The panel introduction was held by Schneider Electric’s Regional Director Darko Lopotar, who explained the term “smart cities”, the way that cities actually become smart and stated a couple of successful examples of smart cities in Europe. Since the public perception of smart cities is still a futuristic creation, it is important to note that every city can become smart with certain infrastructural investments as well as smart energy saving solutions and centralized service control.
The problem with the smart city public perception, the Croatian public to be exact, is the fact that smart cities will become more and more current in the coming years, explained Dražen Tomić.
The creation of smart cities is a long term process which requires certain investments and dedication to the project, but it also guarantees investment return in the form of energy conservation, city system control improvements as well as general way of life improvements
Josip Aleksić from Schneider Electric explained in great detail which smart solutions are a good choice for developing cities as well as concrete solutions which Schneider Electric implemented in similar situations. Dražen Tomić also commented the importance of digital infrastructure since he himself has witnessed the start of the internet in Croatia and was one of the first users.
The basis of smart city development is represented by the digital infrastructure, since the entire control system is based on a fast and reliable internet network. The telecommunication industry often plays an important role in the development of such infrastructures, which is why Hrvoje Išek from Croatian Telecom explained in detail which concrete solutions are implemented by telecoms, as well as the direction Croatian cities should go in terms of development and if there are EU fund that can be used for such purposes.
Ivica Perica from Deloitte spoke on the adjustment and way of implementation of smart solutions and explained the threat of cyber-attacks to smart networks, but he also named protection measures which are used by smart cities in order to protect themselves from the potentially catastrophic security breaches.