Mihaela Toader: The Ilfov CJ administration plans ambitious solutions focusing on citizens’ needs

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Many communes in Ilfov can be classified as sub-segments of Bucharest, and the needs of the new residential sectors are already putting pressure on the demand for services. “We are in a hunt for European funding, everything that means digitalization and green are extremely important components, but they are very much based on education. Given the DESI statistics – the study for digitization carried out by the European Union – we are in the last place in Europe in terms of digitization, although we are at the forefront of data transmission. In terms of basic digital skills, the use of the Internet and the services provided to online citizens are in the last place. To be able to implement innovative, smart city projects, we need to work mainly with people, to increase their skills – because the success of a new action lies in the demand side “, said Mihaela Toader, the public administrator of Ilfov County Council, at the “Smart cities – efficient buildings, green infrastructure, digitalization” conference, organized by Energynomics.

“In the next two years, we focus on increasing this demand. We want to go to communities, give them a little sense of and with the support of the business environment to present solutions to them, to see if they match their needs. I believe that digitization is much more than digital documents. For this, we need to work much more with our partners, with mayors. It means a service provided at an appropriate degree of sophistication, but the end user must experience the need for services and on the other hand to have the necessary skills in the administration and to automate our processes. We need to provide a service at the end of the day and not just a web interface,” she added.

Unfortunately, Romania is lagging far behind in the area of digitization, especially in educational and medical services. Recently, services for the population have suffered, although in the pandemic they should have been provided mostly digitally.

“We are working on two pilot projects in this respect. We want to strengthen virtual education, but, beyond buying tablets, the content must become digital in the true sense of the word. We’re thinking about buying virtual laboratories, especially for highly technical materials – physics, chemistry, etc. – this is a point we want to focus on in the coming period. The other is related to remote healthcare. We firmly believe in the provision of health services to citizens, and the restrictions have exacerbated the lack of accessibility to health services. We have a modern hospital, specialized in multiple areas, that can provide online services,” said Toader.

At the same time, the platform in Măgurele has 22 institutes that need technology transfer. “We want Măgurele to be the city of the future, relying on research resources, its potential and, hopefully, on the future competence center, especially on the part of cybersecurity and artificial intelligence – a large project that we hope to find its place in the NRRP, as it fits perfectly with national and European priorities,” Toader added.

Solutions are also needed for local transport. “We need to make urban transport more efficient, to have a proper traffic monitoring system, we need new equipment and we want, together with the city of Bucharest, through the Bucharest-Ilfov Integrated Development Association, to have a digitalisation of services.” Solutions include the creation of a new buses depot in the northern area and the multi-point connection of the city belt with Bucharest, as well as the restoration of existing regional railways – a project that will be included in the NRRP, with at least some of the 13-15 lines.

“Infrastructure is very important – the problem is the system behind so that it can be useful to the citizen.”

The conference “Smart cities – efficient buildings, green infrastructure, digitalization” was organized by Energynomics, with the support of our partners ABB, ACE Industrial Software, Bjorn Heizung, Claritech, Eaton, EnergoBit, Horvath & Partners, SAS România & Moldova, Wiren.

More than 240 people registered on MyConnector platform to participate in the dialogue.

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Bogdan Tudorache

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