Sowing the seeds for success
Following on from the first two themes for smart city success outlined in our blog SOWING THE SEEDS FOR SUCCESS: STARTING TO REALISE YOUR SMART CITY STORY we’re going to jump straight into the final two themes:
3. FROM PILOT TO SCALE THROUGH VALUE DEMONSTRATION
Urban authorities are obliged to spend taxpayers’ money mindfully, always weighing up the opportunity cost of a dollar better spent elsewhere. With relatively few proven implementation plans, or quantifiable business cases to go by of a scaled Smart City solution, most Smart City success stories begin with an affordable pilot solution.
Conducted at a small scale and tailored towards the local needs, pilots are a great way to demonstrate the benefits smart solutions can bring to citizens as well as justifying to key financers & stakeholders that it is a financially self-sustaining and scalable solution.
However, from the initial phase of the pilot the ambition must be larger, and the breadth of stakeholders must be committed to cascading the programme further should the pilot prove its merit and hit some predefined KPIs. Far too often we see Smart City initiatives struggling to move beyond pilot. However, a tried and tested method which we have used globally with various city authorities. helps to secure stakeholder buy-in and ensure the project continues to receive further rounds of funding.
4. SMART CITY IS AN ECOSYSTEM PLAY – PARTNERSHIPS, DATA, AND GOVERNANCE
Cities are a complex mesh of strategic, yet interconnected, human-physical pillars, often serving up over 600 lines of business and spanning diverse political agendas; from outdated utilities pipes, to an urban crime crisis, to a hopeful environmental agenda.
Better understanding how these pillars both stand alone and flow into each other is the key multiplier effect of a Smart City endeavour. A strong ecosystem of technology partners, industry SMEs, academics, and key stakeholders can enable a mastery of the pillars and unlock synergistic opportunities to provide value across multiple sectors by building upon one another.
Overtime, a well-coordinated ecosystem governance, unified through city leadership and clarity of purpose, will facilitate shared data practices, seamless collaboration and tacit knowledge transfer by establishing a shared vision and a shared value between entities.
Realistically, no urban authority can implement a Smart City strategy alone and, even if they could, it would be a missed opportunity to grow the local economies, drive new innovations, engage urban inhabitants and foster new professional relationships.
A GAME CHANGER – CITY PLATFORM TO ACCELERATE THE SMART CITY IMPLEMENTATION
As we look towards the 2020-decade one of the key game-changers for cities seeking to develop that dynamic interoperability between the ecosystem partners and the urban verticals will be the establishment of a Connected City Platform. Through this platform, integrated stakeholders will be able to use data driven insights shared by other partners to enable higher coordination and efficiency across city functional silos. By aggregating citizen insights, Smart City steering groups will be able to more readily quantify the value returned to citizens through Smart City interventions, thereby unlocking further funding and scale.
We believe that if we can equip city administrators with the right tools, strategy, and guidance to overcome the identified barriers, then they too will have what’s needed to move from smart city pilots to scale.
Do you agree with these four themes? Which have you found the most challenging when considering your cities transformation? Leave a comment or read more about our work with cities on our content hub.