During the recent Smart City Expo in Barcelona, Spain, we saw many new innovations and ideas about bringing the concept of the Smart City to life. There were intriguing talks and vibrant discussions. There were earnest exhortations and powerful testimonials.
But in my opinion, one key element was missing.
The reality is that many cities are already embracing this movement. Simply put, certain cities are already smart. They are already leveraging information collected and processed by social intelligence for enhancing construction, security, traffic, infrastructure management, energy, as well as emergency response.
However, there is always room for making smart cities even smarter.
From unique political and economic situations to environmental and sustainability approaches, each city is different, and all are highly dynamic. In addition, each city has a storied past, which plays into developing new strategies and process for being smarter. Certainly, technology is a critical piece of the puzzle. From a geospatial perspective, the latest innovations provide the foundation for distributing spatial data, and translating it into actionable information that drives process decision-making.
Building a Smarter City has many puzzle pieces, all of which have to be managed at the same time. From transportation to the environment to development impacts on the daily lives of citizens, these all need to be taken into consideration during the entire process.
Of course, one of the biggest challenges is overcoming a culture that is averse to change. Political and business processes have been done in certain ways – often for many decades at a time. It all starts with political leaders embracing the vision for a smarter city, which will pave the way for new opportunities and advancements.
By taking a holistic approach to building a smarter city, it will be possible make changes that will enhance the lives of all citizens around the globe.