‘Smart cities embrace ideas that have been proven elsewhere and customise them to meet genuine local needs. In turn, these efforts serve as exemplars, showing the way for others to follow.’
We love this quote taken from India Smart Cities Challenge because we believe that one important trait of smart cities is that they learn from evidence and from what has worked elsewhere. We helped to establish smart cities urban governance across the 7 cities in Scotland in 2014 and we continue to help cities across the UK use our online Self-Assessment tool and apply our Smart Cities Maturity Model. The Self-Assessment Tool helps cities understand their current position on the journey toward ‘smart’ and is designed to walk cities through the process of clearly understanding current activity, identifying next steps, and gaining an appreciation of the actions and resources required to realise their ambitions. It becomes an asset that can be re-used over time by cities and other communities.
Successful smart cities have a strategy and roadmap setting out how investment in data & digital technologies enables service reform and partner collaboration. An effective strategy focuses on delivering improved outcomes aligned to the city’s strategic priorities.
Successful smart cities make effective use of their data assets to secure better outcomes. They invest in system-wide data capture, integration and analytics capabilities. Open data underpins their commitment to transparency and innovation.
Successful smart cities invest in open, flexible, integrated and scalable ICT architectures that enable accelerated service innovation such as provision of automated and real-time dynamic response capabilities.
Governance & Service Delivery Models
Successful smart cities adapt traditional organisational models of delivery to realise the opportunities of data and digital technologies. They invest in system-wide partnership models focused on shared outcomes.
Citizen & Business Engagement
Successful smart cities make best use of data and digital technologies to invest in enhanced openness and transparency. Citizen & business engagement and stakeholder ownership of service reform is central within a smart city. Smart cities are proactive in improving take up of digital services while supporting the digitally excluded.
This solution to improve urban governance has helped and continues to help cities across Scotland and the UK to assess their current position on the journey to being a smart city.
Smart cities adopt a ‘system-of- systems’ approach to service delivery and develop collaborative service models to focus on shared outcomes across organisational boundaries. They make best use of data and digital technologies to invest in enhanced openness and transparency that promotes citizen and business engagement in, and ownership of, service reform. But investment in digital technologies and improved data management alone will not deliver the smart city.
Throughout the stages of the self-assessment questions, cities are prompted to consider the extent to which the five key dimensions are maturing. The ultimate vision is of a smart city that strategically manages multiple systems at a city-wide level through increased transparency, openness and that shared accountability creates an innovation system that improves outcomes and enhances city competitiveness.
Cities need to consider the strategic intent, governance and service delivery models that exist together with their approach to citizen and business engagement if they are to secure the maximum impact from their investments.
Taking a Smart Cities Maturity Model approach to the development and delivery of smart cities can support both the individual ambition of each city and ensure collective alignment across the organisations and people involved.