The Sharing Cities ‘lighthouse’ project is a proving ground for a better, common approach to making smart cities a reality. By fostering international collaboration between industry and cities, the project seeks to develop affordable, integrated, commercial-scale smart city solutions with a high market potential. In the first phase, the demonstration districts in ‘lighthouse’ cities Lisbon, London and Milan implemented replicable smart city measures, namely building retrofit, electric mobility, sustainable energy management systems, smart lampposts, urban sharing platforms, and digital social markets. Then, ‘fellow’ cities of Bordeaux, Burgas and Warsaw have been co-designing, validating, and/or implementing these solutions and models.
BURGAS’S REPLICATION STRATEGY
- Burgas was already leading some smart measures, without attaching it to a smart city strategy.
- It began in 2010 with mobility as a starting point. The measure encompassed bus fleet renewal and the creation of an intelligent system related to traffic management, electronic ticketing, and real time passenger information system among other features.
- Other measures came, and soon the city realised it could group all the measures with an urban sharing platform.
- Sharing Cities was an opportunity to gather all the measures under one initiative.
- Innovative Systems Burgas was created. It is an external company that is 100% municipal-owned. Using such a mechanism allows for more flexibility and, in the case of Burgas, helped the city to concentrate its efforts.
- Peer-learning visits were organised in the lighthouse cities.
- Burgas identified the main priorities according to:
– Citizens’ needs;
– The local context: what is strategic for Burgas’ sustainable development? In terms of municipal strategic planning, territorial connectivity, urban, social and educational infrastructure, etc.