This first in a series of 5 workshops on B2G data sharing in cities was held on 5 May, setting the scene for an open, peer-to-peer discussion among EU cities on their experiences of business-to-government (B2G) data sharing and how to scale up these practices in cities and regions across Europe.
Launch of living-in.eu platform
To accelerate the European way of living through digital transformation
The living-in.eu platform was launched during the CITYxCITY Festival and creates the conditions to upscale digital solutions based on iconic projects. Living-in.eu is a bottom-up movement which has the ambition to have a positive impact on the quality of life of at least 300 million European citizens by 2025. The initiative is a cooperation of Eurocities, Open & Agile Smart Cities (OASC), European Network of Living Labs (ENoLL) and is supported by the European Commission and the European Committee of the Regions.
“It is a clear sign of the European institutions engaging with the cities and participating in a bottom-up movement.” says Eddy Hartog, representing the European Commission, during the launch of the new platform. “I look forward to the new ideas that this platform will generate and the results of the iconic projects. In the end we do this to give our citizens a better life.”
The platform will enable Cities & Regions to work together on societal challenges with the help of digital solutions. Through iconic projects, such as Urban Digital Twins, the Citizen Card and Urban Data Platforms, cities & regions are able to develop and implement the solution on a local level.
The movement was born a year ago when the declaration Join, Boost, Sustain was launched as a result of the 2019 Finnish presidency of the European Union. The movement anticipates on the ambitions to become the Union that strives for more by focussing on the challenge of large cross border implementation and upscaling. Through the platform the conditions are created to help cities & regions scale fast based on common principles, technologies & standards.
“Living-in.eu helps us in becoming climate neutral as a city & region,” says Jorge Azcon, Mayor of Zaragoza, “My promise as a mayor is to reach the 55% climate targets by 2030. We will be one of the 100 climate neutral cities in Europe and we need digital solutions and new technologies to help accelerate this. Living-in.eu helps us to do this at large scale.”
Zaragoza is one of the major cities in Spain and is the example in Europe on how cities and regions can help to accomplish the Green Deal. Under the leadership of Azcon the city and region developed a multi year strategy to become climate neutral in which the implementation of new technologies plays a big role. To secure the conditions Zaragoza proposed a Joint Investment Plan of 700 million euros towards the EIB last November. With the help of living-in.eu Zaragoza wants to help other cities and regions in becoming climate neutral and digital based on European values.
“The lessons that we learned in the last month on how to work with all government layers in accomplishing our vision is valuable to share. Creating the conditions, such as funding through the recovery and resiliency facility, is something we want to share with other cities & regions” says Azcon, “Through living-in.eu we are able to work together with more cities and regions to create a sustainable, resilient and livable Europe.”
The 5th Living-in.eu plenary meeting with signatories took place on the 22nd of April and focused on How Local Digital Twins can contribute to the European Green Deal. The meeting counted with over 100 participants and brought together the Living-in.eu signatory Cities and the European Covenant of Mayors.
The Corona crisis has made our dependence on basic digital skills painfully clear. When physical contact is impossible, we all need to be able to connect remotely. Municipalities should make sure their citizens do not fall victim to digital exclusion and set up digital help centres.
When the Open & Agile Smart City network (OASC) asked its city members in 2018 what they were looking for in a new service, they asked for something that would help them find other city solutions and to showcase theirs.