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Smart city initiatives for attractiveness

A survey carried out by the Smart Cities Institute (SCI) has looked at what communes in Wallonia consider to be priorities in terms of overall development. They have in particular looked at the importance of ‘smart city’ initiatives.

Firstly, residential attractiveness and attractiveness for tourists top the list of priorities for communes, closely followed by economic attractiveness. In terms of whom they would like to bring into their communes, tourists come first, followed by SME’s. Indeed, SME’s and start-ups are considered essential for stimulating Walloon communes.

Where smart city initiatives are concerned, the survey quotes SCI Academic Director Nathalie Crutzen: “As our observations show, we note that several essential major axes of smart cities have indeed been highlighted by the Walloon communes as being able to contribute to their dynamism and their attractiveness.”
These are listed as smart mobility, involving accessibility and transport; smart living, which means the way the commune is laid out and the quality of its housing, including sustainable construction; culture, sports and leisure and finally smart governance, from well planned and structured local politics. Projects already scheduled by the communes for the coming five years broadly follow these lines.

In concrete terms, it is the environmental question which is omnipresent in the thinking of communes, and this is true for both urban and rural areas. There are examples of participative platforms on the subject of the eco-system. These lead to consultation, information and awareness-raising and discussions on the subject of the eco-system.

The conclusion drawn by the survey is that smart city initiatives represent a genuine driver behind economic, social and touristic attractiveness.
Tim Harrup

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