On 16 March 2021, the first online ITEA Smart City Day took place. The one-day event gathered over 120 participants from 16 countries including a diverse line-up of international city representatives and Smart city-relevant ITEA project partners.
The cities of Brno, Dortmund, Ghent, Istanbul, Kassel, Rennes, Stockholm, Tampere, Zaragoza and Zwolle and 7 Smart city-relevant ITEA projects shared their challenges, innovative ideas and experiences in interactive panel sessions focusing on three urgent subjects which cities are facing: Crisis management, Citizen engagement and Smart mobility.
The first interactive session focused on Crisis management which is a central topic as most of the crisis (environmental disasters, breakdown of an infrastructure) need an answer managed at the city level. First, Zaragoza city explained how they have reacted to the Covid-19 crisis, with measures to mitigate the sanitary risk and to fight against the economic slowdown. Second, Istanbul city explained the systems that have been developed to answer potential crisis in situations such as a traffic accident, an earthquake or local threats. Afterwards, the objectives and/or outcomes of three Smart City-related ITEA projects were presented. Most of the time, the basis for crisis management system is to develop a numeric model of the city that can simulate different situations. The projects PS-CRIMSON, CitiSim and BIMy have all worked in this direction and can propose tools to represent cities in 4D (3D spatial model + 1 dimension for the evolution). Then these tools are used to either to react to crisis or to prepare some emergency plans. The projects have shown the effectiveness of such approach in different use cases as earthquake, flowing, pollution, incident analysis or energy management.
During the discussion, all the panellists have highlighted the importance for the cities to federate the different data sources to take advantage of the digitalisation trend followed by the city stakeholders (electricity network, communication network, cameras, environmental sensors, 3D building models…). The access to all these data will be the basis of next generation crisis management systems.
Citizen Engagement was the second topic that has been discussed during the ITEA Smart City Day. Four cities, respectively Ghent, Brno, Zwolle and Rennes were invited to share their best practices and challenges on this topic. Open data and open platform management are common activities and challenges of these cities. Ghent explained that an open platform and a data strategy are really important and valuable while it is also very difficult to keep the data as clean as possible. Brno added that details of the data that is necessary is very deep. For example, collecting information about the trees in Brno has many levels of necessary information and citizen engagement is mandatory to build up a current view of its parks. Zwolle explained mobile applications that are built to be used by citizens while using shared/public bicycles. The purpose of these applications is to gather information on e.g. the garbage status of the city. Finally, Rennes explained their open data management strategy and emphasised the importance of building trust between the citizens and municipalities. Additionally, Rennes has developed a platform to interact not only with citizens but also with the small shops and companies.
The ITEA projects C³PO and CityStory shared the exploitable outcomes of their projects including innovative booths developed to collect information in a trusted and simple way from the citizens and their applications that build trust between citizens and municipalities.
The third session of the ITEA Smart City Day dealt with the topic of Smart Mobility with the participation of Stockholm (content presented by the moderator as a replacement), Tampere, Kassel and Dortmund. Creating Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) is an important challenge for cities for various reasons. Stockholm is willing to cover each and every corner of the city to build a digital twin of the city. Tampere designs innovative autonomous devices as Fast Tram to enable a smooth public transportation with a minimum energy consumption. Kassel has its challenge with truck traffic that passes through the city and truck parking is an important challenge. Dortmund targets to minimise the carbon footprint for mobility so motivating citizens for public transport is the important subject. Creating a digital twin of the city on Smart mobility challenges is a solution.
The ITEA project APPSTACLE offers the open-source Cloud system Kuksa to collect data from vehicles and this platform enables a collaborative development environment. And the SMART project has recently started to build a digital twin on mobility and during this session collected an interest from cities for collaboration.
Although there was a high diversity in the participating cities, we have seen that they have common challenges to deal with and it's important to collaborate and learn from each other, apply the lessons learned and make use of the insights gained. The three urgent topics discussed during the ITEA Smart City Day only represent a subset of the challenges that exist in cities. ITEA is devoted to enable key innovations solving Smart City challenges and has therefore established the ITEA Smart City Advisory Board. The purpose of this Advisory Board is to create a continuous dialogue between cities and innovative Smart City technology developers by sharing best practices, challenges and innovative solutions on an international level, to finally make the cities a better place to live in!
You can find all recorded sessions and presentations on the ITEA Smart City Day website: https://itea3.org/itea-smart-city-day-2021.html