual and integrated basis for the organisation of effective urban policies in small and medium-sized cities in the Nordic peripheral context that can contribute to the promotion of urban and regional development and how the region can benefit from learning from other EU regions. Bodø is also planning to become a « Smart City ».
On 19 November Nordland County Council organized a workshop as a part of « Open Days 2015». The local event made a perfect arena for exchanging best practices and experiences, and gave us the opportunity to have a closer look on successful projects in Sweden and the Netherlands (Gothenburg and Almere), in order to learn from other European countries.
The reason for choosing Almere in the Netherlands is the current situation of Bodø. Bodø has been the centre for a major air force base since the second world war that is now closing down and gives an unique opportunity for land development. The area is twice the size of today’s city centre.
Almere is the youngest city in the Netherlands and a New Town within the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area. They currently have the ambition to double the city of Almere in size and population. The big question is how it can be done in a way that can be characterized as sustainable. As the quality of our future is increasingly dependent on the quality of our cities, whether it is Gothenburg, Almere or Bodø.
Almere has a Smart Society philosophy. Remember that it is about people, not technology. Three important principles:
- open platform (collaboration)
- open data (standards, availability)
- open innovation (arise from practice)
Nordland also looked to Sweden and the City of Gothenburg. Gothenburg wants to use the Smart Cities to contribute to a good climate for innovation for the city, business and academia. One of the goals is developing Gothenburg as a demo and trial city using the citiy’s development areas to test new technologies, new models, new ways of working, dialogue, etc.
The strategy creates a platform for development projects that creates business opportunities for companies, strengthens the network both within the region and internationally.