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Call for a Human-Centric Smart City Approach

Aug 31, 2017 4:59:51 PM

Over the past seven years, the smart city approach has changed fundamentally in terms of the strategies that cities and communities have chosen as a pathway for transformation. Driven by technology providers in the early years, governments as leaders of the smart city movement have later understood that technology is “only” the enabler for reaching governmental, economic and societal goals.

Today, smart city strategies still consider technology as an enabler, but governments have learned that top-down initiatives are not a prerequisite for success. Drivers for success are collaborative and participative human-centric approaches. If a city or community wants to become smarter, it should take the needs and problems of its customers – most of all their citizens – into account.

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The shift in the smart city evolution has been discussed often and we believe it is an important insight. One recent article on this topic has been written by Dustin Haisler for GOVTECH.com on the latest trends discussed at Smart Cities Connect Conference 2017.

At bee smart city we agree with the necessity of a shift towards human-centric approaches. In our article Smart City Evolution: A Review of Becoming a Smart City we cover the evolutionary phases of smart cities. Often, a human-centric smart city is also referred to as a "senseable city". Based on this evolution and our professional experience, we believe there is the need for a new paradigm in smart city development. You can read more about it in our article Towards a New Paradigm of the Smart City.

Key takeaways are from our perspective:

  • Recognizing the need for citizen-centric approaches in smart cities
  • Shifting the focus from technology to utilizing collective intelligence as the most relevant success factor
  • Facilitating the development and implementation of solutions that create added value and transform into collective good.

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Please share your opinion and discuss your experiences and opinion with us! We look forward to hearing from you!

Thomas Mueller

Written by Thomas Mueller

Thomas Müller is Co-Founder at bee smart city. As an economic development professional with more than 15 years of experience in city, regional and state level organizations, he developed and implemented numerous smart city and economic development projects with partners from government, different private business sectors, academia and the civil society.

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