Skip to content

OrganiCity Launches to Co-Create the Cities of the Future

Published: 23 April 2015

A key ambition of OrganiCity is to make the creation and design of technologies and services for cities more inclusive for citizens and communities. It aims to tackle the question of how smart cities can be organically grown from citizens and communities instead of being engineered by the visions of large cooperates and city governments alone.

OrganiCity is a new EU project with € 7.2m in funding that puts people at the center of the development of future cities. The project brings together 3 leading smart cities and a total of 15 consortium members with great diversity in skills and experience.

“According to United Nations projections, seven out of ten people worldwide will be living in cities by 2050. This is a development which, together with a comprehensive move towards digital technologies, sets cities under tremendous pressure”, says Associate Professor of Information Studies at Aarhus University, Martin Brynskov. He is coordinator of the project, and drives home the message that the core objective is to put people at the center of the development of future cities.

OrganiCity consists of a close collaboration between Aarhus, London and Santander - three cities which all have extensive experience using so-called “smart city” technologies. These technologies include ways to improve cities’ services for citizens while at the same time reducing resource consumption.

“Smart Cities” has become the catchall term for cities that pursue intelligent urban development by developing initiatives which optimize the city by combining the physical space with the digital. This project will borrow from this powerful approach, and build on progress being made across Europe, while keeping a razor-sharp focus on citizen engagement and co-creation.

Working across sectors

Traditionally, smart city initiatives have promised solutions within individual sectors, such as transport, health and climate. But the emerging truth is that you cannot solve the challenges through initiatives confined to each sector. It is essential, in the emerging digital ecosystem, that we work together across existing silos.

Co-created cities for people

As civic participation and co-creation are considered by the project as an equally important component of future cities as technology solutions, €1.8m, one quarter of the entire budget, is reserved directly for citizen-driven experiments.

And so the stage is being set for cooperation and participation, for collaborative city experiments developed with, and at the initiative of, citizen groups, organizations, authorities and companies.

Facts about OrganiCity

  • Total budget of €7.2m
  • There are a total of 15 partners associated with the project, which runs for three years.
  • The central cities are Aarhus, London and Santander.
  • Two open calls will be made for citizen-driven experiments based on the Organicity platform in 2016 and 2017.
  • €1.8m allocated directly for an estimated 25-35 experiments.


Read more about the project here

Project duration: January 2015 – December 2017
Project Manager LTU-CDT: Marita Holst. CDT
LTU Scientific director: Birgitta Bergvall-Kåreborn, Professor Information Systems
Project partners: Aarhus University (Coordinator), Intel UK, Alexandra Institute, Future Cities Catapult, Imperial College London, TST Sistemas, Computer Technology Institute and Press “Diophantus”, University of Luebeck, Institute for Advanced Architecture of Cataloinia, Commissariat à l’énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives, University of Cantabria, Aarhus Municipality, Santander Municipality, University of Melbourne.