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News · 26 maart 2020

'Go for smart cities!'

Do you think the Randstad is already under pressure? Then bear in mind that in 2050 more than 70% of the world's population will live in cities! This growth brings with it so-called urban challenges: it is becoming increasingly difficult to organise our living and working environment properly and to keep the cities liveable. On the other hand, some villages are shrinking. They are faced with the challenge of providing sufficient facilities and employment to remain attractive. Areas need to become smarter. I deal with these challenges, but especially the solutions, on a daily basis.

Smart cities

A smart city is a city where the use of technology allows you to rise to these urban challenges. To this end, organisations must join forces and come up with comprehensive solutions. Various companies, (educational) organisations and governments need to join forces to examine together what the best area development is. For example, how do we guarantee the accessibility of cities and the health and safety of their inhabitants? This last subject in particular is very topical at the moment.

Technologie as a smart tool in uncertain times

For example, who would have expected the coronavirus to spread so rapidly, with such an impact on the daily lives of the global population? Technology prevents our economy and social life from coming to a complete standstill, at a time when many people are working from home and social contacts are avoided. As VolkerWessels Telecom, we make an important contribution to this. Thanks to good connectivity, it is easier to work from home and students can attend classes. But social contacts are also maintained digitally during the corona crisis: the first drinks and board games nights via Skype have already made it to social media! At present, vulnerable elderly people can still keep in touch with their families through this connectivity. Connectivity is important to meet the challenges during the crisis, but also to come up with a solution. This allows medical specialists to work together worldwide and quickly share complete research data and complex models, which hopefully will enable us to find a vaccine against the coronavirus soon.

How can we use technology, and what uses are allowed?

If we look at other countries, we see in Singapore that people are being traced via their phones, to check if they are actually in home quarantine. This is unthinkable in the Netherlands. You see that anything can be measured and shared, but a smart city also depends on social acceptance, the change in a business sector and the political climate. The combination of these is necessary to enable a transformation. How do we involve the various parties in this process, what do we ask, and what do users get in return? In short: How do we make smart use of the available data, resulting in a sustainable area development and satisfied and healthy inhabitants, for example? I will be happy to tell you more about this in the near future!

My name is Cunera Smit. I work as a Business Developer Smart Cities at VolkerWessels Telecom. I studied Architecture at Delft University of Technology. The subject of Smart City development, also for the government, runs like a thread through my career.

This picture was taken before the coronavirus outbreak.