Boyd Cohen “…emerging trends … brand new cities…”

Boyd Cohen, climate strategist, author and researcher:
“One of the fascinating emerging trends will be the introduction and evolution of brand new cities which are being built from the ground up with smart cities in mind.”

Based on his definition of Smart City “Smart cities use information and communication technologies (ICT) to be more intelligent and efficient in the use of resources, resulting in cost and energy savings, improved service delivery and quality of life, and reduced environmental footprint-all supporting innovation and the low-carbon economy.” Cohen published a list of the Top 10 smartest cities on the globe as a result of his research. I was quite surprised to see Vienna in first place and Amsterdam not listed:

1) Vienna
2) Toronto
3) Paris
4) New York
5) London
6) Tokyo
7) Berlin
8) Copenhagen
9) Hong Kong
10) Barcelona


Smart City Expo World Congress – Day 2

Again some quotes (as I understood them)…
Plenary session “Governance Challenges for Smart Cities”
Antoni Vives I Tomas, Barcelona, Deputy Mayor for Urban Habitat:
Segmented structures: ‘We have a lot of smart industry, but we lack smart politicians – and I am a politician. We have authorities and experts but industry doesn’t have a real client – and that’s the problem. Therefore industry can continue selling us products, but that doesn’t solve our problems. {…} We need to restructure our organisations.’
Pilot projects: ‘I hate pilots – I am fed up with small solutions for parts of the city – it doesn’t help, it is a waste of money, it is just for the press. {…} You as industry should ask for visions.’
‘Pilots encourage the eagerness for quick solutions. And when you have a stupid mayor and a company selling products you have stupid solutions, short sighted, but no smart city. {…} We need a city protocol that demands a vision and long term solution.’

Business models: ‘If you (industry) expect payback over 6 years, don’t come to us – if you are willing to build up an industry structure over 30 years we are partners.’

Charbel Aoun, Schneider Electric, Senior Vice President, Smart Cities:
The following barriers make it difficult to deal with cities:
a) Structures: ‘We don’t understand cities – municipalities are a blackhole for industry.‘ {…}
‘Don’t break the silos – I cannot talk about breaking silos, we as industry are structured as silos ourselves. But we need a change of paradigm and find a way to work across silos. We need to implement hybrid structures.’
‘If you want to create a collaboration mode we have to erase the term competition.’
b) Requirements: ‘Cities tell industry we need xyz. Then you have a lot of power point presentations and use cases and then you don’t know which one to take. If I decide for one, would I be stuck with this supplier? What exactly do I get? Industry is a blackbox for cities.’ {…}
c) Regulations and procurement: ‘If we have identified a solution, we can not implement it because of restrictions, regulations, procurement processes.’ {…}
d) Financial models: Smart city requirements are something new for the financial sector. Currently cities thrive for the wellbeing of their citizens but … ‘Would you find a bank to finance “better live”?’ {…}
e) Business model: ‘If you bring in 10-15-20 players to a project, how do you handle this? Who should handle this? What is the business model behind it?’

Pilots: ‘If a solution has already been showcased another pilot is waste of time. Therefore no more pilots, pleeeaaase.’ {…}

Laura K. Ipsen, Microsoft, Corporate Vice President, Worldwide Public Sector:
Pilots: ‘We start projects with a workshop to identify what a city needs. Instead of going for a pilot we ask to build a sustainable ecosystem, that can be transferred to other cities with similar challenges, e.g. Olympic games.’
Collaboration: ‘What private sector can do better is collaborate with each other.’

GE2 Parallel Session “EU Smart Cities and Communities”
Colette Maloney, DG CONNECT European Commission – Smart Cities and Sustainability, Head of Unit (Belgium):
Smart Cities and Communities EIP (European Innovation Partnership)
• aim to have transformed a number of cities into smart cities by 2020 (how many was not said)
• aim to fund large scale projects, light house projects, this is the focus of Horizon2020 (successor of FP7) and difference to previous funding policy. These large scale projects shall demonstrate the use of technology, not necessarily technology innovation.
• has no focus on pilots but on scale up projects – which so far is not seen in Europe, and the reasons seem unclear. This is the reason why EIP looks into the questions:
o What are the barriers?
o What standards are needed?
o What can be learnt from city projects so far? Knowledge sharing amongst cities what has worked, but also what didn’t work?
• seek to break down “silos” between energy, transport, ICT and consolidate European Commission’s initiatives under “one roof” – this affects cities amongst themselves and with industry.
• want to encourage interaction and technological integration rather than technological innovation in order to overcome the lack of sustainable business models.

Magdalena Andreea Strachinescu, DG ENER European Commission – New energy technologies, innovation and clean coal, Head of Unit (Belgium):
• Horizon 2020 Budget 2014-2015: 1.254 mio EUR → 2/3 of budget will go to Smart City
• In the calls to come, the EU would like to see more cooperation across Europe: North-South-East-West, different climate zones, structures…. ‘Identify common challenges and address them with scalable solutions.’

CISCO “…Barcelona … largest transformational projects…”

According to Wim Elfrink, chief globalization officer at Cisco, published by McKinsey in “The smart-city solution”, October 2012, “Europe is leading the way, especially when it comes to revitalizing older cities. The economic regeneration of Barcelona is one of the largest transformational projects under way in Europe at the moment. The city’s revitalization agenda has so far created 45,000 jobs and attracted around 1,500 new companies.“

SHELL “… cities are the place where stresses aggregate …”

A Shell representative said “Urbanisation represents the biggest social and demographic disruption of the early 21st century. Hundrets of millions of people move out of poverty for the first time. This stresses resources. Cities are the places where these stresses aggregate.

Applied to cities:
Strong population growth, intensive industrialization and globalization make cities grow. Cities have been the world economic dynamos for centuries, attracting workers and productive business, benefiting from economies of scale. The migration and growth entails a remarkable impact on housing, resources, environmental issues, safety and security of existing systems.

African Proverb “…go fast….”

“If you want to go fast – go alone. If you want to go far – go together.”

Applied to cities:
There is a need to go FAST and TOGETHER. The challenges of growing urbanization require action. And the complexity of the challenges thrive for holistic solutions in a collaborative way!

Collaboration needs to be enabled amongst city, industry and citizens and cut across national, public-private and sector silos. This approach results in new forms of organizations within stakeholders as well as redefines their role towards other companies and customers.

The traditional product solution will make way for the de- sign of “satisfaction”. Innovation no longer happens on product level, but in ways existing technology is systemized. As a result traditional product suppliers loose rele- vance in their former established markets. In order to survive they have to look how to deal with the new business environment “City”. Especially as new entrants with focus on holistic solutions, often based on data services and project management, turn into disruptive forces.

Henry Ford “… faster horses…”

Henry Ford once said: “If I had asked people what they want, they would have said “faster horses”.”

Applied to cities:
The transfer to smartness is the satisfaction of needs – not the optimizing of a single subsystem. Stakeholders need to find solutions to bridge segments and areas of responsibility. Today however they are not used to this new form of partnering. Companies are reluctant to relinquish their competitive advantage and share their insights. Furthermore, they are often not set up internally to address holistic requirements from such new customers as a city.

GARTNER “…oil of the 21st century…”

Peter Sondergaard, Senior Vice President GARTNER said: “Information is the “oil” of the 21st century. Analytics is the “motor” that runs with it. To extract the “resource” information out of the immense data volume is the core task of the company in future.”

Applied to cities:
With the increasing amount of data generated the relevance of data analyses and transfer into actionable information grows. The single purpose of data as well as proprietary systems are replaced by open interfaces, multi purpose of data and standardization. Standardization is the pre-requisit for scale up solutions that are basis for economically viable industry engagement.