Smart cities have been using data and digital technologies to create resource efficiencies and improve the quality of life for their citizens. The current pandemic has demonstrated that public administrations need to speed up their digital transformation. It is however, important that European cities and communities follow a path towards digital transformation that is smart, sustainable and helps cities become resilient. As highlighted by the Living.eu (Join, Boost, Sustain) Declaration, cities and communities are encouraged to follow the ‘European Way’ in their digital transformation, which entails independence in deploying innovative digital solutions, while respecting European values, diversity and citizens’ digital rights. Encouraging the use of commonly agreed digital solutions among regions, cities and communities will help close the digital divide and reduce inequalities for a stronger territorial cohesion. While many good smart cities solutions exist already, scaling them up remains difficult and thus their impact on society as a whole remains limited and unevenly distributed across the EU. Scaling, increasing the number of participants, resource allocation, geographic footprint or offering services more widely are high on the current EU smart cities agenda. A recent survey indicates that building trust, ensuring a multi-helix ecosystem collaboration as well as open data standards and protocols are some of the most important elements for scaling up, while contractual issues and legislation seem to be the biggest barriers.
In this context, the 100 Intelligent Cities Challenge (ICC) helps EU cities leverage cutting edge technologies to foster their local ecosystems and reconstruct their economies, post-pandemic, while steering them in the direction on green, smart, climate-neutral growth. This will help cities to improve the quality of life, create and maintain quality jobs and build a resilient, stronger, fairer local economy.
The COP-CITIES webinar on 26/05/2020 focused on scaling up digital solutions in smart cities and communities and is organised jointly by the JRC, DG CONNECT and DG GROW.
The objective of the event was to discuss (i) the challenges of smaller (non-capital, remote, less connected) cities when it comes to scaling up urban digital solutions and (ii) present scaling up methodologies.
It is considered that cities’ organisations, as well as Innovation Hubs, Digital Innovation Hubs, City Labs, Fab labs, Living Labs, Industrial Clusters, the Enterprise Europe Network or other, locally / regionally embedded innovation organisations can be an effective means to accelerate and expand the implementation and scaling-up efforts. The workshop therefore brought together cities, national associations of municipalities, communities and municipalities representation associations, policy makers, innovation hubs, city labs, Digital Innovation Hubs, living labs, and policy labs, etc. to discuss:
- What are the main challenges of smaller cities and communities in implementing smart city solutions and be involved in scaling up programme?
- What are some of the initiatives and measures that could help municipalities implement smart city solutions and be involved in scale up?
26/05/2020, 10:00-12:00 CET, webinar on WebEx
Welcome & Setting the scene - Charlina Vitcheva, JRC Deputy Director General
- Smart and sustainable cities and communities – Eddy Hartog (DG CONNECT H5)
- 100 Intelligent Cities Challenge – Dana Eleftheriadou (DG GROW F2)
- Community of Practice on Cities – Claudia Baranzelli (JRC)
Challenges and opportunities in smaller communities in implementing and scaling up smart city solutions
- Vitality of smaller cities initiative – Miguel Sousa (INOVA)
- POLIS Small and Medium Sized Cities’ Platform – Irene Schuurman-Vernes (Emmen, Netherlands)
- Urban Data Platform Plus,Territorial Interoperability Framework for statistical urban data – Davide Auteri (JRC)
Part II: Scaling up initiatives and support mechanisms
- State of the Art of Urban Data Platforms – Haydee Sheombar (Erasmus Center for Data Analytics)
- Scaling up urban digital platforms and smart city solutions / Synchronicity Guidance document – Martin Brynskov (Open and Agile Smart Cities)
- Projects from the Urban Innovative Actions – Pier Paolo Saraceno (Urban Innovative Action’s Permanent Secretariat)
- Sharing Cities – Brooke Flanagan (EUROCITIES)
- Digital Cities Challenge Toolkit – Natalia Gkiaouri (DG GROW F2)
- Transfer Network methodology – Eddy Adams (URBACT)
- Smart City Guidance Package – Judith Borsboom-van Beurden (Locality)
- Digital Neighbourhood Instrument – Eva Hveem (Helsingborg, Digital Transition Partnership)
- Digital Services for your city – Digital Transition Partnership - Hillen Oost (VNG)
Q&A / Sli.do
Conclusions & Next steps