Smart Cities Library™

How Smart City Government Can Design a Better User Experience

How Government Can Design a Better User Experience

This story was originally published by Data-Smart City Solutions.  Last week, the government of Hawaii accidentally sent a massive alert to citizens warning of an impending ballistic missile attack. The message ended with the ominous warning “this is not a drill,” only to alert Hawaiians some 40 minutes later that the original missive had been sent in error. Point being:…

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Citizen Co-Creation A Smart City Tool | TheCityFix

Citizen Co-Creation A Smart City Tool | TheCityFix

  Understanding the needs of the population helps to design effective urban projects and create better cities and public spaces. Photo by Mariana Gil / WRI Brasil Cidades Sustentáveis / Flickr Our impressions of a city are formed mainly by the quality of public spaces. If they are not pleasant and preserved, or if they transmit a sense of insecurity, we…

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10 Smart City Strategies for Better Urban Renewal Hint: Think Community Engagement

Screenshot-2018-1-20 Public Spaces 10 Principles for Better Urban Renewal (Hint Think Community Engagement) TheCityFix

  Urban rejuvenation projects are most successful if they are designed with shared community goals in mind. Photo by Elisa Greco/Flickr Our impressions of a city are formed mainly by the quality of public spaces. If they are not pleasant and preserved, or if they transmit a sense of insecurity, we will seldom return. Good planning of these spaces should be the…

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Smart City Questions We’d Like @SidewalkLabs to Answer

Smart City Questions We’d Like @SidewalkLabs to Answer

There is a lot of interest in the project, both locally and globally, and many questions about how it will unfold. As a lead-up tool for the November 1 public meeting, Torontoist and friends have organized a starting draft list of questions and concerns, collected from a range of contributors and viewpoints. There are undoubtedly perspectives and questions missing here,…

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Smart City Citizen Engagement in Utrecht | @EUSmartCities

Screenshot-2018-1-3 The Citizen Engagement Example of Utrecht EIP-SCC Marketplace

The Citizen Engagement Example of Utrecht Interview to the recently nominated Ambassador City of Utrecht Further to the selection of the first Ambassador Cities in June 2017, when Utrecht was appointed together with Leeds and Glasgow, the Action Cluster Citizen Focus conducted an interview with Pieter in ’t Hout (Strategist digital innovation) and Haye Folkertsma (IRIS Project coordinator) representatives from the city of Utrecht,…

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Cities and Counties Are Turning Towards Smart City Strategies


For many local governments and cities, the initiatives around smart and connected communities are becoming more strategically defined, with many CIOs and IT leaders starting to orchestrate urban visions. During the Smart City Local Government Best Practice Breakfast at the Gartner’s Symposium and IT Expo in Orlando, Bill Finnerty (@digbfinn), Gartner Research Director, and I found a very collaborative and…

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10 lessons on citizen engagement | World Economic Forum

10 lessons on citizen engagement | World Economic Forum

This article was first published on The World Bank’s Governance for Development blog. Over the last couple of years a small team of us have worked on an initiative to incorporate the regular, systematic feedback of citizens into the design and execution of World Bank programs. I would like to share some of our experiences working together with governments, civil society…

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5 Ways to Improve Smart City Citizen Engagement

5 Ways to Improve Smart City Citizen Engagement Initiatives

In the public sector today, citizen engagement and participation are crucial, as shown by the vast array of state and local governments on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google Plus. As GovLoop reports, when citizen participation programs are implemented effectively, more citizens are brought into the decision-making process, which means government can ultimately be more responsive to community needs. But as with…

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TechFAR Handbook | TechFAR Hub

Screenshot-2017-12-14 Boston A Really Smart City

n the Government, digital services projects too often fail to meet user expectations or contain unused or unusable features. Several factors contribute to these outcomes, including the use of outdated development practices and, in some cases, overly narrow interpretations of what is allowed by acquisition regulations. OMB is developing tools to significantly upgrade the ability of Government digital services to deliver better results to our citizens and improve the way we capitalize on information technology (IT [1]) to better serve the American people.

One tool is the Digital Services Playbook, which identifies a series of “plays” drawn from proven private sector best practices to help agencies successfully deliver digital services. Another tool is the TechFAR, which highlights flexibilities [2] in the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR [3]) that can help agencies implement “plays” in the Playbook that would be accomplished with acquisition support.

The vision for the TechFAR is that it will be expanded in future iterations to address many areas of IT. This edition of the TechFAR is aligned with the Digital Services Playbook guidance to use contractors to support an iterative development process. In particular, it emphasizes Agile software development [4], a technique for doing modular contracting and a proven commercial methodology that is characterized by incremental and iterative processes where releases are produced in close collaboration with the customer. This process improves investment manageability, lowers risk of project failure, shortens the time to realize value, and allows agencies to better adapt to changing needs. Agile software development is geared towards projects where significant design and development are needed, such as digital services (e.g., or as well as internal digital services and business systems. It is not designed to be used for commodity IT purchases, especially where commercially available off-the-shelf items can be used as-is at a lower cost and lower risk to the Government….

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Boston Smart City Playbook — from the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics

Screenshot-2017-12-14 New Urban Mechanics ( newurbanmechs) Twitter

The age of the “Smart City” is upon us!

It’s just that, we don’t really know what that means. Or, at least, not yet.

So far, many “Smart City” pilot projects that we’ve undertaken here in Boston have ended with a glossy presentation, and a collective shrug. Nobody’s really known what to do next, or how the technology and data might lead to new or improved services.

We want to change that. We address this playbook to the technology companies, scientists, researchers, journalists, and activists that make up the “Smart City” community. In return for heeding this advice, we commit that we, the City of Boston, will not sit in City Hall and complain about the lack of solutions to our problems. We promise to get out into the City, find ways to help you pilot new ideas, and be honest with our feedback.

Our goal is to create a City-wide strategy for the use of sensor technologies that is people-centered, problem-driven, and responsible.

We need your help to get there.

*This playbook is a living draft being developed by the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics and is inspired by the US Digital Service’s Playbook. Please send us your thoughts for building it out further, and watch for new updates!

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Creating Citizen-Centered Inclusive Smart Cities

Creating Citizen-Centered Inclusive Smart Cities

ities all over the world are investing in infrastructure like fiber-optic networks, a range of sensors, and interactive touch-screens and in practices like open data collection in a race to become “smart and connected.” Cities are rushing to get “smart” in order to create new economic opportunities, to take advantage of potential systems efficiencies, and to not be left behind the technological curve. They’re making smart-city investments with the best of intentions to improve quality of life and increase opportunities for commerce, tourism, and their citizens alike.

As part of these smart and connected investments, many communities are developing smart-city strategies to guide development and implementation. For example, members of the Mayors Bistate Innovation Team published a digital playbook in 2011 in order to leverage a newly installed Google Fiber network to spark economic development, advance opportunities, and improve daily life in Kansas City. In 2013, the mayor of London formed the Smart London Board, which published the “Smart London Plan” to harness “the creative power of new technologies to serve London and improve Londoners’ lives.“ The plan lays out the numerous ways the city will utilize technology and big data to re-create London not only as a cutting-edge city, but as one able to handle the influx of people expected to move there by 2030. Creating and executing such a plan in a way that is intentionally responsive and relevant to the whole of a community can create the opportunity for a city to go beyond “smart” and instead become an “intelligent community.” This is, of course, easier said than done, but some essential steps toward enabling an intelligent community to flourish are outlined below….

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Technology Is Not Enough to Create Connected and Sustainable Smart Cities

Screenshot-2017-12-12 Technology is not enough to create connected cities – here’s why

The United Nations (UN) estimates that by 2050, 66% of the world’s population will live in cities. This creates an unprecedented pressure on cities around the world to optimise the standard of living for citizens, organisations and institutions.

Cities such as Dubai, Singapore, Yinchuan and Copenhagen are experimenting with new technology and digital services to target specific problems that affect their citizens. Copenhagen, for example, has set the target of becoming the first carbon neutral capital by 2025. The city reduced CO2 emissions by 38% between 2005 and 2015.

As part of a wider research project, we conducted research with the team at Copenhagen Solutions Lab (CSL), Copenhagen’s innovative incubator for driving smart city initiatives.

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What is the Difference between Citizen Engagement and Participation? |citizenlab

What is the Difference between Smart City Citizen Engagement and Participation?

Over the last years, there has been a shift from a top-down governance to a more horizontal governance. This new way of governing includes all the stakeholders of a public policy project, such as public organisations, businesses and citizens, into the implementation process. For instance, cities tap into their citizens’ wisdom through citizen engagement initiatives. The idea behind citizen engagement is that citizens should have some powers over the decisions that affect their lives. Yet, it is important to distinguish it from citizen participation. …

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The greatest advantage cities provide is the efficient utilization of resources- human, capital, land, water, and others- to achieve liveability objectives and also monetize the resources. The essence of the smart city concept is to achieve ‘more for less’. The proliferation of technology in the form of smartphones and super-fast wireless connectivity over the past decade has made it possible to give a technological angle to normal urban products and services….

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What We Learned From Smart Cities NYC ’17

smart cities nyc 17

Smart Cities need to be for everyone

Bridging the digital divide was another major theme of the show, and premiere sponsor Microsoft led the conversation.

“This is not about cool technology,” Toni Townes-Whitley, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Worldwide Public Sector and Industry, said. “This is about regulatory work and increasing inclusiveness across the board.”

During her keynote, Townes-Whitley unveiled the company’s Smart Cities for All initiative, which seeks to empower disabled persons by making today’s digital environments more accessible. We’ll be covering this initiative and Microsoft’s other big reveals later this week.

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WEBINAR: Beyond Smart Cities: Driving Citizen Engagement and Smart Communities | @99dake

webinar blue button

Event Listing Header Event Listing Body Listing Hero Details Free Beyond Smart Cities: Driving Citizen Engagement and Smart Communities Listing Card Panel Listing Card Info Event Information Description Can you name a sector that isn’t influenced by technology? Yet, the benefits of technology like connectivity, community engagement, productivity and information sharing are still not readily accessible to all citizens. As…

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Designing the Smart City | HuffPost

smart city concept illustration

Historically, the development of cities was spearheaded by kings but in contemporary times, cities are actively shaped by five types of socio-political actors: Agenda-setters (city councils/governments), Experts (urban planners), Sponsors (investors), Developers (contractors) and … Citizens (residents, public-interest groups, industry influencers, academia leaders, visitors)! However, much of the research and planning around smart cities is driven by technology rather than by the needs of the citizens. The citizen experience is often overlooked! To redesign this experience citizens need to have a seat at the table.

Smart cities can empower their citizens to design and shape their future. Toronto, for example, has been leveraging its “creative class” of financiers, healthcare researchers, artists, corporate strategists, lawyers, and social work pioneers to shape the future of the city the way citizens want.

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Can Google Finally Create a Successful Smart City

Can Google Finally Create a Successful ‘Smart City’? – Pacific Standard

Many have attempted, and failed, to integrate technology into urban planning. and now Sidewalk Labs is trying it again in Toronto. tml-version=”Sidewalk Labs, the urban innovation start-up owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet, has announced a partnership with the City of Toronto to develop a new waterfront precinct. Time to ask Google: Can you build a city? The Quayside precinct,…

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Taking the smart route to inclusive, sustainable and connected smart cities

A view of Gangding Station of the Guangzhou bus rapid transit system in China

As digital data becomes a key resource to build sustainable cities, all urban stakeholders need to adapt. Development actors must step up efforts to integrate this new paradigm and broker impactful and inclusive partnerships around urban data, write AFD’s Gwenael Prie and Pierre-Arnaud Barthel in this guest column.

Inclusiveness is another key element of smart city, according to Philippe Orliange, director of strategy, partnerships, and communication at the French development agency, Agence Française de Développement.

“Smart cities are about changing the fabric of urban policy so that citizens are involved in the design of the city, so that policies address real needs, and are socially inclusive,” he said….

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Moscow Is On Its Way To Becoming A Smart City by Embracing Citizen Engagement

Moscow Urban Ceter

Citizen Engagement

Central to transforming Moscow into a smart city are its citizen engagement platforms. The Moscow online portal features three key services that residents can use to engage and communicate with their government.

The first is Our City, an online complaints system that’s accessible either through the web or the mobile app. Citizens can send complaints if they notice anything awry in their community. For instance, if garbage collectors have been amiss picking up trash regularly, citizens can report the issue using the portal. The concerned citizen will then get a reply within seven days. If the issue is readily actionable, the system will also inform the sender with the resolution. The system has over a million users and has solved nearly two million complaints….

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