How Do We Get To "Smart City"?

Last week the Municipality of Trondheim arranged the Smart City Conference 2015 in cooperation with Bellona SmartCity and Siemens.

Last week the Municipality of Trondheim arranged the Smart City Conference 2015 in cooperation with Bellona SmartCity and Siemens.

The Deputy Mayor of Trondheim, Knut Fagerbakke (SV) opened the conference where we got to hear about the plans for the environmental future, the building technology and infrastructure of the city. Young politicians, leaders and academics all got together to share their views on what actions must take place for smart cities to become a reality.

The future leaders consisting Ola Magnussen Rydje (NHO), Peder W. Engseth (H), Snorre Valen (SV), Sunniva Bratt Slette (NTNU), Anna Serafima Kvam (Grønn Ungdom) and Sivert Bjørnstad (FrP), shared their opinions during a discussion panel where the question on how to reduce GHG emissions went throughout the discussion with a main focus on the transport system.

”I am a technology optimist and I think that this is just the beginning of a more environmentally friendly transport system,” Sivert Bjørnstad said.

”In 2050, there will be no cars in the downtown of Trondheim centrum, but light rail,” Snorre Valen said.

“I would like to have a stronger focus on education, and also pay more attention internationally to learn from what other cities have done. The students want to participate and contribute in the development of the future,” Sunniva Slette from NTNU said.

CEO of Siemens Industry Factor of Norway, Anne Marie Panengstuen showed attitude towards the two words: electrisation and digitalisation.  

“I believe that we can solve the environmental challenges with available technology,” she said.

Leo Johnson, the Co-Founder of Sustainable Finance, author of Beyond Risk and host of Technoport 2015, stepped in with a spontaneous presentation about why we should focus a bit more on the people and not only the technology when it comes to building smart cities. 

"We need a city that is built around people, and we need to start reclaiming the public place. We are moving away from the city of Henry Ford to the city of Facebook; away from each other and towards our screens."

Morten Jastrup, Project Director in Sustainia, presented the Global Opportunity Report and shared how global risks represent opportunities for sustainability.

”There is a lot of business potential in smart city technology,” he said. 

Frederic Hauge, head of the Bellona Foundation and environmental activist said, “We need instruments for early movers and risk takers.”

The conference ended by crowning Trondheim's Environment Hero (Trondheim Kommunes Miljøhelt). The honor went to operator Øyvind Eklo from Byåsen primary school in Trondheim, who has during the last three years saved 16.4% in energy challenges.

"I feel proud that many years of working with a focus on energy efficiency has been noticed outside the Trondheim property, and that this will now motivate to a continued participation," Øyvind Eklo said. 

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