A High Level Group of the European Innovation Partnership for Smart Cities and Communities has adopted the Partnership’s Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP), which is to serve as the basis for speeding up the deployment of Smart City solutions in Europe, as part of which the European Commission is expected to invest around €200m to create Smart Cities in the next two years, the Commission said in a press release.

The Strategic Implementation Plan sets out a broad range of new actions and approaches to encourage European cities to become smarter. The plan concentrates on how to drive forward improvement in buildings and planning, new Information Technologies, transport and energy, and new ways of integrating these areas.

The plan also suggests improvements to the way that cities are run with better ways of involving citizens and more collaborative ways of doing things. It suggests innovation zones, new business models, a re-evaluation of rules and legislation and a more standardised approach to data collection and use, to enable better comparisons between approaches and between cities.

According to the press release, this is just the beginning of a large scale programme of work by all the partners and many others. An important part of that work will be the “Lighthouse Projects” – cities which will demonstrate and deliver Smart City solutions on a large scale. These Projects will be partly financed by the European Commission’s Horizon 2002 Research Funds. Further business and public funding will help to spread these new solutions to other cities and economies of scale will help to make these “innovative” and “high tech” solutions the norm – available more easily to all cities and neighbourhoods.

The SIP is drafted by a great variety of actors from industry, cities, civil society and research. It focuses on three specific areas: sustainable districts, sustainable urban mobility, and integrated infrastructures across energy, ICT and transport, and proposes a variety of actions to drive forward improvements in these areas.

More details about the next steps and about European Commission funding and Business Commitments will be announced at the official launch of the delivery plan on 26 November.

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