Smart cities – meeting in Strasbourg on April 6th
The last meeting of the URBAN Intergroup was dedicated to the presentation of smart cities in Europe by Eddy Hartog, Head of Unit Smart Mobility and Living from DG CONNECT, European Commission.
“A smart city is a city seeking to address public issues via ICT-based solutions on the basis of a multi-stakeholder, municipality-based partnership.” This concept of smart city was recalled by Mr Hartog at the beginning of the meeting. Moreover, different EU pillars on smart cities such as the Urban Agenda for the EU and the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on Smart Cities and Communities were mentioned. Among the different EU sources for funding smart cities’ solutions are the European Regional Development Fund and Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.
Participants of the meeting got a clear view how different DGs of the European Commission deal with different initiatives in smart cities. Furthermore, part of the discussion focused on urban platforms as architectural solutions aimed to integrated different technological aspects of smart cities. It has been stressed that unfortunately there is a lack of compatibility between different platforms in different cities. The issues of open standards and connectivity were discussed as well in this context.
During a lively debate, Members of the European Parliament pointed out that European cities will be the first beneficiaries of 5G implementation plan. In consequence, the reflection should be focused on how to use in the future better connectivity to improve smart cities. Moreover, they underlined intergenerational gaps linked to the use of ICT technologies in cities and the need to develop e-skills by all citizens. Finally, the question of access to data and open data were mentioned.
In conclusion, Jan Olbrycht, President of the URBAN Intergroup, underlined that the concept of smart city must be “horizontal” and linked to different policies and EU, national and local level.