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This project aims to establish an operational Nordic partnership that will accelerate the transition towards climate neutrality in small and medium sized municipalities by 2030.


We want to provide small and medium sized cities with a Nordic toolbox and roadmap that can help with turning strategies into action as well as implementing and scaling up new systems and solutions by giving directionality for their investment efforts. The partnership will also develop a support offer for the municipalities based on the partners’ different strengths.


As of today, most larger municipalities in the Nordics have developed and started to implement Smart City and/or circular economy strategies, including transformative business models based on sharing, industrial symbiosis networks etc. Some of them include a citizen-centric approach and collaboration with local academia and business. Research based innovation programs that include all of these four sectors (quadruple helix) are needed in order to transform the way cities work.


Many of the smaller municipalities have the same intentions but might lack time, funding or resources to follow the same progress. The challenges that these municipalities face when turning strategy into operation is not unique to any Nordic country. This project brings some of the leading Nordic organisations that offer support in these processes together in order to share best practice and to examine comparative advantages.

The ambition of this partnership is to help turning ambitious strategies into concrete action on a local level, by offering support to small and medium sized municipalities through a joint Nordic methodology that recognizes that municipalities are in the position to enable and encourage the local business sector to provide transformative innovations that meet the needs of the city and its inhabitants, in order for them to lead a good life within planetary boundaries.


The Nordic Prime Ministers have decided on a new vision for Nordic cooperation. The Nordic countries are to become the most integrated, sustainable region in the world by 2030, emphasizing green (circular and biobased), competitive and socially inclusive societies. The Nordic countries have the strongholds needed to be frontrunners in the circular economy. However, there are still issues to resolve in order to reach the climate targets and Sustainable Development Goals, especially number 12 (Sustainable production and consumption) and 13 (Climate Change).


The call, where the project was funded was designed to enable cooperation actions that can turn strategies into concrete solutions to help reduce the CO2 footprint, reduce and optimize material use, promote innovations and implement new business models. The call for proposals: Circular Cities & New Circular Solutions addressed two of the four action areas that currently make up Nordic Innovation’s Nordic Sustainable Business Transformation program.

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