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Our review of Smart Cities CEE Conference


Yesterday we took part as media partners of one of the most exquisite smart city conferences. What did we see and hear? Just keep reading and you’ll find out everything you need to know!

We woke up in the morning with a sole thought in our minds: to find out the very latest updates in smart city development and strategies. All was wrapped up for us into the Smart Cities CEE conference, brought to us and other attendees by the people at Go.Konnect Ltd.

From the beginning, the conference brought us news about smart city Amsterdam, through one of the leaders of their strategy: Frans-Anton Vermast. We found out that the saying “A whole city as a city lab’ is what guides the smart city development of Amsterdam. 

Next, we listened to the story of  Loop City, an inspiring collaboration between 10 municipalities in Denmark – it’s a case study that we’ve recently covered on Cities Digest.

We found out more about the cities of Zaragoza and Rotterdam, as presented by speakers who leading the smart city projects in both cities. Zaragoza is leading the way in creating the city as an innovation platform, investing in the youth of the city in order to create smart solutions and to prevent brain drain to other larger cities. We listened intently to an engaging panel discussions conducted by top specialists in which we found out more about talent migration, the innovative economy, and intelligent transportation.

During the intelligent transportation panel, we learned that education and awareness were key priorities for the panelists – this is needed in order to encourage citizens to leave their cars at home and use greener modes of transport.

Kamil Blazek was also there to speak to us about the importance of regulation and the legal aspects you have to take into consideration when building a smart city strategy. This combined nicely with a session from Bernard Gindroz on the need for smart city standards that are designed to encourage the “small giant” cities. Per Boesgaard held a workshop in which he helped us to better understand our role as citizens or municipalities in building a sustainable and smart city.

Case studies from Bosch and JCDecaux highlighted how different cities are utilising their smart solutions in order to provide citizens with smarter services and information.

We then moved onto a great presentation from the city of Milton Keynes, Geoff Snelson showcased how the creation of an advanced digital infrastructure is putting them ahead of the curve in the gathering and use of city data. The event ended with an engaging panel discussion about how smaller cities can lead the way in innovative smart city development. As Samu Szemerey said, “it’s about putting the horse back in front of the cart”.

The conference ended with a networking cocktail which gave the attendees the perfect opportunity to connect with each other and expand their network.

We here at Cities Digest are thrilled to have been able to participate in the Smart Cities CEE conference in Budapest and we are looking forward to joining again next year.

We are looking forward to plenty of other surprises along the road!