Aarhus is a dynamic city on the Jutland peninsula in Denmark. From here, beach, harbour and forest are all within reach of a 15-minute bike ride. 315,000 people live in Aarhus and 1.2 million people live in the greater Aarhus Area. About 5.5 million people live in Denmark.
Aarhus is a university city with a lot of students; around 50,000. This makes the city the youngest city in Denmark measured by average age. Historically, however, it is one of the oldest.
Aarhus is a growing city and within the next years, the city’s physical appearance will change dramatically. Right now, building projects worth more than 4 billion Euros is underway, creating among other things Northern Europe’s largest hospital and an all-new part of town on the waterfront with room for 7000 new Aarhusians. This vast new city space will include the new Main Library and Citizens’ Services of Aarhus, Dokk1. The building will become a cultural rendezvous which will change people’s perception of the entire city. There are numerous other city development projects that will change the built environment of the city.
As one of very few municipalities in Denmark, the City of Aarhus is run by a City Executive Board.
The organisational management of the City of Aarhus is called the City Executive Board and consists of the Mayor and the five Aldermen who each head a municipal department.
The Municipality of Aarhus has approx. 33,000 employees and a turnover of around 3 billion Euros.
The large majority of these resources are spent on childcare, education and leisure activities for children and young people as well as on support and care for the disabled, the mentally ill and the elderly.
The City of Aarhus is also an important player in a large number of other areas, including the supply of water and heating to citizens, urban and business development, leisure and cultural activities as well as a wide range of interrelated initiatives to strengthen social cohesion and the physical environment.
In 2012, the City of Aarhus launched the Smart Aarhus initiative, which is a smart city initiative with multi-ple private and public stakeholders that aims to shape the digital agenda for Aarhus and The Central Den-mark Region. Smart Aarhus was initiated as a partnership between the City of Aarhus, the Central Denmark Region, Aarhus University, the Alexandra Institute, VIA University College, the Danish Technological Institute and the company Systematic.
Smart Aarhus proposes an alternative way of creating solutions for the city. Through 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 societal challenges. Smart Aarhus is a marketplace for everyone who wants to be a part of the digital value creation.
Cooperation across sectors
New technologies can help improve different aspects of life in the city. One example is to develop an App that suggests the fastest, safest and most environmentally friendly way to commute to work. Another example is to have your Smartphone convert the calories you burned on your daily bike ride to CO2 savings, and suggest other ways to aid the environment and your own health.
Apps and services like these are based on data about traffic, the environment, health and many other things. This data is a vital element of the digital economy. But we cannot realise the potential of data in today’s traditional and divided sectors. The best way to make use of technology to help solve societal challenges is to create new partnerships that span across sectors.
Internationally, Smart Aarhus is considered a Scandinavian ‘third way’ of how to develop a Smart City. The American smart city development is primarily built on commercial interests. In Asia, a centrally controlled model is used. Smart Aarhus is based on the Scandinavian tradition of involving stakeholders. In addition, social, economical and environmental sustainability play a central role in Scandinavia – and to Smart Aar-hus.
Open Data Aarhus
A core project in Smart Aarhus is Open Data Aarhus, which has the aim to release public data and make it freely available to everyone in order to make it possible for developers, entrepreneurs and businesses to develop new and innovative services on top of the data.
As a city it makes very much sense to open up data. In Aarhus, our aim is to make another kind of democracy, where the citizens have the possibility to develop services based on their needs and interests.
As part of the project, an open data platform has been developed – www.odaa.dk. Here, everyone can find and download data for free. The platform is currently in beta mode.
Ms. Anne-Marie Schmidt, firstname.lastname@example.org, +45 8940 9402
Ms. Birgitte Kjærgaard, email@example.com, +45 8940 9470