The recent CITIES forum signaled that an Urban Europe Agenda is getting an official attention as a key mechanism of the EU Strategy 2020, developing the smart, sustainable, and inclusive Europe:
Among the questions for debates there were as follows:
Why do we need an EU urban agenda?
What should an EU urban agenda be?
How can an EU urban agenda be implemented?
If the first question is just rhetorical, the rest two bear critical importance if remember in Europe there are more than 100,000 cities and communities, with almost 80% as urban dwellers, all looking to improve their communal wealth and urban life through sustainable integrated solutions.
To be most effective, we believe, an EU urban agenda should be a Global Comprehensive Strategy and Reference Framework for sustainable cities and intelligent communities, comprising the following key features:
i. Guiding principles with a system of goals and objectives with measurable targets
ii. Integrated sustainable urban development policy covering the economic, environmental, climate, political, technological and social challenges of urban life
iii. Integrated investment strategy meeting the economic, environmental, political, technological, digital and social problems of urban life
iV. Implementation roadmap to realize integrated territorial re/development in the most systematic ways (to secure a minimum of 5 % of the ERDF resources allocated for integrated actions for sustainable urban development)
V. Urban Europe Development Platform for coordinating actors and policies, European, national and local:
In all, on the European level, the Urban Europe Intelligent InterCloud Platform is proposed, where each MS and major city will be featured by its smart cloud system.
On the urban level, each intelligent community and smart city is projected to be managed by its urban brains, an intelligent city cloud platform, managing its resources, assets, processes and systems: from Urban Land and Environment, Roads to Public administration and services.
As in the pilot case of Smart Limassol, the i-City Platform is to collect data from smart devices and sensors embedded in its streets and roadways, power and water grids, buildings and other city assets, sharing data via smart communications networks, wired, wireless and mobile, using smart software for delivering intelligent information and smart innovative services: digital citizens, smart politics, smart health, smart education, smart home, smart utilities (water, energy, waste, transportation, information), smart safety and security, online taxes and permits, utility bills, payments, GIS information on underground cables, pipes, water mains, bus arrival, traffic maps, crime reports, emergency warnings, cultural events, etc.:
But in real practice, to have implemented the above, you need the city council voting and decision, which political wisdom and vision is restricted by the city budget. Having the Urban Europe Policy as legally adopted could create a regulatory environment for the massive transformation of European cities and communities.