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Scaling Smart City Solutions: City Leadership and Technology Innovation

Eric Woods
Jul 22, 2019

Connected City

Navigant Research is tracking smart city projects in more than 280 cities around the world. Many other cities are in the early phases of strategy development or deploying projects under the radar. This momentum is also reflected in the expanding market for smart city solutions. Navigant Research estimates the global smart city technology market to be worth $97 billion in 2019. Over the next decade, cumulative investment is anticipated to reach almost $1.7 trillion.

Smart City Evolution

However, new challenges are emerging as cities look to broaden and deepen their commitment to the effective and efficient use of new technologies. This marks a significant new phase in the evolution of smart cities. Where the first phase focused on the creating a vision (Smart Cities 1.0) and the second on innovation (Smart Cities 2.0), the third phase must tackle the challenges of scale (Smart Cities 3.0). As cities focus on the evolution to Smart Cities 3.0, the goal is to enable proven solutions to be deployed across cities and communities to deliver real improvements against key metrics and priority outcomes. To achieves these goals, smart city programs need to make a step change from the practices and approaches of earlier phases. Momentum can no longer be driven largely by vision statements and pilot projects. Smart city programs must demonstrate the following:

  • Innovative technologies and new approaches to service delivery can have a measurable effect on key city challenges
  • Solutions that can be deployed to all parts of the city—including the least advantaged
  • Stable and proven business models that are replicable across different cities and communities
  • Cross-sector innovation and collaboration that do not produce a new generation of siloed solutions or stranded assets

To achieve these ambitions, technology innovation must be matched to real-world experience in the transformation of urban services and what is entailed in terms of organizational, operational, and political capacity. Cities, service providers, and technology companies all have a role to play in this shift, as do national governments. The ability of the whole value chain to cooperate to address barriers and to maintain momentum that will be crucial to success.

Join the Conversation

In an upcoming Navigant Research webinar, Smart Cities Evolution: From Vision to Scale, I will discuss these developments with two city leaders that have extensive understanding of the realities of city management and transformation: Bill Bratton, the former New York City Police Commissioner, and Harry LaRosiliere, mayor of Plano, Texas. Sean Harrington, vice president of City Solutions at Verizon, will also join us and speak to the perspective of the city partner in the discussion.

The panel will look at the evolution of smart city programs and how cities can accelerate the move to deploying effective solutions at scale. We will also explore the challenges facing cities, how they are addressing those issues, and key steps that cities and their partners can take to fast-track the adoption of effective solutions.

Please join us on July 31 at 2:00 EST. Click here to register.