Travel restrictions due to the pandemic have made the visit platform Smart City Sweden work in new ways
More than half of the world’s population is living in cities and that number is expected to increase to almost 70 % by 2050. At the same time, the world is facing great environmental challenges and cities are a key to the transition to a sustainable future.
The platform Smart City Sweden works to increase the cooperation between Sweden and other countries in issues connected to sustainable cities. Smart City Sweden, managed by IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute and coordinated by the Swedish Energy Agency, welcomes delegations from all over the world that are interested in solutions within areas such as urban planning, mobility, cleantech, waste management and sustainability. The goal is to inspire other countries in the shift to a more sustainable society.
Since the start of the project in 2018, the platform has received thousands of visitors from more than 60 countries at the main office in Stockholm and the regional offices around Sweden.
– Through Smart City Sweden, cooperation between Sweden and many other countries has strengthened and we can now see results from visits that have led to further collaboration. Pre-studies in Colombia and Morocco on waste and mobility and a follow-up visit on smart grids in Germany are just some of the examples of successful visits from last year, says Tomas Andersson, Project Manager at Smart City Sweden.
Focus on digital development
In March, a digital Smart City Sweden was launched, and since then hundreds of digital visits and webinars have been held with over 2000 participants in total from all continents. China, the Netherlands and Denmark were some of the top countries in terms of participants. The areas of interest differed from energy-efficiency, transport and waste management to social sustainability and digitalisation.
– We can see that there is still a great interest around Swedish sustainable solutions from international investors. By going digital, Smart City Sweden has managed to continue to develop collaborations even during the pandemic, says Annika Nilsson, responsible administrator at the Swedish Energy Agency.
As a part of the digitalisation of the platform, a film was produced to demonstrate Swedish solutions for sustainable cities. Webinars have been arranged in all Smart City Sweden’s focus areas and virtual 360° tours have been created to take the viewers on a virtual journey to some of the best practice that Sweden has to offer.
In 2021, the platform will expand to be able to welcome even more visitors, digitally as well as physically.