Smart Cities: Motivations, Misconceptions & Realities

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Resurgent phoenix
Resurgent phoenix  
11/30/2013 8:48:07 PM
User Rank City Slicker
New market for Technology companies
One thing that is usually true about the private sector is they are more about earning, making or producing a profit.  Maybe if the Tech companies have more conferences for them and show them how technology can improve their bottom line, improve the products, increase efficiency, etc....  It could be a win for the City as a whole and the stakeholders in the City.

11/20/2013 5:34:27 AM
User Rank Urban Legend
Contracted away....!
Gordon: Good article and this point struck me: "Ironically, the private sector actually owns most of the real assets in cities, not government." this is true and, in many cases, the private sector also owns the contracts to service city assets - from roads to IT, sewers to street lamps. Why does this matter? Because the service contracts are typically for very long periods (10 years or recenlty one of 25 years awarded for a highways contract for a London Borough) and once the contract is signed it takes innovation out of the hands of the strategic thinkers and puts it into the hands of those who think only tactically

Terry Sweeney
Terry Sweeney  
11/19/2013 8:41:17 PM
User Rank Blogger
What good is it?
All the technology and automation and wireless and connectivity are great in and of themselves, but I agree with Gordon that we can get mighty infatutated with the piece-parts and completley miss the whole (forest for the trees, in other words).

If feeble memory serves, Future Cities was created to call nonsense on this sort of thing and really ask what real need/benefit/purpose a product, initiative, or upgrade was really delivering. Cool! You got a faster server! Does that mean your traffic grid handles more cars per hour? Or reduces waiting at red lights, and thus, reduces emissions? It's shocking that we're this far along with an IT-driven business culture and yet still this prone to infatuation and blind spots.

11/19/2013 1:40:50 AM
User Rank Urban Legend
I think the fact that there are many different parties at play here will sort of even things out in the end and that no one side will overpower the others in this regard. 

From what I have seen in this space tech companies are building along the lines of what acadmic bodies are researching and the market is the test for products. They will eather sink or swim. 

Nicole Ferraro
Nicole Ferraro  
11/18/2013 3:29:08 PM
User Rank Staff
Appreciate the perspective
Gordon, thanks for a great post that offers all sides of the smart cities debate. It's pretty interesting that the groups that control most urban assets are often missing from the smart cities conversation. How do we begin to address that so that property developers, real estate firms, etc., begin to "get it" and get involved?

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