V4 Smart City conference in Ostrava

Through the Czech government’s invitation, our team took part in the smart city conference organized for the Visegrad Four in Ostrava. The organizers want to implement a new tradition to start the cooperation between the V4 cities in regards of smart city development, as the social and economic structure and the history of these four states are very similar and as such the problems they face are also similar.

In the second week of April, accompanying the vice major Dr Lajos Barcsa, we went to the two days conference organized by the Czech government. The Czech Republic considers the smart city concept particularly important as the cities have crucial influence on the national economy, but they are also a burden on the environment in regards of energy consumption and pollution, and their infrastructure in a sense is vulnerable. The main objective, for the participants of the V4 states cooperation encouraging conference, was to find innovative and integrated solutions for problems in the areas of energetics and transportation.

The first day’s program was a close round-table discussion which was held at Ostrova’s Vlitkovice district, this part of the city was a heavy industrial district mainly metalworking plants were located here. An old iron production complex called Dolní Oblast, an industrial heritage site, was reconstructed as an event center and a tourist attraction.

Ostrava

On this event every governments’ secretary of state, in charge of this subject matter, presented their plans and concepts. In our experience Hungary and Poland had the most comprehensive strategy, who, apart from technology, regard the involvement of the populace with great significance. The Czech Republic focuses on sustainable mobility and modernizing energetics, with the involvement of the private sector, while Slovakia did not develop any programs dedicated to smart city development. The GrowSmart H2020 The Horizon 2020 is a European Union innovation, research and development policy for 2014-2020. Its objective is to improve the global competitiveness of the continent prioritizing the innovating projects of the energetics sector, in smart energy, smart home and smart mobility subjects among others. smart city project’s manager from Stockholm, as a quest speaker, presented their plans which were based on 12 smart solutions.  (http://www.grow-smarter.eu/).

On the second day, the conference continued with a broader audience in the City Hall of Ostrava.

Ostrava Dolni oblast Vitkovice

The representatives from the Litomerice and Vrchlabi of the Czech Republic presented their smart city improvements: in Litomerice they incorporated geothermal heating in their buildings while in Vrchlabi they implemented a micro grid electrical solar panel system with the improvement of the local power company. The smart city projects were typically implemented via using structural EU funding. From Hungary, the city of Miskolc introduced itself with their smart city passenger informing and traffic organizing public transportation improvements, and with implementing district heating through geothermal heat.

David Barta, the Czech smart city magazine’s editor in chief, held a presentation about the spread of IoT devices and the rapid development of technology supporting communicational platforms, like LoraWan and iBeacon.