European companies and regional leaders agree on Action Plan to make Europe’s cities smarter

The High Level Group of the European Innovation Partnership for Smart Cities and Communities has today adopted the Partnership’s ‘Strategic Implementation Plan’ (SIP). The plan will serve as the basis for speeding up the deployment of Smart City solutions in Europe. A facilitator for any city becoming smart and developing innovative services in this sense is if they can rely on fast, reliable and secure networks that ensure high quality connectivity.

The SIP is drafted by – and based on a thorough consultation of – a great variety of actors from industry, cities, civil society and research. It focuses on three specific areas: sustainable districts, sustainable urban mobility, and integrated infrastructures across energy, ICT and transport. It proposes a variety of actions to drive forward improvements in these areas. These include a common set of Smart City standards, “open data by default”, new ways of designing planning solutions, the creation of “innovation zones”, new business models and improving collaborative governance mechanisms dedicated to integrated city planning and management.

Successful programmes require that the public and private sector work closely together, at local, national and EU level. The SIP is the first result of such cooperation, and now the challenge comes to developing real projects that deliver real improvements to our citizens.

Such projects require mutual commitments:

  • To kick-start projects, the Commission intends to support large, integrated, interdisciplinary and highly visible “Lighthouse Projects” through Horizon2020 funds, with the aim to develop common successful solutions that can be replicated in a large number of cities. In the mid-term, the roll out of successful solutions will be facilitated further across Europe also through regional funds. In addition, the Commission will invest (in cooperation with other organisations) in activities to promote the exchange of know-how and build capacities concerning Smart City activities. The Commission will also ensure that this is linked with on-going and future work to improve framework conditions, for example in regulation, in standardisation and in evaluation/ progress monitoring.
  • All members of the High Level Group commit to develop and use open standards and common data formats for technologies deployed in such Smart City solutions, and to ensure interoperability across systems. All members equally commit to making relevant data accessible also to third parties, whilst fully respecting consumer privacy and protecting their legitimate business interests, and to providing integrated policy approaches across the three sectors to their stakeholders.

Any city, company, association, government or research body is invited to join the commitments of the High Level Group. The European Innovation Partnership will launch an open call for “Smart City and Community Commitments” in early 2014, which should lead to the deployment of smart city solutions that achieve a triple bottom line gain for Europe: better quality of life for our citizens, more competitive industry and SMEs, and more sustainable energy, transport and ICT systems and infrastructures.

(Source: European Commission)


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