Top 10 Smart Cities
Smart Cities is a program put forth by the Center for Economic Research and Planning (CEPR). The idea is that a smart city is one with an educational model that can attract people, businesses and jobs. This is done through a combination of public elementary schools, higher education, technical colleges and specialty programs. The theory is that a community that provides better opportunities for people need to be educated, organized and grow, while maintaining its cultural and recreational resources. The 10 Smartest Cities of 2021 were selected from a pool of over 800 cities around the world.
One obvious trait of these cities is a vibrant and growing economic base. Many cities across the country are experiencing an economic downturn and need to attract new businesses and residents in order to become more competitive. Some of these cities already have an impressive level of education and technological investment. Others are beginning to realize the importance of diversifying their economy and establishing smart strategic alliances with other communities.
Top 10 smart cities around the world include Buenos Aires, Argentina; Lagos, Nigeria; Monterrey, Mexico; Hyderabad, India; Mukalla, Malawi; Kingston, Jamaica; Prague, Czech Republic; Shenzhen, China; Washington, D.C.; Seoul, South Korea; Stratford-Upon-Avon, England and Victoria, Australia. Some of these cities face specific challenges, such as finding additional funding to sustain their education system, finding ways to attract young professionals to live within the city and creating the right climate for a green economy. Other factors considered were access to new technology, the ability to get high-tech enterprise software and service providers to locate and remain in the city and ability to attract and retain skilled workers. Diversification of services is also a factor in these cities.
Smart Growth and Development identify certain areas within these cities where a “smart” growth approach may be applied. For instance, in Shenzhen real estate developers are focusing on business centers, offering access to advanced IT services. In Kingston, leaders are focused on providing access to advanced broadband Internet. There are also strategic initiatives within cities to upgrade infrastructure, attract and retain talent, create development partnerships and implement information technology governance programs. The ultimate goal is to create a smarter city through a coordinated strategy that enhances its ability to promote economic development and reduce the environmental impact through a comprehensive strategic plan.
Smart Growth and Development identified two key issues that inhibit cities around the world from being considered as smart cities. One issue is a lack of effective transportation systems that support an integrated city. The other is the lack of a consistent and adequate sewer system. While these issues are significant, they do not diminish the overall benefits associated with these cities. In fact, they can be seen as an opportunity for creative solutions that embrace good design and creative transportation solutions.
Creating a smart city is viewed as an investment. This investment yields dividends in increased property values, more tax revenue and improved tourism. Cities that invest in smart growth initiatives are able to increase revenues by growing their city centers and improving community infrastructure. They also use this additional revenue to support important community facilities such as public safety, recreational programs and youth and community development. Ultimately, these investments yield better quality of life and a stronger economic base for these cities.
Economic and infrastructure development requires long-term planning and adjustments. While it may seem too bold or impossible to implement a plan for such a large scale change, there are many examples of smart growth initiatives that have been implemented successfully across the United States. Some cities have created districts or zones where businesses or residents have access to particular types of services. In addition to serving a population with limited access to basic amenities, such as trash pickup, these districts provide a valuable service to local businesses and residents.
When developing a growth strategy, the first step is identifying which cities fall into the top 10. Next, identifying which type of growth strategy each city should execute. Finally, determine how each city should implement its strategy in order to gain maximum benefits. Once all of these steps are determined, it is time to develop a strategic plan. With careful planning and implementation, smart growth initiatives can make a significant difference in a city’s development.
Deepak Wadhwani has over 20 years experience in software/wireless technologies. He has worked with Fortune 500 companies including Intuit, ESRI, Qualcomm, Sprint, Verizon, Vodafone, Nortel, Microsoft and Oracle in over 60 countries. Deepak has worked on Internet marketing projects in San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange Country, Denver, Nashville, Kansas City, New York, San Francisco and Huntsville. Deepak has been a founder of technology Startups for one of the first Cityguides, yellow pages online and web based enterprise solutions. He is an internet marketing and technology expert & co-founder for a San Diego Internet marketing company.