The Smart Cities came to the agenda in the city of Guarda.
Although the Smart Cities theme has been talked about for a long time in this world, it is now just the order of the day as an ambition and/or something that the region is pioneering. In fact, the event that marked the introduction of the theme comes with a decade of delay.
A very simple explanation of Smart City uses information and communication technologies in order to promote economic competitiveness, environmental sustainability and citizens' quality of life.
From the varied literature consulted on the subject, it can be mentioned that a Smart City has as pillars: governance; energy; mobility; buildings; water management; Waste Management; safety; health; culture. This implies the analysis and integration of data and information from various sources as support for, for example, the anticipation of problems, aiming at their quick and effective resolution and minimizing negative impacts on the city.
In fact, technological change and globalization have brought (once again, we are far behind) challenges to cities in combining competitiveness with sustainable urban development. There are cities that soon realized the challenge and are implementing processes according to territorial specificities and creating intelligent urban projects that create an ecosystem attractive to innovation, entrepreneurship, urban development and environmental sustainability. For example, the city of Masdar (Dubai) aims to have zero carbon emissions.
The move to a Smart City is not something extraordinary, it is a necessary and natural step for the development of the county. This is a step that should have been taken a decade ago. Now it seems extraordinary because everything has to be done, everything!
In terms of governance, according to the Municipal Transparency Index, there is still much to do. In fact, since governance is one of the pillars of the Smart Cities, it is necessary to have the political courage to encourage citizen participation in the process of defining public policies and in decision-making on urban life, which is called collective intelligence. But this will only happen when the entity that manages the destinies of the county decides to create transparent information tools and for all the citizens.
Another example, the mobility, is a case to say that neither it ties nor unties ... It is one of the headaches of the county. It is not with this urban transport system that we can walk to an Smart City, nor is there an efficient transport network.
Finally, the most obvious example that is central to the Smart Cities, technology. The municipality is not attractive in technological terms, that is, at the moment there would be a lot of technology that would have to be acquired (transfer of knowledge) outside this county, produced by other counties, for example, Covilhã. It is necessary to have an operational partnership between the entity that manages the destinies of the county and the higher education institution installed. One can not only focus on attracting foreign students, it will be necessary to begin to produce technology that will leverage the county and the region in technological terms. Technology to support the pillars of a Smart City. From here we begin to make a difference and eventually see the young people returning to their city / county of Guarda and others to choose (because it is a valid choice) to study in the city.