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Wednesday 28.06.2017 | Name days: Kitija, Viesturs, Viestards

Five of Europe’s smart cities – what makes them ‘smart’?

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUApproximately eight out ten European residents live in cities that consume 70% of energy and traffic jams in which cause losses worth approximately EUR 100 billion to Europe every year. This is why metropolises are currently in search of ways of becoming more effective, economic and environmentally friendly for the population.

Here is a TOP-5 of the smartest cities of Europe

«In regards to ‘smart’ cities, I believe, it is important to keep in mind it is not technology that makes them so, but rather an ambitious goal – how technologies can help cities secure stable welfare for their residents,» – as noted by social engineer of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and lecturer of LMT Smart Future conference Agnis Stibe.

According to him, a ‘smart’ city is one that does all it can to comprehend developing processes and provide residents the ability to gain access to instant feedback about those who contribute to overall welfare of society.

Barcelona – a city where ideas are realized

In 2015, analysts of mobile and digital technologies company Juniper Research awarded Barcelona with the title ‘Global Smart City 2015’. Analysts evaluated its development more highly than that of New York, London, Nice and Singapore. The city’s smart road traffic control system, parking lots and smart lighting system in Barcelona were especially highly praised.  Analysts of Juniper Research came to the conclusion that the city’s smart grid system will help save approximately EUR 9.5 billion a year by 2019.

In addition, a great deal of attention is provided to the transparency of social and public services.

Stockholm – leader in the field of renewable resources

Sweden is a leader in the field of renewable resources. Stockholm strives to save as much resources as possible. The city continues developing projects that include the use of sewage waters in the heating system and their transformation into a special fuel to be used by public transport. Stockholm – is a green oasis with a well-developed public transport network and good optical Internet coverage.

Amsterdam – maximum synergy on all matters

The capital of Netherlands is connected in all possible ways. In order to contribute to the creation of a user-friendly and rational population, the Amsterdam Smart City has been created. This platform, based on open data, provides connectivity between local companies, municipalities and the population. For example, an app has been created to assist disabled people to travel around the city. City Alerts app warns fire fighters about the presence of disabled people on site of fire emergencies.

Vienna – one of the greenest cities in Europe

The relatively small capital of Austria is one of the greenest places in Europe in addition to providing a high quality of life to its residents. More than 15% of energy resources are provided by renewable resources, including from the use of the largest biomass-powered electricity production plant in Europe. Public transport is accessible to 90% of residents.

Copenhagen – plans to become neutral in terms of CO2 emissions by 2025

The so-called carbon footprint of Copenhagen is one of the smallest in the world – less than two tons per capita. This is not enough for Denmark’s capital – Copenhagen plans to become the most neutral capital in the world in terms of CO2 emissions by 2025. Very strict goals have been set up in terms of energy efficiency standards, green construction and green use of energy. The city has given green light to the project to fit bicycles with special sensors to inform users of the level of pollution and traffic jams in real time.

«Latvia’s cities can also become smart and open. However, it is important to keep in mind that it is first important to accomplish an understanding the definition of a smart city. As long as there is no clear picture and open perspective, we cannot speak of the level of readiness of the state and society for the concept of cities of the future,» – believes Stibe.

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