Tampere is leading the development of the metaverse for cities in Europe

Tampere is heading a European city network that is building the metaverse for cities, known as “CitiVerse.” Alongside Tampere, Rotterdam, the Flanders region, and Istanbul are involved. The x-CITE project brings together leading European smart cities, research institutions, and companies that share a common vision for intelligent and sustainable urban transformation.
Teppo Rantanen pitää puhetta messulavalla.
The x-CITE project was presented at the Imagine the Metaverse event on Wednesday, June 12.

The x-CITE project, led by Tampere with a total budget of 6.5 million euros, has been approved in the EU’s Digital Europe program’s Developing CitiVerse call and has moved to the negotiation phase of the funding agreement. The news was announced at the Imagine the Metaverse event on Wednesday, June 12. Representatives from x-CITE’s partner cities and regions from Flanders, Rotterdam, and Istanbul also participated in the event.

The metaverse creates a new digital layer where the virtual and physical worlds intersect. In addition to the Tampere x-CITE project, three other CitiVerse projects were accepted in the call. The common goal of these projects is to define the operating environment and roadmap for the urban metaverse, CitiVerse, in Europe, as well as to develop, pilot, and promote concrete CitiVerse solutions.

– CitiVerse can enhance the competitiveness of European cities, improve the quality of life for residents, and set standards for responsible and ethical digital urban development, states director Teppo Rantanen from the City of Tampere. 

The European Commission has assessed the strengths of Tampere’s x-CITE project, particularly the city’s approach to collaborating with various stakeholders in smart city development and leveraging collective expertise, as well as Tampere’s results from testing various intelligent solutions in practice. 

An Europe-wide CitiVerse Model

The x-CITE project aims to promote the development of a Europe-wide urban metaverse, CitiVerse, as a tool for human-centric smart city development. The initiative supports citizen engagement in urban planning through XR technologies and introduces new opportunities for participation, cultural experiences, and tourism via the metaverse.

– The Citiverse is about improving the lives of city residents. New technological solutions and operating models can open doors to participation in decision-making, community-based urban development, and enjoying culture. These themes will be piloted in the coming years, says Jaakko Laurila, Planning Manager for Educational Services in the City of Tampere.

The project's goal is to establish a common, ethical, and inclusive framework for European authorities in the adoption of virtual technologies, enabling their safe use to support decision-making.

x-CITE Brings Together Smart City Development Pioneers

x-CITE unites leading European smart cities, research institutions, and companies that share a common vision of intelligent and sustainable urban transformation.

– CitiVerse is the next possible evolution building on past award winning projects. Through this gradual, citizen centric and well thought out addition of new technologies Europe can lead the way towards a more sustainable, integrated and efficient way of transforming the cities we live in. This is the core behind the x-Cite initiative, states EU advisor Martine Delannoy from Digital Flanders (governmental agency for Digital transformation of Falnders).

– Collaborative work fits the Tampere mindset perfectly. We bring Tampere expertise to the world and learn from others. The CitiVerse cannot be built alone. That’s why such international networks and collaborations are essential to jointly create the most effective solutions for citizens amidst the digital transformation, says Rantanen. 

The x-CITE pilots in Tampere, Rotterdam, Flanders, and Istanbul will serve as examples of the benefits of a shared CitiVerse, particularly in citizen engagement, sustainable urban development, enhancing tourism experiences, and promoting culture and cultural heritage.

Tampere's CitiVerse pilot in the project will be based on the digital twins of Tampere's western downtown area and the Nokia Arena, using them to develop and create immersive digital art and event experiences. 

Negotiations on the funding agreement are expected to be concluded over the summer. The project is set to begin in the fall and will last for two and a half years.

Further information

Teppo Rantanen
040 023 5442
Text: Elina Uusitalo
Photos: Mikko Vares
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