Smart Cities… Empowering Innovation

We are today living in a world where a connected future is becoming a reality that enables us to open new doors of learning and education, economic prosperity and a more efficient, humane and sustainable way of life.

Considering that 70% of global GDP is currently generated by cities and that 53% of the world’s total population lives in cities, cities now have a more important role than ever when it comes to enabling a more sustainable future. Cities are becoming vital when it comes to addressing major social, environmental, economic and administrative challenges. Smart cities combine the physical and digital worlds to provide citizens with a sustainable, prosperous and inclusive future. It’s about inclusion and not division, cooperation between citizens and the public and private sectors for sustainable transformation and growth. In other words, investing in human and social capital, as well as investing in modern communication infrastructure and smart and collaborative resource management, encourages sustainable economic development and a high quality of life, which represents the foundation for the development of smart cities.

A smart city should enable a platform that will facilitate the city administration to face the challenges of the city today. It’s not just about applying new technologies, it is about social, industrial or business, technological and governance transformation that incorporates technology into city life by establishing a new more attractive vision and more efficient path to the future. While city authorities can and should manage much of this transformation, the state plays a key role in achieving longterm success.

The development of a smart city can be viewed from several angles. On the one hand, we have global trends that create new challenges – and opportunities – for city leaders worldwide:

1. Urbanisation: according to the United Nations, more than two-thirds of the world’s population will live in cities by 2050.

2. Ever increasing demand for energy and resources: given that cities consume 75% of the world’s energy and contribute just as much in terms of emissions, despite occupying only 2% of the Earth’s surface area.

3. Cities increasingly want to establish a strong identity: cities want to secure the best conditions and quality of life for their citizens, which results in economic growth, higher inflows of talent, the creation of new jobs and, thus, GDP growth.

4. Increasing connectivity: a growing need and public pressure exist for the introduction of advanced, highly efficient systems of city management, due to the need to use city resources optimally.

On the other hand, we have the complexity of stakeholders who are drivers of development of smart cities to a great extent. All cities have something in common when they consider the development of a smart city and view pillars of sustainability in economic, social and environmental sustainability.

The success of a smart city is dependent on the economic, geographical and social characteristics of the environment. However, there is one other determining factor: good governance. The crisis caused by the COVID-19 viral pandemic only confirmed the advantages of smart cities, because cities with an established digital platform were able to collect and analyse data much faster, as well as adapting swiftly to the new changes.

Smart cities exist where digital technology, disruptive innovation and an urban environment intersect. As such, they become a dynamic place to work and live, as well as an inexhaustible source of new ideas. The mission of AIGO is to use the exchange of knowledge and experience in order to help with the penetration of innovative technologies that are crucial for the sustainable development of a smart city, thus becoming a catalyst for change in the environment in which we operate and live.

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