Europe is home to a small number of Smart Cities who have leveraged telecommunications technologies to optimize the way they function, reduce waste & tap whatever efficiencies are to be had from innovatively deploying ICTs.
As a result they are able to deliver a better quality of life for their citizens through smarter traffic and transport networks, upgraded water management and waste disposal facilities, more efficient ways to light and heat buildings and even reduce their levels of CO2 emissions.
While this vision is becoming a reality in some European cities, others are unaware of these possibilities or struggle to make them a reality - perhaps due to their geographical or climate characteristics, socio-economic factors or even a lack of initiative at local government level.
With such good examples within its Member States, Europe definitely has leadership potential in this field.
Roberto Viola is Director General at DG CONNECT, European Commission.