City leaders around the world are working to improve the quality of life and increase the number of useful services for their citizens, businesses, and visitors. Smart city initiatives are gaining attention in several countries, as administrators, industry, and citizens are working together to enhance their communities, cities, regions, and nations. After more than ten years of smart city hype, innovative projects have emerged, but few have provided a disruptive impact on the city system itself. Because every city is different, few of the existing models apply universally. An effective response requires leaders to consider a series of prerequisites:
- Consider the local culture and the people
- Prioritize basic needs and requests
- Work at overcoming silos and encourage collaboration across departments
- Consider each “smart” initiative as an integral part of an overall city system
A smart city reflects a number of aspirations: efficiency, resiliency, connectedness, innovation, and sustainability. Although the definition of a smart city varies, we can understand its mission: harmonious, sustainable, and inclusive development of urban areas.