Updated: Apr 20, 2020
Meeting a growing population’s needs through Smart City technology does take investment, but it is at a different scale then a major public works project. In addition, since many of these investments both focus on generating savings and build on top of each other, they enable the use of unique financing models that do not necessarily require new taxes or bond packages. Some of them can even generate their own revenue.
A Smart City isn’t one thing though. It is a concept of using advanced technology to improve city services. A city can have a suite of “Smart” services or they can focus on only one thing like water management or traffic reduction. Given all of this, the real question is, where to focus?
First and foremost start with a needs assessment. What are your major issues; traffic, water, expense reduction, crime prevention, economic growth, etc.?
Second, before deciding on a specific focus, consider policy issues and infrastructure needs required to achieve success. Is there a fiber optic network available? 5G wireless systems require many small form antenna and nodes than LTE. Do city codes and policies allow for these types of installations? Are their partners in your region that may benefit, and therefore could be partners in the design, development and deployment of a technological solution.
The technology is becoming available to make Smart Cities a reality. Much of it will be deployed with or without city involvement, so those cities that plan for it will be in a much better position than those that have to react to it once it arrives.