At the European Cities Conference on 18th and 19th June the City of Vienna discussed with its partners of the Eurocomm-PR network, experts, representatives of civil society and economy how the European city administrations will look like in the year 2030.
High on the agenda were questions about the use of artificial intelligence in urban services, the possibilities of e-government for the services of city administrations, open data and how digitalisation can be used for the society and its citizens.
On the first conference day artificial intelligence as a factor for city administrations as well as the role of people in the conflict of technical innovations, social criteria and democratic processes were examined. In his opening speech municipal council Jörg Neumayer emphasised the importance of values in the discussion of artificial intelligence and digitalisation. There was a broad consensus that the humans or the society need to have the final control of the development of AI. There also need to be rules for data collection. It should serve to enable useful digital services for the citizens. In this respect especially Europe could take on a pioneering role because of its General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), compared to China and the USA for example.
The second part on June 19th 2019 was dedicated to e-government with an intensive exchange of best practises and tools between experts of European city administrations. The involvement of city dwellers and the benefit for the population were seen as a deciding factor for the success of digital services. As well as an intensive cooperation between cities in order to share already tested systems and experiences.
Most recent economic forecasts confirm that the economic growth in Western Europe subsides while it is growing in Eastern and Southeast Europe. Furthermore the economic growth is shifting from the manufacturing sector to knowledge-intensive services. Two starting advantages that favour especially Vienna. This can also be seen in the countries of origin of international business settlements. Particularly striking is the continuing importance of Vienna as a hub towards Southeast Europe. For this reason Vienna will further strengthen its activities in these areas in the future.