In July, Romania’s Ministry of Communications and Information Society held a first meeting of a new working group on smart cities. The goal is to develop a national smart city strategy. The ministry set out a wide range of activities, including a survey of existing projects, work on improved security and resilience, and the launch of new pilot projects. The European Commission’s Joinup portal offers many links to existing smart city projects and tools, offering practical experience from across the EU.
Romania’s new working group will be drafting guidelines on good practices, including on management, privacy and ownership of data. In addition, the working group will organise a public consultation on the national smart city strategy.
The overall goal is to get cities to use new technologies to improve the quality of life, reduce bureaucracy and boost the economy, ICT minister Petru Bogdan Cojocaru is quoted as saying in a statement.
Romania is already looking abroad for inspiration: two years ago, the Ministry published a compendium of international best practices and solutions.
Some of those examples can be found on Joinup, the European Commission’s community of practice on government digitalisation. With its growing collection of best practices, tools and reusable ICT solutions, our portal can help public services such as the Romanian smart city working group.
- One of the most recent collections 'Ajuntament de Barcelona | Barcelona City Council', for example, was created by Barcelona city council to provide easy access to the city’s reusable ICT solutions.
- A relevant best practice, reported on in the ePractice eGovernment collection could be Hungary’s recent smart app developer contest. Through this event, Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BME) and Hungary’s state-owned National Information and Communication Services provide (NISZ) are encouraging developers to create tools for smart city residents.
- In 2016 the OpenGov open government collection noticed another lesson, in this case less-successful attempts in Kiev (Ukraine) to use crowdfunding to start smart city projects.
Joinup also directly provides links to smart city ICT tools – though we admit there could always be more.
- In 2014, the Open Source Observatory (OSOR) reported on a bike navigation app developed by the city of Copenhagen. It can plan routes that avoid cobbled streets and use streets with bike lanes, includes parks and other green areas, and even takes into account pollution data.
- And here is Service List, which catalogues all the services performed by local government in England and Scotland, and municipalities in Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Germany. Service List gives a common understanding of services and is a result of collaboration during the Smart Cities Project 2009–2011.