Digital Single Market
Digital Economy & Society

Work session 3 - Public sector and cities also go digital: What are the solutions for smart government and smart cities?


The smart use of digital technologies in today's hyper-connected world provides unprecedented opportunities. Taking on board these technologies in the 'traditional' public sector and in (Smart) Cities will contribute to modernising city administrations and the public sector as a whole for delivering better results. Opening up public data, services and processes facilitates collaboration, citizen participation and engagement fosters the re-use of existing solutions, co-creation of public services and transparent decision-making. Budgetary constraints and increasing complexity push for the co-creation of public services together with citizens and the private sector:

  • for innovative mobility solutions,
  • for energy efficiency,
  • for smarter waste management,
  • for a safer living in a city,
  • for an age-friendly urban environment, and
  • for more engagement in political decision-making processes.

More than 400 submissions to the recent invitation for commitments (closed on 15 June), of which 48 have a citizens’ focus, show the high interest in the European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities.

The work session presented inspiring examples on how the smart use of ICT, open government, and social innovation can generate new business opportunities through collaboration and participation, also in 'traditional' companies in a city. Discussions and presentations also explored new models that can stimulate and catalyse the revival of civic engagement. Innovators discussed which conditions apply for successful implementation of ICT innovation, in particular in a local context.


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Agenda and speakers
  • 14.00 - Introduction and results of the online discussion

    • Moderator and rapporteur to the plenary:
      Graham Colclough - URBAN DNA SOLUTIONS LLP
    • Welcome by European Commission: Paul Timmers - Director of the Sustainable & Secure Society Directorate in DG CONNECT, European Commission
  • 14.10 - Panel presentations:

  • 15.10 - Discussion with participants

  • 15.50 - Final statements from the panel and closing remarks



Can digital technologies make the city smarter?

Digital technologies and ICTs are increasingly penetrating the levels of government closest to citizens: those of large and small cities. But approaches and visions can be wildly divergent. How can digital technologies make the city smarter?

How to build business and create value for citizens, based on open data?

Although the methods and approaches are still christalysing across Europe, it has become accepted that (big, linked) open data will play a key role on the intersection of technology, business and government in the coming years. Potential areas of discussion: Should governments build their own applications and services? When?

How can governments engage citizens via ICT?

Capturing citizens’ attention and engaging them in meaningful ways remains a challenge for many governments. The rise in popularity of social media however has made interaction and communication with citizens accessible and lowered the threshold to do so. How do we stimulate government participation and citizen engagement via ICTs?

Welcome to the discussion

In view of the Digital Action Day workshop on Smart Government and Smart Cities, we open this space to prepare the debate and focus the scope of the discussion with the widest range of participants.