The EUROCITIES Knowledge Society Forum (KSF) and the Green Digital Charter (GDC) jointly hosted the conference ‘Cities in transition – the role of digital in shaping our future cities’ on 25 January 2017. The event, held in the Microsoft Innovation Centre in Brussels, brought together over 100 participants, including civil servants, smart city experts, delegates from the EU institutions and partners and representatives from the private sector.
The opening plenary session, moderated by Dorthe Nielsen, EUROCITIES policy director, enabled local politicians to share their ‘smart city’ visions and expectations of the recently-established Urban Agenda partnership on digital transition. This session included an exchange of views between the cities of Eindhoven, represented by Mary-Ann Schreurs, deputy mayor for innovation; Milan, represented by Roberta Cocco, alderman on digital transformation; Oulu, represented by Eero Halonen, chairman of the economic development board; and Rome, represented by Flavia Marzano, alderman on smart city and innovation. The discussion enabled participants to better understand cities’ priorities in this new urban partnership, especially with regards to data management issues, including the opening of data, data privacy and security, standards and interoperability of systems within as well as between cities.
Eddy Hartog, head of unit for smart mobility and living at European Commission DG CNECT, described the future solutions that need to be developed – including a one-stop-shop for cities – in order to improve multilevel collaboration on urban policies within the European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities (EIP-SCC).
Kaja Kallas (MEP, EST, ALDE) delivered a a keynote speech in plenary, during which she stressed the importance of the digital economy and energy efficiency in Europe’s development.