The Seven Essential Elements of a Smart City Ecosystem

If you’re missing one of these sectors in your smart city strategy, you’re not as smart as you could be.

By Chelsea Collier, Editor-At-Large

The topic of smart cities is commonly framed by technology but what is often overlooked is the importance of how people work together to implement those digital applications. One of the most critical factors in creating a smarter community is having the right people in place. The most successful smart city projects require participation from a diverse set of stakeholders – a team that is a representative sample of your (future) smart city.

N1tEH7dHG1VLn81wU1YlBkDoiRUzHd3BRS2xgsuA-wfQAfSCPhHA8HUXnLq043qsV7XHF3lYIsJ7_3SLzZaZABoZ53GoOTRFtTnkBoSinh0HXjJrtB8x6NyPRL6yTAZ9ccXEBgpbThis includes:

  • Government
  • Industry
  • Entrepreneurs / Startups
  • Academia
  • Creatives & Artists
  • Advocates & The Social Sector
  • Residents

Cities are unique and so each city’s ecosystem will look different. What is most important is that there is a wide range of perspectives represented. What often happens in many U.S.-based smart city efforts is that a specific city department (the Mayor’s office, technology, innovation, etc.) will spearhead a smart cities effort and then turn to familiar faces and antiquated processes/policy to form a smart city strategy.

It is understandable how this happens – starting anything new from scratch is an intimidating endeavor. Working with people who are allies can help streamline the process. But what gets missed is the amazing opportunity to truly engage the community.

Here is more information on each sector that should be a part of building your smart city strategy:

1 – Government

Understandably, most smart city efforts are local and the City is the key player. However, it is ideal to have input from both local, county and state governments. Where it is appropriate, quasi-governmental agencies (such as an Economic Development Council) or even participation from the federal level may be helpful.

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