UKA correspondentWednesday 15 November 2017

Report recommends five steps for smart cities

Future Cities Catapult and Arup outline measures in first global review

City governments aiming to build smart places need to follow five recommendations, including tapping into core funding and long term collaboration with the private sector, according to a new report.

Drawing of buildings on mini globeThe Future Cities Catapult (FCC) makes the recommendations in its first Global Review of Smart City Strategies, which it has prepared in collaboration with engineering consultancy Arup.

It argues that understanding how smart cities are being developed from a global perspective is crucial in enabling cities and industries to support the effort, and charts the evolution of strategies in different parts of the world. This has involved a shift from a technology-driven to a citizen-centred approach.

First of the recommendations is to establish strong leadership skills and capacity in local government to deliver projects, and the second to embed a smart city strategy within existing statutory frameworks.

Third is to consider a collaborative approach, coupled with strong political support, to harness citizens’ and businesses’ capabilities. Fourth is to tap into core city funding by regularly scanning existing assets and budgets.

Finally, authorities should create a plan for private sector engagement and long term collaboration, and designate a person or team for communicating with investors.

Steve Turner, smart cities lead at Arup, said: “City authorities are at the core of digital transformation. Their ability to be the fulcrum between articulating citizen need and engaging technology providers, will be key in determining overall city competitiveness. This research will help authorities around the world to create strategies that enable them to fulfil this critical role.”

Image from report cover