How to support the development of healthy, inclusive and green neighbourhoods in the Nordic neighbourhoods? Five Nordic cities launched an open call seeking for agile pilots for this challenge to be piloted in three Nordic urban labs. The pilots have now been selected and they will be run with local urban labs in Helsinki, Vantaa and Stavanger.
The Healthy Liveable Neighbourhoods open call focused on green infrastructure and sustainable foodscapes. Three different topics were addressed by the cities: new digital participatory solutions supporting the planning of green infrastructure, block level urban farming solutions, and new local food related business models that engage and involve local citizens and producers. Altogether 17 offers from five different countries were received through an open call launched in March 2021.
The piloting programme is part of the Nordic Healthy Cities project run by the Nordic Smart City Network and funded by the Nordic Innovation. Forum Virium Helsinki coordinates the agile piloting programme with Vantaa, Stavanger, Copenhagen, Kristiansand as participating cities. The pilots will be run in a co-creative way and experiences will be shared in the Nordic Smart City Network.
Healthy and green neighbourhoods together with residents
A total of five companies running three different pilots were selected for the project to pilot their solutions.
Helsinki pilot: Green Kalasatama
In Helsinki, the focus was on digital participatory solutions that could support the planning of green infrastructure. Granlund’s pilot, Green Kalasatama, demonstrates an engaging and educative approach for resident participation with the use of augmented reality technology. The mobile application allows users to place virtual green infrastructure elements, such as trees and bushes, in their surrounding area and provides information about their benefits in the urban environment. The pilot will be carried out in one of Kalasatama’s neighbourhoods, Sompasaari, with close proximity to the sea and densely built urban residential blocks. The pilot will invite local schoolchildren and other residents of the area to take a peek into the future with the Green Kalasatama application, and to voice their opinions on how the green area could look like.
”We have a great opportunity to bring Granlund’s pilot together with other ongoing projects in Kalasatama. We look forward to seeing how AR applications can be used to increase resident participation in the planning of green areas, and are eager to communicate the results for the urban planners”, says the Project Manager Silja Peltonen from Forum Virium Helsinki.
Vantaa pilot: Urban Seed & Pollinator Bank
Vantaa wanted to pilot solutions that support block level solutions supporting urban farming and community building. Habeetats and Copenhagen Seeds were selected for this challenge with their Urban Seed & Pollinator Bank pilot. With three different types of nesting shelters their pilot will create conditions for utilizing solitary bees as pollinators in urban farms. The pilot will provide a unique digital learning environment for schools where students can actively monitor the effects of climate change on solitary bees year round. Each nest represents a different climate scenario and signifies a future climate scenario as it absorbs or reflects sunlight and heat. The Urban Seed & Pollinator Bank pilot combines user involvement, promotes bee- and biodiversity and creates a foundation for regenerative food cultivation in the city.
The pollinators are warmly welcomed to the neighbourhoods of Vantaa. ”We hope to create the first node in the network of Urban Seed & Pollinator Banks in Vantaa, and engage the local residents to explore how the pollinators can support diversity in urban environments, and how they are affected by different climate scenarios”, says Henri Laine from the City of Vantaa.
Stavanger pilot: Pick me up – local food opportunities
How to support new business models utilizing local healthy food, making it more accessible and inclusive for the local neighborhoods? Two companies, Co-Creators and Reveel will be working on this challenge together. Their pilot focuses on three local food challenges – price, awareness and accessibility. Co-Creators explore the most suitable pickup points for local products and create awareness among people about the impact of their daily choices. Reveel in turn makes local food products available for consumers in a safe and accessible way. By combining Reveel’s business model and technology with Co-Creators’ service design approach, the aim is to tackle the barriers of selling and buying local food in the area.
“The pilot will take place in the neighbourhood of Storhaug which has a rich and diverse population, and a fast growing food district. We look forward to seeing how Co-Creators and Reveel together can harness these qualities, and support the local food producers and make their products more accessible for the local residents in Storhaug “, says Kristin Kverneland from the City of Stavanger.
Piloting together with the partner cities
The Agile Piloting Programme is a functional way to experiment with new innovative services and technologies in a real-world urban environment and to increase public private collaboration. Learning together and gaining valuable real life experience is the main goal of these short, early phase experiments. Generating new understanding about emerging services and technologies is at the heart of the process.
The cities of Helsinki, Vantaa and Stavanger provide the local neighbourhoods as urban living labs for the “Healthy Liveable Neighbourhoods” pilots. While the cities get valuable learnings and insights, the pilot companies have a unique opportunity to experiment their new services or technologies in a real-world urban environment with the targeted end users. The three different pilots running in the Nordic urban labs enable the partner cities to learn together and share best practices for developing greener, healthier and more inclusive cities.
Photo: Helsinki Marketing.