The Nordic City – Opportunities and Challenges of Small and Medium-sized Cities

8.00 – 10.00 Registration and coffee

10.00 – 15.00 PLENARY SESSIONS

10.00 – 10.15 Opening remarks by Jan Tore Sanner, Minister of Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation, Norway

10.15 - 10.20 Introduction by Journalist and Moderator Erik Aasheim

10.20 – 10.50 Hanna E. Marcussen, Deputy Mayor of Oslo

10.50 – 11.25 Professor Laura Kolbe, University of Helsinki

11.25 – 12.00 Monica von Schmalensee, CEO of WHITE Architects

12.00 – 13.00 Lunch in Mathallen


International Outlook: Smart, Sustainable and Attractive

13.00 – 14.30 UN-HABITAT (TBC)

Luciane Aguiar Borges and Kjell Nilsson, Nordregio present the Nordic Prime Minister’s Initiative on Nordic Solutions to Global Challenges – Nordic Sustainable Cities

Critical Comment by Anna Hult

14.30 – 15.00 Coffee break


15.00 - 17.00 Parallel sessions

Vibrant, inclusive and sustainable urban environments

This session is part of the Norwegian presidency programme and the project Attractive cities: Green restructuring and competitiveness in the Nordic city regions. Cities as a framework for good life for all. The project focuses on small and medium sized cities in the Nordic region that want to develop their attractiveness by ensuring good and inclusive urban environments that are economically, environmentally and socially sustainable. Nordic co-operation and knowledge exchange is a key element.

In this session, five small and medium sized cities will share their experiences and work towards sustainable development. Located in different parts of the Nordic region the cities share some challenges and development approaches that can be useful to others. 

Arranged by: the Norwegian Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation


Design of future sustainable transport systems for smart and CO2 neutral cities?

This session will investigate how collective mobility solutions such as car-sharing and “mobility as a service (MASS)” can be can be promoted to become the smart solutions of the future. The ways in which these solutions do and can interact with mainstream travel behaviour trends; demographic and socio-technical shifts; and urban-transport planning mechanisms need to be studied in detail for planning functional, smart and CO2 neutral cities. The session will present cases drawing on Nordic examples and feature preliminary findings from a Nordic Energy Research Flagship project – Sustainable Horizons in Future Transport (SHIFT).

Arranged by: Nordic Energy Research and SHIFT project


Sustainable brownfield regeneration in Nordic and Baltic cities – Transforming contaminated land into urban districts and living areas

There is a high demand for redeveloping brownfield areas, such as harbours and industrial sites, to make European cities grow in a more sustainable manner. Redeveloping brownfields that are located within cities reduces the need to use green areas for new developments, creates more compact cities, and will reduce environmental risks. In this session, we explore the processes by which contaminated brownfields can be transformed into sustainable urban neighbourhoods.

Sustainable brownfield regeneration requires integrated and holistic planning and close co-operation between engi­neers, urban designers, private sector actors and other stakeholders such as citizens. Meet representatives from a number of Baltic and Nordic cities and learn how they managed these processes, including different economic, social and environmental aspects like integration of land-use planning and soil remediation for cost efficiency, temporary use and citizen involvement.

Arranged by: the Baltic Urban Lab Interreg project


17.00 – 18.00 Sparkling wine and Networking at Vulkan

19.00 Conference Dinner and Nordregio 20 year’s anniversary celebration at Oslo City Hall



Connecting the Urban and the Rural


Welcome by Erik Aasheim, Journalist and Moderator

Opening remarks by Dagfinn Høybråten, Secretary General at the Nordic Council of Ministers

Hallgeir Aalbu, Norwegian Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation


10.00 – 11.00 Panel Discussion: Urban vs Rural: How big is the Divide? How do we create stronger connections? What is the debate like in the different Nordic Countries? Solutions?

Participants: Benedicte Akre, Holger Bisgaard, Ásdís Hlökk Theodórsdóttir, Sverker Lindblad, Olli Maijala (TBC)

11.00 – 11.10 Short Coffee break

11.10 – 12.45 Roundtable Discussions Urban vs Rural, The Nordic Thematic Group for sustainable cities and urban development 2017-2020

12.45 – 13.00 Final Remarks by Guro Voss Gabrielsen, Norwegian Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation, Moa Tunström, Nordregio

Short introduction to next year’s Nordic Presidency: Sweden

13.00 – 13.45 Lunch in Mathallen

13.45 – 16.00 Excursion organised by Norwegian Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation to Groruddalen

14.00 – 17.00 ESPON workshop at Vulkan