The smart municipality, like the smart city, opens up a ton of new possibilities. Everything from elder care to policing to waste management is going to be affected. But what should you know before trying to implement it all? Where do you even begin?
Here are some common tips and concerns to keep in mind:
Look at the data first
When writing the ebook Smart cities and municipalities – Where to begin? we talked to Fredrik Syversen of IKT Norway. He points out a common mistake for cities or municipalities with more money than will to plan things out: They invest in expensive technology without having a clear idea of its actual purpose.
Many municipalities stand to gain a lot if they start by looking at the data they’ve got available – sometimes the smart solution doesn’t involve much tech at all.
Prepare for growing pains
Sometimes our optimism about the future clouds the very real consequences of disrupting the existing systems. The more you automate, the less there is for humans to do, which means loss of jobs. On a smaller scale, any significant change means you have to invest in training existing personnel. How can you get ahead of the smart city’s consequences?
Open vs. hidden information
Smart systems use massive data sets gathered throughout the city or municipality. Should you let the public access these, so more people have the chance to use them for good? Or should you hide it, to protect people’s privacy?
How about gaining access to the systems themselves? You want to stay hidden from hackers, but you do want entrepreneurial spirits to latch on with their own technological marvels. Is it possible to keep the right balance?
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