Author | Esther FuldauerIn a time of austerity with extreme measures and budget cuts, we would imagine that the last thing we want to do is spend more on technological investments with dubious outcomes. The past has showed us that technology becomes obsolete in a blink of an eye. We wouldn’t want to invest in proprietary technology that risks becoming locked in and rapidly becomes obsolete.Besides problems are so complex that they are beyond the mere use of technology. The whole of society must become involved. So beyond the glittery smart technology, what is smart city all about?Our cities are growing faster than ever. Cities already hold 54% of the world’s population, are expected to increase 66% by 2050, 90% of that growth happening in Asia and Africa. Current municipal infrastructures and services are no longer capable of dealing with challenges which are becoming harder to solve.Just as the challenges in sustainability, congestion and wider use of public transport, traffic management and energy management are becoming more complex, cities can also offer more opportunities to solve these issues, because their larger concentration of talent and resource gathering potential leads to more technological innovation, new business models and services.By using open innovation models originally developed for business, citizens and public servants with diverse fields of knowledge can now co-create new municipal services solving severe problems, impossible to solve from a centric top bottom approach.Moreover, data can now be collected from sensors or crowdsourced from citizens, and shared as open data to find out how changes in the system are affecting the whole. New models can be quickly tested within a fraction of the time and cost of traditional structures. There are two other benefits of increasing the number of data-gathering networks and analyzing their data, the ability to visualize new applications by collating data and to forecast new outcomes.Circular economy business models are also bringing more savings in efficiency in terms of infrastructure maintenance and savings in consumption of raw materials. Peterborough (UK), named Smart City of the Year 2015, has a collaborative approach to citizen involvement that is an excellent example of the bottom-top vision of a smart city.If you ask them what makes them succeed they say, “Certainly technology is helping cities meet their challenges quicker, but the real motor of it all is their engaged citizens. Having successful programs that encourage people coming together, testing their ideas with technology and sufficient funding for their programs. Thus the Innovation Challenge Fund and Test Bed Fund have allowed us to support the great ideas of 11 startup businesses and SMEs in Peterborough.” The outcome is a city that is compassionate, creating new business opportunities as it becomes more sustainable and efficient with a higher quality of life.Image | Dystopos/Flickr
Island countries: small countries with major challenges
Smart growth vs new urbanism
Smart cities in the United States: which ones are making it to the top and their peculiarities
Israel's Smart Cities: Celebrating & sharing employees' and residents' innovation globally
Smart growth: principles and examples of smart urban planning
Why Brisbane will host the 2032 Olympic Games
Ten keys to understand the post-COVID city
Transport Operations Platform: A smart city data platform by Accenture and Microsoft
MUSE by Citegestion unifies the city stakeholders around a digital patform
SAS For Flood Prediction & Preparedness: Improves real-time situational awareness allowing for a proactive response
Kenya's Konza Techno City: Is the project well planned?
Columbus, the smart city leading by example
Innovation and e-governance: which countries are at the forefront of digital government development?
There’s no smart city without a smart government
As cities fill tech gaps, power of smart cities unleashes
Augusto López-Claros | Keynote Session | Lessons from COVID-19 and the Future of the SDGs
Activating Strategic Alliances
Better Together: Partnerships for the Planet
Inauguration: Resilient Governance is Good Governance
Smart Cities: What Are the Requirements for Smart Governance?
Proprietary or open-source software? Arguments in favor and against
Tomorrow.Podcast 1x01: Are our cities more resilient than ever?
Smart AMB: can data lead us to deliver better urban services?
A New Space For Mayors. Bloomberg to Fund Harvard Center for Cities
Barcelona Provincial Council: this is how a smart region works
PODCAST 1x01 - Are our cities more resilient than ever?
Barcelona’s strategy to drive the 2030 Agenda in the city
Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole: cities become smarter by forming smart regions
Pablo Soto, regional representative of Transparency and Participation in Madrid: “Technology should be used to enhance institutions”
Metropolitan governance: extending municipal governments as a response to new urban challenges
How to go from being a town to a Smart Town
The G20 creates the Global Smart Cities Alliance to establish universal norms and guidelines for the implementation of technology
Citizens at the heart of smart cities
Paul Duan, co-founder and President of Bayes Impact: “We should trust in the power of the multitude”
Open government and citizen participation: a journey through history - Infographic
How and why do cities die?
Digital natives, technological illiterates?
New COVID-19 outbreaks: this is what the hammer and the dance will be like
Citizens policing our streets: is it lawful to report the inappropriate use of cities?
Smart cities that failed along the way
Can technology foster democracy?
Open data: how can they improve citizen engagement and the economy?
Cities are for people: towards a new conception of public spaces
Electronic voting, a reality that has little to do with virtual reality
Welcome to the Smart City Live!
How cities are using collective intelligence to fight the coronavirus
What makes a city attractive to talent?
Imec: Open digital twin framework
x-tention: Towards post covid-19 smart tourism
Arca: Wave control for better health
Recommended profiles for you
Majlis Perbandaran Kulai
Miguel de Castro Neto
NOVA Cidade - Urban Analytics Lab
Deputy Dean at NOVA Information Management School\\nCoordinator of NOVA Cidade - Urban Analytics Lab
Independent Senior Consultant. Corporate and Cultural Communication
CINARA DE VILA
Consell Insular de Mallorca
Undergrad Student in International Relations at Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro
Mas Ayu Zainul Abidin
Penang State Secretary Office
Principal Assistant Secretary
Universidad Católica de Salta
ARAB FORUM for SMART CITIES
ARAB FORUM for SMART CITIES
University of Campinas (UNICAMP)
Administrative staff; Student of Public Management and Government (specialization degree)
creative and systematic work undertaken to increase the stock of knowledge"
AdN Agence du Numérique - Wallonie (Digital Wallonia)
Smart Territory Advisor