Yuriy Nazarov, chairman of the SmartCity.UA, invited Leven Gürgen, President of the Urban Technologies Alliance
While introducing smart city technologies, it is important and useful to pay attention to the successful experience of other cities in this area. The chairman of the SmartCity.UA initiative, Yuriy Nazarov, is sure: the introduction of certain technologies begins with a discussion of what city residents need, because “smart city” is, first of all, the well-being of its citizens, and not cool technologies. He invited the President of the Urban Technologies Alliance to talk about this, as well as many other things, which brought together business representatives from all over the progressive world to find the best smart solutions for cities.
Yuriy Nazarov held an online discussion: “Smart city development experience from members of the Urban Technology Alliance (UTA)”, which took place on June 15. Nazarov discussed this topic with the President of the Urban Technology Alliance, Founder and President of the startup company Kentyou (France) Levent Gürgen.
During this discussion, a short presentation was made by the president of the Urban Technology Alliance. UTA is a global network of cities, industries, and academies that have come together to pilot city-wide deployments to test smart city solutions from a technical, economic, and social perspective.
Speaking about the objectives, missions, and goals, Levent stated that UTA is a global collaboration to test and validate smart city solutions. The non-profit organization, created in 2019 in Geneva, has been joined by over a dozen organizations from all over the world. Together they invent, prototype, and test certain solutions, which can then be implemented both in large cities like the Korean Busan and in smaller cities.
“UTA brings together a number of leading cities from around the world that share the same vision of a smart city and attach great importance to testing and validating solutions before large-scale deployments to avoid technical decisions and focus on the real city and citizens. needs. Even if each city has unique characteristics, many technical, economic, social, and environmental problems are common and can be addressed more effectively if we pool our resources and share experiences and lessons learned.
Indeed, there are some difficulties in building a common language and building a common platform for bringing these participants together and this platform for finding partners. Cities need industrial partners to showcase their solutions as well, so not only for cities but also for other potential partners, and finally, the researchers they need will be real demands from the season. We offer a global perspective.
We know that every city is unique even in one country. The same is with an international perspective, but on the basis of our activities, there are already projects that we have implemented. We notice that even if a city is unique, it has a lot in common with other cities in the world, ”said Levent Gürgen.
According to him, global challenges - environmental, economic, or social - are quite common and they can be tackled collectively together. Cities that come with their own problems find themselves in a testing environment of innovators who can offer innovative solutions, says Gürgen. For this, they have several working groups.
“The goal of the Urban Technology Alliance is to serve the city and its residents, of course by helping industrial companies. They will promote their solutions. But the final decision will be made by the city authorities. Finally, we also empower citizens to share their needs.
So how are changes organized? We collect problems and create teams to join forces with participants who have experience in solving them. Some partners supply their IoT devices (internet of things), some come with data platforms, others come with their data analysis tools to complete this value chain in no time.
We have 5 groups: a technical working group that provides technical advice, standards, integration plans. The working business group provides opportunities for interaction, first of all, for establishing partnerships between participants, as well as for finding funding for those who conduct testing - this can be private funding, or it can be state, regional, national, international. We are working very closely with European funding programs to accelerate these deployments and we have some pretty successful projects, ”Gürgen said.
It was also noted during the conversation that there is a sustainability working group that is defining KPI metrics to validate these deployments to show that solutions will be sustainable. There should be only prototypes and, finally, social workgroups that exist “for show”. The solution should be aimed at citizens. And here, to be relevant, you need to hear citizens and give them the opportunity to express their needs.
The social working group deals with such social aspects as privacy, design, ethics. And the last one is the testers who are directly involved in the deployment of pilot projects.
As an example of the work of the Urban Technology Alliance, Gürgen cites the work on projects in the cities of Sejong, (South Korea), which has invested heavily in smart city technologies, Busan, which has already determined both current achievements and future directions of work, and Taipei, where intend to apply the concept of Smart Living Lab: implementation of smart technologies in healthcare, rent, education, payment, medical insurance, transport and others.
The Japanese cities of Saitama and Fujisawa are keen to completely eliminate carbon emissions (Saitama by 2050) - both recycling plants and IoT garbage trucks are among the methods. In general, Luvent Gergen gave an example of several different in nature and size smart cities in the world - in addition to the above, these are Vancouver (Canada), Grenoble (France), Santander (Cantabria, Spain).
To the question of Yuri Nazarov about what can generally be understood under the name “smart city” and whether there is one common but capacious characteristic of such cities, the president of the Alliance answered - first of all, smart city is not about technologies, but about the quality of life of citizens. Technologies should be introduced when the question is correctly posed, what area of life can be improved with their help.”
“There is no right or wrong, there is not even a single definition suitable for this purpose. I start by explaining what “smart” really means. An intelligent person is basically a person capable of learning, he can quickly understand what is happening around, quickly reason and process information, and then take actions that have the desired effect.