In times when cities and communities are looking to digital solutions to tackle a growing range of interconnected challenges, we must boost these efforts through a ‘European Way’ where digital solutions help to create places where people enjoy living and working.
Digital solutions are broad and include approaches to smart urban mobility, energy efficiency, sustainable housing, digital public services, and civic-led governance. Large-scale uptake and upscale of these solutions are crucial to help our cities and communities meet their climate targets and reduce their environmental footprint, while fostering citizen participation and bringing prosperity to all types of business, including SMEs and start-ups.
Through co-creation with citizens, we aim to bring the economic and social benefits of this transformation to all local communities and implement an inclusive digital Europe, with powerful digital services, technologies, infrastructures and skills.
- Education & Capacity building
Empowering everyone to innovate via education and capacity building, is crucial in the concept of the project. Doing so will create a connected and digital society ready for the future.
The financial subgroup is committed to combining signatories’ forces to foster the green and digital transformation of Europe. The group will work on joint investment plans to implement common existing digital solutions, will help signatories combine funds from different levels of governance, and will promote partnerships for funding opportunities.
The technical group of http://living-in.eu works together to develop a common list of standards and technical specifications to achieve interoperability of data, systems, and platforms among cities and communities and suppliers around the world to enable solutions such open urban platforms and digital twins.
- Monitoring & Measuring
Key elements in digital transformation and scaling up digital innovation are shared knowledge, vision and action. Developing and validating local key performance indicators and data collection procedures for common and transparent monitoring, to be able to compare smart city solutions across European cities, is a crucial horizontal element in all digitalization efforts. In order to promote digital transformation and the scaling up of digital innovation in cities and communities, the European Commission, the European Committee of the Regions and ESPON would like to better understand what different actors are doing, what works, what does not and why.
Remove obstacles to the digitization of already existing public intersectoral and cross-border services in the Union Enable.
- Urban Data Platform
There are as many Open Urban Data Platforms as there are cities and communities in the European Union. Using modular building blocks based on open standards, Urban Data Platforms can be customized to the specific needs of a city or community and integrated with existing IT legacy systems. The Minimal Interoperability Mechanisms (MIMs Plus) serve as minimal common building blocks enabling trusted and seamless flows of data between the platform, its data sources (both real-time and historical data) and the connected services. In addition, so-called reference architectures can guide the implementation of open urban data platforms. These architectures are, in essence, logical digital frames containing the key technical components to set up urban data platforms.
- Urban Digital Twin
This group aims to build a community of like-minded cities, working on urban digital twins. An urban digital should ideally provide the following minimum five capabilities: Connected, Integrated, Visualize, Analysis & Secure. Although there are a number of helpful enablers that can be used for urban digital twins in other cities, such as the Minimum Interoperability Mechanisms (MIMs), interoperable urban digital platforms, the forthcoming data ecosystem for climate-neutral and smart communities and other initiatives such as the work to establish an Interoperability Framework for smart cities and communities. There are a number of challenges related to governance, ecosystem data management (data availability and sharing, data governance and stewardship, shared data models and standards), cybersecurity and privacy, ethics, interoperability and skills. The goal of the community is to discuss these challenges and find common ground to resolve them. It is our goal to help the concept of European urban digital twins move forward and create the ground for enabling many EU cities to implement their own digital twin, while at the same time increase the twins’ level of maturity and create industry standards that ensure European interoperability.
- Citizen-centric Smart Culture
Can an Arts & Technology festival add a technological experience to truly innovate culture? That was the starting question of this project. The idea: enable people through Near Field Communication (NFC) technology to share with other visitors their opinion on art works. The advantage: no 'parasitic' use of technology (like with Google or facebook), but an enabling of the visitor who forms an opinion of an art work, decides to share it and then is enabled to actively do that. The project started in 2010. Was scaled up from one festival to all cultural festival organizations in Noord-Brabant, the Netherlands. It was then stopped, due to the fact that one festival director decided not to want to share the data of her festival with the others. So besides what we have learned about how to make a festival experience interactive and co-creative, we have also learned which institutional barriers to successfully create and introduce smart solutions.
The key success factors are the accessibility and transparency of ESG finance through strong governance. Investments should not be simply viewed as financial but the sum of Finance + Governance + Environmental + Social impact. The automation of the product lifecycle brings efficiency, and transparency by using blockchain. We make the cost of capital lower for ESG instruments and ensure that the innovation of sustainable and impact investments can leverage the blockchain technology.
- Digital Neighborhood Instrument
According to data 169 million EU citizens lack even basic digital skills. This accounts for 44% of Europeans between the ages of 16-74. Lack of access to digital services as well as lack of awareness of digital possibilities have major impact on the digital divide, resulting in social divide. Digital transformation should promote the participation of everyone, in all aspects of society. The implementation of digital technologies must not lead to the exclusion of individuals or segments of the population. It must consider people’s different ranges of possibilities to interact with digital tools. It also should ensure accessibility for persons with disabilities. Two members of the Digital Transition Partnership implemented two models for providing access to digital services. The two models are used in Helsingborg, Sweden and Sofia, Bulgaria. The Helsingborg model is focused firstly on providing assistance in the use of personal devices, access to services and Face to Face (F2F) learning. The Sofia model focuses on training and acquiring basic skills the set ups of spaces, employee training. All other features in both models are the same.
- Citizen Card
European cities are working to make life easier for their residents and Europeans more broadly. Finished the dozen different cards and procedures to access city services, one card – and/or app – will give people simple direct and personalized access to many different services within their own city – from using public transport to visiting a zoo, the local library or accessing social benefits. It offers people the possibility to access public services where and when they want. Not only, the final objective is to develop a European citizen card so that Europeans using a citizen card in their own city will be able to use the same one in any other European city to access the same services. Imagine being a citizen of Gijon and using your local Citizen Card in Rotterdam to visit the Euromast, to use public transport in Pau or to admire the National Sculpture Museum in Valladolid. It might sound like a dream, but with combined efforts and a clear vision, it is possible to offer current and future generations a hassle-free, safe, secure and convenient solution to roam between European cities with only a smart card or app in the palm of your hand.
- Euro Cities
Euro Cities is the network of major European cities. Our members are the elected local and municipal governments of major European cities. Their objective is to reinforce the important role that local governments should play in a multilevel governance structure. We aim to shape the opinions of Brussels stakeholders and ultimately shift the focus of EU legislation in a way which allows city governments to tackle strategic challenges at local level.
OPEN & AGILE SMART CITIES (OASC) is a non-profit, international smart city network that has the goal of creating and shaping the nascent global smart city data and services market. They are already today at the forefront of tomorrow’s standards for city data, services, and technology – and we work based on city needs with support from industry. Unlike any other city network, OASC is driven by implementation and focused on open platforms and citizen engagement.
The European Network Of Living Labs (ENOLL) is the international federation of benchmarked Living Labs in Europe and worldwide. Founded in November 2006 under the auspices of the Finnish European Presidency, the network has grown in ‘waves’ up to this day. LLs operate as intermediaries among citizens, research organizations, companied, cities and regions for joint value co-creation, rapid prototyping or validation to scale up innovation and businesses. LLs have common elements but multiple different implementations.
- European Commission
The European Commission helps to shape the EU’s overall strategy, proposes new EU laws and policies, monitors their implementation and manages the EU budget. It also plays a significant role in supporting international development and delivering aid.
- European Committee of the Regions
The European Committee of the Regions (COR) is the voice of regions and cities in the European Union (EU). It represents local and regional authorities across the European Union and advises on new laws that have an impact on regions and cities (70% of all EU legislation).