September 17th, Organisation for International Economic Cooperation (OiER) and Deutsche Telekom have announced a far-reaching collaboration to join forces in supporting cities to become smarter and more sustainable under the umbrella of the programme United Smart Cities (USC). The USC was established in 2014 and is coordinated by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) in cooperation with OiER. Other international organizations and cities, as well as industry and the financial sector, are also participating in the program.
The newly established partnership will address key issues cities face today by providing tangible projects and solutions in cooperation with urban stakeholders across the globe. OiER and Deutsche Telekom have agreed to develop activities in several stages within the USC. These will be closely aligned with the different phases of a city’s development.
Initially, the focus will be on implementing specific solutions that solve a city’s most pressing needs. These include smart street lighting, air quality monitoring or smart parking. Data from the implemented solutions will then be combined to create aggregated smart city applications such as a mayor’s dashboard or citizen app.
OiER and Deutsche Telekom will support this development by implementing a data marketplace provided within the USC programme. It will enable data sharing based on a city’s defined data access policies and allow for more detailed analytics. With this tool, smart city solutions between cities across the world can now also be integrated. A global community of Smart Cities is born.
"Cities are the hubs of the future and need individual integrated solutions to solve their challenges. Our partnership with Deutsche Telekom enables the development and showcasing of these solutions," states Kari Aina Eik, Secretary General of OiER and USC Programme Coordinator representing OiER.
The final and most important stage of a city’s journey through digital transformation is citizen involvement. Both partners will work to integrate direct interaction and participation of the citizens in the Smart City. Connectivity and collaboration will become the basis for broader goals like social inclusion, democracy, and enterprise.
“Our cooperation with United Smart Cities through OiER will accelerate our efforts to create smart solutions for the benefit of our city partners and their citizens alike,” says Markus Keller, responsible for Smart Cities at Deutsche Telekom. “We are able to improve environmental sustainability and support the economic development of a city by digitizing public services via our ICT-based solutions. But we never lose sight of the ultimate goal, which is to increase the quality of life for citizens and visitors of any city we help become smart."
As part of the cooperation, Deutsche Telekom will also be a member of the USC’s Global Industry Advisory Board (GIAB). The GIAB consists of 12 members who provide strategic counsel to urban stakeholders on smart city issues across the globe. Deutsche Telekom will, in particular, advise on ICT-based challenges and solutions. The company will also share its smart city expertise and extensive ICT know-how with stakeholders in the USC smart city ecosystem.