WEEK

Smart city is for everyone

smart city

When we hear phrase “smart city” we tend to envision a large city with the population estimated in millions. Smart London, Paris, Berlin, and in Poland Warsaw. That only covers the reality in part. Smartness is not a domain of large municipalities. Even though one hears most about such cities, there are more and more examples of solutions relying on modern technologies implemented in small towns, and in some parts of the world even in villages. Why?

Each, even the smallest town has problems and challenges to address. It turns out that modern technologies can perfectly deal with them whether the city has a couple of thousand or several tens of thousands of residents. Opportunities for resolving problems and responding to the challenges are almost endless. Smart city solutions often entail no costs for municipalities.

What a smart city is about

Developing smart solutions consist in leaving entrepreneurs the field of creating solutions for the city and its residents. The business builds systems and applications provided to citizens. Nevertheless, support from the city is of utmost importance.

To create efficient solutions, application developers need a massive amount of data. In this regard, a concept of opening cities has developed. Municipalities give access to public data they hold, in digital form to any interested without legal constraints. It is a general trend in advanced democratic societies. Poznan was a pioneer in Poland, but today data are available in the municipalities like Gdansk, Wroclaw, Warsaw and Ustrzyki Dolne.

Ustrzyki Dolne – how a town with over 9 500 residents is becoming smart

This small town is among urban areas such as Warsaw, Wrocław, Gdansk. Ustrzyki Dolne is building open data platform in cooperation with Microsoft. Thanks to the solution public data becomes available.

According to the mayor of Ustrzyki Dolne Bartosz Romowicz, this pilot program is a shortening of the distance between the town council and the citizen. The platform will contain data related to tourist spots and spatial development plan. Any interested individual or organization can make use of data practically in any configuration. For example, private individuals can check in few click, whether the land they plan to buy is improved if there are developments planned around, and what plans does the municipality have regarding the neighborhood. This information is a great form of communication with potential investors, who will receive necessary data without any additional costs. Local authorities can make use of interactive data to communicate with residents on a daily basis, shortening the time of handling matters at the town council.

The advantages of using smart solutions are disproportionate to the incurred costs if they ever occur.  Therefore, cities of all sizes can use smart solutions to improve a quality of life of their inhabitants.