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EU Action Plan to make Europe’s cities smarter

Smart_citiesEuropean Commission expected to invest around €200m to create Smart Cities in the next two years. To speed up the deployment, the Commission has launched the European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities that will bring together European cities, industry leaders, and representatives of civil society to smarten up Europe’s urban areas.

The High Level Group of the European Innovation Partnership for Smart Cities and Communities has adopted the Partnership’s ‘Strategic Implementation Plan’ (SIP). The plan will serve as the basis for speeding up the deployment of Smart City solutions in Europe. A facilitator for any city becoming smart and developing innovative services in this sense is if they can rely on fast, reliable and secure networks that ensure high quality connectivity.

The Smart Cities Partnership Strategic Implementation Plan sets out a broad range of new actions and approaches to encourage our cities to become smarter. The plan concentrates on how to drive forward improvement in buildings and planning, new Information Technologies, transport and energy, and new ways of integrating these areas. These approaches include a presumption that data be “open by default” ‘“ meaning that the data can be re-used by others to create additional benefits for citizens, businesses and governments.

The plan also suggests improvements to the way that cities are run with better ways of involving citizens and more collaborative ways of doing things. It suggests innovation zones, new business models, a re-evaluation of rules and legislation and a more standardised approach to data collection and use to enable better comparisons between approaches and between cities.

This is just the beginning of a large scale programme of work by all the partners and many others. An important part of that work will be the “Lighthouse Projects” – cities which will demonstrate and deliver Smart City solutions on a large scale. These Projects will be partly financed by the European Commission’s Horizon 2002 Research Funds. Further business and public funding will help to spread these new solutions to other cities and economies of scale will help to make these “innovative” and “high tech” solutions the norm ‘“ available more easily to all cities and neighbourhoods.

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European companies and regional leaders agree on Action Plan to make Europe’s cities smarter