Telia, Arthur D Little say Sweden needs to catch up with global smart cities

Thursday 16 November 2017 | 13:41 CET | News

Telia Sweden has published a study carried out in conjunction with consultancy Arthur D Little under the title 'Smarter Cities for Sustainable Societies'. It said Sweden is well placed to develop smart city services but should step up its initiatives in order to catch up with global leaders.

The report said urban areas face challenges including rising traffic, worse air quality, social exclusion and an ageing population. Two thirds of people think services provided by local, county and regional administrations ought to improve, the study found.

The Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmo have to deal with rapidly expanding populations, which are putting pressure on public facilities, and smaller towns have to cope with employment issues and immigration. Digitisation makes it possible to improve lives for newcomers to Sweden, visitors and businesses, while cutting the consumption of resources and improving the environment, the report said.

For their smart city barometer, Telia and Arthur D Little sent a questionnaire of 20 questions to a dozen towns. The other nine were Uppsala, Jonkoping, Lund, Umea, Sundsvall, Vasteras, Norrkoping, Eskilstuna and Gavle.

Arthur D Little partner Martin Glaumann said the largest cities consider integration and social development the most powerful drivers for digitisation, whereas others are more concerned with the environment. Even so, the priorities are similar everywhere, with welfare at the top of concerns, and public planning and electronic services also on the list.

Swedish cities have some way to go in order to catch up with leaders such as Barcelona or Singapore, the report said. According to SmartAmerica Challenge, cities worldwide will invest almost SEK 350 billion in the next 20 years in infrastructure and IoT equipment to develop smart services. Swedish cities should scale up their initiatives, said Glaumann.

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