The Journey Continues — The Road to Smart City Live Reveals Lessons Learned and Opportunities for Follow-up

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The Road to Smart City Live was a three day program that featured more than 40 sessions covering a wide variety of smart city and urban innovation topics including smart governance, data platforms, digital twins, smart mobility and living labs. The goal was to bring together and connect the Dutch and Nordic smart city ecosystems, facilitate knowledge exchange, and help establish new collaboration opportunities.

The program was held in the lead up to this year’s digital alternative to the World Smart City Expo, Smart City Live. Amsterdam Smart City contributed to the program by organizing daily recap sessions together with Amsterdam Trade & Innovate and Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO).  The intention was to create a casual setting for participants to reflect on lessons learned and discuss opportunities for follow-up.

Here are six key outcomes from the recap sessions:

  1. Outdated Regulations — Cities and innovators are struggling with outdated regulations.  The role of governments should be to ensure the right regulations are in place for stimulating the transition to sustainable and liveable cities.  This is much more important and effective than facilitating specific pilots, which can be left to the market when the right regulations and incentives are in place.  However, changing regulations is easier said than done.  The City of Amsterdam is collecting input on what regulatory changes need to be overcome to facilitate the energy transition.
  2. Public-Private Collaboration — Despite a strong appetite for public-private collaboration, organizing it in practice remains a challenge.  City of Amsterdam has developed innovative procurement programs like Startup in ResidenceInnovatie Partners and AI4Cities to enable collaboration with start-ups and scale-ups. And, the City of Amsterdam is now sharing these tools and lessons learned nationally and internationally, for example through the Startup in Residence Toolkit.
  3. Post Corona Recovery — How can the corona emergency be used to implement and accelerate ambitions for circularity and sustainability?  FME hosted a session exploring best practices which can help cities recover from corona and build back better.  FME will facilitate follow-up discussion and exchange among parties interested in collaborating on post-corona recovery.
  4. Digital Transition — Digital technology is increasingly part of all aspects of urban life and software innovation is key to a safe, responsible and inclusive digital transition. ITEA is currently preparing several innovative projects on topics like smart mobility and future of work which are still open for input from potential partners.
  5. Digital Inclusion & Data Control — Covid-19 has deepened the digital divide and highlighted the need for building digitally inclusive cities.  In order to become a digitally inclusive city, the City of Eindhoven is working to ensure all citizens have access to digital tools and are aware of what’s happening with their data.
  6. Scaling Living Labs — Netherlands and Sweden are leaders in smart city pilots and living labs, but in both countries scaling remains a challenge. While some stakeholders express “pilot fatigue”, others argue that this great diversity of pilots (including many failures) is an indicator of a healthy innovation ecosystem.  Cleantech Scandinavia and RVO are looking for ways to better capture and share lessons learned from past pilot projects, and ways to "resuscitate" and scale them when appropriate.

The Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) collaborated with ITEA, Cleantech Scandinavia and the cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht, Eindhoven and The Hague to facilitate The Road to Smart City Live.  Video recordings from the different sessions will be made available in the upcoming weeks via the b2match platform.

For more information about any of the above lessons learned or follow-up opportunities, please connect with cornelia@amsterdamsmartcity.com.

Did you participate in (The Road to) Smart City Live?  Are there more insights or opportunities for follow-up which you would like to share with the community? Share your feedback in the comments below.

https://smart-city-2020.b2match.io/agenda

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