D5.8: +Trondheim Citizen Observatory

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The deliverable D5.8: +Trondheim Citizen Observatory was submitted by Trondheim Kommune (TK), with contributions from RK, NTNU, TK, and ISOCARP in November 2021. The executive summary of the deliverable is available below and the full deliverable at the end for download:

This report comprises a description of four physical and one digital Citizen Observatories (CO) in the Lighthouse City (LHC) Trondheim, Norway. The report describes how the COs are connected to the +CityxChange approach (prototyping – enabling – accelerating), and how they are implemented as a part of the project. The objective of Trondheim’s COs is to facilitate physical and digital spaces to support the acceleration of becoming a positive energy city. The COs are seen as a tool, platform, facilitator, enabler, and catalyst to secure and make citizen engagement and citizen involvement possible and easily achievable. The users of the COs are local authorities, energy providers, businesses, academia, citizens and communities. 

A five step framework, inspired by Work Package 3 in +CityxChange, was developed in order to plan and set up the COs. During the implementation process it was noted that changes were needed, so beneficial adjustments and adaptations were made accordingly. As a result, the COs in LHC Trondheim have become more diverse and complementary, covering a broader range of use. We see the framework as a starting point, suggestive information, and a inspiration list that must be fitted to the CO in question and the local conditions, not as a mandatory action list.This approach lowers the threshold, increases the success rate, flexibility, replicability and adaptability potential for other cities, especially when sharing the experience of added value and lessons learned in LHC Trondheim. 

The five COs, which are part of +CityxChange in LHC Trondheim, are; Powerhouse and Skipperkontoret; Bærekraftssenteret; Bøker&bylab Elgeseter; Lager11 and Playable Trondheim, the digital platform Decidim. The COs are hosted by partners within +CityxChange and serve more activities and projects than +CityxChange. The COs are established in the Knowledge Axis, the +CityxChange Demonstration District, and an area with several projects that define and will define urban development in LHC Trondheim. The location of the COs serve a purpose beyond the project, expanding the impact and contributing to positive synergies. In that notion it is worth mentioning the status as The UN Centre of Excellence on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) City Transition connected to Bærekraftsenteret CO since 2019. LHC Trondheim is also among the top three finalists to be awarded The European Capital of Innovation Award 2021. The award recognises the European cities that best promote innovations in their communities. LHC Trondheim has demonstrated the connection between UN SDGs and the city’s innovation vision through experiments, ecosystem building, scaling, accelerating and knowledge sharing.

The COs in LHC Trondheim are provided with different technical gear such as screens, cameras, and studio equipment that proved crucial during the global pandemic. The technical gear, and spacious areas within the COs, made it possible to produce digital content, keep up the activity level and secure safe working distance. All COs share visual features connected to the SDGs.

The added value and lessons learned from the work on planning, implementing and using COs can be interpreted differently depending on the reader’s vantage point. On a general term the work taught the involved partners to think, work and collaborate in a dynamic, sometimes unpredictable, environment. Being flexible and solution oriented, helped when quick responses and adaptations were needed. For LHC Trondheim it has generated an extended network and practical experience with methodology to enhance and include CE and CI in decision making, sustainable value creation and to accelerate LHC Trondheim becoming a positive energy city by 2050. Innovations and methodology from +CityxChange has a transferral value inducing cross-sectional approach. This allows for feedback mechanisms prototyping the future, through collaboration. The COs represent value by being creative, multidimensional public spaces, bringing citizens together. They provide the municipality with locations representing a common ground for ideation and innovation. LHC Trondheim acknowledges the COs as important spaces for innovation, interactions and involvement, and wishes to further develop and integrate the COs in the municipality. 

This deliverable contains a description of; 

  • The connection and relevance to other +CityxChange tasks and deliverables.
  • Prerequisites and necessary changes for successful COs.
  • Localization of the COs and relevance within the Trondheim Knowledge Axis.
  • A five step framework for developing a CO, for replication by others.
  • Implementation and demonstration of the physical and digital observatories in Trondheim. 
  • Comparison of the implemented COs.
  • Reflections, lessons learned, and conclusion.

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