european forum technology

A system approach to smarter communities


The Metropolitan Association of Upper Silesia and Dąbrowa Basin

41 cities and communes, approx. 2.3 million inhabitants, approx. 240 thousand companies that produce about 8 percent of the Polish GDP. This is the first metropolis in Poland. It was established in the center of the Province of Silesia.

The area of ​​the Metropolitan Association of Upper Silesia and Dąbrowa Basin (commonly referred to as Silesian Metropolis) is over 2.5 thousand km2, where traditional industry and modern technologies are being developed, mostly related to automotive trade, IT, and medicine. This is the potential of diversity and joint activity that is based on integration, coordination and support for the development of key industries. These actions are taken to improve the quality and comfort of residents' lives and increase the investment attractiveness of Metropolitan Association cities and communes. The metropolis was established on the basis of a dedicated act with tasks as followed:
• supporting social and economic development
• integration and coordination of investments related to public transportation
• spatial order
• cooperation in creating national and provincial roads network
• promotion of the metropolitan union and its area.
During the first few months of the Metropolitan Association’s operation, we managed to implement solutions that residents of the Silesian conurbation had been waiting for almost 20 years. This includes common tariff for public transport tickets or fare-free transport for the youngest residents. There are plans of collective-buying of electricity to purchase a total of almost 1TWh of energy in the years 2019-2020.

The session provides a unique meeting spot and an innovative platform for smart city sectors. It will focus on new disruptive technologies to make large urban agglomerations smarter and more comfortable for living and working, and bring together their cities and municipalities to build on collaboration. During the session we will consult municipal officials and smart city experts to find the steps that cities and municipalities must take to unlock their “smart” The technical and social challenges we encounter in this work are the foundation for the session The session will also include presentations and panel discussions featuring renowned European and Polish experts in IoT, 5G connectivity, transportation and smart automotive, energy and utilities, health and public safety, artificial intelligence and data analytics businesses presenting relevant projects and views on why and how the smart city systems are introduced.

Key topic areas for discussion will include:

  • How to build an effective smart city system in a large urban area consisting of many cities and municipalities?
  • How do we balance the opportunity for shared efficiency with the heightened risks of linking things together? 
  • How to maintain an appreciation of the people within the smart systems as complex, unique individuals with disparate values rather than simply as nodes in the network?