Cool City – Hot sOu­lu­tions!

Oulu has a solid foun­da­tion for beco­ming a smart city; it is an educa­tion and tra­de city with 50 years of know-how in radio tech­no­lo­gy.

We have a mul­ti­discipli­na­ry uni­ver­si­ty doing exten­si­ve research and pro­duct deve­lop­ment, and, for cen­tu­ries alrea­dy, our city has had its place in inter­na­tio­nal tra­de by expor­ting tar, paper, and tech­no­lo­gy solu­tions. The pro­ducts of our nort­hern, real-life living lab have not only made locals’ day-to-day lives smoot­her but also gif­ted the world with smart solu­tions. The advan­ta­ge is, in addi­tion to our world-class know-how, of cour­se, our unique agility—such as the seam­less col­la­bo­ra­tion between educa­tion, research, busi­ness, and the public sec­tor.

We have rid­den many waves of industria­li­sa­tion. Our city’s role in the recent his­to­ry of the mobi­le industry is proof of our abi­li­ty to deve­lop as a community—ability that calls for crea­ti­vi­ty, cou­ra­ge, and a com­mon will. That is what lies at the heart of an Ouluan. Jux­ta­po­si­tion strengt­hens Oulu; urban cul­tu­re draws strength from natu­re and our clo­se-knit com­mu­ni­ty is more inter­na­tio­nal than ever befo­re.

Crea­ting inno­va­tions that stun the world is eve­ry day for us, and we are also wil­ling to expe­ri­ment. In fact, Oulu is a pio­neer of expe­ri­ments. When the city celebra­ted its 400th anni­ver­sa­ry in 2005, it launc­hed panOu­lu, an open wire­less network, as a gift to all citizens. Alrea­dy then, the people of Oulu had Wi-Fi on the bus—and even on the fer­ry to Hai­luo­to! At the same time, dozens of pio­nee­ring mobi­le applica­tions were deve­lo­ped in Oulu, in col­la­bo­ra­tion with resi­dents of dif­fe­rent ages, to impro­ve the efficiency of ser­vices for young people and the elder­ly.

Today, our city ser­ves as an open plat­form for inno­va­tion. In Oulu, urban plan­ning and con­struc­tion are deve­lo­ped to be sus­tai­nable, ener­gy-efficient and sui­ted to ext­re­me con­di­tions. And, for our com­pact-sized city, dec­rea­sing car­bon emis­sions is a mat­ter of cour­se: short dis­tances encou­ra­ge thousands of people to cycle all year round.

Our futu­re Oulu is a car­bon-neut­ral and resource-friend­ly urban envi­ron­ment whe­re well-being and ageing, as well as know-how and cul­tu­re, are ack­now­led­ged. Using anth­ro­pocent­ric digi­tal solu­tions offers many oppor­tu­ni­ties, for example, for sup­por­ting the elder­ly in living at home. Through the inclusion of people and the use of new tools beco­mes pos­sible to crea­te inno­va­tions that sup­port con­ti­nuo­us lear­ning and deve­lop wor­king life skills. We belie­ve that the input of the enti­re urban com­mu­ni­ty is nee­ded to crea­te new digi­tal solu­tions and achie­ve the city’s car­bon neut­ra­li­ty goals.