Smart Cities and the journey to the “Cloud”
This report, published by Deloitte, introduces a new framework for helping cities apply smart city strategies. This describes the main domains that support smart city objectives, sets the key elements to build the right foundation of a smart city and explores the role of technology in building smart city solutions.
The proposed framework aims to help cities achieve three common goals:
Quality of Life: A smart city should enhance every aspect of daily life by promoting the best of urban living and minimizing the hassles of daily life.
Economic Competitiveness: Innovative economy should be a priority for smart cities ensuring business-friendly characteristics such as enough jobs and tax revenue.
Sustainability: The right attitude towards the environment and the sustainable consumption of natural resources should be the main elements of the overall smart city vision. The promotion of quality of life and economic growth should be constant goals with long term results.
Six primary elements that cities can leverage to develop their strategy are proposed:
To build the right foundation for a smart city, key stakeholders should be engaged from the start to create the vision and plan for the future. Local officials should be involved in setting the vision, the private sector can promote and guide smart city initiatives forward and academia can provide innovative solutions for city’ problems. Citizens’ participation is critical in all phases of planning and adopting smart cities’ strategies. Moreover, funding and financing are core elements to begin and implement smart city strategy and projects. Innovative models of infrastructure finance are introduced, such as public-private partnerships, crowdfunding and special development funds.
The report also emphasizes the key role of technology in building Smart Cities, with sensor data and citizen-generated information providing a better understanding of citizens’ needs. Α combination of core technologies such as computing, storage, databases, data warehouses and advanced technologies, including analytics on big data, real-time streaming data, artificial intelligence, machine learning and the Internet of Things (IoT), are the base of smart city solutions.
To avoid some common mistakes while applying smart city solutions, such as planning for perfection, following perspectives that don’t really align with residents’ goals, give too much focus on design and not enough on delivery, cities should take specific steps:
- Start with a compelling business case. Present an idea constituents can easily understand.
- Develop, document and communicate a clear and compelling vision of the future. Create a picture everyone can rally around.
- Run it like a portfolio. Include discrete projects, each with its own business case.
- Authorize the Program Management Office to make decisions. Establish standards, manage issues and risks, make decisions and move forward.
- Take a phased approach with many small “wins” over time. Cluster and sequence projects based on outcomes, priority, staffing and funding.
- Don’t underestimate change management and communications. Double your time estimate, then double it again.
- Focus on achievable results. Pick three things you want to announce as successes one year from now.
You can read the whole report here.