Considering the EC’s Invitation for Commitments, some critical issues are looking for attentive considerations. On reading the Operational Implementation Plan (OIP), some innovative measures are to be taken to effectively implement the SCC EIP initiative:  

1.       The smart city strategy has to be included in all relevant funding considerations.

2.       The SCC EIP is to become a key funding tool for all smart city projects under the EU Funding 2014-2020, thus providing quality, efficiency and “transparency through a Platform consultation process”.

3.       European cities have to be assisted by high-level consultancies to follow the Smart City Commitments.

The point 1 is supported by the OIP. The point 2 is seemingly to be decided by the EC, but what is clear – the Horizon 2020 Calls for Proposals on Smart Cities are right to come from the Partnership, as well as the Lighthouse projects candidates are best openly decided by all the Stakeholders instead of 2-3 occasional reviewers.

The point 3 is explained by lack of urban officers capable to comprehend all the key EIP documents,, especially the SIP and OIP.

However good, the whole content is still beyond a mayor, councilor or urban professional because of highest complexity of the whole matter of smart cities.

Having a request from the largest municipality to prepare the commitment at a cost tells us that many European cities could miss the strategic growth opportunities due to lacking of smart city guidance or Chief Smart City Officer.

The EC FAQ says “Commitments need to link to a concrete implementation context at city level – purely promotional corporate activities are not eligible”. But the most crucial point is what clearly indicated in the OIP:

“cities have to self-commit to include individual smart city projects within the larger overall smart city strategy.”

Strictly speaking, that means everything for cities; for hardly any city today might boast of having developed an overall sustainable city growth strategy or smart city master planning:

It would be wise to rapidly organize “Smart City Commitments” Permanent Consultancy Group, Knowledge Sharing Action Cluster, as part of the SCC EIP OIP, to assist the European Cities and Communities “to self-commit…”, widely addressing local city authorities via the Stakeholders’ channels like the Covenant of Mayors, Eurocities Network, etc.

Last but not least, regardless all criticality of the Smart City Agenda for the EU 2020, we noted that most good works here are done by dedicated people on a voluntary basis, that’s another argument why the SCC EIP is in need of strong and independent financial basis.

Original author: asha