Introduction to Smart Cities

As noted in the opening statement, the first goal of the Readiness Guide is to give you a "vision" of a smart city that will help you understand how technology will transform the cities of tomorrow.

The second goal is to help you build the roadmap that will guide your city to the future you envision. It recommends goals you should aim for, best practices that will give you the results you desire with minimal cost and risk. It also encourages flexibility, from the earliest planning stages to completion and implementation — because that flexibility will give you the ability to integrate new technologies and respond quickly to changing citizen demands and needs.

Who should read the Readiness Guide?
The intended audience for the Readiness Guide is mayors, city managers city planners of all types and their staffs. The intent is to provide cities with objective, vendor-neutral information and recommendations that will help them make the right choices in planning and implementing their smart cities initiatives.

Many cities around the world are working to achieve economic, environmental and social sustainability. Smart city best practices and technologies can be integrated with those existing efforts to support and enhance them.

In this introduction, we define what a smart city is, explain the drivers behind the smart cities movement and briefly touch on the potential barriers and strategies that can help you overcome them. It also provides descriptions of key city issues and many of the relevant topics addressed in the Readiness Guide.

A work in progress
Just as cities are a work in progress, so, too, is this Readiness Guide. This edition is based on the principles of the global Smart Cities Council’s original Smart Cities Readiness Guide. Rather than make you wait until the entire update and revision process is completed, we are posting new versions of the chapters as we complete them — and leaving the original chapters in place until they, too, are revised and updated. So keep checking back.

Finally, even after we have updated all chapters, our work is not done. We will continuously modify and add to the chapters as new research, case studies and best practices are completed. Our Readiness Guide is a living document, so please bookmark and refer to it often for the latest guidance.

Here are some resources on this topic.