SpaceLab running NUDA session

This week, NUDA is arranging the Nordic Urban Assembly conference in Bergen, and Spacelab is highly present.

On the first day of the conference, taking place in the University Aula, Tarje I. Wanvik will be moderating a session looking beyond the smart city to discover how knowledge can play a part of making cities smarter.

– I believe we will have a fruitful discussion, Wanvik says.

Councilor for urban development in Bergen city council, Anna Elisa Tryti, opens the session by explaining Bergens strategies to include knowledge in becoming smarter. Following this, Kristian Mjøen from City of Trondheim and Arild Smoland from NTNU will explain how such issues are dealt with in Trondheim.

(Note: The event described in this article took place Wednesday Jan. 24th)

The knowledge city 3.0

The topic of the session is the new initiative by City of Trondheim and NTNU: An aim to move beyond the now well-known concept of the smart city to create something more. In Trondheim, this is called The University City 3.0.

– I see this as an extension of the smart city. The smart city concept is heavily connected to technology, and making urban life more seamless. I see this move towards a knowledge city as a change of emphasis: from technology to sustainability, Wanvik explains.

He believe both knowledge sectors and city administrators have a lot to gain from combining forces in achieving knowledge-based urban planning.

– Society needs to have access to knowledge to be able to make good choices, and as contemporary knowledge is increasingly created in collaboration with society in general, access to such collaborations are key for further knowledge production.

He is looking forward to learning more about how Trondheim are working to collaborate on such issues.

– I am excited to learn how they are thinking about such issues and what they are doing, he says.

Innovative format

The NUDA conference is open for registration only, but the SpaceLab-led session is open for all that wishes to participate.

Wanvik explains that the session format is quite innovative.

– We will have coffee table discussions with table hosts leading the discussions at each table.

Table hosts are city architect Maria Molden, architect and urban planner in Asplan Viak, Fredrik Barth and environmental advisor in Bergen city council, Lars Ove Kvalbein. They will lead debates on the role of knowledge in urban planning.

– The groups will discuss what “a learning city” or “learning community” are and how we can strengthen cooperation between knowledge institutions and public and private actors in social planning, Wanvik explain, and adds:

– There will also be virtual workshops running parallel to this.

After the coffee table discussions, Gaute Hagerup from Innovation Norway will summerize the debate and round up the session.

Adding the social

SpaceLabs main function in the session is to facilitate, but Wanvik believe topics worked on by SpaceLab will be influential on the debates.

– SpaceLab can contribute with a critical analysis of smart cities and the development of these. Smart cities are highly focused on cross-sectoral collaboration, but its social profile is weak. Who create smart cities, and for whom are they developed? Our duty as social scientists is to raise these questions and to explore the social, economic and cultural challenges that follows in the wake of initiatives such as smart cities.

The workshop will be held Wednesday January 24th from 13:15 to 14:45. The session takes place in the University Aula. Read the full NUDA program here.