The goal of the project

How should Norwegian municipalities ensure sustainable development in practice? This is a question asked by many. In 2019, the government commissioned the municipalities to use the UN's sustainability goals as a basis when we solve the biggest challenges of our time.

The municipalities of Ålesund and Bærum have measured how sustainable they are through an analysis carried out by the UN organization United for Smart Sustainable Cities (U4SSC). Although the results and challenges look different in the two municipalities, both draw the same conclusion:

It is not possible to achieve the sustainability goals without close cooperation between the public and private sectors and the inhabitants. Sustainable development is created through collaboration between several people. This collaboration should be rooted in data that is based on facts and not emotions - what is called data-driven development.

That is why the municipalities of Bærum and Ålesund have started the project «Data-driven co-creation - methods and tools for sustainable innovation and social development». On the team are NTNU and the Offshore Simulation Center (OSC). The project has been awarded 6.9 million from the Research Council, through the support scheme for innovation projects in public sector.

About the project

In short, the project is about seeing the facts in a new way to make it easier to make good decisions and understand the consequences of the decisions that are made. The project is linked to the Offshore Simulator Center in Ålesund, which through its subsidiary AugmentCity, has developed a tool that shows digital twins of cities. This tool can collect, visualize and simulate data and data contexts. It is therefore a good starting point for understanding new contexts and opportunities for actors related to sustainability work in the two municipalities. The goal is to develop an analysis tool through the use of digital twins. The tool makes it easier to read data, put it together in new ways and see different solutions that can be tested digitally to see how the municipalities can best contribute to achieving the UN's sustainability goals.

Focuses on energy management and circular development

The project will concentrate specifically on two selected topics: energy management and circular city. The focus is on sustainability goals, clean energy for all, sustainable cities and communities, responsible production and consumption, stopping climate change and working together to achieve the goals.

Need knowledge

The project will also in various ways contribute to NTNU building scientific knowledge that can strengthen the necessary competence in the research environment in the face of sustainability challenges, for example in connection with political and professional sustainability processes.

Partners: Bærum municipality (project leader), Ålesund municipality, NTNU, AugmentCity. The Future Lab is a facilitator, co-creation and communication arena.

Funding: The Research Council of Norway receives NOK 7 million through the innovation scheme in the public sector.

Relevant sustainable development goals

7 - Affordable and clean energy

9 - Industry, innovation and infrastructure

11 - Sustainable cities and communities

12 - Responsable consumption and production

13 -Climate action

17 - Parnership for the goals

The photo:

The actors gathered at the Future Lab in Ålesund in October 2021 to organize and start the work.