Are the municipal leaders capable?
According to a recent study by IBM’s Institute of Business Value, “A Vision of Smarter Cities: How Cities Can Lead the Way into a Prosperous and Sustainable Future,” municipal leaders need to think about three things in order to transform their region into a “smarter” city. To take advantage of this vision, city leaders should:
Assemble a team: City administrators need to work seamlessly across their own organizational boundaries and partner effectively with other levels of government to tackle issues that require significant collaboration among city, state or provincial leaders, as well as national levels of government. In addition to formulating new policies themselves, cities must be able to articulate challenges they may face when policies are made elsewhere.
Think revolution, not evolution: Building a next-generation city requires a municipality to be more than focused or efficient. City leaders need to look at systems, most of which are interconnected, and enable people and objects to interact in entirely new ways. These systems can use instruments to analyze and report on the exact condition of individual parts, such as city traffic systems that re-route vehicles around automobile accidents. By using “intelligent” systems, cities can respond to changes quickly and accurately, and better predict and plan for future events.
Target all city systems, not just one: Cities obviously must prioritize their challenges, but the inter-relationships between the various systems operating in a city means that solving problems in just one system is not a viable long-term option. A holistic strategy that looks at all of a city’s systems, and builds in system-wide feedback mechanisms, is a better way to deliver sustainable prosperity to its citizens.
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