#56 Istanbul & Madrid: Empowering Cities through Data and Digital Innovation

Episode 62 December 06, 2023 01:01:02
#56 Istanbul & Madrid: Empowering Cities through Data and Digital Innovation
Smart in the City – The BABLE Podcast
#56 Istanbul & Madrid: Empowering Cities through Data and Digital Innovation

Dec 06 2023 | 01:01:02


Hosted By

Tamlyn Shimizu

Show Notes

This fourth and last episode of our collaboration with Red Española de Ciudades Inteligentes (RECI) was recorded live at the Smart City Expo World Congress 2023 with Erol Özgüner, CIO of the Metropolitan Municipality of Istanbul, Türkiye, and Fernando de Pablo Martín, General Director of the Digital Office of the City Council of Madrid, Spain.

The conversation primarily focused on the digital transformation initiatives and strategies implemented in the two cities, with topics such as the creation of digital offices, the use of technology to address urban challenges, and the importance of data-driven decision-making. Our guests also touched on challenges such as cybersecurity, digital identity, and the impact of technology on improving citizen services.


Overview of the episode:

[00:02:11] Teaser: If Istanbul and Madrid were plants, which plants would they be and why?

[00:03:41] Fernando and Erol's Professional Background

[00:09:28] About the creation of the Madrid Digital Office 

[00:12:43] On what topics is Erol working most closely?

[00:18:08] The main challenges the city of Madrid is facing

[00:23:35] The main challenges the city of Istanbul is facing

[00:28:25] What is the Madrid Digital Capital Strategy?

[00:32:29] What's Istanbul's vision regarding digital and technological innovations in the near future? 

[00:38:46] How is Madrid using data and what is the strategy behind this?

[00:41:23] What are some recent examples of digital products or services that improved the processes of Istanbul's municipality?

[00:48:16] What advice would you have for others trying to digitalise public services?

[00:51:09] What is the 2030 Smart City Strategic Plan of Istanbul?

[00:53:13] Flip the Script: our guests ask questions to each other.

[00:57:16] Ending Question: To you, what is a Smart City?


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View Full Transcript

Episode Transcript

[00:00:06] Tamlyn Shimizu: Welcome to Smart in the City, the BABLE podcast, where we bring together top actors in the Smart City arena, sparking dialogues and interactions around the stakeholders and themes most prevalent for today's citizens and tomorrow's generations. I am your host, Tamlyn Shimizu, and I hope you will enjoy this episode and gain knowledge and connections to accelerate the change for a better urban life. Smart in the city is brought to you by BABLE smart cities. We enable processes from research and strategy development to co creation and implementation. To learn more about us, please visit the BABLE platform at bable-smartcities.eu So we are back today with the last installment of our podcast series in collaboration with RECI, the Spanish network for Smart Cities. In this series, we've been bringing together Spanish cities with international cities to contribute to promoting cooperation and knowledge exchange between the cities. So big thanks to RECI for facilitating this episode. And also we're recording this live at the Smart City Expo in Barcelona, where BABLE is a collaborating partner. So thanks also to Fira Barcelona for having us. So I am really excited about the next two guests I have. I already said it multiple times to them this morning, but it is really a match made in heaven that we have here. So I'm really excited to see where the conversation goes today. So without further ado, I have the pleasure to introduce you to Mr. Fernando de Pablo Martin. He's the General Director of the Digital Office of the City Council of Madrid. Welcome, Fernando. [00:01:42] Fernando de Pablo Martin: Thank you very much. It's an honor to be here with my colleague Erol, and with you, of course. [00:01:48] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yes, honor to have you. Thank you so much for coming. So, second up, we have a wonderful guest all the way from Istanbul, mr. Erol Özgüner. He's a CIO of the Metropolitan Municipality of Istanbul. [00:02:03] Erol Özgüner: Thank you very much. It is very good to feel and to be in Barcelona in a very good weather in November. [00:02:11] Tamlyn Shimizu: Very true. I was actually sweating a little bit yesterday during the day. It was hot, so it's very lovely weather. So we'll jump right into it. I like to start off our interviews on the podcast with a little bit of a fun teaser question. So first off, the question is, if Istanbul were a plant, which kind of plant would it be? [00:02:40] Erol Özgüner: No, I never thought about this. [00:02:43] Tamlyn Shimizu: Really? You don't think about this every day when you're falling asleep? [00:02:46] Erol Özgüner: Maybe pomegranate. [00:02:49] Tamlyn Shimizu: Pomegranate? Yeah. [00:02:50] Erol Özgüner: Istanbul seems as a one piece, but when you open it, it is divided in thousand pieces and different size of but the taste almost more than average. [00:03:00] Tamlyn Shimizu: Oh, really nice. Really nice. I love that. And I also love pomegranate. So same question to you, Fernando, but if Madrid were a plant, what kind of plant would it be? [00:03:15] Fernando de Pablo Martin: If they were a plant, madri, for me, will be a pines. [00:03:22] Tamlyn Shimizu: Like a pine tree? [00:03:23] Erol Özgüner: Yes. [00:03:23] Fernando de Pablo Martin: Pine tree? [00:03:24] Erol Özgüner: Yes. [00:03:25] Fernando de Pablo Martin: Why I like pines, it's very Mediterranean and also all the central part of Spain. And Castilla is part of my childhood in my little village. So Malibu will be a pine for oh, very lovely. [00:03:41] Tamlyn Shimizu: I grew up really in the mountains with pine trees and everything and the smell to me is always so wonderful good. So I want to know a little bit more about your background. What led you to your positions today? It's nice to get to know you a little bit more. So first to you Fernando, what is your background? What's your story? Tell us all. [00:04:05] Fernando de Pablo Martin: Okay, that's okay. My professional story, I guess. Well, I am a telecommunication engineer. I was working more than ten years in private companies in the sector of telecommunication and urban traffic control system and pollution control system. Before joining to the public administration, I was working for private companies for the City Council of Madrid, in fact, like now, then I joined into the public administration. I was working for 15 years in the Spanish Tax administration, in the It department and large taxpayers office. So in several departments in the time of economic crisis, I was in the Ministry of the Presidency, working in a working group of trying to reform public administration. So to do more efficient administration in a country with high level of decentralization, I was working there. It was a very beautiful job and very important job in that time because the economic crisis was very hard for Spain. And then I was working in a public company who promote technology and innovation in the tourist sector in Spain, also very important. And before joining as digital responsible of Madrid, I was the CIO of the federal government in the time of COVID So I was responsible of strategy, infrastructure, regulation and of course all the infrastructure that gives support to the country in this very hard time zone of commitment. And now in Madrid, of course, I think it's very important for me because the life gives me opportunity to return to my beginning professional times. [00:06:00] Tamlyn Shimizu: Really interesting background. I actually have a small follow up question. I hope it's okay. Do you think because I've interviewed many people on the podcast who have a variety of backgrounds, do you think that it helps you a lot to be in public administration? Having come from the private sector, having that experience in private sector, does it help you better collaborate with private sector in your role? [00:06:27] Fernando de Pablo Martin: In my particular view, it's essential to work in different institutions, not only public and private, but also in different public organization or private organization, because the culture is totally different. For example, in Spain it's different to work for the central administration, regional administration or local administration. So I think it's a very good asset to have been several experience in order to focus your work. In your particular case in this moment in Madrid, but with a wider vision about the collaboration between special, the public and private sectors. [00:07:05] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah, absolutely. Those varying perspectives. Yeah, very good. Same question to you errol I want to know what led you to this role in Istanbul. [00:07:14] Erol Özgüner: Yes, thank you very much. Last five years from 2019, I've been working for a CIO of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality. I'm also telecommunication engineer and before almost four years I was founded my own company. We were focusing on producing some services, big data and data analytics, but we were working b to b, so not directly to end user. And before it 16 years I had been working for leader GSM operator in Turkey, so as a telecommunication engineer. But when I was working there, I was also working not only in Turkey, but also Georgia, Ukraine, Belarus, northern Cyprus. So it gave me a chance to know the other countries and other cultures too when I was making my professional engineering job. And at the beginning of my career, I was working as a research assistant at my university almost four years. I was planning to be academician that time, but then I changed my mind my way. First private sector, then my own company, then public sector again. So like my colleague, I had also a chance to work in different companies, public, private even for mine. So all of them giving different experiences and all of them giving different aspects to do our roles and actually for personally and experience point of view, it is making enriching us the view of the problems, the way of the different alternatives to solve problems? Or is it technical experiences to listen to? See different technological infrastructure level and capabilities? Not only hardware software, but also headcount point of view? So thanks God, almost 30 years I've been working as a telecom engineer and the last 15 years as a CIO. [00:09:28] Tamlyn Shimizu: Very interesting. Thanks so much for sharing. Really interesting backgrounds to you both. That's actually one of my favorite parts of my job, I think is hearing people's backstories. So yeah, thanks so much for sharing. Fernando, I was told that the creation of this Madrid digital office kind of marked a fundamental organizational change for Madrid. Can you speak a little bit about that creation and what's been the result of having this new digital office? [00:09:57] Fernando de Pablo Martin: Well, yes, the major create the digital office in the past political period. So this officers brand new in the case of public administration who have been working just from three years. So it's a new office and you know what is create a new administrative unit in the public administration. So it's a very hard process that you need to create structure the equipment of the right people. So we have been with all the team about working for about just two years and of course it's a new administrative unit and I think it's very important because we are in charge of digital transformation of Madrid. Foster digital transformation and digital formation is not a technological topic in a special I think mainly is an organizational challenge and also a cultural challenge of course with technology but technology as a tool, not as a target. So in this time we create a structure with just now almost four divisions one is digital public services because with COVID was very important after COVID in the time of COVID digital public service has been critical for people. Other is digital transformation. So project transversal project to all areas in Madrid. You know, in your case, similarly in the case of large organization, all the traversal are very important. And we have another area of data strategy and also now an area of artificial intelligence, intelligence very related with data strategy. And we are in charge also of the It department of Madrid. And of course, we are working in several areas. First in reinforce all the digital infrastructure we think is very important. So technology is not the center, but without technology, it's impossible to do anything. The other is the fostering digital public services. This has been very important. We have moved just from before COVID just almost an analogic administration to a totally digital station. This has been very important in order to increase the efficiency and to reduce administrative burden and to be able to dedicate more resources to the people who need more face to face relationship. That's important in that case well, we are very happy with the work in this year we need to reinforce all these policies for the future main trying to put the focus in all the traversal projects to the older areas in Madrid in the next year. [00:12:43] Tamlyn Shimizu: Very interesting to take something from so new and have so much focus in the future moving forward so I'll be watching that space. So thank you for sharing for you errol can you tell me a little bit more about what your work right now entails? What topics are you working on most closely? [00:13:04] Erol Özgüner: Thank you one more time I will add something to Fernando for not misunderstanding mostly these two words is getting a little bit complicated for understanding digitalization and digital transformation. Actually, these are very different terms. For example, we have thousands of documents in our offices to scan them and to convert to PDF file is a digitalization yeah, but you have million documents. So if you can make index and if you can make search as a word, for example, Madrid, and it directly brings that million of documents, only 10,000 of them related with the Madrid or Madrid municipality. This is a digital transformation because sometimes mind is getting a little bit confused on it so we need to explain this so when we make all the documents scan it is not digital transformation, this is only preparation for digital transformation so it's not easy things. Actually what we are working on in Istanbul, I will give some examples we have 4000 km fiber optic networks belongs to direct our municipality. Of course we are working on to make it longer to reach 5000. We are trying to create our own data network. This is very important for technological services to reach all 16 million resident and 4 million visitors and the others. So totally 20 million population for Istanbul. And we have 12,000 hotspot access points for WiFi free of charge. So we are trying to enlarge our network. Last four years we made doubled, it was almost 5500, now 12,000. And we are more than 6 million active users of our ebay WiFi coverage. We are in Istanbul, the biggest data network operator actually as municipality. But of course when we create an infrastructure with fiber optic cables and hotspot points, then we need to serve some municipal services to our citizens. So we have one of our super app which is called as. Istanbul is yours. We are collecting all the most used municipal services in one super app. And we created one username, one password. You don't need hundred username, 100 password for reaching different municipal services. Only one. Now we are working on digital wallet and digital ID. And like Fernando, we are also working on decentralized services. I mean we are working on blockchain. So with the blockchain but private blockchain because we have our own data center. So in our own data center we are creating our own blockchain infrastructure. So we will decentralize all the databases in our data center but we will not know in which cabin, which hardware, something like that. So why this is important? For example you are renting a flat in Istanbul. You need to activate water, energy, electricity and natural gas subscription and internet mainly for so for all of this you need to give your ID, you need to give your contract. Because ID and contract ID and address should be together for activating subscription. So you will only activate your Istanbul is yours account. Then you will choose from your digital wallet, your ID and your contract. Because we will verify with your Turkish ID. So there cannot be fake account, then you will not share. We will send your digital ID to our subsidiary companies for deactivating x address, reactivating new address for all the subscription and all will be done in a minute. No need to go somewhere, no need to declare any documents, something like that. So blockchain infrastructure on it smart contract organization. So IMM Samuel metropolitan Municipality will be orchestration between citizen and the subsidiaries. So we are trying to make life easier for our citizens. We are working on all the technological solutions for our citizens life quality. Actually for now we are working on this. I can give details later. [00:18:08] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah, lots of cool projects. I know yesterday also I had the pleasure of we put on an event as BABLE together with some partners and you were one of our speakers. So it looked also the visuals of this, maybe we can link to some information as well. So the app looks really intuitive. Let's want it's a question that we like to ask a lot of our if maybe first to you, Fernando, if you were to pick like one central challenge of the city of Madrid, what do you think is the main challenge? [00:18:49] Fernando de Pablo Martin: Only one? [00:18:51] Tamlyn Shimizu: Well, I'll give you two maybe. I'll give you two maybe. [00:18:55] Fernando de Pablo Martin: Let's go. Well, yes, Madrid. It's true that cities are different, countries are different. So solution and challenge is different. This is normal. I think all the cities are facing more or less the same challenges around mobility, waste management, energy transition, urban design, carbon reduction. So there are challenges in this sense, but there are also technical challenges. I'm going to select two technical challenges. One is cybersecurity, another is interoperability. Why this? Because they are transversal. These are something like fundamental to resolve much more things. In case of Madrid, we are very centered to be very connected and secure city. So cybersecurity is a main topic for us. All cities are being attacked by civil criminals. This is very important. We maintain a lot of personal information and critical infrastructure. So we are talking about the rights of the people when we are thinking in cybersecurity and after COVID and in a city, cybersecurity is not only around the computer and PCs. It's around the teleworking, it's around the cloud, but it's around the IoT. And the companies who provide services to us, for example, if a company provides services for the traffic control or for the lighting cybercriminals attack these companies, they are attacking the city. So for us this is important and also interoperability. Interoperability is key because when we are talking about data, we're talking about collaboration and coordination. This mean interoperability between different information system and for that this is key. We were talking about the importance of collaborating between different organization and different areas of the same organization because it's normal, there are silos of information and it's very important to standardize and to increase the possibility to relate. And this is also very important for the people because we were talking about digital public services. Another main principle of Talin, remember, is the one's only principle. So let's do things easy to people. So let's communicate each other in administration. We need interoperability for that. So if I have to select two will be that cybersecurity and interoperability because it's the base and the fundamentals for other services. [00:21:41] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah, very good. And what do you think are the solutions? [00:21:46] Fernando de Pablo Martin: Well, there are several. First of one is to put the focus cybersecurity, you need to put the focus from the digital office. We have take several measures. One is to have political priority. So the mayor said I'm going to create a cybersecurity center in Madrid and we have created a security center and this means to multiply for the human resources and the so I always say that you must be worried, but you need to put budget. This is important because we try to became a center of cybersecurity. In the case of a smart city, as I told you, we are talking about 5G IoT and there are a lot of risk in the case of a city. And as I say, we are talking about the rights of the people. We are not talking about some technical things. It's the right of the people's security. So this is one of that. And in the case of interoperability, it's very important the agreement to work with the standards not only in the city but also in European Union with another country. Because countries every time more and more the people are moving and changing a lot. So we need to do things together. And it's very important standards to look at the future and to have in the future, perhaps not now, but in the future there are going to be this standard that you need to cooperate. And this is interoperability. [00:23:26] Tamlyn Shimizu: Absolutely. Errol from your perspective, what do you think? Do you have similar challenges to these? Do you have additional ones? [00:23:34] Fernando de Pablo Martin: I will add something. [00:23:35] Erol Özgüner: Then I will say my challenge really this interoperability and data governance is very important. For example, five years ago when I started to work for Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, there are different in main organization more than different hundred sub departments. So I'm trying to bring all the data to our data lake. And I'm checking that it's some simple examples. Some departments record gender name as male female. Okay. Some of them keep that MF, some of them keeping in Turkish Kaden Archek, some of them keeping that ke in Turkish letters. And one day one data came gender zero one. So I don't know zero one. What is what is zero woman or male or female. So we need to check it. So this data governance is very important issue. So the main organization needs to define the rules, how they will keep the data and then data will speak with each other. Otherwise, can you imagine, one is writing male and female and the other is writing MF or zero one. So how they will know that we are talking about gender and which gender type, something like that. This is very important for us. The main challenge actually emergency management because in Istanbul we are under risk of earthquake. And it's almost last biggest earthquake 24 years ago near Istanbul 130 km. Now scientists, geology engineers and scientists says that in each time can be an earthquake in Istanbul. So this is one of the biggest challenge. Unfortunately. Because of that we are trying to prepare ourselves these before earthquake when earthquake happens 1st 72 hours very important for rescueing the people's life and after third days. So we are preparing all the preparation not only technologically, but also manpower, equipment and coordination synchronization not only Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, but also some central government and neighborhood municipalities, also town municipalities and NGOs and our citizens because no one knows when it will be and who will be affected. So this is one of the biggest risk and when we are making preparing our strategy plan. We were reaching more than 300,000 people in Istanbul and we got what they are expecting from municipality next five years in 2019. We were asking and number one issue preparation of earthquake of our citizens. So, sensitivity is very high in our citizens about earthquake. Because of that we have an emergency management center. We have so many technical solutions like 150,000 cameras, more than 12,000 WiFi access points. We have our own fiber optic networks, we have our own data center. So I can manage all the technological services, lightning systems, sensors and the others. Also we have satellite images of Istanbul every day. I'm getting this. So, as soon as possible, if earthquake happens directly, we need to give what happened and which region, which subregion, which districts are being affected worstly from the earthquake, how many buildings collapse. Estimation is very important. And then maybe to send our rescue team, fire department guys or get really rescue teams reach the location is very important because when the earthquake happens, everybody wants to go somewhere, everybody wants to call each other. So it has been a chaos. So without giving any chance to chaos, if we can give the right information to whole citizens that time at least chaos level will be decreased 100 times or maybe 200 times if we can give the right information. But for getting right information for preparation of this very important. So this is our biggest and the most important challenge because this is directly touching the person's life. Yeah, it's very important actually. [00:28:25] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah, absolutely. Thanks so much for sharing that, Fernando. I want to get back to Madrid's digital capital strategy. Can you walk me through that a little bit in detail what that means and what is your strategy moving forward? [00:28:44] Fernando de Pablo Martin: Well, we think that you need a strategy. And strategy is very important because strategy is an instrument to shape the city you want to be. So it's important to have short view, medium view, long view, this is your city. And this is the strategy of Madrid, digital capital that tries to put Madrid as a very competitive and intelligent city. Well, we define this strategy with more than 75 projects and around 1000 million euros in this period of 2023. 2027 with three main areas digital service for the people, administrative services and also service for the city. A secure and intelligent city. Also all around the management of that data, antifreeze intelligence, security. The other is to became a pole of digital innovation and investment that is important for all our city if we want to be competitive. And of course with the idea of to advance the commitments of European Union as digital compass 2030, it's important in all of this strategy. In some cases there are strategies that are in silos also. Our strategy is totally aligned with the European strategy that's very important in this time after COVID with European funds, with the national strategy and the strategy of the different areas of the city. So our strategy is aligned with all of this that we think is very important. So this is not a beautiful paper in PDF. Strategy must be flexible, adaptative, open to change and with transparency and participation of the people. And well, this is what we are working in. A lot of different projects could be very important project or large project could be to create a real digital twin. But there are other projects very important. For example, you were talking about the challenges. I'm going to take one challenge in Madrid yesterday the European Union opened a report saying that Madrid was the city with highest life expectancy in Europe yesterday. So we have a problem with elderly people that with unwanted loneliness. So we have a different technical solution to put in touch more than half a million of people with more than 65 years old and perhaps 20% of dean of that people with problems, with unwanted loneliness. With our 18,000 volunteers in Madrid in order that they put in touch these volunteers with the old people in Madrid and not to try to be with them in their house or to a company, to a health, or to any type. Of things but also to try to increase the skill because I want that old people could also be more autonomous using technology. Not all, but if some people want, we are here to help them. Well, this is the Madrid digital capital. It's a very ambitious study, but also realistic. [00:32:28] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah, very nice. [00:32:29] Tamlyn Shimizu: Actually, after this we should go talk to and I want to introduce you to my contacts in Helsingborg because they're working on very similar topics with their elderly population, so it might be good to exchange on that. Very good. So Eerol, what do you think are maybe you've shared a little bit of some examples of technological solutions. Is there another use case that you want to highlight about work that you're doing or any other kind of vision for technological innovations in the future? [00:33:03] Erol Özgüner: Actually we are trying to follow and we are trying to produce our own technological aspects. In Istanbul, Fernando mentioned a little bit digital twin is very important technical solutions will be very important technical solutions next five years, maybe till 2030 for the mayors. Because from now on, not only mayors but also all public authorities or managers, even prime minister presidents, they should make their own decision based on data so the others can be manipulated the other all the decisions. So politically, but if you can make a decision based on data, no one can tell anything about it. So to manage our city based on data is very important. So this digital twin scenario includes almost all of our solutions in one platform. For example, we have so many technical solutions about environment. This will be a module of digital twin. We have GIS works, geographical information system, we have satellite images, oblique photos, LiDAR photos, something like that. So we will make them together and make them 3D dimension and then we will create our own digital TV. But then we will add there for example IoT platform data, all the sensors data will come there. So not only energy, but also smart meters of water, smart meters of gas, something like that. So when we see that whole Istanbul in one platform digitally so if there is any problem, so we can directly manage, see and create an alternative by itself with the of course artificial intelligence supports. So this is very important. Also yesterday I mentioned little bit everybody works on a strategic plan but AI is a disruptive technology. So if someone don't consider AI from now on, it means that plan is missing something. Exactly something. So from now on everybody should listen technology guys a little bit more than before really. I'm not saying this proudly. This is like that because technology is not a supporter anymore. Technology is enabler and driven all the decision making systems. Because of that it's not oh, my laptop doesn't work today, please can you come and check this or can you update my Microsoft licenses? This is helpdesk issues. This is not It issues anymore. It issues is management of technology and enabling all the citizen services, municipal services, governmental services and private sector services. So demand is not coming only citizens. Sometimes you are serving them and you are happy with these services because they weren't expecting this but you are increasing their life quality because of that. Technology is in little bit different places from now on. Especially after COVID because COVID was the main reason for the bringing maybe next 1020 or 30 years transformation in one night or in one month, especially in public sectors. It wasn't easy to cancel all the physical meeting and put all the guys in one online chat room. But everybody in one night with the current in practicing everybody in one night came to the online chat rooms. They learned to use this and then everybody noticed that normally they were making four or five meetings per day. They start to make 15 or 20 meetings and there is no break between the times because there is no missing lack of time for reaching from A to B. It's taken in Istanbul at least 30 minutes and preparation to another meeting 30 minutes more too. So from one meeting to other you need to break 1 hour but in 1 hour you are making sometimes two, sometimes three more meetings. So technology is enabling this, forcing this, driving this. So we need to focus on this because of that with this mind. One of the main challenge is digital twin in our vision, especially in 2024 will be active in our mayor's agenda and he will start. To manage Istanbul digitally, not only physically, although he loves to be physical management, but to reach everywhere is not possible physically, so digitally it is possible. And the second one, from beginning of next year we will start to live that more AI or gen AI services in our life. And next year, these times, maybe our listeners will understand me better than now. [00:38:46] Tamlyn Shimizu: I'm excited to see what comes in 2024 then. So Errol has been talking, he's really emphasizing data, right? The importance of data. And I'm sure you agree as well, Fernando. Yes. Maybe you can give a little bit of an example on how Madrid is using data and kind of the strategy behind that. [00:39:04] Fernando de Pablo Martin: Yes, I totally agree. We need data. We need data to know what is happening, to take decision in real time, to plan for the future. We need to be organization based on data. We need to take decision based on data and not in intuition. So it's what is data driven. And for that you need to have a strategy. Also we were talking about the strategy of Madrid capital, but before that we were working in a pack of technical strategy that support this city strategy. So we were working in a cybersecurity strategy 5G agenda artificial intelligence strategy, one goptech and data strategy because we need data, but we need data with quality, with real time interoperables, with governance, the same because there are data in all the areas, in a lot of silos. So we need to put together all this information that data comes don't fall from the sky as rain, it comes from software application. So we need to put the focus in this software application to have this data with quality, to have all of this. If we want to have little twins, if we need to have a decision based on data this is very important in the whole view for a major in the whole view of the city. And we are working in several projects of this one, we're talking about the resti, the Spanish network of smart cities. We have a very important project. The name is Edint. The name is about data space for European infrastructure. It's based in European project of Gaiakis. We are collaborating with Refi because it's a project belonging to Refi to create this data spaces as a part of the strategy of the data strategy in Madrid in order to put together the information to make a better and more. [00:41:23] Tamlyn Shimizu: Intelligent decision in the really, really interesting projects. I wish we had more time to dig into more of the individual projects as well. Next time. Next time. But Errol, I'm wondering if you can talk a little bit about maybe how digitalization has helped or digital transformation has helped improve your processes. [00:41:48] Erol Özgüner: Okay, I will give one example, but it includes so many parts. One of the biggest challenge of each city is actually urban poverty because people started to live in city centers more than x times agriculture or farming started to turn city life and first time as I know all over the world city center population, past rural area population. But it causes also poverty because not everybody comes to Madrid or Istanbul directly. They are reaching to good financial level. They need to produce something, they need to do something. So urban poverty is one of the biggest challenge for each municipality, each metropolitan actually. And for Istanbul we are also facing with the refugees problem. There are so many refugees coming from Middle East, Syria or Afghanistan or Pakistan, Iraq because near our geography there are so many complicated situations. So they are trying to be in safe. So they are coming to Turkey and to adaptation of them to our civil life and different culture. Turkey has its own culture, istanbul its own culture. As Fernando mentioned, Madrid's soul is unique and belongs to Madrid. Istanbul soul is unique and belongs to Istanbul. They are not same. We have common problems but we have different problems. For example Buddhist refugee problem is one of the biggest problem of Istanbul and adaptation to normal social life is one of our challenge. So what we are working on this. We have one organization for all citizens to give them technical education for making them having a job. So we have physical buildings. Almost per year 400,000 people come there taking some courses, learning something and online courses more than a million students take some course and learn something. Not only language but also development. Some Java, net or Python, something like that. But some courses belongs to housewives. For example they are learning to cook good cakes, pasta, something like that. So when they get the certificate, when they finish the course we are giving certificate to them. Then we have another organization carrier IBB. This is directly focused on to preparing CV and giving direction to them. So they are coming to carrier IBB and we are creating their CV there with their certificates and graduation certificates something like that too there are third organization regional recruitment office. So this is also working for all private sectors in Istanbul. When they need somebody they are applying to our recruitment office and we are checking our CV pools and then we are directly accompanying them. So this is a circle and we are trying to create circular economy. But also one part now missing, I didn't tell this is an entrepreneurship and innovation startup companies part. We are also touching startups, academicians students, something like that for gathering together. If someone has an idea directly who is related with this idea we are trying to bring them together. So we are giving office to them, we are giving server to them, we are giving license to them. So they only need to realize this project, they don't need anything else. So we need only their mind. So the others we are giving them. So startups normal citizens has no job, but we are training them. So if we can create this circular economy, it will be one of the biggest enemy of this urban poverty. We believe that these wells will start to turn soon and then these urban poverty started to decrease little bit. I believe this, but to create this whole ecosystem wasn't easy. Actually, I should confess this. [00:46:44] Tamlyn Shimizu: And are you using AI to generate their CVS? [00:46:48] Erol Özgüner: Yes, Gen. AI. [00:46:52] Tamlyn Shimizu: Very good. Yeah, really interesting stuff. I know we're running out of time, but you also mentioned yesterday a really cool initiative during COVID times that people could solidarity. Yes, solidarity platform. [00:47:12] Erol Özgüner: I can tell a little bit. This is paid forward project only for focusing on unpaid utility bills. Because in COVID times most of the people lost their jobs. So they couldn't earn any money, so they couldn't pay their utility bills. Even this is necessary. This is one of the life conditions. So we anonymous all the unpaid utility bills in web page. Very simple technological solution. There is no name because of GDPR only amount of the utility bills five euro, ten euro and donator reaches to our web pages choosing the bill. They don't know whose bill is this. They are directly going to the post machine of the bank. They are writing their credit card number and they are paid. That's all. They don't know whose bill are paid and our student doesn't know who paid their bill. So it's very good. Right? [00:48:16] Tamlyn Shimizu: I love that. Thank you for sharing. I love that from your presentation. So Fernando, I know that the current state of digital public services, that Spain is a leader in the UN in this regard. What advice do you have for any of our listeners or anybody else trying to digitalize public services? One piece of advice. [00:48:42] Fernando de Pablo Martin: Well, I love more to listen the advice of other people that provide advice. [00:48:48] Tamlyn Shimizu: To we will get that for you. [00:48:52] Fernando de Pablo Martin: Well, first of all, I think you need to work in the main building blocks because you need technology to provide good data services. This is important here. You need to focus on the focus in all of these building blocks. You need technology, you need a digital identity. That it is not an easy way. This is a challenge for a lot of people. For a barrier in the time of COVID We have to overcome a lot of different problems. The problems are digital divide, digital identity, detail capabilities. It's very important to work with the people in increasing the capabilities of civil servant and also the complete population. Because the target of data value services is not to be able to avail the services, but the level of use of these services. This has been very important for the position of Madrid. Is true in the case of the UN report we are leading. But what we are worried not is about we are leading is the real impact in the people of these data, public services, that's very important for us more than other things. And I think it's very important always to listen to the citizen and listen to the companies because they are really putting the focus on what they need, not what you think they need. And other important thing is to always to listen to the level of satisfaction or the opinion of the people about your services. So of course you need to put all your services on the mobile because people are using a smartphone, so it's impossible not to have digital public services in the mobile. But well, all of this listen to the people. Trying to increase the digital capabilities is very important. Putting the focus in the use of the services, not only the availability of the services. This has been our focus in the last years. [00:51:09] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah, very good, very good words there to put the focus on the use, not on the availability. So, erol, last question of this main interview part. You have a 2030 smart city strategic plan. Of course. Could you tell us a little bit about what does that mean? [00:51:30] Erol Özgüner: Of course, to reach 2030 for technological point of view, actually very long time, seven years. And to see what will happen seven years, I don't know, I can't see. But Fernando, can you see seven years later? What will be? I'm not sure. For technologically, of course, we have some ideas, but really long term, because of that, we divided our strategic plan three main parts, short term, midterm and long term targets. Almost more than 200 projects are running now and 40% of them already completed and the others already in progress. And we have eight verticals. For example, governance is one of the vertical, life is one of the vertical, fintech is one of the vertical. Environment energy, for example, climate change is istanbul is the C 40 member city in Turkey, one of the only one city in Turkey. So till 2030 we need to decrease carbon level and carbon neutral situation. So this is very important. We are working on green energy too. So our strategic plan covers all the technology solutions which is directly related for three different terms, as I mentioned, short, mid and long term for reaching our main strategic plan targets via smart city technologies. I can tell this mainly. [00:53:13] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah, very good. All right, so now I want to move on to our fun segment and the segment that I've chosen for you today is called flip the script. [00:53:23] Tamlyn Shimizu: Flip the script. You are the one asking the questions and I'll be the one answering them. [00:53:32] Tamlyn Shimizu: Usually it's that you have to ask me a question, but when I have two guests on the show, I think it's the most interesting that you get to ask each other a question. So, errol, do you have a question for Fernando? [00:53:45] Erol Özgüner: Yeah, of course. Which mobile application is being used the most by you, Fernando? [00:53:52] Fernando de Pablo Martin: Yes, in Madrid the most used application is about the sports. [00:53:59] Erol Özgüner: Sports. [00:54:00] Fernando de Pablo Martin: The sports. This has been the killer application to use the mobile phone because in reality we began with a smartphone application too late. But in the last three years we have half a million of active uses and in most part in the case of the sport, this is the killer application for us all the reservation of an. [00:54:26] Erol Özgüner: Interesting. [00:54:27] Tamlyn Shimizu: So now you have to integrate all the digital services from the municipality. [00:54:31] Fernando de Pablo Martin: Yes, and it's very important because you present your income tax one time a year. But if you are sporty people, you use the sporty court every week. So this is much more important to have all of this on internet with your smartphone perhaps than to have the income task that you present one time a year. That's important for us. [00:54:54] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah, very interesting. Fernando, do you have a question? [00:54:57] Fernando de Pablo Martin: Yes, I have a question around the city. I was speaking with Rock about that istanbul is one of the most populous city in the world of all my family. Because this is a city where everybody needs to visit. But how Istanbul is divided by the sea, by the Buffalo channel and how is the challenges with a city divided with different areas because the sea is in the middle of yeah, there are. [00:55:26] Erol Özgüner: Some advantages, some disadvantages for managing traffic point of view. This is really big disadvantages because there are 3 million cars in Istanbul. So when they are at the traffic, mostly it has been like that families let's assume that three person or four person mostly they are preferring to live near to their children's school place. So for example, they are in Asian site, they have two kids, they are renting or buying a flat near to that children's school. But woman is working in Asian site somewhere man is working in European site. So at least one person from each family every day needs to change the continent. This is one of the reason for living this kind of traffic congestion. Actually, this is our main difficulties. But when I talk I mentioned that emergency management situation. If one day earthquake occurs, maybe it will affect European site, but Asian site will be more stronger. So that time people we can carry to people via bridges or undersea tunnels to the Asian side. This can give us a chance for creating alternative emergency rescuing scenarios. So from this side and advantages and the biggest advantage I really love my city and the view of phosphorus. It's amazing. Morning time, daytime evening time, when the bridges are lightning. Really, this is perfect view. So it is giving a great atmosphere to us, to everybody. [00:57:16] Tamlyn Shimizu: Very important, very good. Great questions for each other. Now I have one final question to close this out. It's a question that we ask every single guest. And that question is to you what is a smart city who wants to start? And the other one can build? [00:57:33] Fernando de Pablo Martin: Well, it is not an easy question because we are talking about the smart city, the total formation. There were a time ten years ago that the people talk about the smart cities. A lot of sensor black boxes, magic solution to resolve the city and now it's artificial intelligence, now magic solution. But this is not the truth. And now I think it's more important this human centered vision about the real problem of the people. For me, Smart City is a city that use, of course technology and the data generated by the city to shape what I say the city more attractive, more competitive, with the best quality of life for the people who live, work or visiting the city and of course with city council more efficient. So I think technology and digitalization and digital transformation help also to this type of city. More sustainable, more inclusive, and with a high level of cohesion between all the people in the city. And for me, this is city. [00:58:41] Tamlyn Shimizu: Very good. Have something to add or change? [00:58:43] Erol Özgüner: Yes, actually, mostly when we are talking to Smart City technology solutions, people bring in some one abbreviation, PPP public Private Partnership. We will do together with private sector, something like that. But always I'm saying that where is the fourth P? Where is people? So the most important thing, all the technological solutions has to serve to our citizens, to a person, to our community. So for me, the definition of Smart City, the whole technologies which is serving to all citizens, all people for increasing their life quality. [00:59:25] Tamlyn Shimizu: Absolutely. [00:59:25] Fernando de Pablo Martin: So the four piece public private partnership for people. [00:59:29] Erol Özgüner: Four piece. [00:59:32] Tamlyn Shimizu: Very good, very good. That's the title of the episode four P's. Very good. So with that, I have a lot of thank yous before closing. So thank you again to RECI for the collaboration. Thank you to Fira Barcelona for hosting us at the Smart City Expo where it's actually the first day, so I haven't seen anything yet, so I'm excited to go explore. And of course, a big thank you to you both for coming onto the show. It was really fun to hear your perspectives, really a lot of great insights for our listeners. So thank you so much. [01:00:05] Erol Özgüner: Welcome. [01:00:07] Fernando de Pablo Martin: Thank you. We have opened a very good relationship between Istanbul and Madrid. [01:00:11] Erol Özgüner: Yes. [01:00:15] Fernando de Pablo Martin: And of course with Barcelona. [01:00:18] Tamlyn Shimizu: There we go, there we go. That's what we like to see. So thank you so much. And to all of our listeners, thank you also for listening. Don't forget, you can always create a free account on bable-smartcities.eu. You can find out more about what great cities are doing. Smart City Projects Solutions implementations. Thank you very much. [01:00:38] Tamlyn Shimizu: Thank you all for listening. I'll see you at the next stop on the journey to a better urban life.

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