Urenio Watch Watch: Intelligent Cities / Smart Cities

Mapping Smart cities in the EU

Mapping-Smart-cities-in-the-EUThis report was commissioned to provide background information and advice on Smart Cities in the European Union (EU) and to explain how existing mechanisms perform. In exploring this, a working definition of a Smart City is established and the cities fitting this definition across the Member States are mapped. An analysis of the objectives and Europe 2020 targets of Smart City initiatives finds that despite their early stage of development, Smart City objectives should be more explicit, well defined and clearly aligned to city development, innovation plans and Europe 2020 in order to be successful.

The report “Mapping Smart cities in the EU” was commissioned by the European Parliament’ s Industry, Research and Energy Committee, to provide background information and advice to their members on Smart Cities in the EU and to explain how existing mechanisms perform, in particular vis-à-vis the targets of EU 2020.

A working definition of Smart City?

Information and communications technology (ICT) is a key enabler for cities to address these challenges in a ‘˜smart’ manner. In this report, a Smart City is one with at least one initiative addressing one or more of the following six characteristics: Smart Governance, Smart People, Smart Living, Smart Mobility, Smart Economy and Smart Environment. ICT links and strengthens networks of people, businesses, infrastructures, resources, energy and spaces, as well as providing intelligent organisational and governance tools. Thus, the report defines a Smart City as follows:

‘˜A Smart City is a city seeking to address public issues via ICT-based solutions on the basis of a multi-stakeholder, municipally based partnership’ .

Factors for successful Smart Cities

  • Vision: The study makes clear that inclusion and participation are important targets for successful Smart City programmes to avoid the polarisation between the urban elite and low income areas.
  • People:The case studies highlight the inspiring leaders (‘˜city champions’ ) behind many successful initiatives. Citizens should be empowered through active participation to create a sense of ownership and commitment, and it is important to foster participative environments that facilitate and stimulate business, the public sector and citizens to contribute.
  • Process:The creation of a central office that acts as go-between for Smart City ideas and initiatives, drawing in diverse stakeholders, is of vital importance and allows coordination of ideas, projects, stakeholders and beneficiaries. Local level coordination can also be important for uptake, to ensure the integration of solutions across the portfolio of initiatives. For example, many municipalities insist that information about public services be provided as ‘˜open data’ . This allows individuals and companies to process and recombine these and other available data in order to create useful resources for the public, for example real-time traffic information. It is important for cities to participate in networks to share knowledge and experiences, therefore promoting their own initiatives as well as learning from others and laying the foundations for future collaboration.


The recommendations that emerge from this analysis can be grouped into five categories as shown below. The recommendations in the first group are aimed at improving the knowledge base for and providing lessons for European policy. The second group concerns the design of initiatives and city-level action plans. Third, recommendations are provided concerning governance and to facilitate learning and scaling. The fourth group of recommendations is aimed at measures other than direct support that can be used to stimulate Smart City development. Finally, the fifth group of recommendations are designed to create conditions conducive to the scaling and extension of the most promising Smart City approaches.

  • Understanding Smart Cities: research and evaluation
    • Detailed panel of longitudinal case studies with city-level funding and outcome data
    • Standardised evaluation and assessment methods to measure success at internal, city and European level for impact assessment and benchmarking
    • Develop methods and structures for a needs assay of the city’ s performance against relevant targets and presentation scorecards
  • Designing Smart City initiatives and strategies
    • Mandate specialised impact assessment guidelines for Smart City strategies and initiatives to include: SMART objectives, issues of timing and uncertainty, and assessment of experimental variation
    • Promote local modularity for early-stage initiatives
    • Facilitate exit and change of participation during the latter stages of an initiative
    • Structural conditionality in funding for Smart City initiatives
    • IAB, Smart City clusters, local government stakeholders (as monitoring hosts)
  • Smart City governance
    • European-level Smart City platform with brokerage or intermediary functions
    • Privileged or low-cost access to existing infrastructures
    • Mandatory multi-stakeholder governance with lay users represented and on integrated project teams
    • Encourage industry-led public’“private partnership consortia
  • Supporting the development of Smart Cities
    • Use demand-side measures to stimulate demand for city-based ‘˜Smart solutions’
    • Selective use of regulatory forbearance and/or procompetitive sourcing
  • From Smart Cities to a Smarter Europe: replication, scaling and ecosystem seeding
    • Periodic assessment of scalability potential and identification of instruments and activities to optimise pan-European dissemination of good practices and solutions
    • Include Smart Cities as a future internet public’“private partnership (PPP) use case or involve Smart City stakeholders in large-scale pilots, standards bodies, etc.
    • Expand support for Smart Cities and Communities ‘“ European Innovation Partnership
    • Additional resources for Smart City translation and transfer
    • Create and encourage Smart City-specific new intellectual property ownership rights and contract forms

Structure of the report

Chapter 2 provides a working definition of a Smart City and the type of Smart City Initiatives included in this report. Chapter 3 describes and maps current initiatives being undertaken within and across the Member States of the EU. Chapter 4 analyses the success of Smart Cities by their own objectives and Chapter 5 assesses their contributions to the Europe 2020 targets; both chapters consider the relationship between components and characteristics and seeks to determine how this may contribute to success. Chapter 6 provides analysis of case study examples of successful Smart Cities and identifies good practice. Finally, Chapter 7 provides our conclusions and recommendations.