Publication - Barometer

Belgian Smart Cities Barometer: a first statistical overview

The future of our municipalities: is it the "Smart City Attitude"?

On 16 February 2017, our team was at the Salon des Mandataires 2017 at the Wex (Marche-en-Famenne) to exclusively present our latest scientific study proposing an inventory of Smart Cities in Belgium. The research, a real barometer of our municipalities, is a first in Belgium, and even internationally.


Indeed, it observes the phenomenon of smart cities in a quantitative way - from perception to execution and initiation - by diving very precisely into the heart of the target.

How do the actors in our cities perceive the phenomenon? What does the Smart City mean to them - even before they start to experience it? Who is driving this transformation? Who are the actors surrounding the municipalities and how do they organise themselves to carry out these projects that they see as an opportunity and that they largely describe as their future?

The survey, conducted among the 589 Belgian municipalities, is statistically representative of Belgian territorial and institutional realities. The results of the research are available in French/English/Dutch, in the form of a report and infographics.


Focus on some key observations

  • Enfin, 17% des communes interrogées ont l’intention de rédiger un plan stratégique dédié à l’élaboration de la Smart City.
  • Belgian municipalities perceive, in priority, the Smart City as a digital challenge: Overall, Belgian municipalities perceive the Smart City first as a technological issue, then as an opportunity and, finally, as the future of cities.
  • 66% of them feel concerned by the issue, although the degree of relevance of the concept varies according to the rural character and the region to which they belong (detail in the report).
  • The public sector remains the main initiator of Smart Cities in Belgium (80%) and often dives into the adventure via environmental projects.
  • The main difficulties highlighted by the municipalities surveyed are :
1. The availability of financial resources
2. Lack of expertise in the administration;
3. The complexity of mobilising and coordinating all the actors.
  • Finally, 17% of the municipalities surveyed intend to draw up a strategic plan dedicated to the development of the Smart City.

Nathalie Crutzen, Academic director of the institute :

I am convinced that the Smart City phenomenon is not a simple trend, but a real substantive issuethat will fundamentally change life in our territories. This barometer has enabled us to take the "pulse" of Smart City dynamics in Belgium. This step was very important because, while we talk a lot about this phenomenon which concerns all our municipalities, we didn't have until now generalizable statistics allowing us to take stock of the situation. On the basis of the results of this study, I can only encourage the actors to talk more to each other and to mobilise themselves to create together the "territories of the future" while situating the human being at the heart of the matter.

Want to know more?

Discover the detailed results in our report and/or the infographics.


See also our press releases :
press release - FR 
press release - DUTCH

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