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Vidoje Petrović, Mayor Of Loznica

We’re Building a Smart City

Underway at present is the replacing of street lighting with smart lights, which – instead of operating on time relays – will turn on and off automatically, at dusk and at first light.

Energy efficiency is one of the areas in which the applying of smart technologies brings great savings, which is why cities and municipalities are increasingly opting for such investments. How is the project of replacing Loznica’s street lights with new smart LED lighting progressing? How long will it take for the effects of this replacement to be felt?

– It is certain that the applying of smart technologies brings great savings, which is why our city has decided to replace mercury and sodium street lighting with LED lighting. In the last year, we’ve replaced most 125 and 250 watt mercury bulbs on the territory of the city. The replacement of sodium lighting of 70 and 125 watts is underway.

We will very soon have replaced a third of street lighting, which will certainly bring significant savings on electricity consumption and reduce budget allocations for street lighting. We estimate that the entire investment will pay off in four years when allocations for electricity will be a maximum of 35 per cent of current allocations. The cost of electricity consumption, without maintenance, now totals 88 million dinars.

Do you also plan to invest in some smart city systems in the period ahead? In your opinion, how desirable are such investments in smaller communities; and, on the other hand, how challenging is it to secure resources?

– Many cities today have the intention of becoming “smart” through the implementation of the “smart city” concept. Loznica strives to modernise continuously, so there are already several smart city projects that have come to life here, including the creation of Ebook contents and forwarding that to young people via the internet, e-payment services for parking, the application of green energy solar systems – at the Lagator leisure and recreation institute.

Investments in the area of smart city systems aren’t small, but they mean a lot in terms of raising the quality of our services for citizens. As a serious local self-government, we must also find possibilities for these kinds of investments

Moreover, we’ve also invested in new technologies in the field of traffic safety – electronic speed indicators have been installed in the vicinity of nurseries, schools and other public institutions, aimed at warning drivers to reduce their speed and behave more responsibly in traffic. We’re also investing in the development of eGovernment, in order to ease the issuance of documents for citizens. Investments in the area of smart city systems aren’t small, but they mean a lot in terms of raising the quality of our services for citizens. As serious local self-government, we must also find possibilities for these kinds of investments.

Loznica has long been among the leaders in terms of the digital transformation of local government. What are your most significant achievements in the previous period?

– Loznica was among the first local self-governments to start implementing the eZUP information system, under the Law on General Administrative Procedures and in accordance with the data of the Serbian Government’s Office for IT and eGovernment.

We’ve concluded an agreement on the joint acceptance of payment cards at POS terminals of the counters of the City Administration and installed five such terminals.

Apart from all of that, we are also the first local self-government to implement the “Register of Addresses Update” project. We were also among the four local self-governments to launch the implementation of the second phase of the project “Baby, welcome to the world” – relating to applications for parental allowance.

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