The ups and downs of future-proofing cities: STARDUST partners present insights at Tampere Smart City Expo and Conference

As the Smart City STARDUST project enters its final year, members of the project team shared their over 5-year experience at this year's Tampere Smart City Expo and Conference in Finland in June.

Every year, the City of Tampere along with partners such as the University of Tampere and VTT organises the gathering to discuss smart city development, technology and services. The theme of the event varies each year. This year’s events touched on, for example, the metaverse, sustainable mobility and the energy transition.

“The aim of our presence here this year is to present both our own experience and that of the STARUDST project, which has been acquired over recent years. This puts us in a great position to understand the many moving parts in such a long-term and diverse project covering ICT, mobility, energy and buildings,” explains Anna Vilhula, project manager at the City of Tampere.

At the event in the city’s Nokia Arena, members of STARDUST’s local team presented the measures undertaken by Tampere such as the citizen mobility app and IoT platform. This was followed by a seminar on future-proofing cities with input from the other cities involved in the project.

Panel discussion

During the seminar, representatives from the three lighthouse cities* – Tampere, Pamplona and Trento – discussed the successes and pitfalls in urban mobility, energy and buildings. This was particularly interesting for those from follower cities Cluj-Napoca, Derry and Kozani, which are replicating some of the measures.

Stardust coordinator Florencio Manteca shared his insights for other projects and municipal teams: “We launched the project in 2017 but the planning for it took place at least two years earlier. This means our solutions may be smart, but they were designed eight years ago”.

He went on to emphasise the challenges of long-term projects: “Mayors change, politics goes up and down, new laws come into force. You have to adapt, reset and win over once again. And innovation is all about change – and except for babies in wet nappies, people tend to resist changes.”

See seminar presentations here.


* A “lighthouse” city is one that guides other cities in their transition to become climate-neutral