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Advancing the ECWT Agenda

On Smart Cities, Gender and Diversity

The kicked off its Action Clusters on the 9th of October  in Brussels.

The European Centre for Women and Technology is proud to announce that its own Commitment Smart Cities Gender and Diversity was selected and will start its planning and deployment phase while at the same time cooperating with other selected commitments.

More than 300 people representing public institutions, industry, research centers, academia, and cities’ representatives attended a successful event held in Square Brussels Meeting Centre. The event was cross-sectoral cooperation between DG Connect, DG Transport, and DG ENER which by itself is an example of the smart-breaking sylos approach often listed as one of the basic requirements to achieve intelligent cities and communities.

The European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities (EIP-SCC) brings together cities, industry, and citizens to improve urban life through more sustainable integrated solutions. This includes applied innovation, better planning, a more participatory approach, higher energy efficiency, better transport solutions, intelligent use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), etc.

Within this framework, last June a Call for Commitments was launched to whom 441 proposals were presented: at the launching event last week, the 370 selected ones were gathered in Brussels, representing a great variety of actors, from academia to business, cities, and NGOs. The European Commission is going to offer all approved partnerships a new ‘Market Place’’ for matching offer and demand with online tools for networking, mutual learning, and cooperation as well as a series of featured events and physical meetings. The aim is to facilitate open innovation and synergies, scalability of promising and successful solutions as well as an increased and coordinated demand. Achieving bankable business initiatives as well as excellent research projects to be submitted to Horizon2020 and other EU Funded Programs are two main priorities within this action.

The ECWT Commitment Smart City Gender and Diversity is taking to the next steps the ambitious action research Agenda ECWT initiated in 2012 on these issues, from the Smart Cities Exhibition events in Italy promoted with Ca’ Foscari University and the Wister Network, and the ICT2013 session on Smart Cities Gender and Inclusion, the active participation to the COST Gender STE Working Group on Cities, heading to the ICT2013 session on Smart Cities Gender and Inclusion in Vilnius, and ECWT’s role within the SEiSMiC SEiSMiC FP7th Project on urban social innovation.

The Commitment aims at promoting inclusive, citizens-centered approaches to smart cities’ taking gender mainstreaming seriously into account, fostering a model of inclusive participation to governance processes, and gender-sensitive ICT & Technological Design which, starting from gender, pays attention to multiple subjectivities and diversities. From its core interest in the “Citizens’ Cluster”, ECWT will pursue thematic implementation in Urban Mobility & Build Environments and Digital Entrepreneurship and the goal of impacting on Policy Regulation.
A four years action plan will start consolidating a network of committed stakeholders (cities, industry, NGOs) and researchers in all countries in strict collaboration with ECWT N-PoCs. An EU-level mapping of good and promising practices and design of gender and diversity indicators for smart cities to be collected in a publication is also part of the initially planned activities which will be soon communicated more in detail.