Banner showing the Umeå municipality was runner-up in iCaptial 2018

Stories of impact: Experimenting

Map of Umeå showing "the Gendered Landscape Tour" with its bus stops

The gendered landscape tour

The city of Umeå provides guided bus tours around the city to show “the gendered landscape of Umeå”. This is an innovative way of showing how the work with gender equality change and re-forming the city. This method is the first of its kind in Europe and was awarded URBACT Good practice label in 2017. This method is not about traditional neighborhood safety/security surveys, it is about making the city itself the starting point, highlighting gendered power structures throughout the city and how they can be understood and transformed.

A happy group of neighborhood residents cheering in afternoon sunlight

Neighborhood investment packages

Umeå is the largest city in Sweden, which according to the police, does not have any deprived neighborhoods. The City of Umeå Technical board has initiated a systematic investment plan that connects several neighborhood investments in annual “neighborhood investment packages”. This governance model which uses tactical urbanism to build systematical citizen engagement and empowerment in neighborhoods, also makes sure that the entire city will keep on flourishing and prospering.

"Creativity, commitment and openness, as well as entrepreneurship and trust describe the attitude in Umeå. Taking all those factors together makes Umeå a progressive role model. We believe the world needs innovative solutions for existing challenges."
Fredrik Lindegren, Head of the Cultural Department, City of Umeå
Group of students working on social innovations in Umeå around a table with a laptop

Social Innovations in Umeå

Social innovations are relatively new for the city as a governance model and there is still a lot to learn. The municipality has a cooperation agreement with a cooperative economic association to raise knowledge and increase social innovations in the city. Arena Social Innovation is a regional cooperation arena to highlight social innovations and entrepreneurs and inspire to new models of financing. Currently, Umeå University is developing a national knowledge platform on social innovation.

Umeå municipality were runner up in 2018's European Capital of Innovation