Digital City

Aarhus is the second largest city in Denmark. It has 315 thousand people and the number is growing. The Aarhus agglomeration has 1.2 million people. It is an important sea port and a railway hub. In the beginning of the 20th century, the city became the most essential center for science and culture in Jutland (one of five Danish administrative regions  established on 1 January 2007 under the administrative reform. It encompasses the Northern Jutland and partly Viborg Amt as well as the Commune of Mariager which beforehand belonged to Århus Amt district).

It is the beautiful city of Aarhus where the idea of Smart Aarhus was born. Smart Aarhus is a new mindset developed in order to create sustainable urban innovation and growth. It is a model based on involving stakeholders through partnerships. Smart Aarhus is a digital marketplace established in order to generate value and help solve societal, environmental and economic challenges.

Smart Aarhus was officially launched on January 24, 2012. Working groups (35) based on volunteers were set up. They were given an ambitious task to draw sketches of the future city. The project authors put it this way:

How do we sustain a high quality of life in future cities? And how do we do so in a time when the pace of change is faster than ever before, where traditional approaches have failed, and consumers set the agenda?

Smart Aarhus proposes an alternative way of creating solutions for the city. Trough collaboration between the public and the private sector, citizens, the business community, and knowledge institutions we work together to generate digital opportunities to handle the challenges. Smart Aarhus is a marketplace for everyone who wants to be a part of the digital value creation.


Smart Aarhus is a new mindset developed in order to create sustainable urban innovation and growth. It is a model based on involving stakeholders through partnerships.

Smart Aarhus is a digital marketplace established in order to generate value and help solve societal, environmental and economic challenges.

The sustainable development of the city goes hand in hand with attention to harmonious connections and relations of old and new on every stage of decision making processes.

Made with Aarhus is a way of communicating a set of values to your customers and partners, stating the choices you made. Made with Aarhus indicates that your company or organization uses a partnership model, which includes citizens, adopts a cross-sectoral approach, and aims at making the city better – and more sustainable. The city itself is a very active initiator of cutting edge activities on various social, scientific and business platforms.


Smart Aarhus is a new way of transforming the city potential. Project partners are obliged to coordinate their initiatives in various sectors and organizations. The idea is to break with traditional methods of decision making and cooperation through building new teams and partnership for every project.

All Projects under Smart Aarhus have a goal of creating frameworks for sustainable development of the city. They are based on Smart Aarhus principles:

  • Addressing social problems. These challenges call for bold actions and alternative thinking. They mobilize resources that make sustainable solutions.
  • Strengthening the digital economy and creating jobs. For this reason projects under Smart Aarhus have a clear economic potential and can influence economic growth of Denmark.

What is it like to work for Smart Aarhus?

Challenging the traditional roles of citizens, the public sector and private enterprises is a way for citizens and companies to accept a higher level of responsibility. The public sector needs to create the best possible framework for this collaboration – an example is to share data, which is possible thanks to a special platform online.

Being open and involving stakeholders is a must for the projects to be successful. This will create a democratic process that produces a more sustainable result.

All stakeholders must be experimental by using pilot projects which can tell if a proposed solution is workable or not (and if not, can it be improved).

Work for Smart Aarhus is carried out through a number of key Project:

City Pulse

It is the Internet of Things analyzed in the real time that serves numerous applications for Smart City. The innovative apps integrate the Internet of Things with Internet of People. The project identified 101 scenarios of a smart city together with a set of solutions for the scenarios based on the analysis of Big Data.

Essential data that illustrates infinite amount of  reactions of citizens in relation to various things, buildings, environmental and socioeconomic events are collected through thousands of dedicated electronic sensors. The sensors are installed in different places: buildings, crossroads, streets, parks, sports and recreation facilities, etc.

In order to promote general knowledge about Smart City Program in the context of sustainable development of Aarhus, a very popular comic book has been published called The Internet of Things.

Open Data Aarhus – access to data.

It is a crucial task to provide access to data – the overwhelming amount of information from the municipality, the region, the educational institutions and companies, which in principle is freely available, but in practice hard to get your hands on. The data contains information about everything from traffic to health and sports opportunities.

The information is interesting because it can be used as a raw material for example in the development of apps. Companies and individuals must therefore – through an online portal – have access to the data that they can use to create their services from. Services that meet the needs of the citizen and from which the companies can make profit.

Internet Week Denmark

Internet Week Denmark is a festival celebrating the Internet. It takes place in Aarhus and during the festival there are presentations, discussions, workshops and a variety of events all focusing on the Internet and its significance for innovation and growth. The week provides increased focus on many opportunities that the Internet offers both businesses and individuals, which can help to create jobs and development in Aarhus.


Aarhus Challenges – searching for specific solutions.

The project ”Aarhus Challenges” is about solving a big societal challenge in a flock – across sectors, institutions and hierarchies. The idea is that companies, organizations and educational institutions lend their staff and students out for a whole day in order to let them find a concrete solution to a major challenge together.

All projects are to help in finding answers to many complex questions. Platforms work online in order to increase accessibility to the effects of the cooperation.


An important part of Smart Aarhus’ work occurs in the working groups. Here, a number of dedicated people are working with the challenges within traffic, health, sustainability and many other important areas.

The result is a large number of recommendations and suggestions based on open data. The recommendations provide the framework for further work in Smart Aarhus. And some of the proposals are already being implemented.

Some of the groups work ad hoc, while some are set on a permanent basis.

In the network

The network is today one of the largest – or possibly the largest – coherent wireless networks in Denmark, and every day it is heavily used by employees, guests and the citizens in Aarhus.

Besides making the network more accessible to everyone, the City of Aarhus plans to upgrade the capacity and extend the network range considerably during 2014. This will provide new opportunities – especially to create new intelligent solutions in the city and to utilize and collect a variety of data.

Project Partners:

  • Central Regional Office in Viborg, Denmark
  • Municipality of Aarhus
  • IT Systematic
  • VIA University
  • The Alexandra Institute
  • The Institute of Technology
  • Aarhus University

This material has been published thanks to the financial support of the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management. The sole responsibility for its contents lies with Collegium Mazovia.




wheel of prosperity

źródło: State of the World's Cities Report 2012/2013