Europe & Central Asia » Slovenia

170205 The Smart Challenge, Maribor’s Dilemma
  Pedro B. Ortiz Maribor urban metropolitan strategy plan Slovenia structural development
  Urban Challenge: The world is immersed in a radical evolution. People are moving worldwide to cities at a rate of 300.000 every day. Slovenia is in a 50% urban population ratio. It will grow to 80%. 30% of the rural population is going to move to cities, that is 60.000 new urban citizens. Not only cities will grow in population. They will grow in extent as wealth, reduction of family size and peripheral density produce major urban expansion. The main cities of Slovenia, Maribor among them, will have to prepare for that. Technology is part of that response.

Inefficiency: Lack of response would produce traffic delays and transport costs that can amount, as in other cities in the world, up to 25% of the metropolitan GDP (IE: Mumbai). Cities cannot lag in efficiency. Globalization requires full avail of resources. The cities that don’t, will not be able to compete and thrive.

Inequity: Technology benefits productivity. Output is improved. Labor is substituted by capital and automation. But technology benefits those who can afford it. Not all can. Those who can will increase their benefits and distance from those unable to do so. The risk of a social cleavage, a gap between the ‘haves’ and ‘havenots’, is a real danger. Labor substitution can multiply production if alternative activities will reutilize redundant manpower. If not unemployment and social rupture can derive.

City Policies: Public policies must be very much aware of this, work out policies that will reduce the distance and promote mergence of an inclusive society. This is why smart cities technological revolution must be lead by public objectives: to use the benefits of smart cities to reach all, and to allow all to benefit from them. The necessary private efficiency must be coupled with public equity. This is why the city government must lead the process of smart cities. European Union cities policies are a good example of this.

Smart city integration: That is why the cart should not go before the horse. Smart technologies are a mean, not an end ‘per se’. The smart cities concept must be integrated with a City Strategy where growth is targeted within development objectives. Smart cities contribute to that. Then, the social objective will not be under the rule of efficient technical algorithms. Smart strategy coupled with smart technology: the formula for a Smart City.

Pedro B, Ortiz, Maribor 170206
News Pedro B. Ortiz talking in Maribor
  Pedro B. Ortiz Maribor urban metropolitan strategy plan Slovenia structural development
  Maribor 'Vecēr' newspaper.
Competing in media impact with the European Union Transport Commissioner, Violeta Bulc, and her 24 Billion Euros budget.
Opportunity for Maribor
  Pedro B. Ortiz Maribor urban metropolitan strategy plan Slovenia structural development
  Opportunity for Maribor: smart metropolis. Which are the global trends in the field of Smart Cities? Last week's lecture at BODA University in Maribor by Pedro B. Ortiz, a visionary, a renowned expert on urban and metropolitan issues, Advisor to the European Union, the United Nations, the World Bank as to other multilaterals. Former Deputy Mayor of Madrid.