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Smart cities and communities – A step towards more balanced and sustainable EU regional development?

In the brave new digitized world smart solutions, based on new technologies and inter-connectivity, are the next logical stepping stones and platform which will drive the regional development.  Although population growth and urbanization in EU are currently not a serious issue, certain regions and cities are becoming more aware of smart solutions and how they can economically, environmentally and socially improve QoL (quality of living) of population and consequently diminish regional disparities on both EU and national level.

In past decade, we’ve witnessed many different approaches under the same name and towards the same goal. Although Smart Cities, as a complete and whole concept are still in the early stages, we already have examples of communities and cities who benefited from implemented smart solutions. Advancement of communities and cities trough inter-connectivity of new technologies transcends local, affects regionally and has a great potential to impact EU as a whole.

During workshop participants will be presented with an example of smart solutions – bike sharing systems, examples of their implementation in Slovenia, their impact and obstacles cities face with their deployment. During the Round table, with the help of our guest speakers we will try to assess the potential of current implementation of smart solutions in Slovenia and EU within the EU Cohesion policy framework. How are they already shaping the present? How far are we from full integration of smart solutions into Smart Cities? We will also try to address the potential obstacles and possible solutions for faster and more widespread implementation of smart solutions, locally and regionally.

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