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Anna Lisa Boni: “there can be no smart cities without smart citizens”

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  • cooperation
  • environment
  • knowledge society
  • mobility
date
04-06-2015

We stressed the importance of involving citizens in the transition towards smarter cities at a series of events around Europe.

Between the end of May and early June, we have contributed to several events on smart cities, where we continue to stress that there can be no smart cities without smart citizens.

Daniël Termont, mayor of Ghent and EUROCITIES vice president, kicked off in Berlin on 21 May at the European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities (EIP SCC) General Assembly, which coincided with the Metropolitan Solutions conference.

Speaking on a high level panel on smart cities and citizen involvement, Daniël Termont pointed out that cities know their citizens and their needs best, and he gave a number of examples of how cities engage with their communities on urban development issues.

Violeta Bulc, European commissioner for transport, outlined the next steps at EU level on smart cities, promising an upgraded and more focused ‘cities and communities of the future’ initiative in the coming months.

Our Green Digital Charter and CityKeys projects, which support cities’ efforts in deploying smart ICT for energy efficiency, and benchmarking smart city performance, were displayed in the conference exhibition area.

Anna Lisa Boni, our secretary general, then intervened at a workshop on smart cities at the second European Commission CiTIES Forum on 2 June. She pointed out that becoming a smart city is not an end goal, but a continuous process to become more resource efficient and improve quality of life. She said that the success of this process depends on the support and involvement of citizens, who should be engaged in co-creating ideas and solutions.

On 3 June, Anna Lisa Boni was invited to speak at the Smart City Event in Amsterdam. Under the title ‘cities in action’, she described how achieving smart cities doesn’t just mean deploying the right technological solutions, but better connecting policies across a wide range of areas, like energy efficiency, ICT and urban mobility. She pointed out again that the success of smart cities will depend on their ability to engage and involve their citizens. On 3 June, Anna Lisa Boni was invited to speak at the Smart City Event in Amsterdam. Under the title ‘cities in action’, she described how achieving smart cities doesn’t just mean deploying the right technological solutions, but better connecting policies across a wide range of areas, like energy efficiency, ICT and urban mobility. She pointed out again that the success of smart cities will depend on their ability to engage and involve their citizens. She focused on some of the remaining challenges for cities, such as open data, interoperability, cyber security and broadband, and cited some examples from our member cities, such as in Nice where the city has developed an app for families to assess and improve their energy saving behaviour.  

On 5 June, Anna Lisa Boni spoke at the 2015 edition of the week of innovative regions in Europe (WIRE) conference in Riga, which focuses on smart specialisation and the challenges faced in its implementation. She contributed to a panel discussion on 'how can cities step up in innovations using a combination of funds?'. 

Read more about our vision for ‘ever smarter cities’ in our recent statement, available at the link below. 

 

 

 

 

EUROCITIES staff contact

Federica Bordelot
Federica.Bordelot@eurocities.eu