“Individuals should have the right to release or not to release his/her data to public/business use.” Seppo Haataja, Director Business Development, City of Tampere

Seppo Haataja, the Director of Business Development at the City of Tampere, will be speaking at the Smart Cities Summit on the 19th and 20th of September at Business Design Centre in London.
The Smart Cities Summit is a 2 day executive conference, co-located at Smart Summit London, discussing the impact of IoT and the application of connected devices on cities.  
Seppo Haataja, who will be moderating a panel on ‘Thinking in Unison – Collaboration for Cohesive Solution’ and discussing ‘The Future of Urban Transport’, took some time to answer a speaker Q&A:
Please outline your role in smart city developments?
I am heading Open Tampere, the economic development program (2012 - 2017) funded by city of Tampere, Finland. The main aim is to develop new digital services and applications for citizens and to help local companies to test and pilot new smart city products in real environment.
I am also heading the Open& Agile Smart Cities (OASC), a secretary office in Brussels.  OASC is a global city network including more than hundred cities globally.
What do you consider to be the best ways to involve citizens in smart city developments?
Citizens are also customers and if they see a clear benefit to participate in various development activities, they are willing actively to contribute. Open participation early enough is crucial. People like to be an equal part of the development process and it is easier to accept the proposed solutions, if you feel that you can influence to the final result.
While citizen data is essential for shaping future city services, what are your thoughts on how and when it should be used?
This is an important fundamental question. There is no clear right answer to that yet. However, there should be clear rules for “citizen data” (Mydata) usage. Individuals should have the right to release or not to release his/her data to public/business use. There should be also a clear benefit to do that. “if I’ll give something, I’ll get something”. City environment is not an isolated independent area. It is part of the global data economy business environment, where global big players are already competing and building their own ecosystems.
How do you think information-sharing should be encouraged across departments and verticals, to foster collaborative planning?
This is a two way process. Top down is needed and it should be a clear part of high level city strategy. Bottom up depends on individual’s commitments and co-operation capabilities
Which connectivity options have you considered/chosen?
Connectivity should be in long term seamless and it is like an electricity. We should have it just enough case by case. We should also avoid vendor locking and follow the technological development that is happening very rapidly.
How is technology developing to support vehicles and transport of the future?
This is the fastest changing domain based on the digital revolution. There will be disruptive business models which will change citizens’ behaviour and support the sustainable smart city developments.
Discussing the funding issues – which services are more likely to receive funding and which are seen as “nice to have”?
It varies country by country and city by city. There will be new digital services, that are scalable and if there is a business potential globally (one city is not a market), funding is not an issue.
How far will automation go in the smart city?
As far as we can imagine.
Where do opportunities lie for future city developments?
One example among others is smart city ecosystem approach.

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About Smart Summit London

Smart Summit is a 2 day conference and exhibition covering the Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem and its impact on the digital society.

Now in its 3rd year, the event features Europe's leading Smart Home Summit and a further 5 tracks all designed to compliment each other.

With over 180 visionary speakers, gain a unique insight from industry heavyweights and hear case study examples from major contributors.

Make sure you are present in London on the 19th and 20th September for THE Smart IoT event of 2017.