Technology has the power to create communities that are more responsive to citizen needs and that can enhance citizens’ quality of life. However, much of the research and planning around smart cities is driven by technology rather than the needs of the citizens.
The human aspect is often overlooked when talking about smart cities. If you ask most people what they understand by ‘smart cities’, they will mention the technology, but the technology is no good if it does not meet people’s social needs…
It’s not about cities. It’s about communities, and communities are about people – Lee Archer, Director of SAP’s Institute for Digital Government. A citizen-centric approach is essential for the future of smart cities.
In a citizen-centric approach, decisions and services are designed with users at front of mind. Therefore, when developing a smart city solutions, the best approach is to first define key citizen segments, understand their needs and challenges, and design solutions based on these needs. Organisations that successfully deliver services based on the needs of the citizens can increase satisfaction and loyalty and reduce costs.
By taking a citizen-centric approach, leaders can better understand the needs of their citizens and translate those needs into targeted, effective service-delivery improvements. In doing so, they can increase citizen satisfaction and also reduce costs – McKinseyCitizens expect transparent, accessible and responsive services.
A recent survey by Accenture found that citizens increasingly want a personalised digital experience, smartphone access and integration with social media. More specifically, citizens want smartphone apps that provide convenient access to services and information.