Seppo Määttä, Mayor of Oulu, has been selected Co-Chair of the Mayors’ Digital Assembly for a term of two years, alongside Lluisa Moret from the city of Sant Boi de Llobregat in Spain. The Co-Chairs will be the voice of all EU Mayors on the Board of the Living-in.EU movement.
The Mayors' Digital Assembly is the political advisory body which provides strategic orientation to the Lilving-in.EU movement. An annual event will be the occasion for mayors to debate the political priorities of the movement and to tackle a range of interconnected challenges – urban mobility, energy efficiency, and digital public services – while ensuring environmental sustainability in line with the European Green Deal. The event will also help define several strategic coordinated actions for the next 2-year mandate.
- The Mayors’ Digital Assembly provides an excellent opportunity to share thoughts among colleagues and strategically steer the promotion of digital transformation in European cities. It is important to boost the innovation, economy, and expertise in our part of the world, but also to keep everyone on track with the evolution, says Mayor Seppo Määttä.
Oulu was the first city to sign the Join, Boost and Sustain declaration, and has acted as an ambassador for the movement since. Home to the Nokia Corporation since the 1970s, Oulu was the first city in the world to offer an open and public Wi-Fi network. Oulu is a world leader in developing digital technologies and solutions. Every day, approximately three billion people use mobile technologies developed in Oulu. As such, the city is a top-level European reference for Digital Health, a Horizon Europe Lighthouse City, and an active member of Eurocities.
- In Digital Oulu, we have learned that urban digital transformation is a long-term, complex, and cross-functional process, which challenges strategic leadership and political decision-making. A city can act as a platform for digital transition in various roles, such as policy maker, ecosystem leader, or project partner. As a city, we are well placed to make a positive impact in many ways – finding the best option often reflects the history, vision, goals, and resources of a city. The Mayors’ Digital Assembly offers an excellent opportunity to learn how other European cities have discovered success as a platform for digital transformation, Määttä continues.
As a smart city, Sant Boi de Llobregat has an intelligent communications network throughout the city, to, for example, limit the circulation of polluting vehicles around the living area, and a system of Smart traffic lights to manage traffic efficiently. In addition, the city has adopted a data-driven approach to its public administration.
- Sant Boi de Llobregat is highly committed to digital transformation to tackle interconnected urban challenges. As a medium-sized European city, our political priority is to work towards digital inclusion, including the fight against the gender digital divide. For this reason, co-chairing the Mayors’ Digital Assembly is an excellent opportunity to ensure that the digital transition roadmap leaves no one behind, says Mayor Lluisa Moret.
One of the first steps for the two Co-Chair cities will be to develop a short concept note to outline the two priority areas that have been identified so far. These are: digital inclusion/digital cohesion/bridging the digital divide (Sant Boi) and the city as a platform (Oulu). These priorities will be presented as the two principal tracks of the next Mayors’ Digital Assembly, planned for June.