Information and communications technology (ICT) is a key enabler for cities to address particular challenges in a ‘smart’ manner. Thus, a Smart City is a city seeking to address public issues via ICT-based solutions on the basis of a multi-stakeholder, municipally based partnership.
In this context, Oradea, the capital city of Bihor County and Crișana region, western Romania, is ready to become the first Romanian Smart City.
Water meters remotely read, online payment of taxes and duties, parking fee directly paid through SMS, electronic payment system for public transport and 60 Wi-Fi hotspots! These are just some of the steps that Oradea has already made to become the first Smart City in Romania, as digi24.ro informs. Digital water meters can be read from a distance of 200 meters. So far 5,000 out of 17,500 counters in the project have been already changed.
“We have GPS to public transport, there is a ticketing system that is used by the citizens of Oradea and allows us to configure on the public transport the routes depending on their availability,” Eduard Florea, Oradea’s city manager.
‘Oradea Smart City’ strategy extends by 2025 and is based on European funds, but also on public-private partnerships.
An analysis of the objectives and Europe 2020 targets of Smart City initiatives conducted by the European Commission, finds that despite their early stage of development, Smart City objectives should be more explicit, well defined and clearly aligned to city development, innovation plans and Europe 2020 in order to be successful.
There are Smart Cities in all EU-28 countries, but these are not evenly distributed. Countries with the largest numbers are the UK, Spain and Italy, although the highest percentages are in Italy, Austria, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Estonia and Slovenia. Smart City initiatives are most frequently focus on Smart Environment and Smart Mobility.