Eberhard van der Laan, Photo: S. van der Torren

by Eberhard van der Laan, Mayor of Amsterdam

Smart Cities are a bit like football: Every city has a team working on a “Smart City” and wants to be the Smartest City in the world, and at the start of every season every supporter thinks his or her team will be the global champion. Various ranking systems exist, comparing cities on indicators ranging from energy consumption per capita to life expectancy; from Wifi coverage to crime-rates. In other words: Smart Cities are about everything and therefore about nothing. To be frank: I do not really believe all this Smart City marketing. I do believe that innovation and technology gives us the opportunity to improve the quality of life of the citizens and make our cities more competitive.

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