PlusCity by COWI

Smart City solution

Sollihøgda plussby – Europe’s first ’PlusCity’ by COWI

Sollihøgda plussby is an ambitious environmental project aiming to strengthen the future of the Oslo region. Today, the proposed location is an uninhabited forest area. The city will have a train station along the new train line to Bergen, can accommodate 30,000 inhabitants and provide 15,000 jobs, and become Europe’s first plus city.

The vision has four city principles;

Smart city and transportation

The town center and transportation hub will be surrounded by high-density areas with apartments and office buildings. At Sollihøgda, transport methods with the highest social benefits will be put first, with accessibility easiest for those who walk, ride bicycles and travel by bus and train. The project also includes autonomous buses and freight transport, a car-sharing pool, and city bikes.

Plus energy

A city that produces more energy than it uses. Clean and renewable energy production will be distributed and stored through smart micro grids. Zero emission buildings and a city designed with intelligent mobility solutions will decrease the carbon footprint and energy needs substantially.

Portal to the forest

The city becomes a a portal to the forest, and a destination that people will want to visit. Cross-country ski tracks and biking trails will lead straight from the train station and all inhabitants will have a maximum distance of 200 meters to the forest.

Circular economy

The zero-emission society is inspired by natural ecosystems where waste does not exist – everything is a resource. We will design and develop solutions where the technical world can learn from the biological systems, where everything will circulate and make us less dependent on non-renewable raw materials.

Sollihøgda plussby will also nourish an industry that will create an excess of innovation and knowledge about smart city solutions and circular economy that can be exported to other cities in Norway and globally.

Project goals / challenges

“You can’t solve today’s problems with yesterday’s solutions.”

The goal is to create the first European city that is planned and designed utilizing environmental and smart technology from the start.

Sollihøgda plussby will be the first European ‘PlusCity’, one that produces more energy than it uses. It will be designed with the knowledge we have about climate change, and how we can create zero emission societies in the future. The city will be planned with green and intelligent mobility solutions that change transportation needs and the way we travel. It will be easier, more profitable and more attractive to choose public and semi-public transportation and shared car services, rather than owning your own private car.

Trucks will not be allowed to enter the neighborhoods, and we will minimize waste and use a modern, central waste suction system to collect and sort to recycling.

One of the key success factors in this project is that we will also develop a strong collaboration model between the government, the academic world and research sector, investors, the business sector, and the local community; the so called Penta helix model – and through this collaboration develop smart and sustainable solutions based on sound process management and design thinking methodology.

We don’t have all the “what and how’s” yet, so please join the team if you have ideas, knowledge or technology that can be used to realize this vision.

More about the project, visit (Norwegian).


Janne Walker Ørka
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