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Tampere Smart City Week – new perspectives on smartness

Tampere Smart City Week attracted a wide participation, as over 6000 people from near and far attended the smart city themed events. Various perspectives on city smartness were available: everyday life, citizen participation, technologies, industries, business… This article sums up some of the highlights.

Photo: Mirella Mellonmaa

Light of Knowledge event

Technology is a great asset when designing the smart cities of future, but the core idea is to offer better and more sustainable living for residents and businesses. Citizen participation was strongly emphasised in the Light of Knowledge (Tiedon valoa) event that opened the Tampere Smart City Week. 

For further reading: A smart city is designeg together

E-sports day

Monitoimitalo 13 was hosting an E-sports day for all ages to explore the theme. A model for E-sports has been created in Tampere, offering young people an easy way to participate and progress. The model has already aroused interest in other cities, too. A smart city supports the emergence of new ecosystems, such as Tampere Game Hub that was launched last autumn. Gaming has also grown into an important export for Finland.

The Nordic Drone Event 2020

The drone experts met at the Nordic Drone Event 2020 in Tampere to discuss the future of their field of work. Cities expect drones to maybe help them fulfil their sustainability objectives. Therefore it is important to examine when and how drones are really an option contributing to carbon neutrality in, for example, transport and logistics. On the other hand, new solutions are needed for airspace management before drone operations can expand.

Read the article: The future with drones

Smart City Mindtrek 2020

The Smart City Mindtrek 2020 International Conference & Business Expo is a place to be and a topic to follow for anyone interested in smart cities. New ideas, solutions and visions are shared in the event. 

Many of the  sessions are traditionally more or less technology-oriented, but this year Tampere was pointing the smart city development to new directions. The rising theme is citizen participation in smart city design. It is an efficient way to process smart city ideas into concrete actions, services and products that will fulfil real needs.

The opening session in the news: New ideas for a smart city

The Smart City Mindtrek Conference 2020 programme consisted of several tracks. Criss-crossing some of the themes shows what kind of collaboration is needed to make the various smart city solutions happen. Working together between public and private sectors; across borders in industry, research and technology will make sure that one day there will be for example autonomous buses available for more flexible urban mobility.

Read an article: Smart city is not a simple thing to create – that’s why it is done together

One of the most topical and – according to participant feedback most interesting – tracks was artificial intelligence. Many companies around the world and also in Tampere Region are currently exploring it. New jobs, business opportunities and better services are created along with new AI solutions.

For further reading: Artificial Intelligence Solutions Now

There were participants from 29 countries in the Smart City Mindtrek 2020, many of them from the Nordics and Europe, but also from Brazil, the US, Israel, Thailand… The feedback survey shows that most respondents are willing to come back next time around.

Replication event

Finnish cities and their partner companies presented solutions for energy-efficient and carbon-neutral living and mobility in Tampere at the replication event during the Smart City Week. About 50 participants from across Europe studied at the workshop how low-emission housing, district heating and public transport have been developed in Helsinki, Kerava, Oulu, Tampere and Vaasa.

Read more: The lessons of energy-efficient living and mobility

Tampere Business Forum

The Tampere Region is known for its strong industrial history, and it was highlighted in the Tampere Business Forum, the last event of the Tampere Smart City Week. The Forum also took a look at the future, bringing forward ideas to keep the operating environment attractive for business.

Corporate responsibility was widely appreciated and called for by the speakers at the event. Also focusing on the young people and making sure they are familiar with and interested in the regions strong industries. While Tampere is 240 years old with a population of circa 240 000 people, the biggest age group is that of the 24-years-olds – that’s where the future is in the making.

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