Smart Cities in Smart Regions 2018 - ​Design, Technology and Digitalisation

Smart kuvituskuva

The traditional concept of design has been widening to cover strategic design services, brand design, digital design and service design. Material design faces new challenges in the field of circular economy, where fabrication processes are evaluated from the perspective of material efficiency. The principle of co-design is adapted to design participation in projects which are include processes  focusing on user-centred design . The role of a professional and the role of a user or an inhabitant are comprehended in a new way compared with traditional positions. People are understood as resources for innovation and development – as individuals or communities who provide the essential information for processes. 

New technological developments, together with digitalization, provide more and more opportunities to incorporate smart solution in living, working and public environments.

The Smart City concept is gaining much attention in discussions, research and every-day life. New technological developments, together with digitalization, provide more and more opportunities to incorporate smart solution in living, working and public environments. The idea of the Human Smart City gives rise to the question of considering the opinion and needs of varied user groups to evaluate the usability and benefits of different technical and digital innovations. 

Digitalisation is dominating contemporary discussion dealing with working life and new entrepreneurship opportunities. Digital services are a growing market in all areas of the society, both in private and public sectors. Digitalisation can provide smart solutions to challenges in everyday life, starting from individual level and reaching the levels of organisations and society. In the design of services the users are valuable informants. Concepts of service design and co-design emphasize the importance of the user´s experience and needs in the design of services, as well as the participation in innovation projects. People as resources provide another perspective to identifying actual needs for services, their development and production. Digitalisation causes also new kinds of challenges and opportunities dealing with the collection of massive data and the use of big data. 

The use of geographic information systems (GIS) facilitates services and commerce based on the location information. The power of visualization of different kind of data with GIS is able to enhance new discoveries dealing with environment, inhabitants and services, not forgetting about research purposes. 

The provision of services is at a turning point. The traditional roles of public and private sectors are mixing, not to mention the importance of the third sector in service production. The meaning of ownership is not an issue any more, but services can be shared or bought in the manner required. One example is mobility as a service based on the idea of payment for the service used, not the vehicle itself. Sharing culture is also growing its support. Environment friendly and sustainable solutions are sought from cultural and technological perspectives. Even a new concept of the fourth sector has been introduced with different definitions, some of them combining elements from social and environmental principles connected with business approaches. 

Mitigation and adaptation to climate change encourages the innovation of new technical solution causing less CO2 emissions to the environment, including especially traffic based technologies due to the significant role they play in emissions. 
Challenges to start new business concepts can be supported by the help of new financing opportunities like crowd financing, which has provided a starting impetus to several ideas and services. New business concepts do not necessarily need massive infrastructure to get started. 

Topics dealing with, for example:​

  • Human Smart​ City​
  • people as resources
  • service design, co-design 
  • mobility as a service 
  • digitalisation in cities and regions
  • smart technologies to face climate change (mitigation and/or adaptation)
  • crowdsourcing and new financing opportunities of services
  • change management