Video: How smart are our cities?

“Of course Amsterdam is one of the smartest cities worldwide. They have to be creative: they’re below sea-level.” This was not the only revealing insight shared by creative designer Daan Roosegaarde during the SAS Sofa Session on smart cities at the and& festival.

Daan’s comments and experience were complemented and challenged by John Baekelmans, managing director of imec in The Netherlands, and Mieke De Ketelaere, Customer Intelligence Director at SAS Western Europe. Together they provided the captive audience with a good idea of our cities’ average IQ, of the best students in the smart city classroom, and of what it takes to become a smart city.

Their shared experiences led to a shared insight: European - and even more so Belgian - governments and organizations often lack the optimism and ‘can do’ mentality to make smart cities happen in the near future. But Europeans do have that talent to think outside of the box, which is a definite advantage when it comes to designing smart cites.

“Building smart cities requires creativity and imagination, and both increase as the amount of relevant data grows.” - Mieke De Ketelaere, SAS.

“The number of smart cities in Africa will grow way faster than in Europe, as they are far less constrained by their urban legacy.” - John Baekelmans, imec.

Check out the highlights of this panel discussion in the summary video: