A Smart City is a place where the traditional networks and services are made more efficient with the use of digital and telecommunication technologies, for the benefit of its inhabitants and businesses. With this vision in mind, the European Union is investing in ICT research and innovation and developing policies to improve the quality of life of citizens and make cities more sustainable in view of Europe's 20-20-20 targets.
To speed up the deployment of these solutions, the European Commission has launched the European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities that will bring together European cities, industry leaders, and representatives of civil society to smarten up Europe's urban areas.
But the Smart City concept goes beyond the use of ICT for better resource use and less emissions. It means smarter urban transport networks, upgraded water supply and waste disposal facilities, and more efficient ways to light and heat buildings. And it also encompasses a more interactive and responsive city administration, safer public spaces and meeting the needs of an ageing population.