By 2050, the global urban population will increase by 75% to 6.3 billion (i.e. two thirds of the world population). The challenge of developing and maintaining attractive, inclusive and safe urban environments needs to be met on multiple fronts. Stakeholders are local governments, city service providers, industry, and the citizens.
Mobility as a service integrates public, private, peer-to-peer, conventional, clean, or autonomous transportation means. It will benefit from the increasing will of citizens to participate in the sharing economy. Besides their traditional role, cities are increasingly organising and exposing data, especially in real time. City data along with analytics and machine learning improves engagement and inclusiveness of the citizens and of the visitors. Augmented and virtual reality of the city are another facet of exposing or simulating city data from the past, present or future.
A key factor for the attractiveness of a city is the safety of its citizens and visitors: safety of the city and its general resilience to unplannable natural events (e.g. heavy weather) or man-made events (e.g. terrorist attacks).
Education and skill needs
Education and skill needs in the area of Digital Cities are included in several of EIT Digital School programmes. Education on key topics as Cybersecurity or usage of Data are very demanded and they are covered by different Master School programmes. Some courses are blended, providing flexible online education on areas like the Internet of things. The EIT Digital PhD industrial theses on Digital Cities provide industrial solutions on topics as Big data analysis in smart cities. Also, the Summer School includes programmes on this line, like the ones developed on Participative Cities.
In line with the innovation needs, the Digital Cities area will focus on: (i) urban mobility, including autonomous transportation; (ii) citizen information, inclusiveness and engagement; (iii) city safety and resilience with respect to environmental, economic, and demographic developments.
EIT Digital will develop breakthrough solutions with sustainable business models to cope with the challenges that city governments, citizens and businesses are facing in their roles as stakeholders of the urban environment. The high-level objective is for the governments to manage the cities more efficiently, make sure they are resilient, and include citizens in the life of the city.