On February 23rd the concluding webinar of the Baltic smart city project took place. This webinar focused on the lessons learned from this dialogue project as well as core aspects of climate friendly smart city development. In a concluding panel discussion, experts debated ways forward for smart cities in the post Covid19-world.
The three participating keynote speakers were Andrea Halmos (DG Connect), Prof. Anna Kramer (KTH Stockholm) and Prof. Anatolijs Borodiņecs (RTU Riga). For the concluding panel they were joined by Marek Muiste (Tartu Regional Energy Agency) and Prof. Žaneta Stasiškienė (Kaunas University of Technology).
The lively discussions revealed that despite its negative consequences, the need to rebuild in aftermath of Covid-19 holds great potential for climate friendly smart city development. Particularly with regard to:
- Changing working habits and exploration of new digital tools.
- Demonstrating the role of the public sector in making municipalities more efficient and overcoming existing shortcomings (e.g. with regard to digitalization).
- Making the country side more attractive and thus changing spatial patterns of current housing strategies.
Beyond the effects of the Covid-19 crisis keynote speakers emphasized the need to mainstream climate protection: To do so, it is necessary to set up effective processes in one’s city and integrate climate protection in the planning, implementing and replication phase of smart city development.