The Slovenia Times

Smart cities improving quality of life, debate hears


The minister said that technological advancements were not enough, "people need to be smart as well".

An open call for smart cities will be published in autumn, he said. Municipality consortiums will be eligible to apply for purchasing resources, such as communications and software equipment. The project is estimated at EUR 16 million, according to Koritnik.

The discussion meanwhile focused on the role of smart cities in improving urban living. Večer director Sašo Todorović said that technology needed for such investments was getting cheaper and more accessible.

Lovro Peterlin of telecommunications operator A1 Slovenija meanwhile pointed to the importance of collected data. "Municipalities should keep data in their ownership. Data are the gold of the future," he said, urging local communities not to rely on only one provider in setting up smart communities.

Participating in the debate via videoconference, MEP Franc Bogovič (EPP/SLS) presented the relevant opportunities at the EU level. The available budget is generous, he said, adding that digitalisation and preserving the environment were two key targets in the EU's next financial framework.

Bogovič moreover listed examples of good practice, including Estonia among member states and Vienna, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Amsterdam and Manchester among the cities.

All those examples have taken a comprehensive approach to digitalisation and such a strategy is needed in Slovenia as well, Koritnik and Bogovič agreed.

Smart communities could also improve rural living if they put people first, said Emilija Stojmenova Duh of the Ljubljana Faculty of Electrical Engineering.


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