Smart cities need the help of national governments to succeed

Smart cities are a promising idea, but without the help of national governments, local officials can do very little to make these dreams a reality.

That's according to a new analysis released by the Center for Data Innovation think tank, which says that implementing the idea of smart cities requires mitigating certain risks, spurring smart infrastructure, enabling interconnected systems and leveraging scale, fostering communities of practice, and ensuring quality.

All these things require, first and foremost, coordination that should come from the highest levels of authority.

“Acting alone, individual cities are not equipped to quickly and effectively become smart cities. National governments should step in to enact policies that enable this transition,” said Daniel Castro, the Center’s director and a co-author of the report. The success of smart cities will depend on the extent to which there are broad policy frameworks in place to kickstart investment in technology and infrastructure, develop and share best practices, and establish interconnected networks to take advantage of economies of scale.”

“Technologies will continue to develop that can bring economic and social benefits to communities they support around the world,” said Joshua New, a policy analyst with the Center and co-author of the report. “Any country that fails to support the development of smart cities will be limited in its ability to take advantage of the economic and social benefits cities can offer.”

The full report, which tackles issues of mitigating risks, spurring smart infrastructure or enabling interconnected systems, can be found on this link.

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