Six-step guide to putting citizens first in smart city development
August 18, 2015
Frost & Sullivan has developed a citizen-centric smart city model that provides a framework to synchronise development plans with the needs, priorities and aspirations of its citizens.
Every city has its own priorities based on urban issues, demographics, and social and economic challenges. Urban local bodies (ULBs), says the analyst body, should develop their smart city plans through a rigorous analysis of citizens’ concerns and priorities. Projects that solve top issues affecting citizens should be prioritised.
The company recommends that ULBs and state governments should proactively engage with citizens through two-way communications during the development and implementation of smart city plans. A communications system should be established to get feedback on various dimensions including healthcare, affordable housing, education, energy, transportation, safety, security, government service delivery and so on.
“Smart cities are sustainable cities of the citizens, by the citizens, for the citizens,” said Kavan Mukhtyar, leader of F&S’s smart cities practice. “Citizen centricity is at the heart of making smart cities a reality. A proactive citizen engagement system is a key component that city governments must implement while embarking on the journey of making our cities smart.”
Globally, smart systems tend to be technology centric with the emphasis on taking the city’s efficiency to the next level.
In India, for example, where the government has an ambitious plan to create about 100 smart cities, there is a unique situation with significant shortcomings in basic infrastructure. Additionally, there are huge differences in income levels, demographics and lifestyles within the same city limits. Technology-led smart city use cases that are imported run the risk of being seen as elitist and not capable of addressing the basic issues on the ground.
“Smart city development plans should be guided by the philosophy of making our cities inclusive and solving urban issues by using technology as an enabler,” said Mukhtyar.
As a guide for city administrators, Frost & Sullivan proposes a six-step citizen-centric smart city development model:
· Step 1: Define key citizen segments of focus;
· Step 2: Understand citizen needs, challenges and preferences;
· Step 3: Analyse qualitative and quantitative insights;
· Step 4: Prioritise citizen needs and possible solutions;
· Step 5: Design smart city plans based on prioritised citizen needs; and
· Step 6: Implementation and monitoring.