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The conference will debate the role of smart cities in driving the EU's economic revival by drawing on US and Italian experience. The panellists and the audience will specifically assess the challenges that lie ahead in supporting smart cities and how civil society can be mobilised to deliver concrete projects in Europe. Furthermore, the event will introduce a debate among private and public decision makers about how to make the approach to Smart Cities more systemic and concrete, through large-scale public private partnership projects.


On 30 March 2016, the EESC's TEN Section project delegation conducted a study visit in Genoa to discover some of the very inspiring smart city initiatives that have been implemented there. The Municipality of Genoa is investing in its ‘vision’ of a city able to recognise and manage its own unique complexities, through the implementation of an intelligent, integrated and sustainable urban system, which identifies and enhances its own cultural, economic, productive and environmental characteristics, thus helping to develop a compatible and attractive natural urban fabric. Genoa has an ‘experimental’ vocation and sees itself as a laboratory in which to develop an innovative and technological approach designed to meet the city’s real needs, including in partnership with other Smart Cities.

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On 10th and 11th September 2015, a delegation of Members TEN Section is on mission in the île d'Yeu (FR), with the objective to evaluate the island's conversion to renewables, soft mobility and optical fiber.


Within the framework of its own-initiative opinion Proposal for mapping macro-regional strategies across Europe, the Section for Economic and Monetary Union and Economic and Social Cohesion of the European Economic and Social Committee is organising a public hearing on 26 November 2014 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The opinion aims to give an overview on the European macro-regional strategies, analysing the differences and commonalities between their approaches across the various regions. Its purpose is to present a proposal on how to adjust such strategies to achieve uniform European development practice.


On 4th May 2016, a delegation of EESC Members of the "Transport, energy, infrastructures and information society" section is on mission to the island of Samsø (Denmark), with the objective to evaluate the islands' smart projects developed in the area of energy autonomy.


Islands within the European Union face specific realities, which are often completely different to mainland Europe. Having specific barriers in terms of grid connectivity, transportation and internet connectivity, islands face realities that need to be evaluated distinctively. This public hearing will delve into the concept of Smart Islands with a focus on the Digital Agenda for Europe Flagship Initiative objectives, as well as on energy, urban mobility and transportation goals.


On 20 May 2016, the EESC's TEN Section project delegation carried out a study visit in Lisbon to gain first-hand knowledge of some of the extremely interesting smart city projects that have been set up in the city.

The Lisbon region boasts a high concentration of companies involved in high-level technology and research, with approximately 333 000 companies headquartered in the region.

The delegation had the opportunity for a study visit to learn more about the Sharing Cities lighthouse project.

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The "Smart Cities" project is a follow-up to the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) own-initiative opinion on smart cities as a driver of a new European industrial policy, adopted in July 2015.