Governments talk about them, the private sector wants to build them and citizens want to live in them but what is a Smart City? IBM described a Smart City as one, “that makes optimal use of all the interconnected information available today to better understand and control its operations and optimise the use of limited resources”.
In reality, this definition means different things to different cities. The priorities of one city will vary across continents and citizen requirements. In London, a high priority may be given to air pollution and multi-modal travel whereas in Singapore we would expect land use and planning to be high on the agenda. What all cities have in common, however, is they are a container for citizens that have four core needs: Goods and services coming into a city, waste going out, improving living conditions and well being. The role of the public and private sector is to understand the maturity of city infrastructure and data, assess the status of core citizen needs, and to work with citizens to define a Smart City roadmap.