Timisoara is one of Romania's cities with a booming IT sector

The Smart City Strategy of Timisoara is going into its next phase – public consultation

The Smart City Strategy of Timisoara is going into its next phase – public consultation

Some of the key problems that the consultations have highlighted include a mismatch between the digital and paper public services offer

Last week, authorities in Timisoara, Romania, announced that the local Smart City Strategy for 2022 to 2027 has entered its next phase – public consultation. The strategy was developed by the municipality with the help of local IT companies, universities and civic organizations. According to a statement by the city, it aims to bring Timisoara into the digital age.

The Smart City Strategy envisions hundreds of projects and initiatives, as well as a bid to redesign the city's fledgling digital administration. The current phase of public consultation, on the other hand, wants to amend the most dysfunctional aspects of the initiative.

City officials have said that the most pressing issues for the digital administration plan to resolve are the daily stress and unnecessary waste of time and resources, as well as “the existence of two parallel worlds in the public administration” – digital and paper.

Timisoara’s digital future

In terms of access to the internet, a pre-requisite for strong digital public services, Timisoara ranks above the EU average. According to data by the city, Timisoara has 92.4% connectivity, compared to the 92% EU average and the 89% average in Romania, as reported by Eurostat in 2021.

Furthermore, the city is a strong regional hub for the IT sector, with many multinational companies operating offices there, including Google, Microsoft and IBM, making a certain portion of the population perfectly suited for digital government services.

Local authorities have divided the Smart City Strategy into seven major areas, which include decision-making transparency and participatory governance, quality public services, innovation and the economic environment, attracting and retaining skilled labour, environment and sanitation, culture and recreation, mobility and public transportation.

These areas have a total of 165 planned projects, with 27 already underway. The city has flagged several cornerstone initiatives including a portal that will ensure that private citizens and companies can have a line of communication with the local government, a city information app for residents and visitors, an event info portal for citizens and organisers, and a digital model of the city.

Moreover, authorities plan to complete the strategy by attracting non-reimbursable funds, mainly from the Romanian National Recovery Strategy and other long-term programmes of the European Union.



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