The Six City Strategy – Open and Smart Services

The Finnish Government's Ministerial Working Group on Public Administration and Regional Development appointed the network of six largest cities of Finland to realise the national sustainable urban development strategy, to be implemented as part of the European Commission cohesion policy 2014 - 2020. 6Aika - the Six City Strategy is a joint initiative of the so-called sixpack cities: Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, Oulu, Tampere, and Turku. The Six City Strategy - Open and Smart Services is the first national strategy built on open and agile cities approach. 

Forum Virium Helsinki has been the key partner in developing the strategy, utilizing the knowledge base built in European Connected Smart Cities projects, such as CitySDK, Commons4EU, and Open Cities.
Cities are the engines of the European economy and can be considered as catalysts for creativity and innovation throughout the EU. Some 68 % of the EU population lives in a metropolitan region, and these regions generate 67% of the EU’s GDP. However, cities are also the places where persistent problems such as unemployment, segregation and poverty are at their most severe. The policies pursued in relation to urban areas therefore have a wider significance for the EU as a whole.
Three focus areas of the strategy
Open and Agile Cities is a holistic approach to city development. It focuses on open innovation platforms, open data and interfaces, and open participation and customership as the drivers of innovation, using pragmatic, hands-on methods of experimentation. Extra effort is put to City2City interoperability, which aims at the creation of larger marketplace of urban solutions. The Six City Strategy - Open and Smart Services is the first national strategy built on Open and Agile Cities approach.
  • In Open Innovation Platforms the cities develop physical and digital tools, methods and innovation environments to foster the creation of new products and services in real urban environments. 
  • In Open Data and Interfaces the cities open up, harmonise and publish their data reserves and interfaces to support the creation of new solutions, apps and services. The body of the six cities is an excellent experimental environment and market for businesses. 
  • Lastly, in Open Participation and customership the cities develop open multi-channel and interdisciplinary citizen services. Better services support the inclusion of all citizens.
The Six City Strategy is part of the Finnish implementation of the European Commission cohesion policy 2014 - 2020. In the coming years, European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) supports sustainable urban development through integrated strategies that tackle the economic, environmental, climate, and social challenges of the urban areas.
A minimum of 5% of the ERDF resources allocated to each Member State shall be invested in integrated actions for sustainable urban development, implemented through the Integrated Territorial Investment (ITI) tool, with the management and implementation delegated to cities (Article 7, paragraph 2 of the proposed ERDF regulation).
The budget of The Six City Strategy for the whole period is at least 79 M€. The strategy is funded by ERDF and European Social Fund (ESF), the Finnish Government and the participating cities.
The global Open and agile cities initiative (OASC) aligns well with the work of the Finnish Six City Strategy 6Aika.

Read more: 

EU Cohesion Policy 2014 -2020, Integrated Sustainable Development. 
Further information:
CEO Jarmo Eskelinen
Forum Virium Helsinki
jarmo.eskelinen (at)
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