Ismael Dia, Senior Director for Government Accounts with GovDelivery Europe, and Chair of this session, introduced the topic of smart cities. “Smart cities” is a multi-faceted way of educating citizens by contributing to building infrastructures, shaping policy and promoting e-participation. The citizen is the main ingredient of smart cities. It changes the way we all live, move and think. It allows saving energy and raw materials, and is based on the economy of sharing ideas and thoughts about smart cities. The ideal smart city of tomorrow should move better with internet and social media. The lifestyle of citizens should be more connected to energy, and a new economy of service model should be developed in the near future.

The Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is divided in five different parts, and classifies citizen’s primary needs. On one hand, the pyramid distinguishes physiological needs. On the other, safety needs appear to be important, followed by love needs and esteem. Lastly, self-actualization is the most important need.

According to Mr. Dia every resilient community should ask itself: “What kind of data is important to our organization?”

Samia Melhem, Lead ICT policy Specialist, Chair eDevelopment Group, Information and Communication Technologies Sector Unit at the World Bank Group, promotes technology for development by finding measures for cities to become smarter. Her main role is helping smart cities develop. Through finance and e-government, the main goal is develop health, education, safety and new services throughout and thanks to smart cities. Ms. Melhem’s biggest clients are in Africa where the “Smart Africa” initiative can be found in Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, Nigeria and South Africa.

A smart city needs to be connected. Citizens need to be connected to the city, and finally, smart cities need to be connected to the smart government.

By 2050, there will be 9 billion people in the world. How can we scale up, and serve the population? The answer is to serve citizens with technology, making sure we live in a stable world. How to help local authorities? Collaboration with municipalities is a key element to help cities become smart.

Eric Legale, Managing Director of Issy Media in the city of Issy-les Moulineaux in France, defines what smart cities are. They are technical spirits according to companies. Smart cities are like forest societal projects, they are the future of tomorrow by helping with infrastructure, energy, transport, governance, social development, education, culture, citizen participation and security. Smart cities are the second wave of revolution after the digital one; they represent the technical vision of tomorrow. Open data is a wonderful opportunity for smart cities. It is also an opportunity to show the way we move in our cities. Thanks to applications such as “Transport Net” and “Citadel on the Move”, new solutions are being found to promote smart mobility. These projects find different ways to fight traffic jams in order to improve the quality of life of citizens.

The next case study came from Japan. Eikazu Niwano, Producer, R&D Planning Department at NTT Corporation, gave us the general background along with important solutions to optimize efficient management. SCOS (smart city operating system) is a citizen-oriented smart city operated system.

The key concepts of high-level function requirements include:

  • Social trust management;
  • Cross sectorial regional life service  and information integration management;
  • E-self-governance management.

Platform operators such as SCOS aim to serve citizens’ self-governmental entities which then give back to these platforms.

In the internet world it is difficult to access service providers. An important requirement is to reach providers and services based on social trust. Another requirement is to address operations for governmental entities and health public support. The key concept revolves around a city environment that makes citizens rely on social trust.

The session than shifted its geographical focus moving to a case study from Canada presented by Mr. Doug Craig, Mayor of Cambridge. According to our speaker, building isn’t investing in materials; it is investing in people by building a community. His idea is to create an experience by transforming libraries most hiding values of communities. “We are not building luxury but a community” says Doug Craig.

Ms. Ching-Chin Liao, Deputy Secretary General of Taichung City Government in Taiwan, said that the city had to become friendlier for the aged people. In Taiwan, there are about 250 thousand aged people. Thanks to high tech, and specially smartphones, 60% of the population there uses smartphones. According to another survey that Ms. Liao cited, 72.5% of the people use smartphones to go on the Internet. Taichung’s age-friendly app location helps the elderly enjoy a better life by providing locations, activities, social welfare for senior citizens and medical services.

Mr Takashi Obi, professor at the Imaging Science and Engineering Laboratory of the Tokyotech in Japan, created an e-ID card for multi-use purposes. This national e-ID card allows moving toward better infrastructures for e-business. “We are ready to provide the real deal for the citizens” he says. The e-ID card offers a fusion of services:

  • Use of alternative cards;
  • Support for multi-devices;
  • Health insurance.

The purpose of this card is to make healthcare and banking easier for the citizens.

Anne-lise Thieblemont, Senior Director for Government Affairs at Qualcomm, USA, elaborated on the concept of smart buildings and energy management. Over 50% of the population lives in cities. The quality of infrastructure, lights, water, transportation, and energy supply needs to be improved but achieving this is quite a challenge, and requires innovation and culture change. Qualcomm uses a combination of connectivity to bring people, cities and transports together to improve safety. How do we scale across the city and provide solutions from a city to another? We do that by connecting people to public safety (hospitals…). The society has to move towards a smart energy and smart building system. Intelligent connectivity is at the core of smart cities. Creating new business models represents both a challenge, and big opportunities.

Peter Sonntagbauer, Senior Project Director, Cellent AG, Future Policy Modeling, Austria, is the head of FUPOL, the leading ICT solution for policy design and implementation. According to him, the leading ICT solution for policy design and implementation of guidelines, communicates effectively with citizens, and simulates the impact of policy change to see what the final impact on the city would be.  The process requires active participation of citizens. Mr. Sonntagbauer also touched upon the UN habitats which are pilot-projects for FUPOL.

Giorgio Prister, President of Major Cities of Europe in Italy, closed this session focusing on the key elements of the citizen’s system.