Cahul and Ungheni – aspiring smart cities, with the support of the EU and UNDP Moldova

May 29, 2024

Smart city initiatives in the Republic of Moldova, Romania, and the Czech Republic, which harness the potential of digital solutions to upgrade water supply and waste disposal facilities, streamline public transport networks, find more efficient ways to light and heat the buildings were the topics addressed on 28 May 2024 at a forum organized by the "EU4Moldova: Focal Regions" programme, financed by the European Union and implemented by UNDP and UNICEF. The development of technologies opens up new opportunities for effective governance, for improving services offered to citizens and transforming cities into efficient, comfortable and sustainable environments, noted the participants at the forum. 

Better urban mobility, intelligent management of resources (efficient water metering and control of water supply system management processes, monitoring and safety of sanitation services), public services delivery through one stop shops, digital education in preschool institutions, safe cities through the development of systems of video monitoring, smart city platforms, intelligent public lighting are among the smart projects supported during 2019-2024 in Cahul and Ungheni by the European Union and UNDP. The total value of the investments amounts to over 1.8 million euros, including the contribution of local public authorities.

“The smart city is no longer a dream of mankind, but a reality. We are grateful to the"EU4Moldova: Focal Regions programme, our partners, and friends for the opportunity to embark on the path of digital transformation. The development of the Smart City Ungheni 2021-2025 Programme, with the support of EU4Moldova: Focal Regions, made us know much better what we did next. We are still at the beginning of the path, but we are convinced that in the coming years Ungheni will become a truly smart city. Together we will succeed, and the future will certainly be even better,” said Vitalie Vrabie, Mayor of Ungheni. 

"In today's digital world, it is not about adapting and not having the services to meet the needs, the changes of our cities and companies continue.  Building a digital society is not an easy process. Because then tangibles can be felt more heavily than infrastructure projects. The use of the right innovative solutions, in all areas of life, contributes to the efficiency of costs, resources, increasing quality, competitiveness and the standard of living at home. We appreciate the support of the EU4Moldova: Focal Regions programme, which helped us develop and have a clear direction and agenda on the processes to be digitalised," mentioned Stella Bădin, Deputy Mayor of Cahul.

The smart city platforms for Cahul and Ungheni, that are being now developed, will include real-time video monitoring for road traffic, waste management and maintaining public order. Energy consumption monitoring and street lighting optimization systems will be implemented, along with efficient water metering. Public transport management will be improved through real-time visualization of urban transport, while facilitating closer and more efficient interaction between local authorities and citizens, thus increasing community involvement.

"The EU4Moldova: Focal Regions programme supports the development of Cahul and Ungheni regions with nearly 23 million euro of EU funding. The programme has witnessed remarkable achievements during its four years of implementation. These encompass strengthening transparency and accountability of local public administrations, improving citizens' access to high-quality public services, enhancing employment opportunities and attractiveness of these regions for investors and entrepreneurs. It also promotes development of a smart city platform. This platform is the cornerstone for improved data management in these regions, enabling the collection, integration, and analysis of information crucial for informed decision-making and improved service delivery”, noted Adam Grodzicki, Deputy Head of Cooperation within the Delegation of the European Union in the Republic of Moldova 

“The forum represents an opportune event for building a shared vision of smart cities in Moldova by leveraging data, technology, and innovation. Smart cities are crucial for creating efficient, sustainable, and inclusive urban environments that can offer better quality of life for all inhabitants and businesses. The success of smart city initiatives relies heavily on public-private partnerships and community involvement. Together, we can build a more sustainable and inclusive future for Moldova's urban settlements,” said Andrea Cuzyova, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative to the Republic of Moldova

The "Empowering smart cities in Moldova" forum brought together over 50 representatives of local public authorities from the Republic of Moldova and Romania, ICT experts, and organizations that campaign for digital inclusion and smart governance.

“EU4Moldova: Focal Regions” programme (2019-2024) supports smart, inclusive, and sustainable socio-economic development in the Cahul and Ungheni regions to bring a better quality of life to citizens. The programme has a total budget of €23 million, is financed by the European Union and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). 

Access here the press-release in Russian.