Smart Aarhus - Danish Digital Democracy

Aarhus, Denmark, is one of the most recent municipalities attempting to create progress through inclusive technology-sharing. The project is called Smart Aarhus, as a reference to the Smart City concept.

Digital Sea, designed by Alexandra Institute, in the exhibition Digital Natives. Credit: CAVI og Digital Urban Living, Aarhus Universitet

Aarhus, Denmark, is one of the most recent municipalities attempting to create progress through inclusive technology-sharing. The project is called Smart Aarhus, as a reference to the Smart City concept.

The project is aiming for a new digital revolution, where the objective is digital people-power and sustainable development through the sharing of information. The project was launched the 24th of January 2012, and is in its initial phase of involving citizens in creating visions and ideas. To achieve this, they have initiated work groups, meant to create possibilities for discussion and broad engagement.

The work groups are open for all and aim to attract citizens as well as organizations, companies and networks that want to get involved in the future of Aarhus. The groups have different themes ranging from "Open Data" to "Internationalization", and people are encouraged to invent new themes and groups. It seems fundamental for Smart Aarhus to be inclusive, something other Smart City advocates claim is crucial to projects of this type.


RADARTABLE, by CAVI, in the exhibition Digital Natives. Credit: CAVI og Digital Urban Living, Aarhus Universitet

Through looking at the endeavors of other Smart City projects, many lessons can be learned. Like the value of getting access to new data and information. The project will only become as successful as its components allow it to become and, in a Smart City project, access to information is key. With Aarhus´ tradition of technological innovation, the challenge is to gather this intelligence through making the project a discourse on the future of the city.

Furthermore, it is  important to decide on difficult questions such as ownership, financing and right of decision early on in the process. The Smart Aarhus project is created as a triple helix, with involvement from the public- and private sector as well as from the research-community and the University of Aarhus. This creates a broad foundation and, if the project succeeds in involving a critical mass of stakeholders, the mixed group of leaders can become an asset.

With Smart Aarhus having just started, it is going to be very interesting to follow the development of the project and to see if other cities will be inspired by this ambitious initiative.

To get more information about the project, and to get involved, visit:
Smart Aarhus

Read more about Smart Cities:
Boulder - Smart Grid City
Smart Cities - When Communication Technology Creates Sustainable Cities
 

Last updated Tuesday, January 21, 2014

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