city urban development smart cities

Four research projects to enhance sustainability in Nordic cities

Urbanisation is a global trend. Cities of all sizes are crucial for economic development and growth, new knowledge, creativity and innovation. Cities are also to promote health and quality of life, but population density often gives rise to social, economic and environmental challenges such as pollution, traffic congestion, noise and a lack of housing, and these must be resolved if the Nordic cities of tomorrow are to be sustainable.

This spring NordForsk received 56 proposals in a call under the Nordic Initiative for Sustainable Urban Development and Smart Cities. Four of these proposals have now been awarded funding and will be looking at how cities in the Nordic region can become even more sustainable and climate-friendly in the future.

“These projects will generate valuable knowledge about key societal challenges relating to sustainable urban development,” explains Ethel Forsberg, chair of the initiative committee for the Nordic Initiative on Sustainable Urban Development and Smart Cities.

Ethel Forsberg, who is also Director General of Forte (the Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare), states:

“These four projects were selected because they all displayed high scientific quality. They will generate valuable knowledge about key societal challenges relating to sustainable urban development. Together, they address social, economic and ecological dimensions of sustainable urban development.”

Ethel Forsberg also points out that the four projects distinguished themselves from the other proposals in employing a more integrated approach, as they encompass multiple fundamental aspects of sustainable urban development.

“The projects are interdisciplinary, which we believe is essential to developing knowledge about sustainability and subsequently implementing the results in our Nordic cities,” she adds.

The four projects awarded funding are:

SMARTer Greener Cities
Project leader: Erik Andersson, Stockholm University, Sweden

Smart Planning for Healthy and Green Nordic Cities
Project leader: Kjell Nilsson, Nordregio

Citizens as Pilots of Smart Cities
Project leader: Tuomas Ahola, Tampere University, Finland

Nordic participatory, healthy and people-centred cities
Project leader: Nuria Castell, Norwegian Institute for Air Research, Norway