Part of my job is to communicate the ideas behind Smarter Cities, and to support those ideas with examples of the value they create when applied in cities such as Sunderland, Dublin, Birmingham and Rio.
In doing so, I often find myself countering a few common challenges to the concept of a Smarter City that I believe are based on a misconception of how Smarter Cities initiatives are carried in practise out by those involved in them.
Cities are incredibly complicated. Understanding how to apply any intervention to achieve a specific change or outcome in them is extremely difficult. To do so, Smarter Cities initiatives use the skills not just of technologists and businesspeople but social scientists, urban designers, economists, community workers - and, depending on the context, any number of other specialisms.
However, we are still going through the process of creating a shared understanding of Smarter Cities between all of those disciplines; and of communicating that understanding to the world at large. In the conversations taking place today as we try to do that, it's easy for misconceptions to arise. I've written an article on my blog about five of the most common myths and misconceptions that I encounter, including the one I'm most guilty of myself: assuming that "everybody knows that we need Smarter Cities":
Myth / Misconception 1: Everybody knows we need Smarter Cities
Myth / Misconception 2: The idea of applying technology in cities is new
Myth / Misconception 3: Smarter Cities are inhuman technologies that risk being as damaging in their effects on cities as road traffic
Myth / Misconception 4: Masdar and Songdo are the Smartest cities on the planet; OR: Masdar and Songdo are inhuman follies of technology
Myth / Misconception 5: Business as usual will deliver the result
I hope you find it interesting,