Driven by urban strategists, scholars, companies and other institutions, we witness a constant debate on what a smart city is. There are so many existing definitions and synonyms such as "connected city", "resilient city", "senseable city", "intelligent community", "digital city", "digital community" or even "smart village". This debate poses the question on what exactly smart cities stand for.
Creating a unique identity and vision
While it is generally accepted that there are different generations of smart cities (as discussed in "TOWARDS A NEW PARADIGM OF THE SMART CITY"), we believe it is important for each city or community to create a unique identity of their smart city or smart community vision.
This identity represents a "mission statement" or "development model" along different indicators or topics. It should be based on the goals that a city or community has derived from current challenges and from opportunities that it wants to grasp in the foreseeable future.
In a recent article called "Lessons from Adelaide in how a smart city can work to benefit everyone" that was published on The Conversation by Nick Falkner, we came across the newly initiated "The University of Adelaide’s Australian Smart Cities Consortium". They have produced a short but great video on smart cities with one important message that supports our belief that a unique identity is needed in every city or community that embarks on the journey of becoming smarter:
What do you want your city to be?
Every city should ask itself and its stakeholders (foremost the citizens) this question instead of debating the definition of a smarter city. There is not one blueprint or manual to reach the ultimate goal of creating a better place for all stakeholders. It all comes down to your city's or community's individual approach - embracing technology and other intelligent or smart ways - to improve livability and prosperity through the implementation of clever solutions.
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