detail - Europabüro Brüssel
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About 75% of today’s worldwide resources and energy is consumed in cities, which are also producing 80% of the global CO2 emissions. In order to keep Europe competitive and sustainable in times of increasing urbanization, an efficient use of energy and interconnected infrastructure are indispensable. In short, European cities must become 'smarter'. Among the many tools at their disposal, an intelligent use of available big and smart data is the one with the most potential. An efficient collection and smart use of relevant information will be one of the cornerstones of the digital cities of tomorrow.
Imagine interconnected buildings that adapt their energy use to weather conditions. Households saving money by reducing energy waste and increasing efficiency. What if intelligent transport systems warned citizens via phone in case of traffic and recommended public transport options? Those scenarios are not far-fetched, the technologies have already been tested and are now utilized in pilot projects in Copenhagen, London and other digital frontrunners. Very soon that vision could also become a reality in other cities around Europe and the world.
However, the revolution is still in its very early stages. Burdensome regulation, short-term vision and concerns over the use of the required data or the localization of data storage often stand in the way of progress. It is clear that a suitable technical and legal framework for smart cities is a necessity. However, it is equally important to better communicate on the huge potential of smartly linking data with infrastructure. Ultimately, enhanced investments from the public and private sector in human and social capital as well as in infrastructure are also necessary. Our first two ‘Think Digital!’ workshops paved the way, looking at smart energy and mobility. Today, we look at the bigger picture - how can we remove obstacles to the creation of real smart cities?