Beyond the Smart Cities fashion there are numerous challenges that have transformed the realization of the Smart projects into a slow and arduous process. Some of these challenges are evident and will continue into next year:
- Money: Cities are working with tight budgets. The money directed toward information technology is merely a small slice of the pie in most cases. This situation immediately affects municipalities undertaking of Smart Cities activities before other factors are taken into account.
- Organization: There are huge amount of entities involved in a Smart Cities project, which for its part includes many departments and persons. Cities are organized to run according to their own rhythm and priorities, which do not always match the necessary pace for a Smart Cities programme. In many cases, the stakeholders are unlikely to be hopeful that the project will remain on course.
- Implementation costs: How operational expenses are allocated, who benefits and how responsibilities are divided and shared are critical questions. Without absolutely clear internal processes that treat of these matters, a Smart Cities programme may stall.
- Benefits for the Citizens: Municipal administrators and executives – Assigned and Elected – must answer citizens and justify investments and programmes that do not immediately translate into benefits visible to all.
- Technological deployment: Cities like to implement technologies with long life cycles; indeed, preferred cases involve solutions that are almost compulsorily immune from breakdown or are difficult to suspend, even those with short cycles. Stability is thus very important, and decisions must be weighed and studied, which requires time and a process that consumes resources and energy, but some cities do not keep up with novelties, which in turn causes an accumulation of countless new technologies that have arisen in the meantime. This again blocks their implementation.
In resume, a city’s management structure has a strong impact on the implementation of Smart Cities. A visionary mayor with charisma and leadership can start the implementation of this type of programme faster than others who, despite being willing, cannot manage (or is unable) to argue for the necessity of a Smart Cities programme in their city.
A happy SMART 2017 for everyone 😉
Esta publicação também está disponível em: Portuguese (Portugal)