Tech is great, but don’t forget the people

this Article Originally published by Jem McKenna-Percy City todayThe leading news platform on urban mobility and innovation is reaching an international audience of city leaders. Visit the cities today for the latest updates Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, instagram, And Youtube, Or sign up for Cities Today News.

One way to enable evidence-based decision-making by cities is to integrate physical and digital urban infrastructure and identify usage patterns and emerging trends. However, as cities become increasingly digital, the importance of managing this process increases as more technologies integrate and more data is gathered.

The use of urban data requires coordinated thinking. Over the past five years, a consortium of city officials, businesses and educational partners has tested a range of smart technologies in cities across Europe, offering e-mobility solutions, deep energy building retrofits, smart street lighting and sustainable energy. Integrates a range. Management systems managed by urban data platforms. This work is part of Sharing cities The program was shaped by engaging communities along the way, informing them of what is happening in each city, allowing them to share their challenges with city managers and service designers. As a result, the solutions were tailored and of greater value.

However, in general, the smart cities market remains largely focused on ‘solutions’ regardless of demand and this is what cities and communities really need.

In many instances, pre-existing technology solutions are being withdrawn for the needs of the city, often leading to a decrease in public trust or engagement with the proposed solutions.

In turn, cities need to improve how they express market needs, for example, by defining use cases – specific situations in which a product or service potentially addresses an issue Can be used. Fortunately, many use cases are common in most cities so this process can be accelerated and standardized by sharing documents and sharing experiences.


The benefits of smart, connected infrastructure are real and proven. When multiple data sources come together in a single location, for example through the London Datastore, it can become a powerful tool for city planners. In Greenwich, it has been demonstrated that a combination of different electric mobility solutions – such as electric vehicles (EV), e-bikes, EV charging, smart parking and smart lamp posts – work together to create a true smart city model Can, with data associated with various devices and sensors, to provide valuable insights for policy makers.

Cities can build this model to bring together data from various domains, such as traffic, air quality, public lighting, buildings energy, and parking, and more. Our Latest Playbook on Smart Road Infrastructure Carbon reduction demonstrates the combined impact of combining multiple smart technologies on service delivery and business models, and is available to any city in the process of introducing Internet of Things (IoT) solutions at a district or city-wide level .

Adoption of smart infrastructure needs to be carefully and transparently managed. Involving the local community in decisions about data collection and use of data insights is paramount to the success of pilot projects and their potential Scale. In doing so, cities can gain a more granular understanding of local contexts and therefore point out specific areas in advance and can help address smart technology.

In sharing cities we have used a wide variety of civic methods among the community and stakeholders, from co-design workshops to user journey mapping, to help us understand how different people are with different types of technologies. How groups can interact. We have also developed a digital community engagement platform, the Digital Social Market – designed to encourage behavior change and environmentally conscious choices using peer-to-peer incentives and rewards.

This design approach – most importantly, needs-based and results-driven – has given substantial benefit to our demonstrating districts, not only in exceeding our environmental goals, but more importantly in creating solutions adopted by the local community is .

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Published March 5, 2021 – 16:00 UTC