An SME-led trade association has highlighted the five key steps to improve smart city implementation in the UK.
TechUK focuses on the benefits of digital technology and the majority of its members are SMEs. Its report, Demystifying the smart city – working towards better implementation, proposes the five pillars of a successful smart city.
The first pillar is technology: smart cities should be built with an emphasis on data, emerging technologies and connectivity infrastructures within service provision.
The second pillar is integration: smart cities should look laterally across multiple aspects of their infrastructure, neighbouring surroundings and service provision and examine how they might exchange data to drive inward- and outward-facing opportunities.
The third pillar calls for smart cities to be citizen-centric: they should find ways to engage citizens and examine how new technologies and data make a step-change to the way citizen’s needs are served.
The fourth pillar calls for cross-sector collaboration: smart cities should work across business, government, academic and third sector communities in genuine collaboration.
And the final pillar requires strong commercial models that are focused on delivery and outcomes.
The TechUK report calls on all cities, regardless of their size and location, to explore the opportunity to build smart city capabilities, and proposes the establishment of regional chief digital officer forums to support collaborative working and co-ordination and providing knowledge to smaller towns and cities.
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