What exactly makes a city a truly intelligent and connected one? Is it installing sensors and connecting them to Internet of Things (IoT)? Or is it making data open for public to build apps for themselves? No doubt, our technology promises to make cities more sustainable, cleaner and safer. But by simply replacing a city’s street lighting to IoT powered sensor infrastructure, a city doesn’t become smart. It becomes efficient, but not smart. For cities to be truly smart, the urban fabric needs to be just as intelligent and connected as the infrastructure. Cities are vibrant only when it’s citizens are ‘engaged’ and participate in governance and policy making. They can effectively be engaged only when cities fuel their collective intelligence with data.
Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.—Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities
Big cities like New York, Toronto, London, Singapore, Dubai, Copenhagen are much ‘smarter
’ compared to most other cities in the world. But there are smaller cities that are increasingly ‘engaging’ their citizens and thereby becoming ‘smarter’ with innovative public-private-community participation initiatives.
This week, let’s look at a handful of such lesser known smart cities that are cash-strapped yet have done an awesome job of keeping it’s Citizens front and center.
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