SMART CITY BRANDING: SMART oslo THROUGH RAYMOND JOHANSEN’S EYES  

oslo, 5 february 2017- 14.00 CEST

 

Mr. Johansen is the Governing Mayor of Oslo since 21 October, 2015. Johansen served as the Secretary General of the Labor Party from 2009 until 2015 when he resigned to run for Governing Mayor of Oslo. Governing Mayor Johansen has gained broad experience from working with international development from his work as Head of Department in the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, as Secretary General for the Norwegian Refugee Council and as State Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign affairsKajsa Ollongren is the Deputy Mayor of Amsterdam and an Alderperson since 18 June 2014. Ms. Ollongren served as the Secretary-General of the Ministry of General Affairs from 2011 until 2014.   

IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT MIGHT Oslo’S MANTRA BE, IN FEW WORDS?

My vision for Oslo is to make it a greener, more inclusive and creative city for all citizens.

WHAT ARE THE INTANGIBLE ASSETS OF SMART CITY Oslo?

Oslo is, in a word, compact. Here you will find everything you need within easy reach. But we do have a lot of space. Not only physical space, but room for new ideas, research, innovation and entrepreneurship.

Compared to the rest of the world, Oslo has few hierarchies. We are an informal and egalitarian society. The distance is short between people and power, between words and action, and we are used to collaborate across disciplines.

We are not afraid to make mistakes and learn from them, and we efficiently implement new technologies and services.

WHAT IS SMART OSLO’S GREATEST STRENGTH?

Oslo has a very young and technology friendly population. The age group 25-35 will increase by 40% next 10 years and are talented and highly educated. We have a strong ICT business sector and a fast growing start up scene –we have all the ingredients for an innovative environment. This makes Oslo the perfect place to test new technologies and digital services.

We are early adapters of new technology, and test market for leading providers of ecommerce like IBM and Visa.

Lack of hierarchies fosters creativity and collaboration, and we have world-leading clusters in high technology. Oslo has one of the most highly educated populations in Europe. In addition, almost half of Norway’s R&D activity is located in the Oslo region.

Advanced technology and expertise are found within fields such as health, education, finance, shipping and maritime services, information and communication technologies, energy and environmental technologies, life sciences and culture industries

Oslo enables and supports personal growth not only through the work-life balance, but also through a vibrant cultural scene, ethnic diversity, and a unique proximity to nature. Total commuting time is one of the lowest among competitive world cities.

CAN YOU BE A SMART CITY WITHOUT A LONG TERM AND PUBLIC SMART CITY PLAN?

We are already smart in many ways, but we need a shared vision for smart city development. We are now in process to prepare a strategy document for an overall vision for a smarter Oslo, across all sectors and in cooperation with relevant stakeholders internally and externally.

HOW is SMART Oslo CONNECTING THE INTERNAL SILOS?

We want the City of Oslo to be open, connected, sustainable and innovative. To get out of the internal silos we will create and develop a description of a smarter Oslo as a method on how to work across sectors. We need to develop methods, change the culture, get better access to financing, create new business models and interact with citizens and businesses. We are going to develop solutions and tools for collaborative innovation, to supplement and strengthen the city’s openness, connectivity and sustainability and propose specific projects and initiatives that contribute to smart city development.

WHAT ARE THE SMARTER PROJECTS OF SMART Oslo?

We have a wide range of smart city projects in the pipeline, from testing el-busses, zero emission construction sites and retrofitting existing buildings to developing circle-based waste management and green energy systems. Any citizen-oriented services that can be digitalized will be digitalized and the needs of our citizens will be the guiding principles for development.

One example is the Climate Dashboard. This is a pilot project to demonstrate communication of the efforts in climate change work. Oslo aspires to make climate statistics and historical data more engaging and motivating. The Climate Dashboard shall aid the change towards a more climate friendly city, by either showing trends of the climate changes or by referring directly to the statistics and trends.

Another example is the Traffic Agent’s App. The app is created to enable primary school children to map their route to school and register positive and negative spots along the way. It’s primarily about traffic, but also about travel habits. Agency of Urban Environment, Norwegian Centre for Transport Research and Oslo City Teaching Agency have cooperated to create the app. More than 43 000 school children can identify and report hazardous places on the route to and from school, with help from a mobile phone. 

FutureBuilt is a ten-year programme (2010-2020) with a vision of developing carbon neutral urban areas and high-quality architecture. The aim is to complete 50 pilot projects – urban areas as well as individual buildings – with the lowest possible greenhouse gas emissions. These prototypes will also contribute to a good city environment with regard to ecological cycles, health and the general impression of the city.

IN YOUR OPINION, How does political ideology influence your smart city approach?

There are probably more definitions of a smart city as there are leafs on a tree.

For me, as a social democrat, the wellbeing of every the citizens, regardless of social or economic standing, are at the center of a smart city.

For me, a Smart City envisions a sustainable, livable and resilient future, which demands smart application, utilization and integration of new technology and services to benefit the most important piece in the puzzle: the citizen.

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