The National League of Cities (NLC) has released “Trends in Smart City Development,” a new report featuring case studies about how five cities — Philadelphia, San Francisco, Chicago, Charlotte, NC, and New Delhi, India — are implementing smart city projects from different approaches. The report also provides recommendations to help local governments consider and plan these projects.
“Cities across the country and around the world are employing exciting new technologies that leverage data to engage their residents and improve their communities,” said NLC President Matt Zone, council member, Cleveland. “City leaders are sharing the ideas and strategies that have worked to make their cities smarter and more connected. This report is a useful guide to set cities up for success with smart city initiatives.”
A “smart city” is one that has developed technological infrastructure that enables it to collect, aggregate, and analyze real-time data to improve the lives of its residents. The report suggests that any city effort should include explicit policy recommendations regarding smart infrastructure and data, a functioning administrative component, and some form of community engagement.
“Advances in technology are deeply intertwined with the evolution of cities,” said Brooks Rainwater, report co-author and director of NLC’s Center for City Solutions and Applied Research. “As the world becomes more connected with every passing day, cities will increasingly integrate smart city projects to improve public safety, drive sustainability efforts, and create equity. This report serves as a resource for local officials to help them learn and plan for the future.”
While “Trends in Smart City Development” shows that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to implementing these types systems, it provides three recommendations that should be at the core of every plan:
- Cities should consider the outcomes they want to achieve. The most successful initiatives will be those with clear objectives that solve public problems unique to each city.
- Cities should look for ways to partner with universities, non-profits, and the private sector. Partnerships provide many benefits to cities including access to funding and outside expertise.
- Cities should continue to look for best practices and frameworks for smart city development. Technology standards and frameworks for this are in development and should be considered by city leaders.
To learn how more about smart city trends and how different cities are implementing projects, access “Trends in Smart City Development” here.