Policy recommendations on Smart Cities and Communities

Published: 8 October 2014

Policies & Issues: Energy & Climate

Our industries offer all the technology solutions for cities and communities to stand societal challenges and for becoming generally smarter, more efficient and more competitive. For this to succeed, however, we believe that citizens should be at the centre of the development towards a smart city/community.

We generally welcome the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on Smart Cities and Communities and its objective to demonstrate and scale up major innovative solutions through the Lighthouse Projects and other initiatives.

However, we have a number of substantiated views and recommendations to shape the EIP.

Overall, our industry is hopeful that the EIP will indeed lead to smart cities projects and technology deployment in European cities. In doing so, we recommend that all EU funding opportunities available for smart cities should be fully exploited and experiences of projects should be shared.

Today, cities are challenged by an expanding urbanisation. Present urban infrastructures are largely outdated. Upgrading them one-by-one is not sufficient, however doing this in an integrated manner would allow exploiting synergies and increasing the effectiveness of individual solutions while achieving overall more sustainable and cost effective results.

The EIP on Smart Cities and Communities focuses on the areas of energy, transport, information and communication sectors, which we welcome, considering the potential benefits they offer. More can be done for making cities truly smart, by including further sectors, too, notably buildings, healthcare, safety and security, water and waste management.

Citizens expect improvements in the quality of their lives. Consequently, cities need to become 'smart', meaning they need to apply a whole new range of actions and an integrated approach to tackle the challenges they face, including for underpinning economic activity and assuring business and city service continuity also during times of increased stress.

To achieve this, interoperability, the development and usage of standards and the rightful handling of data are key elements for smart cities and communities. New collaborative models at business and local level and across the value chain should also be promoted throughout the EIP in order to develop services and solutions.

European regulators should coordinate the progress of developing a common understanding of a smart city, which is holistic and remains valid and useful even with future innovations in technology.

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Energy & Climate: Letter to Executive VP Frans Timmermans and Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson regarding Increasing System Efficiency in the ‘Fit for 55’ Package through the active participation of end-users [10 May 2021]

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