Updated: Mar 1, 2019
In times of transformation, it’s necessary to draw a clear image of the reasons behind the need for change and a long-term vision to be able to find the best solutions for the problematic issues. Today’s cities are dynamic and in a continuous transformation which many times involves the implementation of smart solutions. Still, there is a significant problem when it comes to framing these cities into the European standards for smart cities because they lack a strategy on which to base new changes. We asked Patrick Driscoll, Project Developer on Smart Sustainable Cities at NTNU what it takes to start planning and implementing smart city projects since it is the main starting point in the long term development of modern cities. Patrick believes that ‘the easiest thing to do is to look at what is already in place, the individual assets and then think how to couple them.‘ Furthermore, he is a strong believer that ‘the smartness of a city resides in its people, in taking the things that you already have and re-combining in unique ways them using tech, and creating a bridge to couple resources.‘
Oradea is the first city in Romania to begin working towards the implementation of a smart solution by putting together a strategy meaning it will be the first one on the Romanian smart cities map.
The Oradea City Informatisation Strategy 2016-2025 launched in July last year, includes local government digitalisation of systems and services, development and maintenance of technical infrastructure to enable more efficient communication both with citizens, in particular between local institutions and scaling the various sectors that develop along with the city.
When authorities launched the strategy, Eduard Florea city manager of Oradea at that time said that ‘a major objective of this project is to increase the quality of life. When a citizen depends on the schedule of cashiers to pay a certain fee or to make a referral to an institution, the quality of his life is not very good. In these conditions, it is the technology can help us not to be bound by time and space realising normal relations with an institution.
Since we pursue the efficiency of the administrative act, we must move forward and think in terms efficiency for the citizen as well, whom should not be regarded as a taxpayer, but as our customer.‘
This first step towards transformation will enable a significant number of innovations to develop at the local level which will have impact on transport, will increase energy efficiency in households, will meet the needs of both employees and businesses through numerous changes relating, for example, teleworking, e-democracy for more transparency and will allow greater participation in decision making.
Oradea Smart City is a European funded project, but it also adopts the Public-Private Partnership approach regarding finance.