In early October four REMOURBAN partners headed off to Budapest, Hungary, for the SCIS conference to meet with other Lighthouse and Smart Cities projects and help drive a smart and sustainable vision for Europe.
Entitled “Empowering smart solutions for better cities”, the conference gathered project developers, towns and cities, and industry players, all of whom participated in a series of topical workshops and parallel sessions.
REMOURBAN was represented by Emily Braham from Nottingham City Homes, Maria Luisa Mirantes from Xeridia, Alfonso Gordaliza from Veolia and Mo Kelly from Sasie. The main conference topics, addressed by a variety of fellow Smart Cities projects, included replication and scale-up, good practices, citizen engagement as well as some 30 success stories.
Following the agenda, the REMOURBAN members were able to take in a lot of information from the other H2020 projects and parallel sessionsm as well as from keynote speaker Usamn Haque from Umbrellium, who elegantly encouraged delegates to embrace complexity and diversity and to connect people and places. Furthermore, Eric Lecomte for the EU’s DG Energy reminded delegates of the rationale behind the SCIS “to provide a platform for cities to share lessons learned and best practices.”
Maria Luisa Mirantes shared her insights on data management solutions at the Data Access and Use in Smart Cities workshop, based on her project experience. Alfonso Gordaliza attended the interactive session entitled “Replicating innovation: key factors for success”. Here he took attendees through the delicate process of gaining citizen acceptance of project work, emphasising the importance of involving end-users and communicating clearly with them – something which requires prior collaboration among the project partners so that everyone is “on-message”. The following day he spoke about “Urban innovation in practice: success stories”, drawing on the CITyFiED project experience.
With some 150 delegates from a wide range of backgrounds, the two-day conference was an opportunity to share experience on barriers, solutions, priorities and conclusions from across Europe.