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High-level debate on ground level concerns

Contributed by: youris.com EEIG

This year’s General Assembly of the EIP-Smart Cities and Communities brought together over 500 delegates in the Dutch city of Eindhoven on 24 May. Among them were members of REMOURBAN who participated in the Eurocities meeting for Lighthouse projects and in the break-out sessions on Action Clusters at this annual gathering. We take a look at this major event and report on REMOURBAN partners’ experience.
High-level debate on ground level concerns
In Eindhoven for REMOURBAN, co-ordinator Miguel Garcia from CARTIF had this to say: “For our project, the EIP-SCC General Assembly and satellite events represent a key opportunity for sharing approaches and generating knowledge and ideas with other EU level initiatives and projects. The event is especially useful for identifying clustering opportunities to strengthen the visibility and impact of REMOURBAN”. The EIP-SCC GA is now positioned as the cornerstone and main fora for the European Smart City market, and therefore it is a place where cities and industry suppliers meet to analyse the potential of Smart City solutions to achieve greener and smarter cities across European and beyond.

The morning of the General Assembly was opened with keynote speeches by Violet Bulc, Commissioner for Transport, and Melanie Schultz van Haegen, the Netherlands’ Minister for Infrastructure and Environment, on scaling, collaboration and investment as a way to support smart cities of the future. A high-level panel discussion then followed, introduced by Pim Van Ballekom, vice-president of the European Investment Bank with the theme of investing into smart cities along with the needs and opportunities at a European scale.

Eindhoven was also an opportunity to engage in break-out sessions around Action Clusters. These clusters are designed to offer deep dive discussions on specific issues. REMOURBAN interacted with most of the Action Clusters through sharing the ongoing work on financial schemes, urban platforms, indicators, citizen engagement strategies, etc., and this event helped forge stronger ties with the other ongoing lighthouse projects.

During the Urban Platforms Action Cluster a focused discussion took place about the linkage between demand from the cities and supply by industry. An exciting initiative has been launched as a result of this Action Cluster to bring cities and industry closer together to shape a harmonious joint approach. Already guidelines have been produced about the Requirements for Urban Platforms, which is being completed with a second document about Common Open Architectures. This progress was highlighted by Colette Maloney who head of the Smart Cities and Sustainability Unit at DG CONNECT.

Attending the Integrated Planning Action Cluster workshop was Isabel Tome Estaban from REMOURBAN partner Iberdrola. The session examined the tools for decision making, management and benchmarking. Isabel reported that the main issue here covers the development of recognised Key Performance Indicators and the resources required from the municipalities to gather the data. A real example of how to take advantage of technology for data collection in the understanding of city’s mobility needs and traffic’s flows was provided by using mobile location data.

Much of the Citizen Focus action cluster meeting involved two parallel round tables: recommendations for citizen engagement and guidelines for implementing privacy in smart cities. Elisabeth Schmid from youris.com participated in the citizen engagement round table. Here examples of co-creation projects drawing on use cases were presented. The findings matched what MEP Jan Olbrycht said about the only viable way being an integrated approach with citizens. The round table also set out the need for political continuity to be maintained if we are to achieve social acceptance and public awareness, and as John Zib, head of the Tools for Citizen Engagement Initiative, states, “there is no smart city without citizens”.

So alongside other projects from FP7, SCCI calls and Smart Cities support actions, REMOURBAN was able to take home some useful insights and to share its own experience of rolling out a sustainable regeneration model seamlessly combining energy, mobility and ICT for smarter cities.

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Countries

  • Netherlands

Keywords

smart cities, clustering, impact, sustainability, finance, strategy, management, mobility
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