This is the first and most difficult task that faces us as consultants. Smart cities are the thing to be these days, so some of our customers come to us saying they want to be one without knowing in which way exactly they want to be ‘smart’. So it’s important for us to be clear with our customers in what a smart city is – where ICT is used to drive efficient use of resources, promote economic development or improve the quality of life and services delivered across a city at a macro level.
The general definition of smart cities doesn’t apply to everyone because each city has different priorities, capabilities and strategic economic objectives. Technology is merely a tool to support the objectives of a city, so we first have to agree on what the goals and objectives are. This drives the whole strategy and affects the master plan in terms of implementing projects, initiatives and technology. It all needs to tie in with the objectives of a particular smart city.