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Next Previous Dr. Zenon Zenonos: Paphos, the digital and smart city HOME • INSIDER • CYPRUS • Dr. Zenon Zenonos: Paphos, the digital and smart city
Interview with Socrates Joachim
In the digital changes that will & nbsp; make Paphos a smart city, which will improve the quality of life of its inhabitants, said in an interview with Insider the first Director of Smart City projects of the municipality, Zenon Zenonos. He talks about the new universities that will operate in Paphos, about the projects that are being implemented and about the role of the citizens in the effort to build a smart city.
What does your strategic plan include? after you recently took office?
Our strategic plan as the Municipality of Paphos is to make Paphos a smart and digital city and at the same time to create a new pillar, the third pillar of the local economy based on innovation and university education. So, as you can see, we are focusing on three important areas: the smart and digital city, education and innovation. The establishment of new Universities in Paphos is also in this direction. & Nbsp;
What are the new Universities that we will see in Paphos?
The internationally accredited American University of Beirut (AUB) will soon establish a new university in Paphos with at least three faculties. Also, on November 4, 2021, the Municipality of Paphos signed an agreement with the Cyprus University of Technology for the establishment of the School of Tourism Management, Hospitality and Entrepreneurship of TEPAK which will include two academic departments and an Institute (AXIK). & Nbsp; It is clear that these moves will stimulate the economy of the city of Paphos and will help create the ecosystem of innovation.
OFFICE OF THE SMART CITY AND PROJECTS
How many projects are you currently implementing?
The goal of the office of the Smart City in the Municipality of Paphos is to supervise the implementation of all relevant projects and to determine the plan for the new projects that will be implemented in the coming years. We are currently implementing nine projects. The infrastructure for data collection from the various applications using the LoRaWAN network has already been implemented. A total of 25 gateways have been installed in various parts of the city. In addition, in a few days the intelligent parking system will be received (3200 sensors in parking spaces) while in April the intelligent lighting system (7000 smart lamps) and the 55 smart pylons will be received. & Nbsp; & nbsp; An important project that is expected to start soon is the smart management of water resources. The Municipality of Paphos faces serious challenges in terms of monitoring and management of water resources in real time, including the quantity and quality of water, but also the water supply and distribution infrastructure. Therefore, this project intends to implement an integrated system to address all challenges. As part of this project, 30,000 conventional water meters will be replaced with smart meters. Finally, we expect that in the next three years all the projects that are in our plan will be fully operational. & Nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp;
In today's modern society, digitization is relevant to all sectors of the economy. What input do you give to this issue in the Municipality of Paphos ?
An important strategic goal set by the Municipality of Paphos is the full digitization of all services of the Municipality. The Citizen Service Center (KED) will soon operate in this direction. The goal is to be a one-stop service point for citizens which means that with a single visit the citizen can be served for all services of the Municipality. Of course, the ultimate goal is to turn the one-stop service point into a no-stop service point, which means that all services are transferred electronically, eliminating the need for a physical visit. The digitization of the services of the Municipality will bring significant benefits to the citizens, including the exponential reduction of the service and waiting time. Citizens also have access to the whole process, thus enhancing transparency. For example, citizens can monitor the progress of their applications much more easily than they could in the past. Of course, in order for the project to be successful, the digital skills of the citizens must be developed.
THE ROLE OF THE CITIZENS
What is the role of Citizens in the effort to build a smart city?
The way we approach the smart city is through its anthropocentric character that aims to emphasize not only the technologies and applications but mainly that through the smart city the quality of life of its inhabitants increases. & Nbsp; The success of the smart city is defined only when it is accepted by its citizens, as the main goal of the smart city is to build a city focused on its people. Cities are made up of citizens and it is important to ensure that the citizens themselves are ready to be smart and help build a smart city by participating in the processes and being able to think about what kind of future they want for them and their children. Undoubtedly, citizen engagement is a necessary element for the success of a smart city. & Nbsp; We understand that this is not easy as there are several degrees in the level of understanding and use of new technologies by citizens. That is why in our plans we have included actions that emphasize the needs of citizens with less technological skills. In addition, we use a bottom-up approach rather than a top-down approach when developing new digital services. Of course we are open to new ideas proposed by groups, companies or even individuals. I do not hide from you that lately we have received several such ideas which we evaluate. & Nbsp; & nbsp;
CLIMATE NEUTRAL CITY
As the first Smart City Project Manager, how do you dream of Paphos in 10 years from today?
My biggest concern for the future is related to climate change and the consequences it will have on the daily lives of us and especially our children. So, in 10 years, I would like Paphos to be a climate-neutral and smart city. Becoming a climate-neutral city means that you need to reduce emissions that are harmful to the environment as much as possible, but it also means compensating for any remaining emissions. In this way a net zero emission balance can be achieved. To get to this point requires a lot of effort from all stakeholders. Local authorities, central government, academia, the private sector, investors and, above all, civil society need to work together, as no piece of the puzzle, no matter how innovative, can complete this change on its own. . For this reason, as the Municipality of Paphos, we have submitted our application to the “Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities Mission” of the European Union, which aims to deliver 100 climate-neutral and smart cities by 2030 and to ensure that these cities function as experimental hubs. and innovation so that all European cities can follow suit by 2050.