EU Tech Smart Cities Alliance held a successful Digital Talk on the topic “Prioritizing Citizen Issues and Engagement in Urban Technology Adoption.”
Moderated by Nedzad Piric, MBA, Ph.D candidate, Director of the Smart Cities Alliance (EUTECH) the webinar unleashed how difficult it is to know what citizens need and how can they articulate it as efficiently gathering data on city issues and problems consumes government time and money. However, while employing innovations is difficult, community involvement can be key to efficiency.
Keynote speaker Sofia Cartó stated, “prioritizing the citizens’ perspective, their issues, what they need and of course engaging with the citizens during before and during the implementation of a given urban technology solution is super important. By prioritizing the citizens’ issues and engaging them – the first thing that you’ll get is the expert’s view. No one is more an expert on what are the issues to be solved in a given city than the people that live in it.”
Panelist Sandra Baer emphasized that citizens and their problems should be prioritized when investing in technology. “Before a city or sort of the ecosystem of city players invests in technology the first step is to really understand what has been expressed by citizens and residents of a community so that the whole panoply of people would benefit from technology. So, the question is what problems they (citizens) have,” she said.
While panelist Kishor Narix revealed the loophole within the existing system, “city administrations are always expected to engage with the citizens but mostly it is done at a pretty superficial level the interesting aspect behind this is that the city administrators think since they themselves are also citizens their understanding about the city, its challenges and needs are equally good and even if they do engage they do it in a very limited manner by engaging with a few citizen groups or a very small selective sample sizes. I think what we need is more broad basing, the engagement with all different classifications and classes of the citizens all categories. And, then come up with a holistic understanding.”
Lastly, panelist Jargalsaikhan Dugar highlighted the role of technology in prioritizing citizen issues and engagement. “Technology is a powerful tool in solving issues and problems. It is a product of thinking and by thinking, we produce the solutions that we needed to solve our problems.”
Answering several questions, the webinar unbridled how new technology adoption in urban centres has never been as intense as in the last few years, and how it could potentially serve as transformative technologies impacting the lives of citizens.
EU Tech Chamber extends the deepest appreciation to our speakers for their knowledgeable insights. Also, thanks to all attendees who follow us on our mission of #technologyobliges.
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