Will Streit: Tuesday, May 27 we had a great kick-off with the city leadership in City Hall. Vilnius Mayor Artûras Zuokas provided a wonderful and insightful introduction. He covered the recent initiatives that the city has pursued, as well as provided a vision of where the Smarter Cities Challenge team can help. In our few days here so far, we have already seen evidence of the city’s willingness to break new ground with leading-edge initiatives!
The city of Vilnius featured the kickoff on the official Vilnius website – press release
Indrė Jakaitytė, City Council Member and Head of the Smarter Vilnius Department, and Anton Nikitin, Smart Vilnius Project Manager were particularly helpful providing insight into the initiatives that the city has implemented. We are impressed with how much the entire Vilnius municipal team has done over the past few years.
Tuesday we also heard from a number of experts who provided background ranging from urban planning to transportation analysis. Wednesday we spent the day with the parking and traffic management teams, understanding their systems, processes, and initiatives. We also began diving into the data – Vilnius is a great example of Big Data opportunities!
We also found time to see more of Vilnius on Monday and Tuesday. Monday evening we went with our Vilnius hosts to a concert by the Amber quartet at the Grand Duke’s Palace, followed by dinner on a cobblestone path in Old Town.
On Tuesday, we were invited to have breakfast in the sky over the central Cathedral square. It was amazing and without a doubt a personal highlight! Vilnius is an absolutely gorgeous city with a great mix of modern and historic architecture.
Contributed by William Streit, May 28