There has been recent buzz about Smart Cities, with many different definitions on what it means to be 'smart'. IDC has in fact been examining the concept of smart cities since 2010, and has had opportunity to interact with hundreds of city mayors, CIOs, government leaders involved in urban innovation, technology vendors, and IT service providers. IDC has learned that city leaders are most concerned about improving their ability to deliver efficient and relevant services across several common service domains. In terms of city infrastructure, these issues center around the provision of citizen-centric services, the expansion and improvement of transportation networks, the management of public safety, waste and energy resources, and education and health services. Economic development, tourism promotion, and job creation are also important aspects considered by city leaders.
Any Smart City initiative must therefore involve a multifaceted transformation of services and infrastructure. Such initiatives must impact numerous areas, from the provision of transport, energy, and healthcare services, to the state of public safety and government services.
"The same key questions often arise in cities as diverse as Beijing or Boston, as they consider how to grow and keep pace with technology and the expectations of their citizens and businesses," says Mukesh Chulani, Research Manager for IDC Government Insights Middle East and Africa. "Indeed, we see a similar drive towards Smarter City status by the Emirate of Dubai, where the focus is squarely on ensuring that government services are accessible and delivered quickly and efficiently. This has been the case with a wide range of government projects that can be viewed as a basis for the Smart City initiative, ranging from the Emirates Identity Authority's Population Register and the National ID Card Project (PRIDC) to DEWA's online bill payment."
Access to a vibrant city economy by business, citizens, and local government is the ultimate goal of any Smart City initiative. Effective Smart City solutions must integrate information and operations between different city systems. For example, to provide effective and smart public safety, governments would require seamless views across border management, surveillance, emergency response, and other related security systems.
What exactly, therefore, is a Smart City solution? IDC identifies the following attributes that must be included for a solution to be considered smart:
The Guardian The Road to Smart City: It Starts Here, It Starts Now Huffington Post For decades, the industry has praised innovation under the 'Smart City' banner as the answer to helping cities overcome these challenges.
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