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Smart city testbeds

Peer review
By Platform
Participants of the Smart city peer review discussing

On 26 and 27 April 2023, the Policy Learning Platform organised a hybrid peer review for the benefit of the Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade.


The main challenge

How to develop agile piloting and other smart city testbed initiatives.

Peers from across Europe

Alongside Luc Schmerber, our thematic expert on SME Competitiveness, six excellent peers participated in the peer review:

  • Ricardo Gonçalves, Municipality of Fundão, Portugal
  • Katharine Willis, University of Plymouth, England
  • Jorge Muyo, Regional Government of Cantabria, Spain
  • Juho Kostiainen, Testbed Helsinki, Finland
  • Kaissa Spilling, Forum Virium, Finland


Building a smart city/testbed environment requires commitment and support from the highest municipal political level.

It takes time for the policy to make an impact and to build the necessary trust in the population.

While all parts of the administration might need to be involved and become the internal ‘owners’ of the pilots in their area of competence, it is recommended to have a central support team which facilitates the process for all participants.

smart city testbeds are not mere technical experiments. The asset of a city is to provide testing conditions as close to real life as possible.

In order to make this work properly, it is necessary to build trust among the citizens, which are also the ones directly involved in the testing.

This works best when all relevant stakeholders for a given pilot are involved from the design to the implementation of the testing in a co-creation process.

Citizens should potentially benefit from the pilots on the long run. Especially the use of digital technologies for new solutions provides opportunities for improving the social and territorial cohesion.

A smart city/testbed policy on the municipal level requires the proper mindset within the administration staff. This is absolutely necessary for making the implementation successful.

Peer review report

Explore the recommendations in the follow-up report below. 

Apply for a peer review!

Find solutions to your regional policy challenges with our experts and selected peers during a two-day peer review.