Ålseund is a town of 66 000 people on the north-west coast of central Norway. It is one of the first communities to make use of smart city strategies in developing public services and urban management.
More effective decision making
The Offshore Simulator Centre in Ålesund is using expertise and technology from its ship simulator to run simulations connected to urban development, for example on fire truck emergency services. By collecting a range of big data, this can be visualised with the use of the simulator and hence contribute to more effective decision making, helping to create better places to live for the citizens.
Digital twins revolutionising urban planning
Based on this offshore simulation technology, Ålesund is in the process of becoming the first city in Norway with a digital twin. Planners and policymakers can use a digital twin, fed with data via the Internet of Things (IoT) on things like traffic, people’s movements, power systems, streetlights and the weather, to make more accurate and efficient decisions without tearing up whole streets.
The unique expertise environment within visualisation and simulation at Campus Ålesund, with the Offshore Simulation Center at the forefront, has contributed to Ålesund municipality being invited as the second city in the world to establish a UN smart cities lab, as a global pilot project together with the lab already created in Vienna.
The goal of the lab is to develop and implement sustainability projects within, for example, education, health, infrastructure, mobility and energy, as well as to support and speed up new projects. It is an arena for connecting people, ideas and sustainability initiatives both physically, and digitally – sharing solutions and products with cities all over the world.
Project partners are the municipalities of Ålesund, Giske and Sula (to become New Ålesund municipality from 2020), Sparebanken Møre, NTNU, Tafjord Kraft, ÅKP (Ålesund Knowledge Park), NMK (Norwegian Maritime Competence Center), Møre and Romsdal county, SINTEF, Offshore Simulator Center, NexTDigital network, eSmart Systems and Smart Innovation Norway.
The United Smart Cities is a UN program aimed at solving city challenges in medium-sized cities and supporting the implementation of the 2030 agenda at a local level.