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The First Living-in.EU Mayors’ Digital Assembly: tackling the digital divide and leading by example

City mayors and regional ministers gathered in Brussels for the first Living-in.EU Mayors’ Digital Assembly, organised in the framework of the Brussels Urban Summit 2023.

Photo of Constance Nebbula, Regional minister, Pays de la Loire, and Guillaume Crepin, Regional minister, Centre Val de Loire, signing the Living-in.eu Declaration

Copyright European Commission

Chaired by Seppo Määttä, mayor of the city of Oulu (Finland), and Lluïsa Moret Sabidó, mayor of the city of Sant Boi de Llobregat (Spain), the Mayors’ Digital Assembly is the political advisory body providing strategic orientation to the Living-in.EU movement.

The gathering was the occasion for participants to discuss the movement’s political priorities for the next two years and to coordinate on common actions to advance the digital and green transition of European cities and communities.

Renate Nikolay, Deputy Director General at DG CNECT, announced in her opening address that a new “Networked Local Digital Twins towards CitiVerse” European Digital Infrastructure Consortium (EDIC) was pre-notified by Estonia, with the support of Germany, Slovenia, Czech Republic, and Spain. EDIC is an instrument to advance towards the Digital Decade’s targets and support shared investment in knowledge and funding at European scale. The “Networked Local Digital Twins towards CitiVerse” EDIC aims to build carbon-neutral, resilient, smart, and sustainable cities that are citizen-centred, and it is expected to be joined shortly by more Member States.

Thanks to Living-in.EU, cities, communities and Member States will be supported in this process through standardized and interoperable instruments to implement Local Digital Twins on a local or regional level.

The opening speech was followed by two high-level panels with Mayors and Regional representatives. Under the motto “Leading by example” the panellists discussed opportunities for cities to act as open urban platforms for testing new technologies and developing new and better services and solutions, such as local digital twins and local data platforms, to be upscaled at regional, national, and European level. The second panel “Cities that leave no one behind” discussed the digital divide and worked on concrete joint measures for cities and regions to address it.

The President of the Helsinki region and CoR LORDIMAS Ambassador Markku Markkula announced the launch of LORDIMAS, an instrument proposed by the Committee of the Regions, the European Commission and ESPON to assess the state of play of digital transformation at a local level through seven key performance indicators. LORDIMAS will be available from October 2023 in all EU languages.

Closing the event, Constance Nebbula, Regional minister, Pays de la Loire, Guillaume Crepin, Regional minister, Centre Val de Loire, and Tiit Terik, Deputy Mayor of Tallin, signed the Living-in.eu Declaration.

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