S3 for SDGs in the six cities strategy projects

Six City Strategy for sustainable and smart cities.

S3 for SDGs in the six cities strategy projects

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.

Environmental and Economic Sustainability

SDG 7 + Smart Specialisation objectives: Sustainable innovation, Digitalising Industry

Energy Wise Cities project (6Aika pilot projects) : the main objective of the project is to elevate the cities involved into internationally aspirational areas in energy efficient living, zero-energy construction, the implementation of a multiform energy system, monitoring energy-efficiency and user guidance. Examples of objectives are:

  • The creation of a simulation model that enables the design and implementation of a regional energy-wise area and quarter connected to the rest of the energy grid via intelligent control systems.
  • The development of concepts of intelligent and energy-wise buildings, the identification of essential data flows for the optimal control of the building and the development of data collection for depicting the use of the building in cooperation with companies.
  • The promotion of new business opportunities and energy efficiency partnership models in order to achieve the objectives of the national energy efficiency agreement.
  • The development of city planning tools for designing areas closing in on zero energy as well as the overall optimization of regional energy systems.

Climate-friendly Housing Companies project (6Aika pilot projects) : It aims to improve energy efficiency through the utilisation of data collected with the help IoT. The project involves testing IoT sensors to collect observations that can provide a better understanding of a building’s energy efficiency. To analyse these observations, the project is seeking service providers capable of refining this type of data into concrete recommendations for long term planning, for example. The project focuses particularly on questions of ownership of data and making sure that residents have a genuine opportunity to decide on where the data collected from their flat ends up.

Social Sustainability

SDG 8 + RIS3 Objectives employment and competences              

Gametime (6Aika-pilotproject): it supported the employment and study guidance of young people between the ages of 17 and 29 in Oulu and Tampere through Pelifarmi coaching programmes. The coaching programmes focused on building personal paths towards employment for young people. The project supports the employment of young people. Additionally, the project aimed at diversifying the operating preconditions of game development companies, utilising research-based information in the game development industry, increasing young people’s awareness of educational opportunities and lowering barriers to education and training.            

The impact of the Pelifarmi coaching programmes on the lives of the young people participating was studied by the Finnish Youth Research Network. A conclusion of the study was that in addition to game development skills, the group work and lessons that young people participated in during the programmes provided them with networking opportunities and knowledge of their own strengths, among other benefits. The study also found that the Pelifarmi coaching improved the overall well-being of some of the young people participating as a social community. The project developed cooperation between game industry companies, educational institutions and cities. The project allowed companies to establish contact with potential employees.

Main SDGs in the Smart Specialisation Strategy

  • SDG 4. Quality Education
  • SDG 7. Affordable and clean energy
  • SDG 8. Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
  • SDG 11. Sustainable cities and communities
  • SDG 12. Responsible consumption and production
  • SDG 13. Climate action