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Innovation partnership for smart cities must involve citizens and society

Research into interdisciplinary issues such as smart cities must move away from a technology-driven approach and broaden out to include various social aspects, a conference in Brussels has heard.

Speakers at the launch event of the European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities said they were fed up with “lighthouse projects”, the large-scale technological pilots that tend to dominate such partnerships. They said that the initiative must be set up to get citizens and society more involved.

“We know that most of the technology is mature,” says Claire Roumet, secretary-general of the European Federation of Public, Cooperative and Social Housing. “If there is a lighthouse initiative in the upcoming decade, it should not be focused on the techniques but on participation—on getting people to become the owners of the changes.”

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