Stockholm City

Smart City solution

Stockholm is Sweden’s capital and is renowned for its beauty and architecture, its many green spaces and above all for its proximity to water. The city is built on 14 islands and the surrounding mainland, and is a link between Lake Mälaren and the Baltic Sea.

Stockholm is growing fast. The city’s population is currently approximately 900,000, but by 2022 that is expected to rise to one million – in a wider region of three million. This requires continous development and innovative and effective urban planning. Currently, there are over 100 active and planned construction projects in and around the city – all with a strong focus on sustainability and the stockholmers of today and tomorrow.

Stockholm is one of the most knowledge-intensive and innovative regions in the world. The core investment opportunities are founded on innovation and tech. More than 25,000 global tech and startup companies has been founded in Stockholm. Stockholm has the most unicorns per capita in the world after Silicon Valley.

Stockholm’s well developed fiber network is one of the pre-conditions to our digitalization and smart city efforts.  Stockholm enjoys 100-per cent broadband coverage, both fixed and mobile. Stokab’s network is the world’s largest open fibre network. In total, it stretches the equivalent of more than 30 times around the earth. It is 1.25 million fibre kilometres long, 5,500 cable kilometres long and boasts 600 crossover connections (nodes) and more than 15,000 access points (ODF). The fiber network in Stockholm is provided and administered by Stokab, a company owned by Stockholm City Council.

The City of Stockholm has been working determinedly with digitalization for a long time. The city provides almost 33% of all open data made available by Swedish public organization. Between 2013-2017 the city invested heavily in the Digital Renewal Program, resulting in more than 90 successful digitalization initiatives and projects. Before 2013, the city ran the E-services Program which resulted in more than 70 e-government services. In 2017 the city will ramp up the Smart City Program as a result of the adoption of the strategy for Stockholm as a smart and connected city by the City Council.

The Department for Digitalization is the city’s central organization responsible for strategic issues within digitalization and business development using IT. The department has approximately 70 employees with expert skills ranging from IT-infrastructure to business development.

In a report entitled Networked Society City Index 2013, Ericsson compared the ICT maturity of 31 cities based on their economic, social and environmental development. Stockholm ranked no. 1, followed by London, Singapore and Paris. Stockholm held the no. 1 positions also in 2014 and was ranked no. 1 again in 2016. Today, Stockholm’s Kista region is one of the world’s leading mobile technology clusters. In 2012, Kista Science City was home to 10,000 companies employing a total of 72,000 staff, of which 1,200 were ICT companies with 24,000 staff in total.

Goals / challenges

Strategy for Stockholm as a smart and connected city:

The progress of digitalization and new technologies, within areas such as the Internet of Things, big data and analysis, leads to new possibilities. At the same time, Stockholm is rapidly changing as a result of urbanization, globalization and increased life expectancy. Therefore, a strategy for Stockholm as a smart and connected city has been developed in collaboration with the City of Stockholm’s employees, residents, businesses and academia.  The strategy was formally adopted by the City Council of Stockholm on April 3, 2017.

The core of the strategy’s target vision shows the goal of the strategy and the City’s digitalization efforts – to provide the highest quality of life for the Stockholm inhabitants and the best entrepreneurial climate. These objectives are achieved by Stockholm, through innovative solutions, transparency and connectivity, as well as by becoming more economically, ecologically, democratically and socially sustainable.

The strategy for Stockholm as a smart and connected city mainly focuses on the opportunities that arise with development in areas such as the Internet of Things, big data and analysis. This means that the strategy, through new services and features, is concentrated on Stockholm as a physical place rather than the organization City of Stockholm. The implementation of the strategy thus represents a subset of the city’s overall work on digital development, as described in and governed by the City of Stockholm’s digitalization program.

The smart city is made possible through connectivity and open data, integrated platforms, sensors and other technologies. Guidelines for the use of technologies and other enabling factors are described in the strategy, as well as success factors and implementation principles.

The City Council’s formal adaptation implies that the strategy and its principles is to be followed and implemented by all of the City’s operations. Implementation of the strategy is essentially a matter for the operations and not an IT issue.

To reach the target image of Stockholm as a smart and connected city, a number of enabling factors are necessary. In the strategy, these are divided into three main areas: operations, technology (including applications and services, digital platforms and IT infrastructure, as well as information security and privacy), and principles for costs distribution.

These are outlined in the strategy. Enablers in operations as well as parts of the City’s technical architecture are detailed in the framework of the City’s digitalization program with associated guidelines. To guide the core areas and the development of the technology that enables the smart city, seven strategic principles have been developed and pursued by the City. The strategic principles are an important tool for achieving digital sustainability. Digital sustainability refers to solutions being designed so they can be used in the long-term, cost-effectively and that they are easy to incrementally develop, reuse, and connect.

The implementation of the strategy consists of three main areas: coordination and collaboration (internally and externally, which implies commitment and responsibility for all parties), communication (and dialogue with residents), as well as prioritized projects (described below). To guide and coordinate the implementation of the strategy, eight principles for implementation has been developed to be pursued by the City.

The principles for implementation are an essential tool for achieving a common direction towards the target vision, to ensure proactivity and to avoid solutions that are developed in silos.

To ensure that the target vision of the smart city is reached, relevant projects that meet the City’s needs and are in line with the objectives of the target vision need to be developed. In the implementation of the strategy, a number of high-priority centrally funded projects are identified to kick-start and support its implementation. A central principle of the strategy is that the prioritized operations will be implemented in parallel and integrated with the projects for legal, organizational and not least the technical conditions that aim to establish basic platforms and processes. This is required in order to realize the strategy’s vision in a sustainable way.

It is important to acknowledge that it is the operation’s needs and development opportunities that controls the technical progress of the strategy’s implementation, not the other way around.

Preferred operation are assessed based on a number of criteria, that should be in line with the target vision and the City’s mission. They need also have good feasibility, be long-term, scalable and assessed to provide great benefits and impact on one or more target groups. The selection criteria should also take into account an increased collaboration between different operations and decreased silo structures.

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