Given the extraordinary pace at which new technology is overtaking social infrastructure, cities must “up their game” with a greater sense of focus and urgency.

In the midst of the massive urban growth across the globe, there is tremendous hype in town halls, board rooms and media about making cities and communities “smarter” — yet the definition of a “smart city” is elusive.

Conversations about smart cities often convey complexity, with primary focus on technology. And while technology is the key enabler for smart cities, it is not an end in itself. The point of a smart city is to improve the lives of residents and businesses through the application of advanced technologies and data-driven decisions and operations.

The concept of smart cities is, in fact, relatively simple and elegant. A smart city uses an integrated approach to coordinate all essential services. It modernizes digital, physical and social infrastructure to make delivery of city services more efficient, innovative, equitable, connected, secure, sustainable and exciting. And in an era where two-thirds of the planet’s inhabitants are expected to migrate to cities over the course of just one generation, the transition to smarter cities and communities couldn’t be more urgent.

More than half of […]

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