Using technology and the data collection to help address complex challenges – as much as it sounds complicated and means different things to different people, this is the core definition of the idea of smart cities.
Municipal government can use technology to help address their complex city challenges, such as tracking and upgrading cities main KPIs, improving budgetary efficiency or scheduling city work in a more efficient and logical manner. Any city can become a smart city, whether big or small, the process is generally the same. For smart cities you should consider the following steps:
1. Look what are the city problems that need fixing. Traffic congestions, mobility, pollution, safety, waste management … Discover the needs and priorities among the city’s citizens and businesses. Ask them what they want to change and start working on that.
2. Find a leader and develop a vision everyone can get behind. Idea of a Smart city is a long term vision that will change the future of citizens. That is why dynamic leadership from mayors as well as chief executives that will understand and completely support that vision is greatly needed.
3. Share data. Open data is critical to fostering an ecosystem which smart city project represents. Connect with city businesses, schools, health institutions … and share data. Transparency of cities data and innovative use of them is a big step towards becoming a smart city.
4. Educate citizens. Smart city will be irrelevant to most of its inhabitants unless they can learn how to use new technology. Tell them how they can benefit from it and involve them in the process. If you will install sensors in your city for measuring the pollution of water, tell the citizens how they can track that and see the progress. In that way you can also encourage them to help you make more clean and environmentally friendly place to live.
5. Make a business case. Create plans and communicate the smart city vision to get stakeholders behind it. You can benefit from smart city vision with sharing data and adding economic value to it. Also attracting investments from tech companies, universities … Connect with political leaders, community leaders, transport and utility providers and entrepreneurs. City is not just a place to live it can also be a source of business.
6. Smart city is all about technology, so consider the cloud. Your city may not be able to do all the implementation, operation and maintenance necessary to support an advanced analytics capability. Find out what technological background your city has and then work on them, improve them and prepare them to smart technology.
7. But in the end it all begins with: why Smarter Cities matter. Unless you aren’t agreed on the need for them, it is unlikely you will take the steps required to achieve them. Study the concept first. Becoming a smart city is not simply about becoming a technology demonstration site. It is about accomplishing something.
Follow the best, open to the world, act globally, support other cities on their journey and learn from them. As a company we are also available for you with advices. With us you can estimate on what level you are and where you need help. Let us know and we will help you with your smart city vision.