Smart city in context (1): Competitiveness (Part 3): the municipality

[Versión en castellano]

SmartCity TagsIn earlier posts, I presented my vision on how the smart city concept encourages competitiveness in businesses and citizens. In the present one, I will present how competitiveness is perceived and set up by the public administrators responsible for managing the city.

In general, these managers have a twofold goal with their management:

  1. Improving the current and future performance and quality of life of their city, and
  2. Doing so in such a way that their citizens perceive it in an absolutely clear way.

In this context, it is clear that a concept such as smart city comes in handy. And the associated competitiveness is clearly shown when we see that most municipal officials work to get theirs a smarter city than the others. And this is good, because it is a clear and viral incentive to improve the quality of life in all the cities.

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Smart city in context (1): Competitiveness (Part 2): citizens

[Versión en castellano]

SmartCity TagsIn principle, the smart city should be paradise for citizens. But so far, in practice, they have had little to do with its definition. In fact, most of them declare to ignore the meaning of this concept. However, it is also true that in the Smart City Expo & World Congress in Barcelona last November, it was possible to detect a stronger trend to include citizens opinions when developing this concept.

In any case, in line with previous articles on this blog, I think that there is a strong link between  the smart city concept and competitiveness from the citizens’ point of view yet. So, as a citizen I am also, the more I would like to live in a particular city, the smarter it is for me. And I think this is -or should be- the criteria to be used by those responsible for urban management when deciding to make theirs a smart city.

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Smart city in context (1). Competitiveness (part 1): ICT companies & service providers

[Versión en castellano]

Currently, cities are the basis of power in the world, the generation and management center of economic activity and the main source of problems and solutions of all kinds. The world population living in cities has recently overcome the level of 50%, and this share will continue growing. Cities are the focus for all social, economical and environmental issues.

This growing attention to the cities has its parallel in the smart city concept. On 2012/08/19 a search for smart city in www.google.es, gave 401 million results. Doing the same search on 2012/11/24, when only three months had passed, gave 810 million results …!

You can get a general idea about what a Smart city is in Wikipedia . In any case, as we saw in a previous articlesmart city is an elastic concept that extends to virtually all areas of urban activity. It is not still a well-defined concept and everyone can use it according to his personal criteria. But there is a general agreement on that it deals with the use of information and communications technology (hereinafter ICT) to improve the performance, sustainability, and quality of life in cities.

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