To raise this question means asking, one more time, the definition of a Smart City. That can be justifiable at the first hours of this blog. All the more justifiable as everything becomes certified “Smart City”: the slightest urban area getting modernized, the slightest conference approaching themes relative to the city.
The most common definition is to name Smart City any city deploying one or two digital applications.
In the very short term, all the cities will be Smart, because the digitalization of all the applications is only the course of history. This definition carries no differentiating or educational feature. The banner “Smart City” has for only interest the buzz which it generates.
Another definition, frequently heard, of a Smart City is a city aiming at deploying several smart “applications” (Smart governance, Smart Citizens, Smart Energy, Smart Transports, Smart Data, Smart Water, Smart Waste Management etc.)
I feel these lists as an attempt to support the concept of Smart City by structuring its presentation and its definition. This descriptive approach has technological roots. Now, can a Smart City initiative be reduced to the adoption of advanced technologies to improve its performances?
The experience shows that not. The conditions of implementation and deployment of these technologies create so much value for the city, otherwise more themselves, as the only technologies.
That is why I tend to make the difference between the cities which maximize the profits pulled from the solutions deployed, by respecting a number of fundamental from now on verified – who are for me real Smart Cities – and the cities which launch punctual, immediate, purely technological initiatives.
Among the criteria which define for me a Smart City:
– The existence of a vision shared between all the actors, the citizens included
– A holistic approach where every domain (Energy for example) evolves by considering the evolutions of the other domains (Water, Transport for example).
– The search for a decompartmentalization of the actors and for an exploitation of the interdependences between them
– The engagement of the citizens
– The mutualisation of infrastructures
– The city governance reinvented in the service of the current and future systems
Such a vision of a Smart City seems to me virtuous: she allows to focus the attention on essential elements of value creation and sustainability of our actions.
It leads to consider that a Smart City is, before any, an economic and social refoundation of it