Dr Martin Brynskov, Chair of the global Open & Agile smart cities initiative (OASC) which includes 140 cities in 29 countries, will be the opening speaker at the upcoming Smart City Mindtrek 2020 to be held from the 28th to the 30th of January in Tampere, Finland.
Dr Martin Brynskov, one of the leading minds behind the smart cities movement, is known for his practical and comprehensive approach to smart cities and communities. His experience working with governments and the private sector has helped him successfully implement projects around the world.
As Dr Brynskov explains, “Politics is a tool and it can be difficult to understand. Some of the issues we’re dealing with in building smart cities and communities however, such as privacy and security, are political issues. A secure city is the only viable smart city. Where do we draw the line between security and personal autonomy, for example?”
Re-engineering the way we live
Dr Brynskov emphasises that at its core, smart cities are about people. “It’s about how we put all these different value networks and components together – technology and infrastructure, public services, innovation and security – to create something that strengthens rather than weakens the social fabric. It’s about building a future that harnesses all these, without displacing the person at its centre. It’s re-engineering the way we live. Nordic countries provide a good base environment for that.”
Finding the balance between profitability and social responsibility is important as well, Dr Brynskov says. “There is a financial component to technical innovations. We want to be able to turn them into scalable yet sustainable business models that the private sector can benefit from. I think it’s important to focus on the sustainable part of that goal, because focusing just on short-term gains might not necessarily be the wisest move, as we are seeing now.”
Like pieces of a puzzle
Timing, Dr Brynskov points out, is very important. “How do you make sure that all the pieces of the puzzle fall into place at the right time? How do you make the technology and organisations and services available at precisely the right stage of a city’s journey towards becoming a smart city?”
In the end, Dr Brynskov says that the success of smart cities and communities can be measures by how well they serve the needs of the people who live there and whether or not they empower citizens to live more fully. As Dr Brynskov notes in an interview at the recently concluded Nordic Edge Expo:
Nobody should care about smart cities. What we should care about is cities, because a good city is a smart city.
Listen to Dr Brynskov and other world-renowned experts discuss the latest innovations and how cities around the world are transforming into smart cities at the upcoming Smart City Mindtrek 2020. The conference is part of Tampere Smart City Week.
Coordinator, Tampere Smart City Week
tel. +358 40 076 5552
Dr Martin Brynskov is chair of the Open & Agile Smart Cities Network. He is associate professor, PhD, at Aarhus University, Denmark, where he is also director of the Centre for Digital Transformation in Cities and Communities (DITCOM). Dr Brynskov is coordinator of the European IoT Large-Scale Pilot on Smart Cities and Communities called “SynchroniCity”, and the European Coordination and Support Action, Next Generation Internet of Things (NGIoT).