Aarhus is growing. There is a strong focus on the future, a concrete set of goals and a continuous focus on experimenting and improving. Guided by a Quadruple Helix Model the approach to municipal innovation calls for academia, businesses and citizens to help reach the city goals, to formulate policy, define projects and bring ideas to life. Aarhus provides accessibility in two primary ways:

  • Breaking down silos through co-created policies and initiatives
  • Access to urban & cultural testbeds

Co-created policies and initiatives
In March 2016, Aarhus strengthened its focus on citizen collaboration with an “Active Citizenship Policy” developed by 700 people from all stakeholder groups.

Aarhus is known as a Smart City frontrunner in Europe. The initiative Smart Aarhus was co-created in 2012 with 35 broad stakeholder groups and build on a non-bureaucratic coalition of the willing.

In 2017 a business and city development plan was created through a series of stakeholder dialogue meetings. This plan not only supports the fulfillment of goals, but shows how Aarhus’ is breaking down silos with dialogue and joint realisation.

Urban & cultural testbeds
In 2016, the city started developing Livable City Lab and City Lab. The two physical labs will be used for experimenting and scaling up Smart City solutions. With a combination of WiFi, LoRaWAN, Open Data and Open Source, Aarhus also has an accessible digital infrastructure for experimenting with the city.

Public buildings, urban areas and festivals act as temporary testbeds in Aarhus. Temporary testbeds allow for bottom-up social and cultural experiments, where everyone rethinks what the city could be.

The ultimate goal is to continue democratizing urban experimentation with citizens.

Aarhus is also providing access to these experiments outside of Aarhus. Our Aarhus’ strong national and international reach allows us to share our experiences and initiatives globally. Aarhus is a connected city.