From 25-27 September 2018, the fourth Nordic Edge Expo & Conference took place in Stavanger, Norway. Nordic Edge is an annual event showcasing the latest innovative solutions from the Smart City community and thus the ideal meeting place for the project partners of the Horizon 2020 Smart Cities and Communities programme. Smarter Together met with some of the 4500 visitors from all across Europe and beyond who attended this three-day event to present outcomes, exchange knowledge and meet with project partners. Apart from the official event, several side-events were organised around this largest Smart City event in the Nordics.
“Smart with a Heart” was the theme of this year’s Nordic Edge Expo and Conference. The EU-funded Horizon 2020 Smart Cities and Communities (SCC1) projects, being smart with a heart has many different meanings. Mostly, it’s about working together and about seeing the person behind as well as in front of the technology – both project and city representatives as well as the citizens living in Smart Cities. That’s why the Nordic Edge was such a special event this year; because it gave project coordinators, universities, technical partners, municipalities, but also investors and decision makers the chance to meet like-minded people with the same enthusiasm at heart.
On Thursday, 27 September the “Lighthouse Cities Programme” took place, consisting of six public and five internal parallel sessions focusing on the challenges and outcomes of the SCC1 projects. Smarter Together along with other projects were involved in the public session “Trial, Innovate, Scaling Up. Lessons learned from Europe ‘s Smart City Lighthouse Projects in a European Context”, moderated by European Commission’s DG Energy Policy Officer Jens Bartholmes, where first results and lessons learned from the projects were discussed. Another public session focused on hands-on stories from the City Coordinators of Vienna (Smarter Together Lighthouse city), Milan, Nottingham, Cologne, Stavanger and Tartu. With the title “Communication – How to make «invisible» projects visible,” communication representatives of various SCC1 projects, including Smarter Together, presented their findings from their prior internal workshop to the public as well. The results of the internal discussions were graphically illustrated and then pitched to the public by the individual project or city representatives.
Over the three days, Smarter Together and 11 other Lighthouse projects shared a stand where representatives had a chance to meet each other and to talk to visitors about the projects and illustrate the progress that has been made. Over 70 other participants discussed topics such as low energy districts, integrated infrastructure, urban mobility and urban governance. A group of about 30 SCC1 representatives put on their hiking boots and climbed up the pulpit rock in Preikestolen to enjoy the view down into the Lysefjord. Events like these are at the heart of all the technological and scientific advances that the more than 380 SCC1 participating project partners, including Smarter Together and other Smart City stakeholders are working on day by day.