The British magazine The New Economy has singled out Groningen as one of the twenty ‘Smart Cities 2014’. According to the magazine these are cities at the forefront of innovation and sustainability and which could set an example to other urban areas. The New Economy describes Groningen as being ‘at the leading edge in development of research, innovation and entrepreneurship’.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) the majority of the world’s population lives in urban areas; a first in the history of mankind. That is making these areas and the developments taking place in them increasingly economically important. The 20 cities designated by The New Economist as ‘Smart Cities’ are said by the magazine to be completely aware of this development and are seizing the opportunity to invest substantially in innovation at technological, economic and social level.
The influential magazine praises Groningen as a ‘City of Talent’, not least owing to the close cooperation between the municipal and provincial authorities on the one hand and knowledge institutes such as Groningen University, University Medical Centre Groningen and Hanze University of Applied Sciences on the other. During the next few years all of these parties will together be investing no less than 500 million euros in innovation and strengthening the city’s knowledge infrastructure, reports The New Economist.
The magazine also highlights a number of specific projects that demonstrate Groningen’s position ‘at the leading edge in development of research, innovation and entrepreneurship’. Examples include the laying of a municipality-wide WiFi network that is open to all and when completed will be the biggest of its kind in the whole of Europe, and the development of an app that travelers can use to get real-time information about public transport. Mention is also made of projects intended to reduce red tape and to improve public services, such as setting up Customer Contact Centers, a front office for entrepreneurs’ enquiries and optimizing the municipal email system.
The article and the complete list of Smart Cities 2014 can be found at: The New Economy
Source: City of Groningen