The Intelligent Cities Challenge (ICC) is a two-and-a-half year Initiative of the European Commission aiming at using advanced technology to achieve intelligent, socially responsible and sustainable growth. The initiative involves 136 cities within the EU that will be guided in an action-oriented and collaborative path fostering their abilities to become their own self-guide of their transformation.

The initiative focuses on five thematic tracks:

  • Citizen participation and digitalisation of public administration
  • Green economy and local green deals
  • Upskilling and reskilling
  • Green and digital transition in tourism
  • Supply chains, logistics and the economics of mobility


SERN has been selected among the 90 applications presented for the ICC open call of interest as the lead organisation of a consortium composed by four of its partners participating in the ICC initiative: the City of Trollhättan, Vänesborg Municipality, Ravenna Municipality, and Cervia Municipality. The goals set by the consortium are all interconnected and focus on the following topics and challenges:


e-Government and digitising public services

  • The main challenge stands in the development of a vision of smart city where e-government is the result of a bottom-up perspective thanks the active cooperation with citizens.

The challenges in this process are: 

  • To increase equality and security for all citizens and mainly for disadvantaged groups
  • To develop a smart city through efficient on-line services in several policy sectors (tourism, education, mobility, citizens’ participation)
  • To use municipal funds in an efficient and coherent way in the perspectives of savings resources. 

Smart and sustainable tourism

The main challenges the consortium is facing are: 

  • Improving the transport and tourism policies, by integrating strategies for sustainable mobility, digital mobility, accessibility and responsible travel
  • Expanding the prospect of tourism supporting digitalization and developing innovative approaches and communication technology tools
  • Promoting the digitalization of local events, through the creation of virtual events, hybrid events (including both on-site presence and digital presence), satellite events (taking place at the same time in many places in the country with smaller groups) 

Innovative education

The main challenges pertain:

  • The need to grant equal opportunities in education (pre-school and school education) to all children particularly in relation to access to and use of digital tools supporting learning.
  • The need of equipping the local school systems with adequate tools to contribute to digital citizenship of the pupils (responsible and source-critical approach to digital technology).
  • The need to provide adequate digital skills for teachers and families(adults).

Smart and sustainable mobility

The key joint challenge are focused on pedestrian mobility, cycle mobility and public transports. In particular the efforts of the members of the consortium are oriented to:

  • Reducing traffic flows by reducing the use of private vehicles in urban areas: this will lead to reduction of air and acoustic pollution, consequent improved air quality and health conditions of local citizens 
  • Improving the attractiveness of the territory and the quality of the urban environment by granting all citizens transportation options that allow them to access destinations and key services to better connect all touristic/key areas 


SERN’s Consortium will achieve the above-mentioned objectives through the development of four solutions:

  1. Identify examples of effective organizational solutions and transfer/apply them locally
  2. Selecting use cases for testing Open Data in e-Gov and tourism
  3. Improving the skills of the local stakeholders in the field of tourism
  4. To Identify new formats and technologies to be implemented in the local context.

These solutions will be developed through three initiatives which are divided into several activities:

The development of a Digital Transformation Plan

The goals are:

  • making better use of data available within each municipality and connected ecosystem introducing internal decision-making process more informed by data;
  • adjusting the internal organization of the municipality to make it better prepared for digital transformation processes based on a digital transformation strategy.


Data, tools, and resources will help us to conduct research, develop web and mobile applications, design data visualisations, and more. An open data strategy and platform will:

  • provide an easier everyday life for individuals and companies, will provide a smarter and more open management to support innovation and participation,
  • will provide an higher quality and efficiency in the business.

The development of the UPREST PROJECT

The general objective of the UPREST project is to increase the digital skills of the actors in the field of sustainable tourism while promoting new learning pathways in order to contribute to the recovery of the sector.

The specific objectives are:

• To identify gaps in the skills of the local business actors and develop training solutions accordingly;

• To develop re-scalable training solutions for business actors in the field of tourism related to new digital solutions to be applied locally;

• To improve cooperation between the local authority and the business actors by developing a learning ecosystem focused on sustainable tourism.


Thematic Session

14.00 – 14.15 Introductions

14.15 – 15.30 Part I: Citizen Participation

  • Context & Background
  • Examples: Citizen Participation in Europe
  • Discussion: challenges & how to overcome them

15.30 – 15.45 Break

15.45 – 16.45 Part II: Open Data for Tourism

  • Context & Background
  • Examples: Open Data for Tourism
  • Discussion: challenges & how to overcome them

16.45 – 17.00 Next steps


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