Economie

Towards a network of Eurometropolitan smart cities?

How can we make cities intelligent? Or in other words what needs to be done to improve service levels for city users, be they residents, visitors, tourists or stakeholders, in all Eurometropolis cities?

The Eurometropolis and its partners set the scene at the Conference "Smart cities au quotidien" on 24 April in Tournai, where a number of technology experts discussed day-to-day city life:

- Bruno Schröder, Vice-President of the Microsoft Innovation Center, who explained the Smart City concept

- Pascal Poty, a legal expert on telecommunications and mobile business working at the Walloon Telecommunications Agency

- Raouti Chehih, director of Euratechnologies

- Chekib Gharbi, director of the CITC (Innovation Centre for Contactless Technologies)

- Joost Demarest, Director of the Association KNX

- Freddy Vandaele, President of Agoria Smart cities

- Bart Noels, from Leylab.

Smart cities are cities where everyday players are networked together, making them more efficient in terms of services and more in sync with the needs of their users. This Smart City concept designates a type of urban development capable of meeting the needs of institutions, companies and citizens, whether on a business, social or environmental level. A city can be called intelligent when investments in human and social capital, in traditional communication infrastructures (transportation) and modern ones (ICT) fuel sustainable economic development and a high quality of life. Together with the careful management of natural resources, this is all done via participatory governance.

Barcelona, London, Kortrijk, Malaga, Copenhagen are just a few of the cities which have already developed applications serving their users. Helping the city authorities locate littered places using one's smart phone or finding nearby drinking fountains are just a couple of examples of ways of meeting the needs of city users and/or city managers. In many cases it is just a question of finding a simple and low-cost solution to the identified needs.

Check the press kit