Digital Agenda for Europe
A Europe 2020 Initiative

Workshop 2: going smart and accessible in public services and cities


Digital Public Services and Smart Cities save time and money but also make the Digital Single Market a reality with new business opportunities.

ICT technologies allow for greater involvement of individuals in the design, production and delivery of services, thus empowering citizens, making smarter and greener decisions in daily life, making governments and city administrations more transparent, responsive, accountable and trustworthy, involving businesses and citizens in a continuous dialogue.

The workshop will explore what still needs to be done across borders to ensure that every citizen or consumer and company in the EU,  including people with disabilities, can benefit from digital public services. It will discuss innovation in the form of 'smart city solutions', as a platform for cross-sector solutions (bridging ICT, energy distribution, transport & mobility and construction) as well as illustrate the huge potential of Big Data in urban contexts through open-data repositories and ICT (mobile) applications.

Search in discussions

Public Services for Businesses: recipes for supporting growth

How can governments better support the enterprises? Is the reduction of administrative burden enough or we can do more? In the current times of economic crisis businesses not only struggle to grow but even to survive. They need an environment that favours their development. Which actions and policies can the public sector set up to provide such an environment? Creating service infrastructure? Providing consultancy service to expand and internationalize their business?

Workshop 2 in pictures!

/digital-agenda/en/file/9502WS2 - DAA 2013.jpg /digital-agenda/en/file/9504WS2 - DAA 2013 -b.jpg /digital-agenda/en/file/9505WS2 - DDA 2013 - c.jpg Round-table discussions at Workshop 2

Thanks and bon voyage

An update on yesterday's post :- I am providing an overview of the online discussion at the workshop, so thanks again for your contributions. Your views will be heard. Today @pdfoley is providing feedback about the online debate for #da13smart on twitter . The debate continues. You can still join the debate online, your views will be presented at the workshop. Join us and be heard. Previously:- Many thanks to all who have contributed to this online discussion.

Household energy reporting promotes change

Providing people with information can encourage behavioural change. However, not all ways of conveying information to influence behaviour are equally effective. A US company Opower provides consumers with a Home Energy Reporting Program, which includes comparative consumption information showing how households’ energy use compares with similar neighbours.

Information and energy consuming behaviour

Everyday energy-consuming behaviours (such as use of heating and lights) are largely habitual. Such habits are often reliant on automatic processes which can be particularly resistant to change. Information campaigns to reduce energy use can result in increased consumer knowledge but this does not always translate into real energy savings.

Smart changes in Smart Cities

The Low2No initiative in Helsinki suggested that 50 per cent of a citizen’s carbon footprint concerned lifestyle choices. They therefore embarked upon an ICT enabled campaign to induce behavioural change. Behavioural psychology research suggests that two key drivers of behavioural change are ‘active learning’ and ‘social proof’ – trying something out and seeing others do it. ICT and social media can enable this learning and share and reinforce social proof.

Defining Smart Cities

Cities consume 75 per cent of worldwide energy production and generate 80 per cent of CO2 emissions ( Many have therefore argued that a sustainable urban model requires a “smart city.” EC initiatives for Smart Cities focus on sustainability issues such as buildings, energy networks and transport. Smart Cities have been characterised and defined by a number of factors including sustainability, economic development and a high quality of life.

Implications of growth in mobile access to digital services

The UK Cabinet Office reported that prior to Christmas 2013, GOV.UK (the one stop government portal) saw around 20 per cent of visits from mobile devices. After Christmas this has jumped to nearly 25 per cent. Several participants in the discussion about workshop 2 have highlighted the need for multiple channel interaction. What are the implications of the growth in mobile access for digital service providers? Does it increase accessibility?

Challenges for developing a public sector website

What are the major challenges for developing and maintaining an accessible public sector website and what are your suggestions to overcome these challenges?

How can investment in digital public services help create jobs and fight unemployment?

Digital public services can create jobs in a number of ways. Enhanced cross-border services can assist businesses to move and trade in new markets. Open public data can generate a wealth of opportunities for building new applications (see for example and Public services providing information about vacancies, skills development and employability can help the employed and unemployed.

What is the most important issue that should be discussed at the workshop? - Sunshine?

Workshop 2 covers a diverse range of areas. Which do you think are the most important? For me it is the need to increase the number and growth rate of individuals using eGovernment services. On a provocative frivolous note this is probably related to sunshine. Using eGovernment services should provide major opportunities for 'cross-selling' to users involvement in decision making, empowerment and other activities.