Francesc Giralt: “Cities are made to serve people”

Francesc Giralt, Director of Society Affairs, City Protocol, believes that smart cities are cities that do smart things. Interviewed at the Smart City InFocus in Yinchuan, China, he explained that means cities that set themselves the objective of being liveable:

“That means densely populated, geographically cohesive urban areas, that are sustainable, that are socially, economically, and environmentally healthy, that balance the structure of the city with the services it provides, and that have a very efficient metabolism.”

He believes one of the keys to success is breaking silos,

“What infrastructures do you have in the city? Communication infrastructure, the water infrastructure, the energy infrastructure, the matter infrastructure, and the nature infrastructure, and so on. Cities used to deal with all these infrastructures separately… you have to break these inner silos and integrate all of them.”

And on technology in smart cities, he says,

“Technology is an enabler. Every time in history has its own technology, and now we have digital technologies. So our technologies are a useful enabler, but ultimately we are talking about people, how to provide better services to everybody, of universal quality, in a city. So, technology is necessary but not sufficient.”



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    Jo has more than 20 years of online editorial and digital development experience in the New York publishing industry, including stints at News Corp, CondeNast Publications, and the Girl Scouts of the USA. She aspires to bring clarity and consistency, as well as a spirit of collaboration, to all her work.

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