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Smart cities have been using data and digital technologies to create resource efficiencies and improve the quality of life for their citizens. The current pandemic has demonstrated that public administrations need to speed up their digital transformation. It is however, important that European cities and communities follow a path towards digital transformation that is smart, sustainable and helps cities become resilient. As highlighted by the Living.eu (Join, Boost, Sustain) Declaration, cities and communities are encouraged to follow the ‘European Way’ in their digital transformation, which entails independence in deploying innovative digital solutions, while respecting European values, diversity and citizens’ digital rights. Encouraging the use of commonly agreed digital solutions among regions, cities and communities will help close the digital divide and reduce inequalities for a stronger territorial cohesion. While many good smart cities solutions exist already, scaling them up remains difficult and thus their impact on society as a whole remains limited and unevenly distributed across the EU. Scaling, increasing the number of participants, resource allocation, geographic footprint or offering services more widely are high on the current EU smart cities agenda. A recent survey[1] indicates that building trust, ensuring a multi-helix ecosystem collaboration as well as open data standards and protocols are some of the most important elements for scaling up, while contractual issues and legislation seem to be the biggest barriers.

The COP-CITIES webinar on 26/05/2020 will therefore focus on scaling up digital solutions in smart cities and communities and is organised jointly by the JRC, DG CONNECT and DG GROW. The objective of the event is to discuss (i) the challenges of smaller (non-capital, remote, less connected) cities when it comes to scaling up urban digital solutions and (ii) present scaling up methodologies.

More information.