Scale With Us‘ was the theme of Connected Smart Cities & Communities 2020 (CSCC20) – the annual conference organised by Open & Agile Smart Cities. And the community, from cities to businesses and research, came together to pave the road for sustainable scale-up of urban digital solutions and to prepare for impact. 

The message from CSCC20 clear: It’s time to work together to achieve a better quality of life for citizens in our cities & communities around the world and make use of the tools that digital transformation to reach this goal.

European Cities and Communities Join Forces to Scale

Minna Arve, the Mayor of Turku, Finland, stressed in her keynote speech how important open data and interfaces are for the city. A well-maintained digital ecosystem based on open standards for data exchange strengthens the local digital economy and, in the end, leads to better applications and services for all citizens.

Following her opening keynote speech, Mayor Arve signed the Join, Boost, Sustain Declaration to emphasise her city’s ambition to work together with others around the world to make the sustainable digital transformation a reality. 

In her keynote speech, Mayor Arve said that cooperation between municipalities is beneficial for all cities. This has become clear in the Finnish Six City Strategy. The figures from the programme confirm the impact of cooperation: One third of the Finnish population and nearly 4,000 companies benefit already from the joint activities of the Six City Strategy.

Cooperating is Key to Share Data with Trust

Anna Lisa Boni, Secretary-General of EUROCITIES, underlined in her keynote the importance of third way for digital transformation that highlights cooperation and puts citizens at the centre of smart cities & communities.

Khalil Rouhana, Deputy Director-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology, European Commission, said with regards to the on-going digital transformation: “The main work will be done by cities & communities as well as companies”. 

However, Rouhana announced that the European Commission will provide strong support to further develop data and Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities. 

The main objective of the upcoming programmes is to ensure data sovereignty and thereby providing a third way for digital transformation; complementing the Chinese and US-American approach to data re-use and Artificial Intelligence. 

Rouhana underlined that the European Commission’s main ambition in relation to AI is to ensure that “the development of capabilities is in line with our values”.

The Global View: Joining the Third Way

Concluding a day full of knowledge sharing and inspiring talks, Takehiko Nagumo, Executive Director of Smart City Institute Japan and coordinator of the Japanese OASC chapter, stressed that in times of global challenges, the key to successfully deliver on the promise of digital transformation is cooperation: “Together, we can move forward”.

Watch the plenary sessions on YouTube featuring the keynote speakers:

  • Martin Brynskov, Chair, Open & Agile Smart Cities
  • Khalil Rouhana, Deputy Director-General, DG Connect, European Commission
  • Anna Lisa Boni, Secretary General, EUROCITIES
  • Minna Arve, Mayor, City of Turku
  • Takehiko Nagumo, Executive Director, Smart City Insitute Japan
  • Agata Krause, Consultant, UNECE
  • Miguel Eiras Antunes, Global Smart City, Smart Nation & Local Government Leader, Deloitte

All presentations given during CSCC20 are available for download on the Open & Agile Smart Cities website.

This article has been originally published by Open & Agile Smart Cities on 30 January 2020 here.