Interesting chats recently with people on 2 other EC projects – Smart Cities Stakeholder Platform (http://www.eu-smartcities.eu/) and GreenITNet (http://www.greenitnet.org/).

 We have been talking about our similar projects – all related to sharing ideas/solutions for green/sustainable IT/Smart cities), and the challenges.
For the Green digital toolkit, we face the following challenges in particular:
– In many cities, people are just not used to looking at practices at other cities.  They rarely carry out knowledge exchange activities with cities in their own countries, let alone in other countries in Europe.  Our web solution is based not only on exchanging knowledge and best practice, but to sharing reusable tools – across culture and language barriers.  Even the term ‘tool’ can be interpreted in so many different ways (and when you include translation into native languages…)
– In many cities, the green team and the digital/ICT teams do not talk to each other very often.  Furthermore, the ICT teams are often focused just on ICT services for the city administration itself, rather than on ICT strategy for the entire city.  A big challenge for our project has been identifying WHO will be the primary user of the web solution.
– City administrators are very busy people and any web solutions need to be pitched exactly right to capture their attention.  Even when we have users, they do not have much time to spend inputting data into the site.  However the tools and activities catalogue is only useful if people take the time to share details on it!
Our final solution therefore is to support cities in assessing their green digital status.  Cities can identify what they are doing which constitutes ‘green digital’ by answering the self assessment questions and share details of activities and tools related to these responses. 
A next version of the solution can then offer a ‘tool/activity’ matching service where we put forward suggestions based on their answers.  This realisation has come, finally.
 

Interesting chats recently with people on 2 other EC projects – Smart Cities Stakeholder Platform (http://www.eu-smartcities.eu/) and GreenITNet (http://www.greenitnet.org/).

 We have been talking about our similar projects – all related to sharing ideas/solutions for green/sustainable IT/Smart cities), and the challenges.
For the Green digital toolkit, we face the following challenges in particular:
– In many cities, people are just not used to looking at practices at other cities.  They rarely carry out knowledge exchange activities with cities in their own countries, let alone in other countries in Europe.  Our web solution is based not only on exchanging knowledge and best practice, but to sharing reusable tools – across culture and language barriers.  Even the term ‘tool’ can be interpreted in so many different ways (and when you include translation into native languages…)
– In many cities, the green team and the digital/ICT teams do not talk to each other very often.  Furthermore, the ICT teams are often focused just on ICT services for the city administration itself, rather than on ICT strategy for the entire city.  A big challenge for our project has been identifying WHO will be the primary user of the web solution.
– City administrators are very busy people and any web solutions need to be pitched exactly right to capture their attention.  Even when we have users, they do not have much time to spend inputting data into the site.  However the tools and activities catalogue is only useful if people take the time to share details on it!
Our final solution therefore is to support cities in assessing their green digital status.  Cities can identify what they are doing which constitutes ‘green digital’ by answering the self assessment questions and share details of activities and tools related to these responses. 
A next version of the solution can then offer a ‘tool/activity’ matching service where we put forward suggestions based on their answers.  This realisation has come, finally.