Ten medium-sized European cities—including Bruges, Delft and Mechelen—have partnered up with Cambridge Cleantech to develop solutions for urban environment challenges revolving around one main concept: open data. Here’s how these cities are looking at public service information in a new way, tapping into a market estimated to have a €300 billion value to tackle issues from parking to air quality.
In today’s world, communication via social media is sometimes even preferred over a standard phone call, as people share everything from life updates to photos via platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Social media is one easy, cost-efficient tool cities are turning to as a way to communicate with previously disengaged citizens, as well as assess public opinion, conversing with citizens and looking to their feedback as a source to improve public services.
The French city is joining forces with surrounding towns to embark on a €105 million information technology project that will improve city operations while helping save money on street lighting, traffic management and public safety. Working together with EDF's Citelum—as well as major French companies like Bouygues, Suez and Capgemini—the city plans to connect services like lighting through open data and smart city apps, thereby saving up to 65 percent in public lighting costs.
With Chisinau hosting over half of the country’s urban population, the city faces a number of social and environmental challenges. Here’s how the capital is rising to the occasion, developing infrastructure and services that are moving it in the direction of smart city status.
As a signatory of the Green Digital Charter, Malmö is already helping cities achieve EU climate goals through sustainable IT, setting an example right at home with an infrastructure that “reduces the environmental impact of technology and also city operations as a whole,” according to TCO Certified.
Cities are getting smarter when it comes to using technology as part of a daily routine. Payments for everything from rental bikes to parking meters can easily be made with the tap of app or SMS. But just because cities are becoming more connected and smarter regarding technology, it doesn’t make them any less hackable than computers and smartphones. Europe has a history of hacking, and smart cities are just as much at risk if they don’t have a budget to protect investments in civic technology.
As one of the leading smart cities in Spain, Valencia has introduced a few firsts in the country, including the integration of a smart city management platform. Now with a budget of over 1 billion euros, Valencia is undergoing a transformation to become a centre of urban innovation on par with some of the continent’s most progressive smart cities.
Rolling out in capitals like London, solar-powered smart benches take a normal piece of city furniture and make it something more than just a place to rest your weary legs. Smart benches offer passers-by modern-day conveniences like mobile charging and Wi-Fi access while collecting environmental data that can be used by local authorities.
As a way to tackle urban environmental challenges and share common practices, Finland’s six largest cities—Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, Tampere, Oulu and Turku—have partnered up to form a platform dubbed “The Six City Strategy.”
In an effort to solve public problems and promote sustainable development, Cluj-Napoca is boosting “economic engines” in the creative industries and university sector. Let’s take a look at how Romania’s second city is stepping up as a technology hub that’s been nicknamed the “Silicon Valley of Eastern Europe.”