Urban Society: Recommendations for Recover and Resilience Facility
While amid the pandemic, now more than ever, we need to think about rebuilding and rebooting our society, communities, and related economy. It urges us to reflect and think about the various societal challenges at hand and address these efficiently.
AIOTI’s Working Group Urban Society supports the needed holistic approach and convergence by integrating and touching societal challenges, not only the horizontals but also the vertical domains intertwined and part of Urban Society as a whole. Therefore, this document is a joint-effort made in co-creation and cross fertilization within the different domains, hereby referred as the different working groups within AIOTI’s Urban Society, Health, Innovation Ecosystems, Standardization, Policy & Strategies, Taskforce IoT Security, Taskforce IoT Privacy.
Powerful tools have been developed within the AIOTI community in order to address these societal challenges and bring to light the best scenarios based on a data-driven socio-economic model in which sharing, collecting, storing, analyzing, processing and visualizing large amounts of data is crucial for its success and in order to make Europe climate neutral, smart, green, resilient and digital with a human-centric approach. We will do this while maintaining privacy and security, reducing cost, emissions and energy consumption by bringing reliable, future-proof, scalable and sustainable solutions.
The scenarios in scope touch base on all seven (7) components/domains published by the Commission, but discuss in more detail four (4) out of the seven (7) components. Since everything is interconnected and domains are intertwined within ecosystems, we chose to address multiple domains and integrate them in one document. The use cases displayed in this document can be used cross-domain which increases efficiency, economies of scale, job creation, accelerates implementation and reduces costs. The components this document addresses are: ‘Clean, Smart and Fair Urban Mobility’, ‘Reskill & Upskill’, ‘Digital Connectivity’ and ‘Public Administration’.
We included the Public Administration in our document since teaming up with local administrations, in PPP (public-private-partnership) is prioritized. Only together we will be able to mitigate the social and economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. We can all testify to the paradigm shift we face, in which the profound realization has occurred that the only way forward towards a more resilient and greener future is the human-centric approach by addressing the societal challenges. We do realize the urgency, not only for ourselves but for the future generations to come, to serve and do things differently. This can only occur by shifting away from the technical- & shareholder- centric approach. After all, digital serves and facilitates humans needs and wellbeing, not the way around. We look forward to collaborating on different levels with local, (cross-)sectorial, (cross-)regional, Member States, The European Union, periphery and beyond in order to lean in, deploy, implement, interact to (re)-built our societies.
AIOTI supports the focus on digital and green technologies in the overall EU Recovery Fund package, particularly the Recovery and Resilience Facility, which will bring jobs and economic growth. All scenarios we address in this document are digital objectives in order to push the Digital Economy and Society based on the three main pillars of the European Commission: more Green, more Digital and more Resilient.
- Human-centric – it is not the technology on itself that holds the potential to do good or to cause harm, but rather the way the technology is used and deployed. Digital solutions can combine high energy savings with vast advancements in wellbeing, comfort, safety and productivity. A human-centric approach should be central to upcoming policies and investments at the EU, national and local levels. Technology is merely an instrument for interaction between humans – it embodies a way of revealing a reality as perceived by the developers and users. This is clearly illustrated by social media platforms that are known to have benefits for connecting people and making voices be heard, yet when misused, they create an environment in which political polarization and hate speech can flourish. Also smart city infrastructure can and will shape social structures. Ben Green, author of The Smart Enough City, argues that technology is not a goal on itself, and that technologies should be used for the benefit of democracy and equity to avoid unintended consequences such as increased inequalities and injustice within an urban society. Because people ultimately shape technology, it is important to take into account the views, perspectives, and societal position of those designing and deploying it, as well as those on the receiving end. This will not just require a human-centric approach, but more of a persona-centric approach. Who are the users? What do their relationship to the world look like (e.g. employee, customer, partner)? And how will digital infrastructures affect these relationships? Asking these questions is essential to make technology evolve around human lives and make it adapt to local realities. It is recommended to invest in continuous participatory dialogues between a wide range of stakeholders and to incorporate feedback loops that communicate outcomes and insights of the dialogues back to those who design and deploy the systems.
- Infrastructure – digital infrastructures are key to the development. 5G will improve connection speed and allow the development of applications that require low latency, high reliability or the connection of millions of low-energy sensors. Fibre networks must be extended as quickly as possible in all areas currently served by mixed copper infrastructure. Part of the resources of the Recovery Fund should be invested in research and development of future-proof networks and infrastructure. The focus should be on infrastructure that is sustainable and user-centric, meaning it takes into account and respond to the needs of the user.
- Digital know-how and skills – in order to do justice to the potential of digital technology, it is important to establish digital know-how and skills within urban societies. Attracting highly skilled engineers and computer scientists can help to build robust, efficient and sustainable smart technology infrastructure. Yet the digital transformation will affect many facets of life in the city, and therefore requires digital knowledge in social, legal and philosophical domains as well. Furthermore, the interests of those whose lives are impacted by the digital transformation should also be taken into account. Critics warn for the ‘digital divide’, meaning the gap between those who know how to use technology and gain access to the benefits, and those who do not, due to limited access to resources, lack of understanding of use or technology, or because they simply decide not to partake in smart technologies. It is recommended for cities to invest in attracting skilled workers, but also cooperate with research institutes to develop relevant interdisciplinary education programmes across various faculties.
- Public-Private-Partnerships – The objective with this RRF is to facilitate local efforts to enhance the offer of sustainable shared mobility services, including transport on demand, to complement public transport. This reform will simplify the authorization process and provide access conditions to transport and mobility data. The reform will promote more systematic use of tenders for accessing the urban mobility services markets which will accelerate the transition towards sustainable urban mobility. A legislative framework for data sharing between transport operators will be adopted. Recent clean vehicles are equipped with digital components. This will facilitate the deployment of intelligent transport systems that will enhance traffic and mobility management at urban level, together with collection of mobility data, and systematic use of digital tickets and digital payment systems, in particular in a context of 5G based infrastructure for connected and automated mobility.
- Top down & Bottom up – There is a need of a combined top-down, bottom-up approach where the members states, cities, regions users can define the IoT applications requirements and specifications and where the pillars of Urban Society are connected for mutual benefit. It should be novel, allowing for the coordination, monitoring, control and sharing of information.
Green, B. (2020). The Smart Enough City. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.
The full paper can be downloaded here.
StandICT.eu 2023, the ICT Standardisation Observatory and Support Facility in Europe, and AIOTI, cement relations with an MoU to underpin cooperation in standardisation efforts in IoT and Edge Computing
The MOU will galvanise cooperation between the two subjects in a number of areas strategic to both in the European ICT Standard Scenario, particularly in the key areas of IoT and Edge Computing, but also relevant to other converging technologies.
StandICT.eu 2023’s mission is twofold: the first is to fund European ICT experts through a series of (10) Open Calls to participate in international Standardisation Developing Organisations Working Groups covering the wide-range topics identified in the Rolling Plan for ICT Standardisation1 (such as 5G and fixed networks, IoT, Cybersecurity, Data, Cloud Computing, Quantum Technologies, AI, Blockchain, Industry 4.0, ITS/Automating driving, FinTech/Financial Services and eHealth, etc). In parallel, StandICT.eu has launched the “EUOS – Observatory for ICT Standardisation”2, an interactive platform that will monitor the global ICT Standardisation landscape, with the ultimate goal of providing the community of ICT experts with accurate coverage of relevant and timely ICT Standards.
AIOTI, an international not-for-profit association set up in 2016 to contribute to the creation of a dynamic European IoT ecosystem and speed up the take up of IoT, gathers members from key European IoT players, as well as research centres, universities, associations and end-user representatives. The main aim of AIOTI is to foster the deployment and market uptake of the IoT by developing strong, collaborative, cross-sector European ecosystems. AIOTI supports the strategic development of H2020/FP9 large scale IoT pilots, gathering actionable insights on market obstacles for IoT deployment, maps EU and Members States IoT innovation and standardisation activities, provides bridges to international initiatives, and provides expert input to the European Commission and EU member states in connection with all structural and regulatory matters central to the creation and maintenance of a favourable environment for IoT in Europe.
StandICT.eu sees the partnership with AIOTI as fundamental on two levels. Firstly, the ability to gain consolidated expertise on appropriate and pertinent gaps, recommendations & priorities in ICT Standardisation in the key areas of IOT and Edge Computing, to help drive the identification of the Open Call priority topics. Secondly, to contribute to and animate discussion in the EUOS, where AIOTI will deliver valuable input to the dedicated Technical Working Groups (TWGs) on IoT and Data Interoperability, and lead the Edge TWG, all with tailored “Landscape and Gap Analysis” reports foreseen as key tangible outputs of the work performed by its esteemed and domain-renowned experts.
Commenting on the memorandum, CEO Trust-It and StandICT.eu 2023 Project Coordinator Silvana Muscella said:
“AIOTI’s accomplished knowledge and expertise in the IoT and Edge Computing domains will provide valid insights for the priority topics driving our Open Calls. We are also convinced that the contributions its network will bring to our EUOS, can take forward shared democratic values of open and competitive markets and the dialogue between stakeholders that develop the technology ecosystem can be combined with the standard setters and regulators. We thank you Damir Filipovic (Secretary General, AIOTI) for driving forward this cooperation & all AIOTI members for this timely support”
Damir Filipovic, Secretary General, AIOTI:
“Standardisation fuels the growth of the internet of things and enables effective edge computing by providing frameworks that guide the interoperability of data and devices. Our collaboration with StandICT ensures greater progress in this arena, by combining efforts and expertise.”
Ray Walshe, StandICT.eu 2023 EAG Chair & EUOS Director:
“In this age of ‘super-connectivity’ we will soon have 10’s of Billions of online connected devices. AIOTI in collaboration with EUOS can help shape the society of the future by engaging in interoperability standardization for the Internet of Things.”