Wondering what a “Smart City” is? Have a good idea what it is, but would like to know what others are thinking and to share your ideas? If you can answer “yes” to either of these questions, then this is the Post for you! Smart Cities 101 is a primer that offers an introduction and a forum to continually develop the subject.

Smart City: Defined

To get us started, let’s consider a couple of influential (that is, often cited) definitions:

“A smart city uses information and communication technologies (ICT) to enhance quality, performance and interactivity of urban services, to reduce costs and resource consumption and to improve contact between citizens and government.” (Source: Wikipedia)

“The point of departure is the definition which states that a city may be called ‘smart’ “when investments in human and social capital and traditional (transport) and modern (ICT) communication infrastructure fuel sustainable economic growth and a high quality of life, with a wise management of natural resources, through participatory government.” (Source: “Smart Cities and the Future Internet: Towards Cooperation Frameworks for Open Innovation”)


With the U.S. Dept. of Transportation’s Smart City Challenge, “The USDOT seeks bold and innovative ideas for proposed demonstrations to effectively test, evaluate, and demonstrate the significant benefits of smart city concepts.”

The Smart Cities Council, an important source of information for the USDOT, organizes its list of “smart city concepts” into two groups:

Responsibility areas: Built environment, Economic development, Energy, Health and human services, Payments, Public safety and security, Telecommunications, Transportation, Waste management, Water and wastewater

The Enablers: Analytics, Citizen engagement, Computing resources, Connectivity, Data management, Finance and procurement, Instrumentation and control, Interoperability, Policy and leadership, Security and privacy

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