Smart Cities working together in Europe

Lea Hemetsberger

Jul 13, 2016


Denmark | Finland | News & Events | Poland | Scotland

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The Scottish Cities Alliance is leading a consortium of Smart Cities to the European Week of Regions and Cities Conference in Brussels. The ‘Smart Cities – Smart Ambitions’ workshop aims to build relationships in a bid to achieve collective smart ambitions.

The partnership involves more than 20 cities from countries including Denmark, Basque Country in Spain, Finland, Poland and Scotland and is supported by the Open and Agile Smart Cities (OASC) initiative. The aim of the event will focus on simplifying the European Structural Investment Funds and provide the opportunity for cities within a member state to deliver their collective Smart Cities’ ambitions.

The workshop will be held at Scotland House in Brussels on 11th October 2016 as part of the European Week of Regions and Cities. It will look to build upon the collective experience of city partnerships across a number of member states to adopt an inter-city approach to the Smart Cities agenda.

Andrew Burns, Chair of the Scottish Cities Alliance, said:

“We are looking forward to taking part in the European Week of Regions and Cities event, which will enable us to share our collective experience and build important relationships with other cities and regions in order to achieve our Smart ambitions.”

Seeking for international cooperation between Smart Cities

Cities that adopt a Smart City approach make public services more efficient and become attractive to investors. It also allows them to make significant environment improvements as well as achieve CO2 emission reduction targets. A city with a lot of ‘smart ambitions’ is Gdansk. The city hopes to trigger international cooperation in the Smart City sector.

Krzysztof Garski, Gdansk representative, said:

“We hope the event will be a good starting point for Gdansk to take part in joint initiatives on using open, agile IT technologies, to develop further our open data policy.”

Smart Cities aim to create efficient infrastructure, support urban planning and improve the well-being of the population using insights derived from sophisticated data analytics.

Marius Sylvestersen, Program Manager at Copenhagen Solutions Lab, said:

“The Danish Smart City Network participates in the consortium with the aim of developing smart solutions to urban challenges in collaboration with European cities”

With a Smart City strategy, cities can harness the potential to integrate data and information flows between different service providers.

Finnish Six City Strategy’s (6Aika) Jukka Järvinen, Director of Regional Development, Tampere, said:

The Finnish Six City Strategy (6Aika) aims to deliver efficient urban services built in three focus areas: Open innovation platforms, open data and interfaces as well as open participation and costumership. The Finnish cities value the spirit of co-operation in Finland and exchanging knowledge with other European cities is thus a good opportunity for further development of the 6Aika strategy.”

EU funds play crucial role for Smart City developments in the EU

The role of EU funds in the development of Smart City strategies is immense, especially for more peripheral regions in the Union. Thus, the event organized by the consortium is crucial to facilitate funding.

Marta Marín, Delegate of the Basque Country to the EU, said:

“There has been a significant progress in the evolution of Basque Cities into Smart Cities supported largely by the participation of several Basque Cities in Smart Cities Projects financed by European Funds: EU-GUGLE (Sestao), ZenN (Eibar and Basque Government), FosterREG (Bilbao, VISESA, EVE), Steep (Donostia-San Sebastián), WeLive (Bilbao) and the two lighthouse projects financed in the last call of Smart Cities: SmartEnCity (Vitoria-Gasteiz) and REPLICATE (Donostia-San Sebastián).”

Registration for the Smart Cities, Smart Ambitions event opens on the 8th July – visit the EWRC website for further details.


Note to editors:

The partnership application for the European Week of Regions and Cities was led by the Scottish Cities Alliance, consisting of the cities of Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Perth and Stirling as well as the Scottish Government.

Participating cities are: the Danish 5 Pack (Copenhagen, Aarhus, Aalborg, Vejle and Odense), the Finnish Six City Strategy (6Aika) consisting of Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, Tampere, Turku, Oulu, the Polish city Gdansk as well as the Basque Country. The Scottish initiative has attracted not only OASC member cities to participate but also other cities like Odense (Denmark) and the Basque Country in Spain.

In total, 187 regions and cities from 28 countries will exhibit and host events during the European Week of Cities and Regions hosted by the Committee of Regions. More than 130 workshops and debates will take place during the week addressing one of the three following issues: Sustained & sustainable growth, inclusive economic growth and Making ESI funds simpler. The European Week of Regions and Cities (EWRC) is the annual key event for regional and local authorities. Organised by the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) and the European Commission, Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy (DG REGIO).

To register for the event or if you require more information about the European Week of Cities and Regions, please visit the CoR website.

The Smart Cities – Smart Ambitions workshop is called “Inter-city approaches to funding and delivering Smart Ambitions” and will take place in Scotland House, Rond-Point Schuman 6, Brussels from 11.15-13.00 on Tuesday 11th October 2016. The registration code for the workshop is 11C15.

The Open & Agile Smart Cities initiative (OASC) is a city-driven, non-profit organisation. The overall objective is to create a Smart City market. OASC was founded in January 2015 and came to life with the first wave of cities joining in March 2015 – currently linking 89 cities from 19 countries across the globe.