Smart city concepts & technologies

Smart technology is a key enabler in achieving sustainable and liveable cities. Making informed decisions about which technologies best support a city’s overall development strategy depends on establishing the right governance and identifying the most suitable technical concepts.

Achieving liveability through integrated services



Neel Strøbæk

Trustee, Ramboll Foundation
T: +45 5161 8641

Many big cities are implementing a wide array of new technology that promises to make the city smarter. Cities are expected to spend no less than $400 billion on smart urban services by 2020.

To achieve smart cities – using information and communication technology (ICT) - to enhance well-being whilst reducing costs and carbon emissions, city officials need to determine how smart technology can support their overall strategy for improving city life.

Smart technology needs context

Ramboll’s approach to enabling smart choices comprises three interrelated dimensions:

  1. Smart governance – cities should establish the appropriate governance and organisation that enables collaboration across city departments to ensure that city planning is strategic and holistic whilst also being realistic and thereby implementable.

  2. Smart technical concepts – cities should explore and identify the smart concepts available to solve an issue. This could include district heating/cooling, energy and water synergy parks, or blue-green infrastructure, which are all areas where Ramboll has world leading expertise.

  3. Smart technologies – ICT can be used to support improved sustainability. This could include technologies such as water metering that minimize the use of resources, free parking space detection systems, or ‘green waves’ that prioritise traffic flows for bicycles.

‘Big data’ can be used to understand and document trends and investment scenarios, as well as ensure the integrated operation of city infrastructure and utility systems.

Copenhagen to reap benefits from smart-city strategy

In Denmark, Ramboll has prepared a society cost-benefit analysis on the Copenhagen Connecting project, which includes a platform for linking several of Copenhagen's technological solutions intelligently. In November 2014, the Copenhagen Connecting received the World Smart Cities Award for its integrated approach.

The Copenhagen Connecting project will provide tangible benefits to the citizens of Copenhagen, for instance, optimised route planning based on real time traffic information, and better rainwater management. If the project is fully implemented, it will generate savings of more than DKK 4 billion a year for the city of Copenhagen.

Related projects

City bike paths in Copenhagen

Super Bike Paths increase capacity and flow

In Copenhagen, one of the world’s leading cities for cycling, congestion is not confined to the road system. A range of new Super Bike Path solutions includes green waves, fast lanes and virtual traffic islands to increase capacity and flow on bike paths.

Avedøre Power Plant, Copenhagen, Denmark

District heating system in the Copenhagen Region

The district heating schemes in the Copenhagen Region are interconnected, forming one of the largest integrated DH systems in the world.

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