CommuniCity Online Info Session

We are excited to announce the upcoming “CommuniCity Online Info Session” dedicated to the third round of Open Calls, which will be held online on March 12, 2024, from 14:30 to 16:00 CET.

CommuniCity, a three-year project funded by the European Commission’s Horizon Europe Framework Programme, aims to address the needs of European cities and communities through innovative approaches. It intends to launch 100 pilots across three rounds of Open Calls, fostering co-creation and co-learning processes by drawing upon recognised European and national innovation programmes, methods, and platforms.

In collaboration with companies, organisations, associations, tech providers, and citizens, CommuniCity is developing solutions to address digital and urban challenges. Its primary objective is to empower marginalised communities in European cities by offering innovative, digitally inclusive, and sustainable Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Extended Reality (XR) solutions.

The Info Event is designed to provide valuable insights by offering a comprehensive overview of the initiative, with a primary focus on guiding participants through the application process. Throughout the session, attendees will have the opportunity to actively engage with representatives from participating cities, who will introduce their specific challenges and address inquiries, thereby fostering a deeper understanding of the project.

We invite you to join us for the first CommuniCity Info Session for the third round of Open Calls. Explore the project and its Open Calls in greater depth to find out if your city could benefit from participating in the next round starting in September.

To attend the session, click on the button below to register:

CommuniCity Project Spotlighted at “Become Better Connected” OASC Conference in Rotterdam

The “Become Better Connected” conference, collaboratively organised by the City of Rotterdam and Open & Agile Smart Cities (OASC) on January 16th-17th, 2024, focused on recalibrating and fortifying the global network for digital transformation in cities. Positioned at the forefront of this transformation, Rotterdam is actively constructing an open urban platform to shape its digital infrastructure, fostering collaboration with SMEs, universities, and OASC members. The conference offered an immersive experience, revealing the convergence of physical and digital realms and exploring innovative approaches to urban living.

On January 16th, Josephine Di Pino, OASC project manager, not only introduced the OASC project but also seized the opportunity to present and announce the Third Round of Open Calls for the CommuniCity project. Consortium partners Adeeb Sidani from Porto Digital and Neeltje Pavicic from the City of Amsterdam shared valuable insights into their experiences, addressing challenges and pilot programs.

The CommuniCity project emerged as a key focal point of discussion and innovation at the “Become Better Connected” OASC Conference in Rotterdam. With its groundbreaking initiatives and forward-looking approach, the project took centre stage, captivating the audience’s attention. The presentation not only provided a glimpse into the future prospects of CommuniCity’s goals but also made a substantial contribution to the dynamic discourse on digital transformation and urban development throughout the conference.

                                      For more information visit the following: https://oascities.org/event/oasc-conference-2024/ 

Text: Sociedade Portuguesa de Inovação
Images: OASC

CommuniCity Takes Center Stage at Smart City Expo World Congress, Unveiling Innovative Solutions for Urban Challenges

On November 8th, the Open & Agile Smart Cities (OASC), a vital partner of the CommuniCity project, took the stage at the Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona to showcase some of its projects, objectives, and core values. Martin Brynskov, an OASC Board of Director and a professor at the Technical University of Denmark, joined his colleagues in emphasising the significance of inclusive technology in fostering positive changes within urban environments and communities.

The presentation also delved into crucial concepts such as Minimal Interoperability Mechanisms (MIMs), the insights that are possible to be gained from the intersection of artificial intelligence and public administration, the integration of Local Digital Twins (LDTs), and the establishment of governance guidelines as key points to push transformative citizen-centred solutions.

During this event, CommuniCity was showcased and stood out as one of the most significant initiatives dedicated to finding solutions for digital and urban challenges. Josephine Di Pino, the Project Coordinator and Project Director at OASC, along with Carla Santos from OASC, Adeeb Sidani and Sara Neves (Porto Digital), Luma Vasconcelos from Sociedade Portuguesa de Inovação – SPI, and other project partners, were in attendance. The session highlighted the role of digital solutions as valuable tools that should actively engage with grassroots input, foster the exchange of insights encompassing both successful and unsuccessful approaches, and prioritise collaborative development.

The gathering also brought together individuals who expressed a keen interest in CommuniCity’s technical framework, a robust collection of assets designed to facilitate the creation and design of innovative solutions. This framework is dedicated to ensuring interoperability between the existing IT infrastructures of cities and the solutions developed by innovators through Open Calls, with the ultimate goal of enabling pilots to overcome specific urban challenges.

CommuniCity attends the “Digital Society, Digital Cities” Conference in Bordeaux, highlighting Europe’s role in Fostering City Innovation

On October 19th, the Conference on Digital Society, Digital Cities took place in Bordeaux, France, and provided a platform for experts and local authorities to discuss how Europe supports cities and communities in innovation and transformation projects. The session, titled “How Europe supports cities and communities in innovation and transformation projects: Presentation of major action programs, by their managers and feedback from local authorities,” brought together key figures in the field to share their insights and experiences.

The event featured presentations by Nicolas Rossignol of the European Spatial Planning Observation Network (ESPON) , Christophe Colinet of Bordeaux Metropole, and Giacomo Lozzi, Senior Project Manager at the European Network of Living Labs (ENoLL). The speakers shed light on the benefits of European networks and initiatives, focusing on the role of Living Labs as open innovation ecosystems.

Nicolas Rossignol and Giacomo Lozzi introduced their respective organizations and highlighted the advantages of local actors participating in their networks. Giacomo Lozzi underscored the pivotal role of Living Labs in fostering collaboration among citizens, research institutions, businesses, and governmental agencies at the local level. He emphasized ENoLL’s extensive global reach, spanning five continents and 35 countries, and discussed the opportunities presented by the “Living-in EU” movement, which supports digital transitions in cities and regions.

Giacomo Lozzi also extended an invitation to attendees to join CommuniCity project, funded by the European Commission, which provides financial support for technological solutions addressing societal challenges in European cities.

In the second discussion round, Federica Bordelot of Eurocities elaborated on the digital contributions of cities to Eurocities and its role as a leading network leveraging EU initiatives such as “Living-in EU” and others. Marion Glatron of Rennes Métropole discussed the role of Europe in Rennes Métropole’s data projects.

The session reached its climax with a collective discussion centered on three core concepts: Europe as a source of rights, Europe as a funding source, and Europe as a collaboration space. A live poll conducted via Menti allowed attendees to express their views and share the challenges they are currently facing. The valuable insights garnered from the five main speakers provided a deeper understanding of the landscape of innovation and collaboration in European cities.

At the European Week of Regions and Cities, CommuniCity sheds light on citizen-centred tech pilots in EU Cities

On October 10th 2023, during the European Week of Regions and Cities, an inspiring discussion took place on how citizen-centered tech pilots can address the specific needs of EU cities and communities. The session, organised by the EU-funded CommuniCity project, was held at the SQUARE Brussels Meeting Centre.

With an emphasis on enhancing the quality of life in marginalised communities through technology and innovation, the session showcased how urban challenges could be met with citizen-centric tech solutions. The panel featured Joana Moreira from Porto Digital, Neeltje Pavicic from the City of Amsterdam, and Josephine Di Pino from Open Agile Smart Cities. Giacomo Lozzi from the European Network of Living Labs moderated the informative session.

The CommuniCity project offers 100 pilot grants through its Open Calls, allowing companies and associations to co-create groundbreaking solutions. These solutions harness AI and other emerging technologies to address various city and community challenges. The experience of the 1st round, which focused on the needs identified in Amsterdam, Helsinki, and Porto, set the stage for expanding the project to more EU cities in subsequent rounds. The session also offered the opportunity to launch the Second CommuniCity Open Call for 2023-2024. With the application window running from 12th September to 31st October 2023, this represents a renewed opportunity for innovators across Europe.

The experience of the participating experts enriched the discussion. Joana Moreira and Neeltje Pavicic shed light on why Porto and Amsterdam joined the project and the challenges these cities faced during the 1st round of pilots. They also gave some insights into the selected pilots, and the progress and lessons learned from these initiatives. For instance, Amsterdam tackled issues like empowering low-literate citizens through AI and creating real-time audio translations for asylum seekers. Porto, on its side, is testing digital technologies to decrease loneliness and increase the autonomy of the elderly people in its communities.

On the other hand, Josephine Di Pino outlined the overarching goals of the CommuniCity project and discussed the significant role replicator cities like Aarhus, Breda, Prague, and Tallinn will play. She also discussed the 2nd round of CommuniCity Open Calls and briefly touched on the expectations for the 3rd round, which will open its doors to all EU cities.

Finally, the session also introduced CommuniCity’s technical framework, a robust set of assets that aids the design and development of these innovative solutions. This framework ensures interoperability between existing city IT infrastructures and developers’ solutions, aiming for replicability across different cities involved in the project.

CommuniCity Info Event

The CommuniCity Info Event, held on October 4, 2023, from 14:30 to 16:00 CET, was a resounding success. 

The online event aimed to provide valuable insights by sharing a comprehensive overview of the ongoing Second Round of Open Calls, with a primary focus on guiding participants through the application process.

Throughout the session, attendees had the unique opportunity to actively engage with representatives from participating cities, who introduced their specific challenges and responded to inquiries, fostering a deeper understanding of the project.

Furthermore, the event showcased the project’s Technical Framework, a critical element supporting the development of innovative solutions within CommuniCity.

This informative gathering not only served as a platform to explore new opportunities and initiatives within CommuniCity but also offered significant support to those seeking to draw upon prior learnings when considering their participation in the current Call.

As the event drew to a close, participants had their questions addressed, ensuring that they left the session inspired and well-prepared to join the initiative.

 

Agenda

CommuniCity present at the Living-in.EU Open Supporters Meeting

The Living-in.EU Open Supporters Meeting held online on June 6th aimed to provide stakeholders with an understanding of the needs and requirements of signatories and how they can contribute to the development of the CitiVerse – a collaborative platform for a city-simulated metaverse.

The meeting shared ongoing calls, news, and the significance of the standardisation (especially for MIMs and the CitiVerse development path), through different approaches, including perspectives from companies and exploring the roadmap to achieving digital solutions able to tackle a growing range of interconnected challenges.

The fruitful event presented cases that are already unfolding the foundations of a CitiVerse based on the Living-in.EU movement, supporting simultaneously the economic and social benefits of digital transformation in cities.

Text: Sociedade Portuguesa de Inovação
Image: Living-in.EU

CommuniCity at the OASC Annual Summit General Assembly (June 2023)

On June 14th the OASC Annual Summit & General Assembly 2023 counted on the presence of partners of the CommuniCity project.

Josephine Di Pino, Project Manager of CommuniCity; Margarida Campolargo, Community and Project Coordinator at OASC; and Kristina Khutsishvili, Researcher at the University of Amsterdam and CommuniCity Work Package Leader, presented the project at the event, which focused on engaging panel discussions and workshops about the Minimal Interoperability Mechanisms (MIMs).

The session in which the representatives were present covered a wide range of interconnected subjects, providing takeaways on the intersection of AI and public administration, Local Digital Twins (LDTs) integration and the establishment of governance guidelines, the need for standards and interoperability to facilitate data sharing, the value of cooperation and learning through experimentation, as well as the importance of embracing the diversity of cities and communities in digital transformation to promote inclusive solutions.

During the session, Kristina Khutsishvili (University of Amsterdam) pointed out that projects on digital solutions need to get bottom-up input, share best and worst practices, and focus on co-creation – such as the CommuniCity project.

Text: Sociedade Portuguesa de Inovação
Images: OASC

CommuniCity Porto Training Workshop – June 2023

The CommuniCity Porto Training Workshop started on June 27th at the Porto Innovation Hub. The first meeting, an internal day for the partners, discussed the process and results of the First Open Call, followed by a workshop led by Forum Virium Helsinki about setting out Open Calls and pilots, and finishing the day with scheduling and information about the Second Round of Calls.

Filipe Araújo (Porto’s Vice Mayor) and Pedro Baganha (Porto’s Deputy Mayor for Urban Planning)

On June 28th, the meeting started the day with the presence of Porto’s Vice Mayor, Filipe Araújo and Porto’s Deputy Mayor for Urban Planning, Pedro Baganha, reinforcing the importance of the project to the city and for the social and urban integration of Campanhã region. The meeting continued with the project coordinator, Josephine DiPino, introducing the project, its goals, and plans for the Second and Third Calls. Forum Virium Helsinki was next on the schedule, providing detailed information about the Second Round scheduling and the Agile Piloting Process designed to support the pilots.

CommuniCity Partners

To finish the morning of the second day, the cities of Helsinki, Amsterdam, and Porto shared the lessons learned from the First Round, and the co-creation practicalities applied, such as the planning of the training workshop with the host city, Porto. In the afternoon, the technical tools for the pilots were introduced, followed by the presentation of the challenges for the Second Round for the cities of Amsterdam, Helsinki, and Porto, and the status and challenges of the new cities joining the project in September.

Field Trip to Corujeira area of Porto

The third day of the Porto Training started with a fieldtrip to Campanhã neighborhood in Porto, where the pilots of the three rounds will take place, and to meet the eight public housing buildings in the Corujeira area. The partners met in the afternoon for a workshop with ENoLL about virtual learning labs and collaborated in an interactive co-creation activity with suggestions for the proposed structure of the labs based on future internal and external activities planned for the project and the Living Labs.

Thank you to all partners present in the beautiful city of Porto for the shared experiences and plans for the future of the project.

CommuniCity present at the Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona

Last November, CommuniCity project was presented at the Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona through our partners European Network of Living Labs (ENoLL) and Open & Agile Smart Cities (OASC) at the European Smart Cities and Communities stand of the Smart Cities Marketplace.

Both partners participated in panels such as “Future City Planning Laboratories”, “The Role of Living Labs in Embracing Net Zero Pollution”,  “Are we Ready to Let AI Manage Cities?”, and “Governance and Digitalisation”.

CommuniCity was presented together with Living in EU, the movement in which our project is part of, in a digital transformation journey that started a few years ago.