Swedish ICT is leading an initiative aiming to detail a generic information and communication infrastructure for Stockholm Royal Seaport, a much talked about new city district of Stockholm. The VINNOVA-funded project, Smart ICT for living and working in Stockholm Royal Seaport, engages about a dozen small and large companies from the telecom sector, construction companies, and the City of Stockholm.
Smart ICT for living and working in Stockholm Royal Seaport is a two year long project funded by VINNOVA. The aim is at developing an open and generic ICT infrastructure, which is a decisive factor for future sustainable cities characterized by openness, cooperation, and innovation. Today´s ICT solutions are industry specific and consist of closed, proprietary systems, resulting in unnecessary costs and resource consumption, with limited potential for innovation and new services. A generic solution will be able to fulfill the needs of many business segments, such as transportation, health, energy, and media.
What about the Stockholm Royal Seaport, what is it that makes that place so special?
The Stockholm Royal Seaport is an almost completely new city district in Stockholm with a very ambitious agenda regarding environmental, social, and economical sustainability. Working in this environment provides unique opportunities to co-create with a range of actors and stakeholders for an extended period, including the municipality, development companies, utility providers, IT companies, and most important, different end-user categories representing living, education, healthcare, etc.
Why a generic information and communication infrastructure?
IT is an integral part of many of the mechanisms that promise to improve sustainability in future urban settings. Ranging from smart grids and energy use visualization, through waste handling, to healthcare applications, IT plays a central role. However, if each of these applications will have to carry the burden of caring for a proprietary information and communication infrastructure, the total cost for development, deployment, and maintenance will be very high. Both in terms required financing, CO2 emissions, and the use of chemicals and scarce resources. In contrast, a generic infrastructure, shared by many of the sustainability mechanisms present in a future city district, holds the promise to reduce both investment and environmental costs.
A shared infrastructure for information and communication also opens for a range of new business opportunities. Markets that previously have been closed due to high entry thresholds in terms of initial investment costs or required access to proprietary networks or technologies are opened up by a shared infrastructure. This increases the opportunities for both competition and collaboration between different actors. Not least, this opens the possibility for the large and very innovative group of habitants of city to actively participate in the development of new applications and services.