Experts from across the sectors, public and private, echoed the view that Gothenburg is on the threshold of becoming a truly smart city in the world. City of Gothenburg’s Chairman (Mayor) Ann-Sofie Hermansson said it was unimaginable for her when she worked for Volvo in 1984 that there will be a future where automatization, digitalization and electrification will come together to create a smart city something like in a science fiction, and that is a reality today.
Gothenburg Business Region, Volvo and City of Gothenburg organized a daylong seminar titled ‘SMART CITY’: Take the lead in the race for smart and sustainable city. Experts from Volvo to the Swedish Minister for Enterprise and Innovation Mikael Damberg to the Policy Advisor to the Sustainable City of Dordrecht Naoual Loiazizi from Netherlands participated in the seminar.
The smart city transformation is here, and it is all about partnerships and collaboration, noted Niklas Gustafsson, Senior Vice President & Chief Sustainability Officer and Corporate Affairs of Volvo Group. He said a smart city is also the one where ‘servicification, automation, electrification’ are brought together based on ‘user behaviour’.
Gothenburg is one of the few cities in the world where the public transport buses run fully on electric energy.
The seminar was organised as part of the world’s sailing competition, Volvo Ocean Race, which is currently stationed (June 14-21) in Gothenburg. Gothenburg is the venue for the last leg of the 11-leg race. On this occasion, Gothenburg and Volvo came together to bring ‘the inventive thoughts of world-leading innovators and renowned specialists on the topics of digitization, e-mobility, autonomous vehicles and the circular & sharing economy, and how these affect the urban development of smart cities’.
Experts noted that eliminating plastic and environmental pollution is one the defining characteristics of a smart city. One of the solutions to decrease and eliminate pollution is to increase electromobility, and eventually not to rely on fossil fuels.
Joel Görsch, Investment Advisor, Automative & CleanTeach, Business Region of Gothenburg said, the 400-year-old city is one of the top cities to become a smart city and the leading innovator in automobile industry at par with any city in the world.
Nicklas Lundin, Investment Advisor, ICT from BUSINESS SWEDEN, said that Sweden has all the resources to bring experts and innovators from all the fields as the Research & Development is strong in Sweden. He said, Sweden can serve as the facilitator and collaborator for technologies from AI to E-Mobility in the world.