Smart City
„A Rocky Road and the Path ahead“

Wie ländliche Orte zu Smart Cities werden wollen
SCEI online 1

© Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom

With the Smart City Education Initiative (SCEI), the foundation has been offering cross-sectoral educational offers, networking and match-making in the area of ​​climate-sensitive development, for municipal stakeholders in cities. In the future, the experience gained shall now benefit rural communities, too. 

Through BMZ-supported activities, our foundation and its partners in the region support rural areas in developing and implementing essential "smart" solutions and services for citizens. Climate-sensitive "Smart City" concepts need to be adapted in rural areas to help counteract negative development trends - e.g. through more sustainable digital services.

The online workshop “A Rocky Road and the Path ahead” was an important step for our work in southern Serbia. It was produced digitally in Sokobanja.

Representatives from the municipal level took part in our two-day Zoom webinar. The event was chaired by Dragana Tomić Pilipović, founder of “Centar za društveno odgovorno preduzetništvo CDOP”, an ideas factory and the rural hub in Sokobanja. The former head of HR at Erste Group is an experienced facilitator and expert on the scene.

Under her guidance, FNF team members, Djordje Zivanovic and Toni Richard Crisolli, succeeded in identifying various challenges in rural areas with regard to the event topic. According to the participants, rural areas face serious shortcomings in personnel capacities, in essential qualification offers, but also in the regional exchange of experience. These findings largely coincide with existing empirical values

Dušan Damjanović, Head of Palgo smart, a key player from Serbia and a long-term partner of the foundation, presented the results of our first Smart City Mapping study in Serbia. The foundation's regional mapping project is intended to provide a first overview on how willing the regions are to implement smart city concepts, which (intelligent) approaches and capacities already exist, and which experiences have been made so far. Such tools are of crucial importance in the hands of local decision-makers for more networked and sustainable climate-friendly development. The Serbian part of the study will be published at the end of February.

The response to the measure was consistently very positive. The follow-up is planned for the end of February.