Smart City Oulu

View of a city, illustration.

Cool City – Hot sOulutions!

Oulu has a solid foundation for becoming a smart city; it is an education and trade city with 50 years of know-how in radio technology. We have a multidisciplinary university doing extensive research and product development, and, for centuries already, our city has had its place in international trade by exporting tar, paper, and technology solutions. The products of our northern, real-life living lab have not only made locals’ day-to-day lives smoother but also gifted the world with smart solutions. The advantage is, in addition to our world-class know-how, of course, our unique agility—such as the seamless collaboration between education, research, business, and the public sector.

We have ridden many waves of industrialisation. Our city’s role in the recent history of the mobile industry is proof of our ability to develop as a community—ability that calls for creativity, courage, and a common will. That is what lies at the heart of an Ouluan. Juxtaposition strengthens Oulu; urban culture draws strength from nature and our close-knit community is more international than ever before.

Creating innovations that stun the world is every day for us, and we are also willing to experiment. In fact, Oulu is a pioneer of experiments. When the city celebrated its 400th anniversary in 2005, it launched panOulu, an open wireless network, as a gift to all citizens. Already then, the people of Oulu had Wi-Fi on the bus—and even on the ferry to Hailuoto! At the same time, dozens of pioneering mobile applications were developed in Oulu, in collaboration with residents of different ages, to improve the efficiency of services for young people and the elderly.

Today, our city serves as an open platform for innovation. In Oulu, urban planning and construction are developed to be sustainable, energy-efficient and suited to extreme conditions. And, for our compact-sized city, decreasing carbon emissions is a matter of course: short distances encourage thousands of people to cycle all year round.

A pink bicycle and a helmet, illustration.

Our future Oulu is a carbon-neutral and resource-friendly urban environment where well-being and ageing, as well as know-how and culture, are acknowledged. Using anthropocentric digital solutions offers many opportunities, for example, for supporting the elderly in living at home. Through the inclusion of people and the use of new tools becomes possible to create innovations that support continuous learning and develop working life skills. We believe that the input of the entire urban community is needed to create new digital solutions and achieve the city’s carbon neutrality goals.