David Smith was invited to speak at the BlueSCities final conference in Brussels on the 14th of December 2016. BlueSCities is a H2020 project that developed the methodology for a coordinated approach to the integration of the water and waste sectors within the ‘Smart Cities and Communities’ EIP. It identified the synergies in accordance with the Smart City context and complemented other priority areas such as energy, transport and ICT.
The project reviewed the current situation in 50 European cities employing its unique methods of analysis, produced detailed case studies of four specifically chosen municipalities/cities, and demonstrated a self-assessment baseline assessment tool for water and waste in cities, which will enhance the implementation of European Smart City activities, to be published in the Blue City Atlas and Amber Scorecard of the indicators.
David Smith lead a focus group on the future of the BlueSCities tools and how the business and economic aspects of water in cities should be included within these indicators.
The result of this focus group is summarised below:
The future of BlueSCities will need to include more rigorously the business sector (as a sector which is currently missing from the current tools). Competencies need to be developed and business needs should to be incorporated in order for a business to see the potential for increased market share. In this sense and through implementing these aspects, the business sector can be a strong driver to ensure sustainability in the water, energy, ICT and transport sectors in cities.
Indicators should also include business and economic aspects. The participants of the BlueSCities conferences concluded that the following indicators should be considered:
- Costs should be related not only to saving but to prevention – additionally there is a cost of inaction that needs to be included in the indicators.
- The 3Ts (Tariffs, Taxes and Transfer) should be included in an indicator that will help compare various cities to one another from an economic point of view
- Financial tools and indicators should be developed through working together with financial institutions
- Finally linkages should be quantified between the indicators including the economic and financial.