The research was conducted by Jonathan Desdemoustier and Prof. Nathalie Crutzen, who collected data during face-to-face interviews with the main people in charge of each project. The focus was on two aspects: firstly, the intrinsic characteristics of each smart city project, and secondly, a critical assessment of factors such as the dynamics, sustainability, financing and legal status of each project.
Based on the results, the researchers have made recommendations to the various parties involved in each project: politicians, officials, citizens, companies and research centers. The goal is to give smart city projects even better supervision and support now and in the future.
Three global recommendations from the Smart City Institute
1. In view of Belgium’s size and the way in which local authorities are organized it is considered essential for cities to work together, in order to create smart city projects on a larger scale. Belgium could consider working with smart regions. Such partnerships could be helpful in keeping the costs down.
2. Open data and big data represent big challenges for the government. These can create big opportunities for companies and individuals.
3. Creativity and innovation are essential, both when it comes to technology and in social and legal matters. Smart cities really require the development of new business models and plans, new methods of finance as well as new legal resources.
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