Smart Cities

27 November 2017

Advancing the deployment of technology solutions to make Europe’s cities smart, safe, healthy and sustainable

Cities are fascinating. They tell all the stories about the development of humanity, civilisation, and innovation through the millennia of time. Today, it is estimated that by 2050, 66% of the world population will be urban (up from 54% in 2014 and 30% in 1950). As cities grow in numbers and in size, many turning into megalopolis, they require a new concept: ICT and the Internet of Things optimise services, infrastructure and resource allocation, allow for better-informed decisions, increased control and choice for citizens, boost economic development and encourage social interaction. They can also make environments eco-friendly, more responsive to people’s needs and demographic and economic shifts. ICT enablement can directly contribute to a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by up to 15% globally by 2030.

“More than 50% of the world’s population live in cities. They are the backbone of economic growth and prosperity. By connecting physical infrastructure and unleashing the full potential of digital technologies, we help make cities smarter, more competitive, and more sustainable. And that enables cities to offer residents higher quality of life and contribute to a better and sustainable world.”

Joe Kaeser - Siemens
Joe Kaeser
Chairman of the ERT Digital Single Market Working Group
President and Chief Executive Officer, Siemens

To turn a city into a smart city based on digital connectivity in an efficient way is a great challenge. Smart city initiatives require forethought and leadership, and smart city stakeholders need to make the benefits of their initiatives visible to citizens. Smart city projects are very complex and require expertise in many different fields to succeed: funds, urban planning, architects, transport, energy, public services, connectivity, security, big data etc. They also require cooperation between public and private sector in order to embrace all the dimensions: financing, public interest, technology, etc.

Member companies of the European Round Table of Industrialists (ERT), a forum which brings together 57 Chief Executives and Chairmen of major multinational companies of European parentage, partner with cities around Europe and the world to help them realise new possibilities for people today and for generations to come, with a combination of visionary thinking and shared, secure and scalable technology solutions.

ERT launched a new publication ahead of the Smart City 360˚Summit which takes place on 29 November - 1 December in Helsinki, Finland. Our Member companies have come together to provide municipalities and public service providers with reliable insight, information on best practices and case studies, recommendations, and direct access points to ERT company experts in the smart city context. They also seek to establish effective relationships for cities (especially small and medium-sized cities since they do not have access to the same information as big cities) with technology and solution providers.

Building upon Horizon2020 activities on smart cities and the European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities (EIP-SCC), ERT Member companies are committed to share best practice examples and solutions. Through this initiative, ERT Member companies seek to encourage a faster conversion of European urban areas into smart cities, while spurring innovation and growth. This is a first step for a more structured engagement of European cities and leading European providers of smart city solutions which should lead to a faster, more secure and cost-effective digitisation of cities to the benefit of their economic, environmental and social development.