South East Europe Smart City Project
One of the first solar benches

Written by Najra Dević  

Smart City project is an idea that implements new technology to improve the lives of the citizens and the effectiveness of the cities. It makes cities more attractive and more engaging for tourists and for citizens. It also improves cooperation between economic and social sectors through clouds and mobile accessibility. Last year, over 400 cities around the world started this project. In South East Europe, Sarajevo is the first city to implement this idea. The project is supported and financially sustained by IBM, Apple, Arduino and other big companies.

The hopes are that implementing the Smart City project will benefit the entire society, and that it will be a valuable addition for cities. Informations can later be used to make all sorts of analyses and for further development of the IT and social programs.

Sarajevo is the second city in the world that has implemented solar benches. The solar bench was designed by a young Croatian inventor, named Ivan Mrvoš. The bench is powered by solar energy, and the bateries that are inside will get charged by the solar panels. Using the energy stored in the batteries, people can use the bench to charge their mobile phones there and check the air quality that is displayed. At night, they are used as the muncipal lighting, saving a lot of money in the process.

This whole project started thanks to the UNDP office in Sarajevo, that have ordered six solar benches from Ivan as a gift to Sarajevo and to the Sarajevo film festival. As a sign of gratitude, the festival has dedicated a whole day to renewable sources of energy. The benches were installed in three locations in Sarajevo: two of them are next to the Festina lente Brigde, the other two are around the National Theatre and two more are located next to the Sarajevo city center.

The main goal of this project is to raise awareness about renewable energy sources as solutions for future energy. The Swedish Embassy was also involved, by financially supporting this project, for which they deserve a big thank you.