VIII. Working Group on Local Services and Infrastructure
Franco, Becchis, Scientific Director, Turin School of Local Regulation and Saint John International University, Italy
He has been the Scientific Director of the Foundation for the Environment since its creation, where he coordinates research programmes on the interaction between economics, energy and the environment and on local public services, as well as capacity building and support activities for local public entities. He is the Scientific Director of the initiative "Turin School of Local Regulation” and is the author and editor of the forthcoming handbook "The political economy of local regulation" published by Palgrave Macmillan. He has been a contract Professor in Environmental Economics at the Polytechnic of Torino, University of East Piedmont and Saint John International University. His scientific interests and his publications range from public economics to environmental and regulatory economics.
Daniel Klimovsky, Assistant Professor, Comenius University, Faculty of Social and Economic Sciences, Slovakia
His research and educational activities focus on public administration, as well as political issues linked to sub-national levels. He is the Regional Studies Association Ambassador for Slovakia and a member of both the Management Committee and the Steering Committee of the COST IS 1207: Local Public Sector Reforms in Europe led by Professor S. Kuhlmann and Professor Geert Bouckaert. He is the main coordinator of the POL-LOC initiative, which includes more than 20 universities from 15 European countries. Aside from his academic activities, he cooperated with the Social Watch (2008-2011) and was a member of the Steering Committee of the Open Society Foundation in Slovakia (2012-2014), as well as an independent/external expert of the Council of Europe. Furthermore he has cooperated with central government in Slovakia and with several local governments and their associations.
Main focus and working aims
"Smart city policies” are considered to be one of the most powerful tools to deal with contemporary urban challenges, to lead sustainable growth and to ameliorate citizens’ lifestyle. The implementation of such policies is not so easy and is posing important technological, economic and regulatory challenges to local administrators as well as decision-makers. The main aim of the WG is to analyse how traditional and innovative urban services and infrastructures have been implemented and reorganised, what instruments/tools have been adopted and what intended or unintended results have been obtained.
The smart city, which has become a buzzword in urban development strategy and is highly-ranked across the political agenda worldwide, is considered to be one of the most powerful tools to deal with contemporary challenges at the local level (such as pollution, energy efficiency, transportation, social inclusion and welfare) to attract investments to lead sustainable growth and to ameliorate citizens’ lifestyle.
Governance innovation and urban system efficiency are remarkable goals that trigger the smart city process, whose final aim is indeed to exploit the new technology options to optimise physical flows and related costs, whilst reducing waste and improving the quality of the environment and of citizens’ lives.
Ideas and concepts that go hand in hand with the smart city are certainly appealing; nevertheless the actual realisation of a truly innovative city is difficult and poses important technological, economic and regulatory challenges that nowadays pose difficulties to many local administrators.
The implementation of smart policies, for instance, requires a well-suited reorganisation of local governance and regulation systems, as well as a certain alignment of public and private actors’ incentives, and an important renewal effort by service suppliers, platform managers and not least, by the final users.
The launch of a Working Group on "Local services and Infrastructures in smart cities” is grounded on the awareness of the difficulties that public administrations have to face in order to create or implement smart services and infrastructures and of the need to understand which are the factors driving the development of smart city projects. The collection and the comparison of technological, regulatory and financial policies adopted at the local level are necessary in order to better identify which strategies and which instruments are able to determine the success (or failure) of the smart development and are able to drive a smart urban growth and ameliorate citizens’ quality of life.
Guidelines for contributors
The Working Group on "Local services and infrastructures in the smart city” is soliciting paper proposals for the 26th NISPAcee Annual Conference on the topic of smart local policies, services, infrastructures, governance, finance and regulation.
In particular, papers tackling the following research topics are welcome:
·Architecture of smart services: implementation of traditional services/development of new services from technological, economic and regulatory perspectives.
·Regulatory framework of smart local services: how to create a smart city "between” local and central regulation.
·Smart governance: Governance challenges that smart city’s projects have to face.
·Financing smart projects: innovation, tools, possibilities and challenges.
·Social, economic and political inclusion in smart cities.
·Limits of the smart city concept: geographic, socio-economic and politico-administrative perspective.
Papers can present specific case studies from the NISPAcee region in particular, or provide a comparative analysis with different NISPAcee countries or between NISPAcee countries and other geographical areas.
Contributions from different areas of expertise are highly welcome, and in particular: public administration, economics, public policy, industrial economics, law, sociology.