Smart Cities are not only about technology

2020-09-14 16:20:41

A successful Smart City is a city that addresses challenges in a collaborative, open and replicable manner.

A collaborative approach

If you want a successful Smart City approach that addresses climate resilience, air and water pollution, public health and the “liveability” of cities, you must focus on the challenges of the city. Be open, build a community and collaborate. At the heart of a city is its community, a broad group of actors who can all provide valuable inputs in working towards a Smart City. Bringing together citizens, industry, science and policy is a potent mixture for innovation. The key is collaboration between all these actors, using all available knowledge, while not reinventing the wheel. A prerequisite for successful collaboration is openness: open data, open technology, open source, and open standards. The technology is a facilitator, an enabler, a means to an end.

Three case studies

So far, Amersfoort (Netherlands), Barcelona (Spain), and Gothenburg (Sweden) are experiencing this approach, first-hand. These cities, with their varied climate and social conditions, cover most of the city typologies in Europe. Therefore, they are good places for SCOREwater validation. The Amersfoort case focuses on flood prevention and climate resilience, whereas the Gothenburg case aims for water-safe infrastructure projects. Meanwhile, the Barcelona case is all about resilient sewer systems through sewer sociology.

Collaborative approach in practice

Talking about collaboration gets you nowhere, it should always be followed by a concrete action.  Here we want to zoom in on the city of Amersfoort. An important distinguishing feature of the Amersfoort case is that the city collaborates with the citizen science project Measure Your City ( ). Within Measure Your City citizens make their own measurement plan, formulate their own hypotheses and build their own sensors. By working together with these residents, COA intends to collaborate towards a larger, sustainable measurement network with which all involved parties can get a detailed picture of the effects of climate change on and within the city. By doing so, awareness about climate change and the measures needed to make the city future-proof is stimulated.


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Read more about how FIWARE is driving the development of smart digital solutions: link (Jim Craig, Pieter De Jong and Val De Oliveira from the FIWARE Community explain how FIWARE is driving the development of smart digital solutions in a faster, easier, interoperable and affordable way, following an open source approach that avoids vendor lock-in.)