Collaborative platforms, sustainability, public-private partnerships and data analytics are critical for developing smart and inclusive cities.
The global smart-city movement, which has been around for more than two decades, has gone through three phases of evolution. It initially focused on technology-led solutions to challenges. Then came a citizen-centric, collaborative approach in the second phase. Now, the features of smart cities have expanded further to include safety, happiness and well-being.
Europe is ahead of the US on the smart-city curve, but it has the advantages of having smaller countries and pan-Europe initiatives that emphasize a cohesive approach. Smart-city mayors need to focus on prioritizing projects that give them the most bang for their money. They also must find funding through innovative ways and create public-private partnerships. In addition, they need to spend resources wisely through efficient and creative procurement processes.
Seeta Hariharan, general manager and group head at the digital software and solutions group at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), has for many years had a ringside seat in the conception, planning and execution of smart-city projects across the globe. Knowledge@Wharton and TCS recently collaborated in producing a special report titled Smart Cities: A Toolkit for Leaders.
In a recent interview with Knowledge@Wharton, she shared insights and best practices that can benefit civic leaders who want to build smart cities.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Fair Observer’s editorial policy.