SME4SMARTCITIES at Barcelona Smart City Live 2020
On the 17th and 18th of November, 2020 took place the Smart City Live forum in Barcelona. As most of the events that were organised this year, Smart City Barcelona 2020 was also shifted online because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
BIC Euronova, partner in the SME4SMARTCITIES, joined some of the talks that were relevant to the project in order to gather the state of the art information from the field of smart cities. This up to date information will be beneficial to the SME4SMARTCITIES project as it will influence the way it is developed. How? By adapting it to the present and future needs inhabitants would consider having in their cities.
The information was gathered from the talks of Enel-X and Deloitte (Spain, United Kingdom, and the United States of America) on the future of smart cities and smart villages, seen as a whole plan for building up smart territories and smart climate change innovations.
As a way of summarizing the information reached, we remind the below:
- Smart cities require every single type of innovation. Besides the commonly known technological innovation, social innovation is also needed. More and more people live or feel alone and all these were emphasized even more by the pandemic. As Deloitte mentions in their smart city needs report, social inclusion is an important factor that should be covered and is directly related to people´s happiness and smart cities.
- Priorities on cities’ needs have changed. Before building up road networks was considered a priority while today, besides maintaining and improving the road networks it is equally important to build up social cohesion, inclusion, and connectivity.
- The most important need that inhabitants ask for is an increase in cities' sustainability and green areas as a way of improving life quality. Along these lines, Enel-X suggests and already includes in their projects the more efficient and controlled use of energy.
- Another important point in the discussion with Enel-X was the budget constraint that public institutions face when they are willing to implement innovative solutions. Usually, these solutions are implemented from budget savings. For example, the economic impact smart bulbs have. They are more efficient and result in reduced electrical consumption and in the same time reduce the budget.
- The redesign of sustainable, clean, and inclusive public transport and mobility (electric buses or electric charging points) should be included in the future of our cities.
In the end, we should not forget that each city is unique and has different challenges and needs. Thus it is important to set a personalised strategy to fit each and single city: The present and future smart cities‘ needs have to be solved by combining technology with human interaction.