The City of Tampere in Finland is the sixth most populous city in the Nordic countries, yet it has sustained a small town like feel with friendly and casual atmosphere – over time. Like many other smart cities around the globe, even Tampere has its strategic program defined for a specific period of time between 2017 and 2021. The city has incorporated a number of smart initiatives under this program with the main focus being on encouraging digitalisation and sustainability “through ecosystem development and agile piloting”.
Going one step further, the City of Tampere has shared its smart city formula and the success they have achieved over the months in implementing the smart city plans. But before moving on to the main chapter, let us have a look at the smart city initiatives being rolled out in the City of Tampere.
Smart City Pilots
1. Tram Test
Tampere is working on introducing the future tramway by 2021 which will offer ample opportunities to test innovative technologies and develop new services. The pilot phase of the project which was completed successfully validated that cameras are a viable technology for crowd detecting. Going further, the initiative will move in the direction of sustainability and business cooperation.
2. Smartphone For Video Interpretation
The City of Tampere has launched a pilot program to test remote video-based interpreting service via smartphones for health centres and day care centres. The initiative aims at enhancing the customer communications and guidance by satisfying the acute interpretation needs. The interpretation service is used by an application that is installed on a smartphone. This app helps day care and health centre staff to get in touch with an interpreter who interprets a conversation instantly. Currently, the interpretation service is available in Arabic, Spanish, Burmese, Dari, Farsi, French, Russian, Polish, Chinese, Pashto, Romanian, Somali, Sorani, Swahili, Thai, Tigrinya, Turkish, Estonian and Vietnamese.
3. Utilising Unique Data Combinations
Another ongoing pilot program in Tampere revolves around gathering traffic data in a unique way so as to enhance the utilisation of data. The pilot aims at finding out how the data captured by the traffic cameras can be deployed to comprehend/understand traffic pattern. The city is testing a recognition method that can enable them to count the number of pedestrians, cyclists, cars, and prams individually. This will act as a useful tool that will improve traffic planning and maintenance. All the more, using the traffic data in combination with other data such as weather and event information will further open up the big picture of the city which can help in making smarter decisions for future development. Currently, a test environment has been created to investigate the data quality, flaws and requirements for further improvement.
The Smart City Cookbook From Tampere
The Finnish City of Tampere drives its focus towards embracing innovative and digital smart city solutions by establishing cooperation between organisations, companies, municipalities, and citizens. The smart city program of Tampere has classified the critical pillars of an urban environment into smart health, smart mobility, smart government and citizen, smart buildings and infrastructure, smart education and smart industry.
After having achieved success in a number of smart city pilots in various sectors (critical pillars), The Finnish city has published its introductory guide called “Smart City Cookbook” open for access by anyone at free of cost. The book includes a set of examples that can be used by smart city programme leaders and developers while creating the operational framework for managing smart city activities.
This effort made by the City of Tampere is not just based on the experience and case studies of the city. In fact, the Cookbook has harvested the best practices from cities throughout the world, supported the facts with examples and compiled everything into Smart City Cookbook.
Nick Cotton, the author of the book, project manager, and smart city education and operational development at the city of Tampere said, “The cookbook is based on experiences we have gathered from our smart city activities in Tampere and hopefully it inspires people working with this theme both in Finland and cities internationally.”
Smart City Cookbook is a 56-page book available in pdf format online. The book comprises the fundamental elements of a smart city programme and provides suggestions and course of action in the direction of implementation. It also features measurement frameworks that are a scorecard framework that shows strategic advancement that leads us towards specific goals – helping others to re-apply the approach. Additionally, the book offers guidance to create and deploy ICT and other smart city solutions as an integral part of a vision that includes the establishment of a sustainable and secure smart city.
The Smart City Cookbook delivers a core message that development in a smart city should offer sustainability, safety and high-quality of life for citizens while positioning people at the centre of innovation and transformation.
The Beginning Of The Cookbook
The first part of the book talks about the ‘definition of a smart city ecosystem which goes like this:
A smart city implements ICT, useful data and other such tools innovatively to enhance the quality of life, the efficiency of urban operations and services, and competitiveness with a secure and sustainable approach. A smart city makes sure that it looks after the needs of present and future generations in terms of economic, social, environmental, and cultural aspects. Successful smart cities embrace a “system of systems” approach to service delivery and establish collaborative service and ICT models that concentrate on shared results across organisational boundaries. Smart city technology is deployed to enhance transparency while engaging businesses as well as citizens.
In terms of business, a smart city ecosystem can be visualised as a group of partners working as a value network. Considering the demand and context of an ecosystem, a city can have different roles to play. Hence, the approach needed to manage a smart city ecosystem can be categorised into:
Innovator and Investor: The roles involve applying the rules of innovation in the internal organisation and processes – driving innovative solutions by performing as launching customer.
Strategist and Advocate: The focus is on establishing a clear route for a smart city while working as an active advocate of the city that is seen as an innovative hub for new business.
Solution Enabler: This involves developing ecosystems by attracting parties to work together in order to provide creative new solutions. Furthermore, the role also aims at sustaining the ecosystems by channelling government funding.
Director and Regulator: The role incorporates the creation and modification of laws and regulation to enable development of new business models and disruptive entries while safeguarding the interests of the users of the city.
Steward: A steward creates an atmosphere where new businesses and smart solutions get space to breathe and grow.
Connector and Protector: Here the focus needs to be on securing modern transportation infrastructures, digital networks, and energy grids. For this, certain standards and measures need to be taken to make these infrastructures resilient and safe for use.
While this is just a glimpse from the Smart City Cookbook, more details can be found from the official website of the Smart City of Tampere.