The Federation for the Technology Industry (Agoria), announced on Monday that Hasselt has taken the lead in the ranking of the Smart Cities project. The second position goes to the Namur – capital city of Wallonia – according to the five criteria analysed, which partially measure the quality of life of the inhabitants of a city.
Agoria has examined the twenty largest cities in Belgium; they analysed the number of digital business, their quality of air, the renovation status of their buildings, the volume of waste per capita and their energy consumption.
Hasselt is pulling the other Belgian towns by far, with a total of 85 points out of 100. They are followed, in a handkerchief, by Namur (69 points), Leuven (68), Mechelen (66) and Genk (63). Marc Lambotte, CEO of Agoria, explains this situation: “We can certainly say that the Smart Cities rankings reflect the situation at one given point, but they remain major barometers for citizens and investors. In fact, an investor observes the world in search of the most suitable place for his/her activity. Criteria such as sustainability, mobility, fine particles, energy policy, knowledge, etc. help him/her make his decision.”
At European level, Belgium still has a long way to go to catch up with Copenhagen, Barcelona, Helsinki or Vienna. “We see good will through the many small, very interesting, projects that we find throughout our country. But what we lack are large-scale applications, at the level of an entire neighbourhood or city”, Marc Lambotte said.
Agoria concludes: “A Smart City is primarily a good place to live and work (…) Our country is experiencing strong urbanization and must ensure that our cities remain viable in the future.”