Every city wants to be one – but what is it? Opinions on how a “smart city” should be are as many as the aspirants, though there is an end result which counts for them all. By using modern technologies knitted together, the smart city is a step towards a more sustainable society.
The development is driven by urbanisation. In Metropolitan areas the concept is a way to meet the pressures resulting from an increasing population. The EU is an enthusiastic promoter of the movement and is running its own “Smart Cities Initiative” in order to accelerate the transformation of cities into fossil-free and low-resource communities.
Copenhagen is considered a frontrunner and was recently awarded the Smart Cities Award for its “Copenhagen Connecting”-project.
“It’s extremely important that you don’t embark on this kind of project for technology’s own sake. A smart city should be created for the benefit of the citizens, to improve their quality of life. For Copenhagen this is also an important step to realise our vision of a C02-neutral city in 2025”, says Søren Kvist, spokesperson and Project Manager at Copenhagen Solutions Lab, the City of Copenhagens incubator for smart city initiatives.
Copenhagen Solutions Lab works cross-departmental with the city’s administration, in partnership with local and international companies and knowledge institutions. This task group provides a 360 sounding board to evoke and test new ideas, technologies and solutions to create a more liveable city in Copenhagen.
“The smart city cannot be seen solely as a matter for the community. We need to interact with many different stakeholders: universities, business life and companies related to energy, water, gas, telecom, sanitation and so on… The realisation of a smart city needs a holistic approach and we’ve found this is an easier way to communicate.”