Vice-Mayor of Porto and City Councillor for Digital Innovation and Environment Filipe Araújo shares his overall impressions and future goals in light of 2019 Connected Smart Cities Conference (CSCC) that took place in Brussels. With a clear focus on citizen involvement and knowledge exchange between cities and communities through OASC and SynchroniCity, the Porto team is excited to kick-off the SynchroniCity Pilot projects.
Filipe Araújo, keynote speaker at CSCC 2019, is delighted that the European Commission Director General’s strategy is aligned with Porto’s and remarks that during such conferences the team hopes to exchange knowledge and experience with other cities. According to the Vice-Mayor, good networking is not only going to change the digitisation process of cities but is also necessary for faster and earlier adoption of solutions. He points out that while the term Smart Cities used to be a buzzword, nowadays the theme is “mature”. “We understand what we need in order to continue to a new digital world”, says Araújo. In other words, the City of Porto has come to the realization that while technology and data are important, actually citizen engagement is the key factor to success.
Getting citizens involved is at the base of the 5 pilot projects in Porto, which are part of the SynchroniCity framework. The projects and the team aim to bring citizens together into the centre of activities and have them participate in the processes in order to “understand how they want this new digital world.” Based on an urban platform, the SynchroniCity Project is useful for bringing in Porto’s vision, which is not easy to apply to all the services in the city. It gives the team a chance to test ideas and solutions, which is vital for the success of the projects since digital cities are not made with just one packaged product for everything. Concerning Porto’s digital strategy, Araújo says:
In a few words, Porto is excited to see how citizens’ lives will change for the better in the future.
This is the first in a series of interviews with leading experts from cities and communities and international organisations. Check back in with us every Tuesday to find out more about the latest developments towards Open and Agile Smart Cities.