Umeå kommun, Umeå, Sweden

Episode#15 Umeå: "You Don't Need Technology to be Smart"

GuestsCarina Aschan, Strategic Developer of the city of Umeå


Find transcript here

Summaries of Key Takeaways:

  • Ruggedized H2020 Project: Umeå's participation in this project alongside Rotterdam and Glasgow to develop smart districts through sustainable, smart solutions, especially focusing on energy efficiency due to the city's northern climate concerns.
  • Sustainability and Social Equity: Emphasizes social sustainability, including gender equality, as foundational to Umeå's approach to urban development, showcasing how technological advancements are integrated with a strong social fabric.
  • Challenges in Implementation: Discusses the practical challenges of applying smart solutions in public spaces, including the need for robust, weather-resistant technologies suitable for Umeå's extreme climate conditions.
  • Community Engagement: Highlights the importance of engaging citizens in the development process, ensuring that technological implementations meet the diverse needs of the community.
  • Student Population Dynamics: Reflects on the benefits and challenges of having a large, transient student population in contributing to the city's innovative atmosphere, driving demand for new and adaptable urban solutions.


“To you, what is a Smart City?”:

Carina Aschan: “Hmm. It's, uh, yeah, it's, it's a city where, where everything is connected. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, both people and, uh, uh, technology. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> where everyone is working together to, to achieve the goal of the climate neutral city. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and, uh, smart city doesn't have to be lots of sensors or connectivity or it's just, uh, it could be smart by people