Sixpack Strategy - Open and Agile Cities Strategy

The Finnish Government's Ministerial Working Group on Public Administration and Regional Development has chosen 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. Open and Agile Cities Strategy is a joint initiative of the so-called sixpack cities: Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, Oulu, Tampere, and Turku.

Forum Virium Helsinki is the key partner of the sixpack cities 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 priority axes of the strategy
 
With Open and Agile Cities Strategy the cities solve their challenges in three priority axes: Open Innovation Environments, Open Data and Interfaces, and Open Inclusion. 30% of the Finnish population lives in the cities involved. The development platform formed by the cities through the joint strategy is sufficiently large to be a world-class reference point. 
 
  • In Open Innovation Environments 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 Inclusion the cities develop open multi-channel and interdisciplinary citizen services. Better services support the inclusion of all citizens.
 
Open and Agile Cities 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 Open and Agile Cities 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.
 

Read more: 

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