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June 16-18 | 2021

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Hej Helsingborg !

See you in 2022.

Helsingborg – a mid-sized city in Sweden – is dreaming big. Not only does it want to become one of the most innovative cities in Europe, it also strives to transform its entire DNA and inspire co-creation in a more sustainable, thoughtful city. Quite ambitious, right!

So, how do they want to reach their goals?

Collaboration is key! Through the massive H22 initiative, Helsingborg is working with like-minded partners near and far, with path-breaking innovators, businesses, and academia.

They’re reinventing city governance and have launched the first municipal innovation hub in Sweden, using the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to guide their actions. An annual vision fund of 100 000 Euros allows any resident to realize their city development dreams. These and many more ideas took the City of Helsingborg into the final round of the European iCapital competition.

Want to know how they’re co-creating a smart city that puts people and planet first? For 35 days in the summer of 2022, May 30-July 3, Helsingborg invites the world to be a part of their H22 City Expo and we’re super proud that Urban Future Helsingborg will kick off the entire Expo on June 1-3, 2022. Make sure to save the date!

About the city .

Helsingborg is one of the oldest cities in the Nordic region and people have been living here since the 10th century. Helsingborg is located in Northwest Skåne, where the Öresund strait is at its narrowest and where Denmark and Helsingör are only 5 km away.

In Helsingborg, people like to go bathing all year round. In the summer, they pack a picnic and head off to one of the beaches found in the heart of the city, and in the winter, they visit one of the three cold water bathhouses. The city has an amazing range of dining experiences and is one of Sweden’s cities with most restaurants per capita.

H22 - implementing a bold vision .

H22 belongs to the people of Helsingborg. This means that we are taking this journey for, and together with those living and working here. All with the goal of improving quality of life. The only way to succeed is if we do it together, Soraya Axelsson, Head of H22.


H22 is a major initiative by Helsingborg to develop future welfare solutions aimed at improving quality of life in a smarter, more sustainable city. H22 consists of two parts:

  • A city-wide innovation initiative. It’s about the journey towards becoming a smarter and more sustainable city.
  • A City Expo – A 35-day international event between May 30-July 2022 that will showcase the innovation work so far and open up Helsingborg as a test bed and platform for collective global action. With the entire city as a living lab, innovations will be showcased, explored, and co-developed in an environment of imagination and shared ambition.

Developing the city for the people, with the people is one of the cornerstones of H22. It’s about including people who are involved and engaged at different levels, both local and international. But it’s also about developing leadership suited to a world in constant change and with increasing demands.

Enthusiasm, strategy and hard work pay off .

Most environmentally friendly Swedish municipality

Helsingborg has been working strategically with environmental issues for many years. The result is brilliant. Helsingborg has been named Sweden´s most environmentally friendly municipality for the fourth year in a row by Swedish media company Aktuell Hållbarhet.

Runner-up for Europe’s most innovative city

The European Capital of Innovation Awards 2020, also known as iCapital, is an annual prize awarded to the European city that is best able to demonstrate its ability to harness innovation to improve the lives of its residents. Helsingborg together with Valencia (Spain), Cluj-Napoca (Romania), Espoo (Finland) and Vienna (Austria) placed second, after the winning city Leuven (Belgium).

Creating a testbed for urban solutions with IKEA

The collaboration aims to explore solutions to the challenges that come with urbanization and make life easier for everybody everywhere – just like assembling the iconic bookshelf.  The sustainability focus of this initiative is on three “rooms”: the Garden, the Market and the Kitchen. The first will promote urban farming, which will provide fresh products to the other two.

The harbour area will become a hub for innovative ideas on the future of retail and manufacturing, interactive exhibitions will help citizens explore textiles and printing technology, and the local forest Fredriksdalsskogen will host students’ experiments in sustainable housing.




The City of Helsingborg will be the first in Sweden to build a large-scale urban sewer system for waste separation in Oceanhamnen. Starting from the 1960s, the current sewer system has to a large extent been extended in stages to solve the environmental problems arising from the city’s sewage.

Hamse Kjerstadius Development Engineer

In the innovation initiative that the City of Helsingborg has launched with H22, we’re aiming for big, bold changes – what’s known as radical innovation. This ambition involves two key prerequisites that clearly differentiate innovation from traditional development.

Patrick Lindqvist Innovation Stragegist

When I moved to Helsingborg, not in my wildest dreams did I think that someday I would be involved with the city, running community projects and would meet such amazing people. It all started with being wholly lost in translation in my first few months, looking for information and things to do.

Parul Ghosh Resident and Entreprenuer

Stories of H22 .

This is how Helsingborg is focusing its energy on common goals.

What is actually going on in Helsingborg?

How can a mid-sized city in Sweden change the world?

This is H22 – The making of a smarter city