Nokia announced the availability of ‘The Smart City Playbook’, a strategy report that documents best practices for smart cities. The playbook provides guidance to city leaders on successful strategies used by other municipalities to make their cities smarter, safer and more sustainable. Commissioned by Nokia and developed by Machina Research, a provider of strategic market intelligence on the Internet of Things (IoT), the playbook was developed through primary research into the strategies and progress of 22 cities around the world.
The study uncovered significant diversity in the smart city strategies of different cities but identified three distinct ‘routes’ that cities are taking to make themselves smarter. The ‘anchor’ route involves a city deploying a single application to address a pressing problem such as traffic congestion, and then adding other applications over time. The ‘platform’ route involves building the underlying infrastructure needed to support a wide variety of smart applications and services. ‘Beta Cities’, by contrast, try out multiple applications as pilots to see how they perform before making long-term deployment decisions.
While the study found significant differences between cities, even amongst those cities following the same route, it also concluded that there are several particular practices used by successful smart cities that would appear to be of universal benefit, including:
- Successful cities have established open and transparent rules for the use of data (on which all smart cities are dependent) by government departments and third parties, whether shared freely or monetized to cover data management costs.
- Many cities that are advanced in their smart city journeys have committed to making both information and communications technology (ICT) and IoT infrastructure accessible to users both inside and outside of government, and have avoided the creation of ‘silos’ between government departments.
- Governments (and their 3rd party partners) that have worked to actively engage residents in smart city initiatives have been particularly effective, most notably those where the benefits are highly visible such as smart lighting and smart parking.
- Smart city infrastructure needs to be scalable so it can grow and evolve to meet future needs, and secure to provide certainty that both government and private data are protected.
- Cities that select technology partners that can provide the innovation capacity, ability to invest and real-world experience, along with technology platforms that are open to avoid vendor lock-in, will be at an advantage.
Key findings from New Delhi
- New Delhi is a megacity with problems of growth and an over-stretched infrastructure. At the same time, it has many technology and skill assets.
- All the NDMC’s smart city projects are currently in the very early stages of being rolled out. Nonetheless, they are extensive and cut across all three of the smart, sustainable and safe areas. Progress is likely to be rapid through 2017 as trials get underway.
- The key lessons learnt by New Delhi at this stage of its smart city transformation include wide Consultation with many different stakeholder groups to ensure that smart city plans will meet the needs of citizens; Data-backed policy decisions; and Funding to carefully match projects to available levels of funding for optimum utilisation and delivering on stakeholder expectations.
Key findings from Pune
- Pune has established a smart cities budget of over USD 450 million for the next five years.
- Some of Pune’s smart city activities comprise transportation and fleet management, open data platform, lighting, smart meters.
- Some key lessons from Pune include communication to include voice of citizens in planning, strong; partner ecosystem to deliver best possible plan; diversified funding sources to go beyond government funding for self-sustainability; use of open standards-based technology at the software and hardware level to avoid technology lock-in.
- Participation in the national program gives Pune access to shared resources, notably the Ministry of Urban Development’s SmartNet Portal, designed to enable cities to share ideas and source solutions for implementation. This includes benchmarked cases and best practice documentations, model RFP documents, financial models and business cases, land monetization ideas, SPV structures and innovative practices, risk mitigation techniques and an Open Source Software Library to showcase apps developed and will highlight new source software developed by mission cities during the execution phase
It is expected that 66 percent of the world’s population will live in urban centres by 2050, making it critical for governments and other stakeholders to put strategies in place to more effectively meet the needs of their growing populations. Intelligent ICT and IoT platforms have essential roles to play in the evolution of smart cities. The study concluded that many cities are already leveraging these technologies to optimise services and infrastructure, make better-informed decisions, boost economic development, encourage social interactions and make their communities safer and eco-friendly while improving the delivery of a range of public services.
Osvaldo Di Campli, Head of Global Enterprise & Public Sector, Nokia, said: “The process of making a city smart is extremely complex, and there are so many different strategies being put forward in the market that choosing the right path for your city can be an enormous challenge. Our goal in commissioning this report by Machina Research was to cut through the clutter and identify strategies that are clearly working for cities. As a global leader in the technologies that connect people and things, Nokia clearly has a great interest in helping bring clarity to the market, and to identify important focus areas. We look forward to helping cities develop the shared, secure and scalable networks and platforms needed to enable the human possibilities of smart, safe and sustainable cities.”
Jeremy Green, Principal Analyst at Machina Research and author of the Smart City Playbook, said: “No one said becoming a smart city would be easy. There are lots of choices to be made. The technology and the business models are evolving rapidly, so there are many degrees of uncertainty. Standards are emerging but are by no means finalised. So there is no ‘royal road’ to smartness. But there is a right way to travel – with your eyes open, with realistic expectations, and with a willingness to learn from others. That includes other cities that might face the same problems as you, even if in a different context. It includes the suppliers, who may have learned from their experiences elsewhere, including in other verticals. It includes start-ups, who can be great innovators; and most of all, it includes the city’s own inhabitants, who are your real partners for the journey.”