Is urban management able to keep up with a fluid context of incessant digitization and increasingly interconnected urban challenges? For Martin Brynskov, «the way in which cities are organized as organizations is 200 years old: different silos do different things – roads, education, health – while, with digital transformation, the data cuts across». We are, therefore, at a turning point that requires a reorganization of cities to ensure that the decisions made about their management make them work «as a whole.»
This is what promotes the global network of cities chaired by Martin Brynskov, Open & Agile Smart Cities. To our question about what an open and agile smart city is in essence, his answer is clear: «It’s just a city that is trying to do its best with digital technologies.» And that implies using them to find a balance between two priorities: the commitment to openness and transparency towards its citizens and partners and the need to stimulate innovation in an agile and flexible environment. Helsinki, the capital of Finland, or Saint-Quentin, a city of just 56,000 inhabitants in northern France, are heterogeneous examples of cities that, according to Martin Brynskov, are leading the way.
However, «digital technologies don’t care [about differences between cities]: they treat all cities the same,» Brynskov tells us. Therefore, further research will be necessary to improve these technologies and make them relevant for all cities – in their diversity. But, above all, without losing sight of their purpose, which is none other than to continue making urban areas vectors of prosperity and well-being for people. In that process, «one of our biggest challenges is actually not destroying much of what has already been working in cities for 1000 years, 2000 years or maybe even longer,» he concludes.
Interview, text and edition by Sergio García i Rodríguez,
Communications Manager – anteverti & CitiesToBe Co-Director
Video by Eloy Calvo.⚙️ To Martin @Brynskov, Chair of @oascities, «#Cities are diverse, but #DigitalTechnologies treat them all in the same way.» How does this impact on #UrbanManagement and what can be expected? | via #CitiesToBe & @anteverti Click to tweet