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Sharing Cities Initiative – examples from some of Sweden’s biggest cities

Sharing Cities Initiative – examples from some of Sweden’s biggest cities

Swedish cities share experience and best practices in the economic, social and environmental sustainability fields

The Scandinavian countries are famous for their innovative programmes and schemes as well as for their green policies. One exemplary initiative is Sharing Cities. It aims to make Sweden a pioneer in the development of a new platform for cities to share best practices in fields such as economic, social and environmental sustainability. Over the last 4 years, this national initiative by itself has earned investments of nearly €12 million. The funds come from the Swedish Innovation Agency, The Energy Agency and the Swedish Research Council for Environmental, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning.

The Initiative

The cities that are taking part are Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmö and Umeå. The initiative develops a sharing and cooperation system on local, national and international level. To this end, participation is needed by the business, private and public stakeholders as well as academia.

Four pillars

The four pillars on which this initiative is based are collaborating, experimenting, investigating and learning.

Collaborating – need for cooperation in terms of ICT, people, space, services and goods and mobility.

Experimenting – through the established test-beds, the initiative will test and develop digital solutions for sharing economies and services. For example, in Stockholm, there is the ElectricCITY citizens` initiative, in Hammarby Sjoestad. It aims to reduce the local carbon footprint in line with climate change goals. There are a few sub-initiatives to raise people`s knowledge and awareness on energy and how to use it, what sources to use, the increase in e-cars use, etc.

Another interesting initiative comes from Gothenburg where Klaedoteket has developed a business to counter the so-called fast-fashion industry. It is a place where you can go and rent clothing or accessories that you may need for an evening cocktail, for example. Instead of buying a dress you will never wear again, you can rent it from this place.

Investigating – this pillar aims at looking into activities that will further deepen the sharing economies concept of the initiative through digitalization software and platforms. It also investigates international examples that can serve as a model development for future projects under this initiative in terms of business models, social behaviour and communities.

Learning – the results from the test-beds and their projects as well as from the investigations conducted are shared with all stakeholders that may have a developed interest in it. This is done through public events, media outlets and reports.

Under this initiative, every city organizes seminars and conferences to share experience, advantages and disadvantages of the used models and methods and how to further develop the idea behind this initiative. Sweden leads the way into the future of sustainable urban development and more open economies that are multilevel and can serve as an example of good governance.



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Social City


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