Smart Retro – Proof of concept for sustainable services in built environment


May 2014


June 2015

Project partners:

City of LahtiStockholmshemStockholm Business Region Development, City of Oslo Futurebuilt, KTH Royal Institute of TechnologyOslo National Academy of the Arts, YIT Corporation, Grandlund ltdCitycon and Aspelin Ramm

Project leader:

Demos Helsinki



The challenge

In the light of present social and ecological sustainability challenges, there is an urgent need for rethinking refurbishment projects. Besides improving the technical performance of the buildings, these projects also hold a great, but untapped, potential to address sustainable lifestyles changes and revitalisation of local retail and service economies.


This is especially true concerning areas built in the mid-20th century, where many of the buildings are due for refurbishment and where local retail and service availability is declining. Through also including the service environment in refurbishment projects the sustainability of these neighbourhoods can be increased in terms of energy performance, viability, sense of belonging and attractiveness.



The solution

The Smart Retro project aims at creating a business model innovation that combines refurbishment of buildings and service development, and takes place in the Nordic context. The business model will be created on the basis of three cases from the Nordic cities of Oslo, Lahti and Stockholm.


The high ambition of the Smart Retro project is to turn the massive potential of the 60′s and 70′s buildings stock into a business model innovation that combines energy retrofitting of buildings and smart service development.


Smart Retro includes innovation camps held in three steps in Stockholm, Lahti & Oslo from October 2014 and on. The camp is meant for startups and established companies developing a service or a product that enables smart life in built environment.


In spring 2015, the best campers will get the opportunity to test their services in real-life test beds in Bagarmossen, Stockholm and Lahti city centre to better evaluate the viability of their services and to develop them to meet user needs.


Send your pre-application to the Camp now.

For residents, the project aims at increasing the perceived value of the refurbishment by bringing about new services, creating a local economy feedback loop and increasing the capacity of technological performance.
For businesses, the projects aims at developing a business model innovation that combines retrofitting of buildings and service development.