Harelbeke is one of the forerunners when it comes to the concept of smart cities. However, as a smaller city, Harelbeke does not have the resources that Flemish cities such as Antwerp, Ghent or others enjoy. Nevertheless, they are managing just fine and finding the right balance, mainly thanks to a fairly far-reaching technological standardization, good consultation between government and administration and by getting down to work. The objective is to be able to support more policy decisions with more data. To this end, they are collaborating with Inetum-Realdolmen – a collaboration that fits in perfectly with the practicable and affordable way of working that Harelbeke has opted for.
Harelbeke demonstrates that smart city projects are feasible for all cities
Frederik Hellyn, ICT manager at Harelbeke, explains the significance of mobility: "As in many cities and towns, mobility is a concept that is a crucial element when it comes to smart city projects. Among other things, we too want to be able to manage traffic better, make larger parts of the city car-free, have fewer paved streets and make school environments safer. In doing so, we are working towards a city that we want to make more attractive as a whole. Harelbeke in its current form is a little too much of a transit city, so we want to get passers-by to stop here more often to discover our city."