2017 Berlin

The Connected Society – a Transformation to the Baltic Smart Cities

Time:        13th June, 15.15 – 16.45        

Venue:      Willy-Brandt-Saal


The seminar will discuss the development of the BSR Cities towards “smart” governance and connected society, just as the performance improvement of “smart” and prosperous cities and regions. The seminar will address the ambition of HA “Spatial planning” to achieve the territorial cohesion perspective in the BSR by 2030, as well as EUSBSR objectives on connecting the region and increasing prosperity.

Speakers / panelists:

•    Olov Schultz (VASAB CSPD/BSR Chairman)
•    Wolfgang Schmidt (Head of UBC Smart and Prospering Cities Commission)
•    Olga Kordas (KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden)
•    Björn Grönholm (Head of UBC Sustainable Cities Commission Secretariat, “Baltic Urban Lab” project)
•    Sarah Mazur (Ericsson AB, vice President and Head of Research) (tbc)
•    Päivi Keränen (Metropolia UAS in Finland, project manager)
•    Emīls Rode (Riga Planning Region in Latvia)


•    Giulia Maci (Young Urban Professionals Platform “URBEGO”)

Organiser(s) & contact details:
•    EUSBSR Horizontal Action “Spatial Planning” coordinator VASAB
      Elīna Veidemane, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  +371 26103756
•    Young Urban Professionals Platform “URBEGO”
•    BOVERKET, National Board of Housing, Building and Planning in Sweden.


Due to economic and technological changes driven by globalization and integration processes, cities in the BSR face the challenge of combining competitiveness and sustainable urban development. To meet public policy objectives under on-going urbanization and growing share of resource consumption and emissions, cities need to change and develop by improving urban life through more sustainable integrated solutions. In other words: our cities need to become 'smart cities'. Circular and efficient use of resources includes innovative interaction between cities and the surrounding countryside. This will help the BSR regions to become more sustainable and resilient.
ICT development is revolutionary changing transport and other infrastructure systems, as well as land use and management of buildings in our cities and regions. A better use of resources and capacities will help us to turn more sustainable.
The seminar will introduce current and upcoming developments of the BSR Cities towards “smart” governance and connected society. Additionally, the seminar will discuss how the BSR countries can contribute to improve the performance of their “smart” and prosperous cities and regions.

We will talk about “smart cities” and “the connected society”. Technology will make it happen, but our planning skills and moral must guide the transformation. The change must be spatially coordinated. A “vision” and a “strategy” are needed to understand options and perspectives of the desired future society and to define the destination route.