Representatives from the European Cities of Alba Iulia, Arezzo, Arnsberg, Geestland, Hamm, Krefeld, Munich, Pirna, Utrecht and Vari-Voula-Vouliagmeni came together to discuss their tandem partnerships, exchange knowledge and plan future steps for #CIE.
The International Smart Cities Network (ISCN), implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, was introduced as new project coordinator of #CIE. The ISCN will support the PLTs in the upcoming months in strengthening their partnerships and developing projects together.
On the first day of this two day event, the participants had the opportunity to get to know each other better and learn in an interactive quiz about some smart city related peculiarities of the cites. Amongst other things, the survey revealed that all cites are already working on urban data platforms, that public authorities are the main drivers of smart city development, and that citizen engagement is one of the most important topics for most of the municipalities.
In the first workshop session each tandem reflected on the past exchange experience and discussed respective needs and challenges. Common challenges and shortages were identified in a following plenary session, including funding, consulting, qualified staff, and assistance for further exchange.
The second session focused on future perspectives. The tandems developed prompts to generate pictures of utopian smart cites with an Artificial Intelligence tool. Based on those pictures, the PLTs discussed their own, more realistic future vision of a smart city. The session resulted in drafting roadmaps for the upcoming partnership until 12/2024.
The second day highlighted the European perspective on smart city development with inputs on EU regulations, funding and initiatives as well as panel discussions on smart city related challenges on EU level.
Some key take-aways from the sessions include:
- Strong political will within EU to support sustainable urban development, many funding opportunities for cities are available
- Networks and EU-wide cooperations are crucial to get the most out of EU initiatives
- To put the EU Green Deal into life, cities have to couple climate neutrality and digitalization
- Smart cities are collaborative cities – collaborative within cities as well as between European cities
Overall, the two-days on-site meeting provided fresh insights, valuable exchange, and an atmosphere for mutual learning. Together with the project team of the ISCN, the tandem cities are now planning on the next steps of #connectedinEurope, including further networking events and expert workshops.