Smart Cities Manifesto Ambassador Cities first results and Citizen Focus RoadMap for 2018
On the 23rd of November 2016, the EIP-SCC Manifesto on Citizen Engagement was launched during the Conference Inclusive Smart Cities: A European Manifesto on Citizen Engagement. Being the result of a successful co-creation experiment, the Manifesto was in fact drafted with the direct engagement of more than 50 stakeholders that actively contributed to shape its contents. Thanks to a sound dissemination strategy and being co-promoted with ICLEI Europe and ERRIN, it has reached multiple European and international stakeholders, being endorsed by more than 120 public and private sectors representatives..
The document calls for commitment, to act and implement city measures towards the citizen needs, building up a structured supporting scheme for them in the new generation of smart cities. Amongst the various activities it recalls, some are more knowledge exchange oriented, others more focused on the development of collaborative and co-creation models which use innovative solutions for the benefit of the civil society, with particular attention towards weaker and excluded categories.
Since March, the Action Cluster Citizen Focus has devoted its efforts to disseminate the Manifesto, by offering the document in multiple languages (French, Italian, Portuguese, German and Russian, Spanish) as well as by conducting a series of follow up activities, leading to the selection of Ambassador Cities. Cities authorities and representatives of Smart Departments were asked to share their experience and best practices on the implementation of initiatives driven by the Manifesto principles. Around 10 Smart Cities have been interviewed so far between May and June 2017 and preliminary results were presented with the AC members during the Action Cluster Meeting on 20 June 2017. In order to ensure consistency and coherency in the information gathering phase, the AC has agreed on a structured survey and questionnaire to use for the interviews. The Manifesto principles have therefore been divided into 6 domains, namely actions towards:
- Citizen engagement leadership and inclusion policies;
- Educational purposes (training and workshop offered to city officers and citizens);
- Set up of collaborative models;
- Digital literacy;
- Stronger cooperation with other cities to strengthen the smart cities network
- The promotion of open data and open science.
Cities interviewed were asked about 30 questions, each of them associated to one of the six clusters. Answers were given a score from 0 to 5, according to the relevance and implementation rate of the measures in place. The study revealed that there are commonalities but also relevant discrepancies in the implementation of citizen-centric measures. In particular, interviews' results showed there is a common trend for EU Smart Cities to invest in citizen engagement in domains such as urban planning, sustainable energy solutions (renewables), smart mobility, health services, public procurement for city solutions as well as waste management. Can we explain this evidence with a clear push by the European Union to invest in these domains? This could be certainly a consequence of the EU Vision for 2020 and 2030 and of the EU political commitment (funding schemes reflecting it) to reduce CO2 emissions and towards a more sustainable planet. However, besides this common trend, cities interviewed performed very differently both in the ICT solutions and tools offered to citizens to facilitate their participation as well as in the measures in place to reduce inequalities. On this latter point, very few reported to have specific policy initiatives in place to tackle poverty and inequalities. A big pitfall in our cities where citizens should be given equal possibilities. Other dark areas where more effort should be made are the digital literacy, the educational initiatives and the promotion of Open Data and Open Science. Results of the analysis showed that the city scoring the highest was Glasgow, followed by Utrecht and Leeds: next issues of the EIP-SCC newsletter will feature achievements and good practices of the first selected Inclusive Smart Cities Ambassadors
We strongly believe that by enriching and continuing this assessment across EU cities we will be able to collect best practices and winning solution to be shared in our network. The AC Citizen Focus thanks to its horizontal approach is working as a Citizen Engagement Solutions’ Hub to support cities in the definition of the right policy mix: whether a city is working on compliance to GDPR and Privacy Issues, looking for concrete methods to be piloted such as participatory budgeting, or knowledge sharing and self assessment tools to progress in this field, the AC Citizen Focus will provide expert advice and constant learning opportunities during 2018: we are already planning a full set of webinars, face to face workshops, and publications to have all the mentioned topics and city needs covered.
Want to know more about the selection of Ambassador Cities and our Roadmap for 2018? Contact the Citizen Focus Action Cluster at firstname.lastname@example.org
Authored by: Roberta Maio – PwC, Action Cluster Manager & Maria Sangiuliano - Smart Venice, Action Cluster Lead