Helping Europe “build back better”: Laying the foundations for the Digital Cities of tomorrow

14 June 2021

Amit Midha | President, Asia Pacific & Japan and Global Digital Cities at Dell Technologies

When looking to shape the cities of tomorrow, two key trends are important: urbanization and digitization.

As Europe looks to “build back better”, it’s at the intersection of these two phenomena that opportunities lie. Smart Digital Cities can and will help the region bounce back, provided that the public and private sector work together to put the right infrastructure in place.

The unprecedented government stimulus funds, including through the EU’s recovery & resilience facility, coupled with the EU’s strategic aim to accelerate the deployment of new technologies such as 5G, AI, cloud, and edge computing, must be leveraged to create the green and digital cities of tomorrow. The time for collaboration is now, as we seek to deliver a data-driven recovery that reimagines infrastructure across the most important facets of public life and services.

In addition to the $20 trillion[1] Smart Cities are expected to generate globally by 2026, their impact in terms of transforming and revolutionising urban areas has the potential to be nothing short of seismic.

Encouragingly, these prospects are increasingly recognized, with the public sector moving towards new models of value-creation based around innovative technologies. Data sharing, for example, will help the 85% of European cities that are yet to reap the benefits of open data, while Edge computing will play a key role in streamlining the delivery of public services.

When it comes to putting these technologies into practice, at Dell Technologies we believe that openness, collaboration and a people-first approach are key. These values form the foundations of our vision for a Digital City Platform to help cities make the most of Smart technologies and the power of data to drive recovery, based on open standards and built on integrating solutions from a robust ecosystem of trustworthy partners and open-source frameworks.

Transparent, interoperable, secure and open data spaces are needed to help boost access to and reuse of data. This is why we fully support recent EU initiatives and the development of European digital values in this area. These include promoting the reuse of public sector data through the EU’s upcoming Data Governance Act and ensuring access to high-value datasets. Such an approach will not only directly benefit cities in their data handling and analysis, but can also play a huge role in informing pan-regional data spaces such as the data space for climate neutral and smart communities, directly contributing towards achieving Europe’s crucial green transition and data sovereignty ambitions.

When it comes to sustainability, cities certainly have a huge part to play in achieving the EU’s aim to cut carbon emissions to 55% of 1990 levels within a decade – they consume over two-thirds of world’s energy and emit similar levels of greenhouse gases[2]. However, Smart technologies can help manage the rising demand for energy and mobility services, while their widespread uptake has the potential to reduce carbon emissions by up to 30% according to BCG[3].

To keep up with the astonishing pace of urbanization, it’s important that both the public and private sector continue their efforts to build on the digitization momentum of the past year.

With the EU expected to approve national recovery plans in the coming weeks, it’s crucial that funding goes into building a modern and future ready “urban digital core “for the cities of the future”. For us, Digital Cities are more than just a concept – they’re a movement for the betterment of our societies, communities, and businesses.





View the Future City Conference website and register here: