National League of Cities: 3 recommendations for smart city development

Source: TechRepublic on January 23, 2017 | Teena Maddox

Many cities are focused on adding smart technology as the urban landscape continues to shift with smart, connected cities becoming the goal of the future.

A new report from the National League of Cities (NLC) offers three recommendations for municipalities that want to become a smart city. The report also includes case studies of five cities of varying sizes and development stages of installing smart city tech.

The diverse cities chosen for the case studies were Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Charlotte, N.C., and New Delhi, India.

Each of the five cities were used to determine the top three recommendations for anyone considering a smart city project:

Recommendation 1: Cities should consider the outcomes they want to achieve

Just collecting data isn't enough. The information needs to be relevant and the resulting analysis drive real applications for public problems.

"Cities should consider what public problems they want the initiative to address and how the data collected will help address those public problems. Additionally, assessment of public problems and data collection should be derived from and tied to existing city comprehensive plans, visions, and sector planning documents," according to the Trends in Smart City Development report.

Recommendation 2: Cities should partner with universities, non-profits, and the private sector

Cities can partner with a wide range of organizations when seeking to develop smart city initiatives. The benefits of partnerships include opening cities up to funding and expertise that they might not otherwise receive. Universities are an excellent option for partnerships, as well as non-profits and private companies. Some cities are even partnering with other cities.

"Many public problems are complex and can be too diverse for any single organization to tackle. That makes collaboration advantageous. Organizations are often able to do more together than they could alone," according to the report.

Recommendation 3: Cities should look for best practices and frameworks for smart city development

The vast array of technologies being deployed and the relative newness of the technologies mean that "not much has been codified," according to the report. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is working on a framework for smart city development to address the interoperability and portability of the development of information and communication technologies.

"Cities interested in becoming smart should continue to look for best practices and frameworks for this type of development," according to the report.

How city leaders can use the report

Read more here