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'Cities in transition' conference & GDC awards winners

  • knowledge society

Find out more about our knowledge society forum's winter conference and the Green Digital Charter award winners.

Cities in transition - the role of digital in shaping our future cities 

The EUROCITIES Knowledge Society Forum (KSF) and the Green Digital Charter (GDC) jointly hosted the conference ‘Cities in transition – the role of digital in shaping our future cities’ on 25 January 2017.

The event, held in the Microsoft Innovation Centre in Brussels, brought together over 100 participants, including civil servants, smart city experts, delegates from the EU institutions and partners and representatives from the private sector. 

The opening plenary session, moderated by Dorthe Nielsen, EUROCITIES policy director, enabled local politicians to share their ‘smart city’ visions and expectations of the recently-established Urban Agenda partnership on digital transition. This session included an exchange of views between the cities of Eindhoven, represented by Mary-Ann Schreurs, deputy mayor for innovation; Milan, represented by Roberta Cocco, alderman on digital transformation; Oulu, represented by Eero Halonen, chairman of the economic development board; and Rome, represented by Flavia Marzano, alderman on smart city and innovation. The discussion enabled participants to better understand cities’ priorities in this new urban partnership, especially with regards to data management issues, including the opening of data, data privacy and security, standards and interoperability of systems within as well as between cities.

 Eddy Hartog, head of unit for smart mobility and living at European Commission DG CNECT, described the future solutions that need to be developed - including a one-stop-shop for cities – in order to improve multilevel collaboration on urban policies within the European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities (EIP-SCC).  

The political debate was followed by two parallel series of technical workshops. In the morning, attendees discussed data, eGovernment, the Internet of Things (IoT) and standards. The afternoon sessions focused on urban platforms, performance measurement of smart city projects, connectivity and procurement for innovation. Each workshop addressed opportunities and challenges, examples from cities and open questions, and each delivered a small set of takeaway points and next steps for action. The workshop moderators presented these points during the final conference wrap-up session.

After the workshops, Kaja Kallas MEP (EST, ALDE) delivered a a keynote speech in plenary, during which she stressed the importance of the digital economy in Europe’s development.

The agenda of the conference is available at

Green Digital Charter 2016 Awards

The Green Digital Charter (GDC) Awards ceremony took place during the ‘Cities in transition – The role of digital in shaping our future cities’ conference. 

Peter Bosch from the Dutch research organisation TNO began by describing the achievements of GDC signatory cities before inviting the other three members of the jury (Cristobal Irazoqui, European Commission; Jan Dictus, Goja Consulting; and Miimu Airaksinen, VTT) to announce the winners in three categories:

Citizen participation and impact on society 

Carlos Alocen, Daniel Sarasa and Gerardo Lahuerta received the award on behalf of Zaragoza in this category, in recognition of the impact of the ‘Zaragoza Citizen Card’. This multi-purpose smart (RFID) card is part of Zaragoza’s collaborative approach to facilitate citizens’ access to public services. Runner-up cities for this category were Reykjavik (Better Reykjavik and My Neighbourhood) and Utrecht (Traffic Lights Hotline).

Creation of European added value 

Lisbon’s integrated management system for energy efficiency developed under the FP7-funded BESOS project was recognised in the 'European added-value’ category. Implemented in Lisbon and Barcelona, the project is a perfect example of how digital technologies can help in the global fight against climate change. The project’s coordinator, Francisco Goncalves, received the award on behalf of the city of Lisbon. Runner-up cities for this category were Bristol (REPLICATE) and Zagreb (Zagreb Energy Week).

Promoting open and interoperable solutions 

Finally, Tatjana Perse from the city of Rijeka received the award on ‘Promoting open and interoperable solutions’ for the iURBAN smart Decision Support System (DSS) project. This integrated, multilevel and scalable tool has been designed for cities’ administration to critically analyse energy consumption patterns and increase energy efficiency in public buildings. Runner-up cities for this category were Amsterdam (Open Data – Smart Neighbourhoods) and Valencia (Valencia Smart City Platform).

In total, 21 projects from 14 different cities were submitted for the second edition of the GDC awards. They can all be found in our 2016 collection of case studies, available here

EUROCITIES staff contact

Nikolaos Kontinakis