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Nordic cities announce green infrastructure and sustainable food pilots

The Healthy Liveable Neighbourhoods open call focused on green infrastructure and sustainable foodscapes with three different topics addressed by the cities.

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Stavanger is one of the cities taking part in the pilot programmes
Stavanger is one of the cities taking part in the pilot programmes

Three Nordic cities have been selected from an open call for agile pilots to support the development of healthy, inclusive and green neighbourhoods.

 

The pilots will be run with local urban labs in Helsinki, Vantaa and Stavanger. While the cities get valuable learnings and insights, the pilot companies have an opportunity to experiment their new services or technologies in a real-world urban environment with the targeted end users.

 

Green infrastructure

 

The Healthy Liveable Neighbourhoods open call focused on green infrastructure and sustainable foodscapes. Three different topics were addressed by the cities: new digital participatory solutions supporting the planning of green infrastructure; block level urban farming solutions; and new local food-related business models that engage and involve local citizens and producers.

 

Altogether 17 offers from five different countries were received through the open call launched in March 2021.

 

The piloting programme is part of the Nordic Healthy Cities project run by the Nordic Smart City Network and funded by the Nordic Innovation. Forum Virium Helsinki will coordinate the agile piloting programme with Vantaa, Stavanger, Copenhagen, Kristiansand as participating cities.

 

The pilots will be run in a co-creative way and experiences will be shared in the Nordic Smart City Network.

“We look forward to seeing how AR applications can be used to increase resident participation in the planning of green areas, and are eager to communicate the results for the urban planners”

A total of five companies running three different pilots were selected for the project to pilot their solutions.

 

Vantaa pilot: Urban Seed & Pollinator Bank

Vantaa wanted to pilot solutions that support block level solutions supporting urban farming and community building. Habeetats and Copenhagen Seeds were selected for this challenge with their Urban Seed & Pollinator Bank pilot.

 

With three different types of nesting shelters their pilot will create conditions for utilising solitary bees as pollinators in urban farms. The pilot will provide a unique digital learning environment for schools where students can actively monitor the effects of climate change on solitary bees year round.

 

Each nest represents a different climate scenario and signifies a future climate scenario as it absorbs or reflects sunlight and heat. The Urban Seed & Pollinator Bank pilot combines user involvement, promotes bee- and biodiversity and creates a foundation for regenerative food cultivation in the city.

 

The pollinators are warmly welcomed to the neighbourhoods of Vantaa. “We hope to create the first node in the network of Urban Seed & Pollinator Banks in Vantaa, and engage the local residents to explore how the pollinators can support diversity in urban environments, and how they are affected by different climate scenarios,” said Henri Laine and urban food expert from the City of Vantaa.

 

Helsinki pilot: Green Kalasatama

In Helsinki, the focus was on digital participatory solutions that could support the planning of green infrastructure. Granlund’s pilot, Green Kalasatama, demonstrates an engaging and educative approach for resident participation with the use of augmented reality (AR) technology. The mobile application allows users to place virtual green infrastructure elements, such as trees and bushes, in their surrounding area and provides information about their benefits in the urban environment.

The pilot will invite local schoolchildren and other residents of the area to take a peek into the future with the Green Kalasatama application, and to voice their opinions on how the green area could look like

The pilot will be carried out in one of Kalasatama’s neighbourhoods, Sompasaari, with close proximity to the sea and densely built urban residential blocks. The pilot will invite local schoolchildren and other residents of the area to take a peek into the future with the Green Kalasatama application, and to voice their opinions on how the green area could look like.

 

“We have a great opportunity to bring Granlund’s pilot together with other ongoing projects in Kalasatama,” said project manager Silja Peltonen from Forum Virium Helsinki.

 

“We look forward to seeing how AR applications can be used to increase resident participation in the planning of green areas, and are eager to communicate the results for the urban planners.”

 

Stavanger pilot: Pick me up – local food opportunities

How to support new business models utilising local healthy food, making it more accessible and inclusive for the local neighbourhoods. Two companies, Co-Creators and Reveel will be working on this challenge together.

 

Their pilot focuses on three local food challenges – price, awareness and accessibility. Co-Creators explore the most suitable pick-up points for local products and create awareness among people about the impact of their daily choices. Reveel in turn makes local food products available for consumers in a safe and accessible way. By combining Reveel’s business model and technology with Co-Creators’ service design approach, the aim is to tackle the barriers of selling and buying local food in the area.

 

“The pilot will take place in the neighbourhood of Storhaug which has a rich and diverse population, and a fast-growing food district,” said Kristin Kverneland from the City of Stavanger.

 

“We look forward to seeing how Co-Creators and Reveel together can harness these qualities, and support the local food producers and make their products more accessible for the local residents.”

 

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