The second part of our series on smart cities is central eastern Europe is Warsaw. The vast majority of Polish cities are part of the Smart City 2.0 model – the intelligent use of modern technology to improve the quality of life of residents, including Warsaw.
The capital city of Poland is committed to sustainable development, walking in the direction of creating a smart City of the future, where solutions in energy, transport, and information technology form an integrated whole, which works for all citizens comfort.
Warsaw has embraced open data with the aim of putting this information in the hands of everyone to encourage the development of application and solutions that the city does not have the expertise to create. The project has been a great success with over 70 apps already created and shared with the general public.
The app that has had the biggest impact is “Warsaw Ninja”, users can report any difficulty and inform the state of all travel by public transport.
It also allows communication between users. It distinguishes itself from other software because it allows an emergency alert to be informed of the public service through a single touch in the smartphone.
Warsaw is looking to the future and there have been many discussions in City Hall about what they want the city to look like in 2030. Thus, a set of proposals and activities, such as investment in transport or the implementation of thermo-buildings, come into the context of the strategic document, the “Sustainable Energy Action Plan 2020” (SEAP). Its objectives are to reduce CO₂ emissions and energy consumption by 20 percent, as well as to increase the share of renewables to 20 percent.
The implementation of the intelligent network will define new standards in the development of electric mobility, energy management in buildings, and greater ease of connection of renewables. It is important to note that the security of energy supply to households and industry can also be guaranteed, justification of the introduction of such a system is very multidimensional.
Smart grid management can improve not only the quality of life of the inhabitants and the environment but also offer very substantial savings in the energy budget, as a result of improvements in the energy usage and efficiency.
In September 2014, Warsaw was awarded the International Challenge of Mayors competition organized by the Bloomberg Foundation.
The aim of the project is to make life easier for blind and visually impaired people across the city. Its operation is based on so-called “Beacons” which are placed in public spaces – they communicate with our smartphones, making use of offices, institutions or public transport easier for the blind or visually impaired.
Warsaw seems to have quite a few ideas about how to make their city smarter and it is great that they are looking to the future by planning for 2030 and beyond. By opening up data, improving transport and energy and by engaging with all citizens they give themselves every chance of becoming a model for smart city development.