A genuine smart city starts from its proper DNA, the knowledge of the city, the society and the stakeholders

Every city, every town is different. Therefore there is no single ‘smart city’. In pursuing this ambition, we must try to answer the question of how the city will look in the future. Every town or city should follow a proper trajectory and will constantly have to reinvent itself.

To formulate this answer, it is important to start from the current social challenges. But we should not forget to cherish sufficient ambition and start looking for solutions to cope with tomorrow’s challenges.

"In Ghent, the focus lies on the human component in the city of the future. Smart cities cannot exist without their smart citizens"

This model of a smart city reconnects people with their environment and the city, thus creating more efficient and optimal relationships between the available means, technology, communities, services and events in the urban environment. Connecting people also involves that citizens once again become responsible for their environment.

In Ghent, we summarize this as inclusive, innovative and sustainable. The Ghent Municipality, companies, research institutions and citizens alike are uniting themselves to optimize the opportunities and the challenges of the knowledge and information society.

We consider data to be a strategic asset, as substructure for the processes and decisions in the smart city, in which the citizen is the actor who is the first to define urban life. That is why we use the Ghent dialect ‘wise city’ as an alternative translation for ‘smart city’.