The Smart Cities and Social Governance: Guide to Participatory Indicator Development is the product of a year-long project in the Bihai and Huizhan Neighbourhoods in Guiyang. The project engaged local residents in setting community priorities, and created a multistakeholder process to enlist input from experts and government officials in establishing a set of indicators that can track those priorities using available data.
Indicators are important in holding governments and communities accountable to their sustainability targets and goals. Indicators can provide data to guide policy-making and allow for comparisons to be made across municipalities and regions. Indicators are also communication tools and can help increase transparency and mobilise public opinion. They are distinguished from raw data and statistics by having reference values in the form of benchmarks, thresholds, baselines and targets. Such values have multiple functions, but the most important is to transform meaningless data into information.
The Smart Cities and Social Governance Guide describes the relevant national-level policies that have created an enabling environment for participatory smart city development. This Guide describes the process and tools that were used in the project and presents the final set of indicators that reflect community priorities. Although the end product for this project is an indicator system, the participatory tools and processes can be used in various contexts, including community and urban development planning, city budgeting, and social policy planning.
Initial data has been collected for 8 indicators and is available for over 850 communities in Guiyang.