Smart city is a concept that is currently very topical and that seems to be the direction in which urbanisation is going. However, an agreement is still missing on a common definition of smart cities and on the criteria which need to be fulfilled in order to define a city as a smart city.
According to the European Innovation Partnership for Smart Cities and Communities’ Strategic Implementation Plan “Smart cities should be regarded as systems of people interacting with and using flows of energy, materials, services and financing to catalyse sustainable economic developments, resilience, and high quality of life; these flows and interactions become smart through making strategic use of information and communication infrastructure and services in a process of transparent urban planning and management that is responsive to the social and economic needs of society.”
The main characteristic of smart cities seems to be the interconnection between different network industries (thus covering topics such as energy, mobility and communications technologies) providing a wide range of services and a general context of interexchange between public and private. The mentioned interconnection between different industries will be at the core of the FSR Conference on “Smart cities, smart regulation?”.
Practical co-operation with a common aim between such regulated sectors entails a need of co-ordination and harmonisation between the different regulatory policies as well as industrial requirements and approaches. For example, the issue of data (key in the smart city concept) is a core element that needs to be tackled both from the regulatory and industry perspective.
The aim of the Conference is precisely to stimulate the debate between stakeholders representing the different sectors and to look at specific issues in a productive way.