Stavanger City coat of arms

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The Future of Smart City Stavanger

The future is climate neutral

Stavanger has defined a goal to reduce our emissions by 80 %, but aims to become climate-neutral by 2030. The ambition is to not only get to zero, but to co-create the city in the process to become even more attractive, inclusive, and sustainable - for living, working, tourism, investments, and so much more. This shift is unprecedented. There is no singular roadmap in terms of physical solutions, organisation, or roles of societal actors. The European Mission on Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities (EU Cities Mission), aiming to create 100 climate-neutral and socially innovative cities by 2030, completely changes the market and societal landscape. All sectors need to learn to re-think and re-frame the way they work for the transition to succeed, as these complex societal challenges cannot be solved with current methods and tools. A large part of the answer lies in the way we work and collaborate. Read more in detail in our Climate and Environmental Plan 2018-2030. 

Reinvention through transition

The city of Stavanger has shown time and time again that it can transition when history requires it. This entrepreneurial city has reinvented itself throughout the course of history, from traders in herring and sardines to oil to becoming a first generation H2020 Smart Cities and Communities Lighthouse in the Triangulum project and to climate neutrality. These transitions have given the city the organisational knowledge and infrastructures required to transition again, to climate neutrality. We are actively working towards finding ways to develop our city to become more inclusive, beautiful, and sustainable. Read more on how we are transitioning as a city and working towards becoming an attractive city to work in at Stavanger Business Region.

Foto: Elisabeth Tønnesen

Inclusion – a feeling of community

The City of Stavanger has put inclusion on the top of their agenda.
Exclusion has become a growing challenge in recent years, especially following the damages caused by covid-19. A rapport published in 2022 revealed that the City of Stavanger is experiencing an increase in exclusion of our young citizens. Today`s society does not use the resources of young citizens. We need to more to help those who loose direction and fall out of the system.
More and more projects where inclusion is the set as the main goal has been implemented in the recent years. One of them is Youth Citizen Panel. The project selected 24 middle school students that were given the opportunity to influence decision-makers in the city administration. The students learned about their district and gave feedback on what their needs are in their own neighbourhoods.

Participants in Norways first citizen panel for youth
Participants in Norways first citizen panel for youth
Foto: Youth Citizen Panel

We are also focused on including other groups in our society, such as local entrepreneurs, wanting to solve social challenges. Storhaug Unlimited (SU), located near the end of Pedersgata, is one of those places. SU was created to help local social entrepreneurs who live in the area to start their own business. The idea must benefit the local community and create social value.

Co-creation – we are smarter together

The City of Stavanger is beginning for form a new direction and way of thinking, where we see a stronger connecting between our projects, strategies and plans across the various fields in our city administration. Working with multiple projects in a bigger context gives them greater significance than one project would have alone. We face major societal challenges in the coming years, and we firmly believe our best chance of reaching the ambitious goals we have set is to view our work in a broader context.

Stavanger 2025, a celebration of the city’s 900th birthday, is one example where we put multiple activities into a bigger context. The jubilee is a few years away, but the activities connected to the celebration started a while ago. The celebration gives room to invest in activities and projects which will improve the city’s services towards 2025. One of these activities is Pedersgata, a street with rich culture, long roots, and a vast potential. The goal is to involve citizens and co-create urban spaces in new and better ways to support interaction between people.

This type of work requires various forms of interaction. Smart City Stavanger has multiple projects connected to Pedersgata, which could be used as tools. One example is Living Lab, where the goal is to develop and test innovative solutions in real environments together with our citizens. A project of this character can be used as a means to create a community that generates a sense of belonging, pride and ownership.

A key opponent when developing new and better services is to look to the local businesses in our region. The city of Stavanger has adapted a new and faster way of working with both businesses and citizens, called Kvikktest. This type of project lasts up to six months, where businesses develop and test innovative solutions to answer a challenge from us in a real environment. One such environment could be Pedersgata.

Projects on a Nordic and European scale     

To help navigate large scale projects on multiple levels, we became a partner in creating the Nordic Smart City Roadmap, which launched in the fall of 2021. The roadmap established a direction on a Nordic level, with a clear roadmap and framework on how Nordic cities can act as drivers and facilitate co-creation processes and adopt new technologies at the same time, while honouring the interests of all citizens. 

Stavanger is gearing up to take on projects which will push us closer to our goals of becoming climate neutral by 2030, reinvent our city, include our citizens, and put them in the centre of developing new and better services.