The future of smart cities: Report by French MP Luc Belot [fr]
Smart cities are a chance for local territories and inhabitants. Built in common sense and the right direction, the city of wits can better public services, making them more personal and more efficient. It is also an opportunity for French businesses, leaders on the utility market, SMEs or start-ups, as the global market is estimated between 400 and 1 600 bn$ in 2020. Nonetheless, our businesses need local showcases which cannot boil down to demonstrators here and there.
Helping local authorities build their smart city projects benefits first and foremost the territories and their inhabitants and also the firms.
For smart cities to benefit everyone, local authorities will need to be comforted in their role as trusted third party which guarantees equality and creates social link. Ideally, in the long run, the smart city strategies should empower all parties and closely associate them in the decision making process to ensure that the city benefits from all available intelligences.
To reach that goal, several measures are suggested in this report: provide local authorities with a legal competence on data governance; allow them to grant subsidies to support territorial innovations; reduce the legal risk associated with public procurement; encourage resources and best practice pooling between local authorities and, finally, increase the number of available trainings to make sure every decision that has to be made regarding the implementation of smart city strategies is informed and reasoned.
The most important factor of success lies elsewhere. Users have to be placed at the center of the public strategy, their needs have to be met with a rich and positive “user experience”. Placing inhabitants, citizens at the heart of the public strategy and accepting to build that strategy with every benevolent partner, whether individual, public or private entities, will lead to a smarter, more intelligent city.