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  • Writer's pictureSofa Summits

Nordic Smart Cities 2017 – Interview with Philip Bell, Head of Production

The third edition of the Nordic Smart Cities event is happening this Autumn in Stockholm, Sweden. As we all know, the cities of the world are changing, populations are growing and technology is taking a more central role in the lives of all citizens. The need to improve sustainability is now more important than ever.

Since its inception Nordic Smart Cities conference has been welcomed by professionals, city officials and private sector corporations that recognize the importance of creating a smarter future for all cities. This year’s event has grown into a larger scale conference with speakers and attendees from all over Europe – offering the very latest insight into different projects and smart city developments.

With over 60 speakers and 60 sessions planned over the course of the 2 days the event is well set to be bigger and better than the 2016 edition. At last year’s event we heard from cities such as: Greenwich, Stockholm, Oslo, Frederikshavn, Zaragoza, Cologne, Gothenburg and many many more.

To learn more about the key topics and ideas for Nordic Smart Cities 2017 we reached out to Philip Bell, Head of Production for Nordic Smart Cities. Check out  interview below:

What themes should we be looking for in the urban tech and innovation space in 2017?

That’s a great question and I am not sure where to start, my key point here would be that technology should not be used by cities just for the sake of using technology. There needs to be a reason for the technology being implemented, it needs to solve a problem for citizens or to make their life a little bit easier.

All cities are trying to be more sustainable, but they are all at different parts of their journey and that is why it is interesting to hear how others have been dealing with the challenges around smart city development.

We are fairly used to hearing about smarter mobility and renewable energy, but these are still great problems for cities and the implementation of more renewables in cities should be a big focus as it will have a positive impact on all citizens and future generations.

From a more techy perspective, one of the most interesting areas is around the adoption of blockchain applications in order to improve the quality of service that is delivered to citizens.

There are some really interesting projects on the go in this space, so keep you eyes open for that!

What are the challenges to implementing new technologies to improve urban life?

I would say that the key challenge here is citizen engagement. Often a City will begin their Smart City initiatives with large infrastructure projects such as smart lighting, smart water meters, security, etc. But many of these programs have no direct influence on local citizens, visitors or help local businesses.

We have an interesting presentation at Nordic Smart Cities from Tyresö Municipality in Sweden – they are in the process of implementing a new development plan, but before putting that into place held a series of events that gave all citizens the opportunity to voice their opinion and to guide the future development plan.

By directly engaging citizens they feel included and part of the planning process, they will then be more likely to embrace the changes and for the development plans to be a success. There is nothing worse than a city thinking that their citizens want something, implementing a plan, spending money on new technology and then no-one embracing it.

What new features can attendees expect to see at Nordic Smart Cities 2017?

We are always trying to stay ahead of the game in terms of content, as we host 3 smart city events across Europe (London, Budapest & Stockholm) we hope that we have our finger on the pulse in terms of the very latest developments. This year starts with a bang with 5 of the top 20 global smart cities presenting their case studies on the morning of Day 1.

One new feature that we are very excited about is the Nordic Smart City Research Lab – this session will be showcasing some of the very latest research from Universities and Living Labs across the Nordic region.

Research that is happening now will be leading the city developments over the coming years, so I am really looking forward to that session.

I do not want to say too much more, other than that the agenda is being launched on the 30th May and you will be able to find out all the information and to book tickets on our website –

Thanks for your time, Philip. It sounds like you have some great plans for Nordic Smart Cities 2017 and we look forward to hearing from you after the event.

All readers of this article can book 2 tickets for the price of one on their website using the code: CD2FOR1

This offer is strictly limited so make sure that you book your ticket soon to avoid disappointment.


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