When Can I have a Smart City?

KnowNowCities LogoThat depends on where you live. Some places are already well on there way to becoming smart – Bristol, Barcelona, Songdo. Even these leaders in the smart cities race (although I would argue it is not a traditional race) are not that smart. Yet.

So that means most places are more than likely to be just starting to think about how they can be smarter? So what can you do? Well that depends on who you are. I have outlined some short action plans for some of the players involved in creating a new smart place or making an existing smart place smarter!

Where do you Start

A good place is the excellent guide published by the BSI – Smart Cities Overview.   The other is to recognise where you may sit in the smart city collaborative who else you require to engage.  Finally, also have a view on what your outcomes would look like.

Who Am I:  Local Authority Leader/Chief Exec

Ask these questions about the proposed plan in this order.

  1. What are my places  principles and what are the standards I want to apply.   Of the 5 key smart city themes what are my places perspective on them?
  2. What does my place need to achieve?  How does being smart make that happen?
  3. What therefore are the new outcomes and impacts that this place demands – from a citizen, socio-economic and political viewpoint.
  4. How would this new smart place make the rest of my area of control more effective, sustainable, open and smart?
  5. What are the actions on me to prepare for this new place?  e.g. Open data readiness.
  6. What can I do to make my intentions clear to developers, architects and master planners to ensure the smart city theme is applied in planning submissions.

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Who Am I:  Developer

A developer for a new build has slightly different motivations in enabling a smart place.  These are to ensure a higher rental return as this site is different and offers more than other sites.   Additionally, the developer may be the owner too.  As such an improved operational cost profile can be enjoyed if being smart was designed from the start.

The questions a developer needs to focus on are:

  • What vision will make a difference in my market place?
  • What is the competition up to?
  • How do I limit my immediate liabilities yet maximise my potential without storing future liabilities.
  • How do I manage change in my development without causing an impact?  Bearing in mind some developments take anywhere between 1 to 20 years.   Technology can refresh anywhere between <12months through to 20+years.

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Who Am I: Architect, Master Planner, Urban Designer

The architect/master planner/urban designer has to take a myriad of customer requirements and deliver a viable plan.  The technology aspect of a build should be handled in the same way as this community treats water engineering in development.

The analogy is good because water has a number of personalities and specific requirements.  Just like tech!  The question is though: what type of digital stuff? And where does it live?  What does it need (as computers require power/cooling) and how do I prepare for that?  Digging holes in newly paved roads for a network install impacts the developments bottom line.   So the questions to ask are:

  1. What technology components do I need to meet the clients vision?
  2. Where do these tech things exist physically?
  3. What do they need to exist?
  4. What other things must they have – security
  5. What is the plan to deliver these technology components

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So When Can I have my Smart City?

That is the easy part.   Contact KnowNow Cities via the form below and we can help you on your journey.  Or if part way through help get it re-started, back on path or even offer it a gentle nudge.