Romania could become an example of a “smart” country through access to technological resources

Romania has a huge potential to become an example of a “smart” nation in Eastern Europe, with smart cities and municipalities, if it will have access to important resources for a technological advance, according to the Romanian Smart City Association (ARSC).

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Romania could become an example of a “smart” country through technology Photo: Shutterstock

“Romania has all the resources to become the most representative example of the smart city concept in Eastern Europe. The forecasts for 2024 in the field of smart cities in Romania show us that we are in a period of growth and innovation, with focus on sustainable development and digitalization of public services Romania is going through the best period from the point of view of urban development – the mix offered by funding sources, access to technology and local expertise, together with civic pressure, constitutes the recipe for the acceleration of creative-intelligent projects. And in the context of an election year, these developments can be even more pronounced, because technological and ecological initiatives become central points in political agendas. Romania is consolidating its position on the regional smart city map, with a multidimensional approach, focused on innovation, sustainability and collaboration“, said Eduard Dumitraşcu, the president of ARSC, in a press release of the organization, delivered on Monday.

Against the background of the current dynamics of urban development and technology, the Association proposes a series of main directions through which Romania can significantly advance in the field of “smart city“.

Thus, a first theme aims to accelerate investments in technology, which can bring significant transformations in the management of cities. In the view of experts, this includes technologies such as: IoT (Internet of Things), AI (Artificial Intelligence), Big Data and 5G. Also, investments should focus on modernizing existing infrastructure and implementing new solutions that make cities more connected, more efficient and more responsive to citizens’ needs.

A second direction of development refers to the conclusion of strategic partnerships between the public and private sectors. “By collaborating with technology companies, universities and research organizations, local governments can access the expertise, technologies and funding needed for ambitious projects. These partnerships can take the form of pilot projects that, if successful, can be scaled to a national or regional level“, ARSC notes.

According to the cited source, there is also a need for the integration of innovative solutions in the urban infrastructure for the transformation of cities into intelligent communities. This involves: traffic management (implementing smart traffic lights and real-time traffic monitoring to reduce congestion and improve air quality), smart public lighting (switching to connected LED lighting that can be adjusted according to environmental conditions and specific needs, saving energy and reducing costs); data collection and analysis (using sensors and data analysis platforms to monitor and manage various aspects of urban life, from water and energy consumption to air quality and waste management).

At the same time, the quality of life of Romanians will depend on digitization, and technological solutions that facilitate access to health, education, transport and public administration services should become more accessible and efficient.

In this election year, I expect the political parties to integrate into their programs concrete measures to accelerate digitization and to address specific challenges such as digital inequalities and cyber security. We are likely to see commitments from candidates for innovative projects that promote digital transformation and sustainability. It is crucial that these promises are followed by concrete actions, with a focus on collaboration between the government, the private sector, communities and non-governmental organizations to ensure the effective implementation of smart city initiatives. All projects should be correlated with the agenda of funding sources – this year hundreds of calls for funding will be launched that can be accessed by our town halls and county councils. In this sense, ARSC will launch in the next period the Smart Voter’s Guide – a manual about what is important for us, for our communities and, above all, what to pay attention to when electing our mayors“, emphasized Dumitraşcu.

In addition, Romania can become a landmark in the region regarding the concept of “smart village“, which is gaining more and more ground at the local level.

ARSC launched the Green Exchange project, through which companies can calculate their impact on the environment and, implicitly, compensate for the effects of the CO2 footprint by purchasing carbon credits. With their help, companies can invest in green projects, such as reforestation projects, biodiversity conservation or building carbon capture and storage (CCS) facilities, for a cleaner environment.

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