– We need to walk the talk and start taking action in our cities, said Norwegian Minister of Local Government and Modernisation Jan Tore Sanner at the closing of the Nordic Built Cities Arena in Copenhagen.

Danish and Swedish Ministers Carsten Hansen and Mehmet Kaplan opened the conference, where the almost 250 Nordic and international participants heard a wide range of Nordic experts from the Nordic building and city planning sector give inspiring examples of how we can develop liveable, smart and sustainable solutions to the common urban challenges.

 
Inspirational speakers from across the Nordic region gathered in Copenhagen in April to share their experiences on how to develop liveable, smart and sustainable cities. In addition, participants got the opportunity to give their input to the new Nordic Built Cities programme. Forum Virium Helsinki’s CEO Jarmo Eskelinen, one of the speakers at the event, gave a presentation under the theme “Nordic innovative solutions for urban spaces”. 

– Making data locked should be illegal, was Jarmo Eskelinen’s radical proposal during his talk on smart cities.

– Civic hackers and openness are the most important foundation of smart cities, added the Forum Virium Helsinki CEO.


Photo by Nordic Innovation

Nordic Built Cities Arena was not only a meeting place for players from the Nordic building industry and related industries – it was where the transition from the previous Nordic Built programme to the new Nordic Built Cities programme was marked. Participants got to listen the results and learnings from the Nordic Built programme and were able to contribute to the upcoming activities in the Nordic Built Cities programme.
 
– The Nordic region should grasp this opportunity. We need to support the development of new innovations, and make good cases to demonstrate the strengths of the Nordic building sector, said Danish minister of Housing, Urban and Rural Affairs and minister of Nordic Co-operation, Carsten Hansen in his opening speech.
 
The two programmes are closely associated, but while the Nordic Built programme (2012-2014) focused on the development of Nordic innovative solutions for sustainable building, the core of the Nordic Built Cities programme (2015-2017) is the development, visualisation and export of Nordic innovative solutions for urban spaces.
 
The Arena also marked the formal launch of the Nordic Built Cities Challenge – an open, needs-driven driven competition based on the Charter, aiming at developing and visualising Nordic innovative solutions for liveable, smart and sustainable cities.

The competition invites cities and building owners throughout the Nordic region to bring forth the challenges they are facing when trying to develop sustainable urban environments. Subsequently, construction companies or other actors are invited to come up with solutions to these challenges.

 
The event was organised by Nordic Innovation in cooperation with the Danish Ministry of Housing, Urban and Rural Affairs.