The 2nd Smart City Exchange Forum
by FinEst Centre for Smart Cities
27 of January 2022
This event is over for 2022. Thank you everyone who joined!
Smart cities for citizens: Tangible Smart City solutions
The 2nd Smart City Exchange Forum focused on the role of the citizens to create tangible smart city solutions. This Exchange Forum consisted of three-panel discussions: The first panel reflected around on how the smart cities enable citizen-centric governance, the second on digital tools and citizen inputs for creating better urban spaces and the third on how citizens can be involved with cities to reach sustainable development goals.
The Exchange Forum was a space to question the role of smart cities in the future of urban life. Who are smart cities for? How can technological solutions improve citizens quality of life? How does research in FinEst Centre for Smart Cities support the transition towards smarter and more sustainable cities?
The Exchange Forum brought together examples from tangible smart city solutions, from practitioners, city representatives and research and institutions. Many of the people involved are also part of the Piloting Programmes of FinEst Centre.
The Forum was currently an online event due to the COVID pandemics but with the hope of becoming an important meeting point for all the smart city stakeholders from research, local and national governments, citizen communities and private sector partners in near future.
The 2nd Smart City Exchange Forum panels' recordings are now available!
The 2nd Smart City Exchange Forum introduction & opening words by Signe Ratso
Exchange Forum's 1st Panel: Reflecting on the values created by citizen centric smart governance
Exchange Forum's 2nd Panel: Smart tools for participatory urban design
Exchange Forum's 3rd Panel: Discussing citizen-centric collaboration on reaching sustainable development goals in cities
Forum's Panelists and Moderators
1st panel "Reflecting on the values created by citizen centric smart governance"
2nd panel "Smart tools for participatory urban design"
3rd panel "Discussing citizen-centric collaboration on reaching sustainable development goals in cities"
1st panel Moderator
Professor of Innovation and Public Governance at Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose, UCL
Adjunct professor at Ragnar Nurkse Department of Innovation and Governance at Taltech
Director of Research Operations in Demos Helsinki
"Cities are the main stage for the play where we, the people, try to solve the global climate and inequality crises. Sometimes adding smartness, testing innovations, and asking citizens for opinions leads to outcomes that hinder, not help, to solve these crises. We need radically improved ways for joint action to meet the urgency needed."
PhD student at Tallinn University of Technology, Tallinn
"I think oftentimes cities pilot different smart solutions just to look innovative to their citizens. If we have a closer look, cities do not learn much from such pilots. If city administrations really aim to improve public services and the life of the residents then they need to be more inclusive and think more about the design of the pilots."
Housing Expert in Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communication
„The feel of belonging and connection with the neighbourhood creates the strongest motivation that thrives local engagement in city development. The question is on how to create and convert that motivation into better homes and well-planned city.“
Deputy Director-General at the European Commission's Directorate-General for Research and Innovation
“Trust is a two-way street: citizens trust the governments if the governments show trust in citizens’ opinions. Combining our R&I investments with active citizen engagement, we will increase trust in new solutions and achieve much higher impact. This is what our new EU Missions are about - for and with the citizens.”
President of the Italian National Innovation Fund, CDP Venture Capital.
“We need to put technology and data at the service of people and the ecological transition: a digital humanism preserving citizens’ digital rights and their data sovereignty.”
Researcher at FinEst Centre for Smart Cities and lecturer at the TalTech Academy of Architecture and Urban Studies
"In this era revolving around emphasising individual needs, it is very easy to forget how to co-create shared futures. Public participation is similar to any other skill, that needs to be trained to become habitual culture."
Chief strategist Future Mobility Systems at Vinnova - Sweden's Innovation Agency
“To create a shift in the society that really sticks, we need to start with the wishes and desires of people.”
CEO of Maptionnaire, a digital tool for creating map-based surveys
"Cities are designed and built for people, therefore we should embrace the knowledge people have of their living environment."
3rd panel Moderator
Programme manager at UN-Habitat, the UN agency for sustainable cities
He leads initiatives on digital technologies, people-centered smart cities and open innovation
Project Manager in Smart City and Mobility solutions, City of Turku
“The smart city technology is here and now we need brave and smart decisions to use it for more people and environment friendly cities.”
Head of Strategy Development and International Cooperation at Tallinn Strategy Centre
"The smart city is not about the efficiency of the deployment of innovative solutions, but about how it contributes towards achieving the value-based goals of sustainable urban development, such as climate and social resilience and co-creation with the citizens."
Head of Partnerships and Strategy at FinEst Centre and Member of Supervisory Boards of Eesti Energia AS and Elektrilevi OÜ
„Ideally should all citizens be active to voice out their views about their city developments. Cities should strive to apply Swiss democracy model to support collective decision-making processes. It sounds easy, but would also mean a shift of powers in the cities.“
Energy policy assistant of Energy Commissioner at European Commission
“Big city or a small village, no matter the geographic location of the space, the places that we inhabit are the ones where we create and leave our trace. So let’s get cooking.”
Postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Information and Service Management, Aalto University School of Business, Finland
"To develop sustainable smart city solutions, we need digital technologies. But more importantly, we must encourage and empower citizens, regardless of their background, to participate in developing and using those solutions."
The 1st Smart City Exchange Forum
The 1st Smart City Exchange Forum was the culmination of one year of work and progress by the members of the FinEst Centre for Smart Cities' research streams. As the COVID-19 pandemic hit, we were forced to revisit the First Smart City Conference originally planned for the 5th of November of 2020 in Tallinn and transform it into the current format as the Smart City Exchange Forum. The 1st Smart City Exchange Forum was held on the 21st of January of 2021.
This event gathers content from a series of smaller talks and seminars and from the most relevant research of FinEst Centre. The Forum was a hybrid online event for our research community to communicate their ideas and plans as well as to share their research and find new connections with practitioners and cities.
The Forum aims to communicate the research content of FinEst Centre and to enhance cooperation and networking between researchers from Estonia and Finland as well as between cities, policymakers, citizens, NGO-s, SMES and other relevant stakeholders for developing sustainable, resilient and smarter urban environment.