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How the UK measures the smartness of its cities (could it work for yours?)

Submitted by jesse_berst on July 9, 2013

The United Kingdom's Technology Strategy Board (an advisor to the Smart Cities Council) has just released findings from stage one of its Future Cities Demonstrator Programme. The notice announcing the new report calls out two key findings. First, cities accomplish much more if they have Open Data programs. And of course that would be true, since Open Data cities can tap into the creative power of the private sector. They are not limited by the need to build everything themselves.

Second, cities accomplish much more if they are good at building public-private partnerships. Once again, this is an obvious truth, albeit one worth repeating.

To me, the most valuable lessons are the themes that have emerged from experiments in 30 British cities. If you decide to download the report at the link below, go straight to page 21. The diagram there summarizes those themes. It shows a) the key partnerships, b) the core infrastructure, c) the crucial platforms needed on top of the infrastructure and d) the most useful applications to build on top of those platforms. It's a wonderful one-page summary of the main thrusts of the smart city movement. I was pleased to see how well it lines up with the structure of the Smart Cities Council Readiness Guide. But since the Guide won't be officially launched until November, you'll need to take my word for it for the time being.

The charts starting on page 56 summarize the same information in a different format. Armed with those overviews, you can then dig through the full report to pull out ideas for your own city.  -- Jesse Berst

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Are these the 3 biggest smart city opportunities? The UK thinks so


Jesse Berst is the founding Chairman of the Smart Cities Council. Click to subscribe to SmartCitiesNow, the weekly newsletter highlighting smart city trends, technologies and techniques.