Smart City Metropolis 2015-2020 – Toulouse open!

This is the first report from my smart city trip, which will take me from France to the Netherlands, Iceland, Russia and Armenia. We are also combining this trip with pleasure. Over the next three months you can expect regular travelogues from relevant smart city developments in the places I visit.
We started in the south of France, where we first visited Toulouse. This aerospace city is the capital of the French department of Haute-Garonne and of the region of Occitanie. The city is on the banks of the River Garonne, 150 kilometres from the Mediterranean Sea, 230 kilometres from the Atlantic Ocean and 680 kilometres from Paris. It is the fourth-largest city in France, with close to half a million people.
Occitanie has a very rich history, which attracted us to this region to visit cities such as Albi, Arles and Carcassonne.
Toulouse open metropolis! as described in the city’s Smart City 2015-2020 plan aims to build with its citizens the smart city of tomorrow: more fluid, friendly, innovative, dynamic, attractive, responsible, and sustainable.
During the 2015-2017 period the city discussed with its citizens what its future should look like. In 2017 the plan moved into the implementation phase, and here it clearly placed its citizens and businesses at the heart of the process.
The aim of Toulouse Open Metropolis is to make Toulouse a modern city,, easier to live in and more collaborative; a city that takes advantage of the most powerful technologies to make life easier for citizens, and to make public involvement more effective.
The plan presents five key ambitions
• The Master Plan Smart City, adopted in December 2015, provides 500 million euros of public investment by 2020 to transform Toulouse into an Open Metropolis. It relies on collaboration with private investors and local businesses. The leverage effect in terms of private investment is estimated at 200 million euros.
• Showcase sites of the Open Metropolis were launched and initiated in 2015 around key project such as Toulouse Métropole, with associated transport and mobility projects (SMTC TISSEO, So Toulouse), consortiums and clusters. These collaborative groups define investment programs and projects for acceleration, amplification, national or international outreach.
• In 2017 nine projects were earmarked for implementation as partnerships between public and private organisations on very diverse themes (connected city, mobility, water, parking, independent living of senior citizens and autonomous vehicles). They rely on consortiums made up of SMEs and start-ups, as well as national and European partners, in order to create the right environment for public and private co-investment.
• The Metropolis is experimenting, innovating, imagining novel devices and anticipating transformations linked to the interaction between the city and the digital world. This is the objective pursued through experiments with start-ups to bring out new products and uses. Eighteen experiments were conducted in 2016, ten in 2017.
• To accompany these projects, and to stick as closely as possible to the expectations of the citizens, Living Labs intend to support the development of new services and products. In 2016, workshops invited citizens to think, test and express themselves about e-citizenship and liveability. In 2017 the mobility of persons with reduced mobility was the main theme of these workshops.
Paul Budde

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