Smart Cities and the European Union
In Smart Cities, digital technologies are meant to bring up better public services for citizens, better use of resources and less impact on the environment.
A Smart City is a place where the traditional networks and services are made more efficient with the use of digital and telecommunication technologies, for the benefit of its inhabitants and businesses. With this vision in mind, the European Union is investing in ICT research and innovation and developing policies to improve the quality of life of citizens and make cities more sustainable in view of Europe’s 20-20-20 targets (a low carbon commitment envisaged as a 20% reduction in EU greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels, raising the share of EU energy consumption produced from renewable resources to 20% and a 20% improvement in the EU’s energy efficiency.
To speed up the deployment of these solutions, the European Commission has launched the « European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities » (http://ec.europa.eu/eip/smartcities/index_en.htm), that will bring together European cities, industry leaders, and representatives of civil society to smarten up Europe’s urban areas.
But the Smart City concept goes beyond the use of ICT for better resource use and less emissions. It aims at contributing to enhance service infrastructure, in particular target smarter urban transport networks, upgraded water supply and waste disposal facilities, and more efficient ways to public lighting and the heating of buildings in general, as well as other usual forms of energy consumption, within a smart grid perspective. And it also encompasses a more interactive and responsive city administration, safer public spaces and meeting the needs of an ageing population.
For more details : http://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/en/smart-cities
Most recent references for debates, experiments and ranking issues related to the Smart city and thre European Union strategy on the matter concept can be found in our bibliography section.