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Smart cities are a global and growing trend. Smart city initiatives large and small are taking place to meet the needs created by accelerated population growth and several additional forces, both positive and negative. Here we provide an overview of the forces and trends driving smart city growth.
In a truly smart city, the services and operations that make it work are interconnected and interdependent. In this section of the Readiness Guide we briefly explain why a comprehensive approach is essential in planning for successful smart city transformations.
To attain livability, workability and sustainability a smart city needs to be self-aware, connected and capable of monitoring itself. That's a simple barebones definition, one which we expand on and amplify in this section
While smart cities provide a wealth of benefits for their citizens and visitors, there are challenges and barriers to implementing the transformations that make cities safer, more livable, more cost-efficient and economically competitive. We identify many of those barriers here.
When city departments develop new applications or programs independently of each other rather than collaboratively we refer to it as a "siloed" approach. And it does cause problems, including a lack of interoperability between departments, unnecessary investments of time and money, and others. We explain in more detail in this section.
Make no mistake: planning and implementing successful smart city initiatives — those that have an optimal positive impact on livability, workability and sustainability — are hard work. But the benefits are a better quality of life for citizens, a cleaner, safer, more convenient and enjoyable place to live and work. There are other benefits, too.
The Smart Cities Council developed the Smart Cities Readiness Guide to help city leaders, managers and staff envision their city's future and plan for it. To do that, the Readiness Guide offers recommendations and insights designed to assist cities in choosing the smart city initiatives that are right for them and offer optimal benefits for all citizens.
Smart transportation networks offer numerous benefits, among them accommodating a variety of transportation options from bicycles to buses, greater safety for users and cleaner air.