The Six City Strategy strives to enable growth in sustainable manner in the six biggest cities of Finland. The social aspect is embedded in operationalisation of the strategy in terms of open participation, co-development, equal opportunities and non-discrimination, and equality between men and women. The objective is that collaboration between diverse groups of stakeholders will reinforce the regional innovation system so that the knowledge base continues to expand. New knowledge is needed to address the global challenges such as climate change, ageing population, and urbanisation. In the center there are the human being and his/her need to have a good life in a safe and sustainable environment for living, learning and working.
Thematically the emphasis of the Six City Strategy is on circular economy, mobility, learning, employment as well as health and wellbeing services. In particular Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 4, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12 and 13 are interwoven with the objectives of the Sustainable urban development strategy of the Six Cities. Moreover, priorities that have been identified in the smart specialisation strategies include for example Urban Clean tech, Digitalising Industry, Citizen City and Health and Wellness, Digital Manufacturing, Smart City Solutions, Circular Economy, Blue Growth and Industrial Modernisation and ICT and Software Applications for Industry.
The cities have also set ambitious goals to become carbon neutral, for some of them as soon as 2029. However cities cannot address these issues alone, cooperation with the education sector, businesses and citizens is essential. By developing and testing the solutions in real life settings, companies also discover opportunities and new prospects in the global markets. New smart city solutions are based on data, digitalisation and co-created in close collaboration with cities, companies, research and development organisations and citizens (quadruple helix) in open innovation platforms. New partnerships and community driven bottom-up approach challenge the cities’ role and operating models and force them to be more open and agile. This also shows as a switch from a linear innovation process to open innovation processes, engaging different stakeholders in the development work.