Tampere in co-operation with Japan in human-centred smart urban development

As the first smart city in Europe, Tampere introduces Liveable Well-Being City indicators, which help Japan measure well-being factors from the residents' perspective in its 27 cities. The indicators provide important data to support knowledge management on the state of urban environment, the quality of services and the well-being of urban residents.
Four people sit on high stools and talk to each other.
Kristian Valkama (left), Takehiko Nagumo, Outi Valkama and Anniina Autero presented the cooperation between the City of Tampere and Japan at the Smart City World Expo in Barcelona.

The co-operation between Tampere and Japan will start with the application of the indicators developed in co-operation between Smart City Institute Japan and several research institutes and universities. The model utilises both objective and subjective data collected from urban residents to improve well-being and streamline everyday life. The data is an important foundation for knowledge management: it enables cities to identify their success points and development needs from the residents' perspective. With the co-operation, the model will now be applied to Tampere as part of the Data Driven City for Citizens -development programme.

The co-operation was announced at the Barcelona Smart City World Expo, which brings together a number of the world's smartest cities and technology companies every year. Among these, there are also several Japanese cities, the Smart City Institute Japan and Tampere city.

The roots of co-operation in shared societal views

– For years, the Japanese have familiarised themselves with the key factors of the Nordic welfare society and have strived to systematically understand the components of well-being, says Kristian Valkama, Director, AI Transformation, at Business Tampere. According to Valkama, the co-operation between Finland and Japan is based on shared societal challenges and views related to, for example, demographic change and mental well-being.

At the beginning of 2022, Finland's first AI Transformation Hub was established in Tampere as part of a broader international co-operation initiative.

– We established a good connection with the City of Tampere, and companies and universities from Tampere. Tampere appears to be an energetic, future-oriented and responsible smart city with a similar human-oriented vision and foundation, says Takehiko Nagumo Executive Managing Director of Smart Cities Institute of Japan.

– Tampere appears to be an energetic, future-oriented and responsible smart city with a similar human-oriented vision and foundation, Nagumo says.

– Japan wants to work closely with Europe, especially Finland, in matters related to data and artificial intelligence. Our worlds meet well with regard to the use of ethical data, and closer co-operation benefits us both, says Teppo Rantanen, Executive Director of economic policy, competitiveness and innovation at City of Tampere.

The well-being and a smoothly running everyday life at the core

In Finland, the potential of artificial intelligence has been considered through the national AuroraAI programme. The aim of the programme is to streamline people's everyday life and business life, to increase responsibility through smart technology solutions, and to develop more human-centred services through information and technology. In Tampere, the programme is promoted by the Data Driven City for Citizens -development programme.

– The development of services in cities by utilising information and artificial intelligence in a human-centred manner raises growing international interest, Valkama says.

– At the moment, we are deepening the co-operation between Tampere and Japan. The well-being indicators and the AuroraAI programme complement our co-operation and make it useful on both sides. In the future, we will share the experiences and results offered by the indicators between the countries, and this will speed up our shared learning journey towards improving the well-being of city residents, Nagumo says.

Further information

Teppo Rantanen
Executive Director of economic policy, competitiveness and innovation at City of Tampere
040 023 5442
Kristian Valkama
Director, AI Transformation, at Business Tampere
040 538 0365
Text: Elina Uusitalo and Raija Lindell
Photos: Elina Uusitalo
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