Neelie KROES
Vice-President of the European Commission

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Have an idea to make your city smarter?

Do you live in a city?

It wouldn't surprise me if the answer is yes – after all, two thirds of Europeans do.

So here's my question for you – is your city "smart"? Does it operate smoothly and sustainably? Do you have the information you need at your fingertips? Are you engaged and involved in with the decisions that matter to you?

I'm guessing most of you won't answer "yes" to all of those questions. But chances are, even if your city isn't completely "dumb", there are lots of ways it could get smarter. And there are lots of ways technology can help.

From apps that help you find parking spots and avoid traffic jams — to the control systems that help zero-energy buildings. Using digital tech in smarter cities means better quality of life for you, more growth in our innovative economy, and a greener, more sustainable society.  (And don't forget that cities account for three quarters of carbon emissions).

But there are better and worse ways for cities to "go smart". Ideally, these new ideas should be open, competitive, and innovative. And cities will deliver more for less if they work together, share experiences and learn from each other, across Europe.

That is what our European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities is all about. Cities, startups, suppliers, and more, working together to ensure tomorrow's technology delivers for citizens, making their urban lives safer, greener and more pleasant.

So today, I am calling on cities and utility providers to commit to use open and consistent data, and commit to joint procurement. I am calling on those supplying these innovations to commit to open solutions – so that technologies "interoperate" with each other, and purchasers don't get "locked in" to one supplier. And I am calling on all those involved - cities, innovative startups, industrial players, civil society, academia and others – to work together and commit together.

I hope many different players from all across Europe will be able to do that, to make commitments and tell us about them.

Our deadline to send in those commitments is 15 June.  You can submit them easily and quickly on our website. After that deadline, we will not just be publishing the results – but give new platforms and tools so that those who submit can get together, exchange and work together.

If you are a smart city, dream of being a smart city, or think you can supply a smart city with the innovations it needs – then this is your chance. To promote what you're doing on a European scale; engage with and learn from others' experience; and partner with others to deliver more and save more.

Still not convinced? Check out this video testimony from Sebastian Marx from the City of Gothenburg, Sweden; from Franz Schaidhammer, Mayor of Wiesloch, Germany (speaking in German); or from Lutz Heuser of the Urban Institute about what this Partnership means for them.

For full details on how to get involved see here, — or check out the in-depth plan here.

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Comments

  • Peter Lundquist's picture
    Simple, proven performance. End the needless waste of conditioned air being pumped up against the least insulated part of a building's envelope. http://www.heatsavershades.com
  • Jonathan Marks's picture
    I believe Franz Schaidhammer is the most useful invitation on the website because he is specific about what they are doing (saving energy and finding novel uses for LED lamp posts ). The others are rather vague to be of much value. I don''t understand the split between "high-level" and "Sherpa". It creates a hierarchy. What is the relationship? Are the sherpa's just going to be busy with operational things? Frankly, I would invite the SME/Startup sector at a later stage when it is much clearer what challenges each of these cities faces. Otherwise you are just collecting suggestions looking for a problem.
  • Jonathan Marks's picture
    I believe Franz Schaidhammer is the most useful invitation on the website because he is specific about what they are doing (saving energy and finding novel uses for LED lamp posts ). The others are rather vague to be of much value. I don''t understand the split between "high-level" and "Sherpa". It creates a hierarchy. What is the relationship? Are the sherpa's just going to be busy with operational things? Frankly, I would invite the SME/Startup sector at a later stage when it is much clearer what challenges each of these cities faces. Otherwise you are just collecting suggestions looking for a problem.
  • Andreas B. OTTE's picture
    Only with a large number of innovative technologies can we create solutions for energy and smart city themes! The EURECI Project bid a real platform for this, have already more than 50 new innovative technologies and technology companies on the desk and search for active support to realized this project in Germany and also in other countries! Technologies gives we must used it! www.eureci.eu
  • Mike Parr's picture
    Smart Cities. How about local energy markets (LEMs)? where buildings that generate a surplus of energy can export to one that does not? This is not currently possible, mostly because large energy companies have effected regulatory capture of the NRAs (national regulatory Authorities). The nice thing about LEMs is that they would get rid of the need for renewable subsidies. In some countries Germany, Spain, Italy energy costs and costs of, for example PV, make PV at a household or commercial level entirely practical without subsidies - provided one can sell the surplus electricity. ICT can enable this by timestamping generation, export & import. That this is NOT happening is a reflection not on the availability of low cost ICT solutions (FP7 project already developed agent software to handle sell-buy interactions) but because the NRAs (& member states) do not want it to happen - after all we cann't have democracy brought to the area of energy markets - can we? However, without such developments the concept of smart cities will struggle since the ability to generate/sell/buy energy is a significant part of the concept.
  • John's picture
    Well! Hong Kong is just one critical case as there are numerous other cities facinog similar challenges. This is also self- initiated research with the hope of future funding to move on. We believe there is a social component to any situation that always needs to be further explored and well understood. Why is this happening in one of Asia’s most advanced cities? Why can’t people in Hong Kong reduce their “glutony” for packaged food? Small flats, long working hours, the need to socialize, better environmental consciousness, may all form part of this complex situation. So the “smart part” has to be preceeded by a deep ethnographic study to go to the roots of the problem. John http://www.proweb365.com

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