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Stockholm city in unique collaboration with MIT and KTH

Big data, artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of things create the conditions for a development of the smart city of the future. Through a unique research collaboration via partnership between Stockholm City, KTH - The Royal Institute of Technology and MIT - Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the city will gain an in-depth understanding of socio-economic and environmental challenges in the growing city.

Stockholm is a city in strong development with a rapidly growing population. It provides great opportunities for developing a sustainable and attractive city to live in, but also poses major challenges for the municipal activities, including in terms of climate, infrastructure and an increasing degree of digitalisation. At the same time, Stockholmers are increasingly demanding changes and development of municipal care and service.

In order to develop long-term sustainable and efficient social services with high quality, the city has long been engaged in innovation work. For many years, there has been close strategic cooperation with KTH to strengthen Stockholm's innovative power. Now the cooperation is taken one step further.

- This is something I have been striving for for years and which is now being realised. The research collaboration between the City of Stockholm, KTH and MIT further strengthens the capital as a leading research region. We need more international collaborations between world-leading universities in order to attract talents and attract the knowledge-intensive sectors here to Stockholm, ”says Anna König Jerlmyr, City of Stockholm City Council.


The collaboration means that KTH and MIT together with the City of Stockholm have signed an agreement to establish a research collaboration under the name KTH-MIT Senseable Stockholm Lab.

- We are very pleased to start this cooperation with the City of Stockholm; one of the world's foremost cities at Unicorns and innovation, and with KTH, which has so many similarities with MIT. We both have a technology characterised by technology and we are united in our quest to use technology to handle major societal challenges, says Carlo Ratti, professor at MIT.

The joint lab will be located in KTH's premises and thus has an obvious proximity to Stockholm and the physical environment and all the data to be investigated. The cooperation between the two universities is intended to extend over three to five years. The lab consists of interdisciplinary researchers at MIT and KTH.

- This is a unique collaboration and a fantastic opportunity. Our research very well matches MIT's in urban planning and urban development. It will benefit all parties and together we will be able to analyse and develop the city of the future, where Stockholm is the lab and the starting point. Perhaps this may be a collaboration model for the future and the proximity to MIT opens up opportunities for our students, of course, says Sigbritt Karlsson, Vice-Chancellor at KTH.

The partnership extends over three years with the possibility of extension. The City of Stockholm enters into five million SEK per year and KTH goes in with two million a year. Co-financiers are Stockholm's Chamber of Commerce and the company Newsec, which contributes one million each year.

The focus of the collaboration is design and digitisation for a developed urban building. Preliminary, MIT and KTH are proposing three coherent and complementary themes for the research.

Knowing the city:  Big data and AI are used in environmental and urban space analyses to develop solutions for sustainable urban development.The smart city's endurance ( resilience) and safety:  Big data generated in the urban environment, the public space and, above all, the social interactions that take place in cities is used in order to influence urban development in innovative ways. New governance with AI and big data : Where new use of AI in combination with large amounts of data is used as a tool for governance and development of cities.


The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a university and research institute in Boston, USA, with world-leading research in architecture, engineering, humanities, arts, medicine and social sciences. Through Senseable Stockholm, a unique initiative for collaboration between MIT's research group, the city and researchers at KTH is taken.The American research group has, over the years, built up a great deal of knowledge about how big data and artificial intelligence (AI) can be used to make analyses for the development of urban environments.

The City Council is expected to make a formal decision at its meeting on 18 March.

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