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What is a Smart City?

A smart city is based on the citizen's needs and applies new technology to make the city a better place to live, reside and work. The smart city work that's been done is based on a constructive collaboration between different players - from both the public and the private sector.

Information in other languages

Illustrasjonsbilde Smartby

Illustrasjonsbilde Smartby
Illustrasjon: Stavanger kommune

This is an abbreviated version of the roadmap for the smart city Stavanger, adopted by Stavanger City Council on 12 December 2016. The roadmap has been drawn up with broad involvement of both the private and public sectors. It points out the desired direction for the development of the smart city and is a framework for implementation of the work. The full version can be found here.

Why do we need smarter solutions?

Several concurrent factors are challenging cities worldwide:

  • Increasing urbanisation
  • Unsatisfactory infrastructure and inefficient mobility
  • Increased competition for the best minds and the productive, profitable enterprises
  • Greater demands and expectations from citizens
  • Environmental problems
  • Higher technological change rates
  • An increasing proportion of elderly in the population

In addition, we have regional challenges in Stavanger that require innovative thinking – as a result of the recession in the oil and gas industry. 

How to identify a smart city project

The following criteria must always be present for a project to be classified as a smart city project:

  • The solutions make use of modern technology. This could be new technology or incremental extensions of existing technology
  • The projects involve different cooperation constellations across local authorities, industry and commerce, organizations and academia
  • The project is based on the citizens’ and users’ needs, and involve them in the development of solutions

Methodology and processes

Smart City represents a different way of working. We will cooperate to a greater extent, involve citizens more and start testing new technology at an earlier stage. 

Key cornerstones of the smart city method:

  • High degree of employee and citizen involvement 
  • Early prototyping and testing 
  • ‘No shame in turning back’. Projects which we realise will not be successful will be discontinued.

A smart city project comprises four phases, which are implemented in close cooperation with the discipline that owns the project. At the heart of all the phases is validation through testing, prototyping and user involvement. If the project completes every phase and the pilot is successful, the project is handed over to the discipline to operate the solution. The four phases are:

  • Research
  • Definition of the opportunity space
  • Preparation of proposed solutions
  • Delivery of pilot project

Five preferred priority areas

We have selected five priority areas where we believe Stavanger has especially good conditions for developing solutions that benefit the citizens, and form the basis for industrial and commercial development and new jobs.

Health and welfare

The proportion of elderly will rise significantly, and Stavanger needs new solutions that attend to the citizens’ needs in a resource efficient manner. We will develop technology and services that promote social harmonisation, and contribute to as many as possible having an active life and managing on their own in the best possible way. Stavanger will focus on the role of technology, making the city a Nordic leader in management of everyday life and welfare solutions

Education and knowledge

Technology and ICT expertise will become a very important competitive factor in the years to come. We want to look at how we throughout the education process, from kindergarten to university, can promote knowledge and use of technology. We want to develop and apply technological solutions that help increase the citizens’ digital skills throughout life.

Energy, climate, and environment

Stavanger wants, with its position as an energy capital in Europe, to take an active role in solving the planet’s energy, climate and environmental challenges. Trough technological solutions, we want to reduce the local greenhouse gas emissions, make it easier for our citizens to make climate-friendly choices and adopt more environmentally friendly alternatives for transportation.  

Urban art

Stavanger will be at the forefront of the development of urban art as part of the infrastructure and the public space, where digital technology is included as part of the artistic expression. Contributing to innovation at the intersection of art, design, architecture, technology and social life, and convey art and culture in new ways. 

Governance and democracy

Stavanger will develop technological solutions, and employ the opportunities of digitisation, in order to improve and simplify public services, facilitate interaction across sectors, and achieve greater participation in the community. In this way, the smart city will give citizens an easier everyday life, and strengthen democracy. This includes open data, self-service solutions and developing a stronger dialog between city and citizens.  

Smarter together 

The whole idea of smarter cities and communities is founded upon collaboration and interaction across the common dividing lines of society. This is why Stavanger Municipality has chosen the vision "Smarter Together" for Smart City Stavanger. By making databases available and applying innovative procurement methods, the municipality, industry and commerce and academia can work together to develop solutions that make life in the city both simpler and better.

It is precisely this positive and vital partnership that the municipality is aiming to emphasise as Stavanger's most important asset in its efforts to promote commercial development and make everyday life for the city’s inhabitants better and simpler, both now and in the future.