Pennoni Perspective Volume 22 • Issue 4 • Winter 2018/19 - Page 9

ROADMAP for For more information on our Partnership with the Smart Cities Council, please contact: Katie Crawford Marketing Manager 215-516-7184 Smarter Cities partners and/or funding for projects and programs. But Jennifer cautioned, “It’s not just having access to the money, it’s knowing how to structure a project and how to define it in a way that would attract funders and financers. We are looking to advance our efforts to help communities better structure projects as well as connect with financing and funding organizations to accelerate implementation of projects.” Assess stakeholder concerns Ensure alignment with stakeholders’ priorities and give them input to gain their buy-in. Smaller communities often have the same problems as larger cities, just at different scales. However, they don’t always have the same drawing power to attract the interest of technology partners and financing. Banding together with neighboring communities provides a bigger impact by aggregating resources and buying power. Building a smart region is often more practical from a citizen point of view. “We are seeing a lot of focus on smart regions,” Jennifer explained. “Not necessarily at the state level, but the reality is that if city leadership is structured around city limits, that’s not the way people interact. I mean how many city limits do people cross every day in commuting? The reality of working across boundaries and bringing multiple communities together is something that is not just an opportunity from a buying power perspective, but it just makes sense from an actual people perspective.” For the 2019 challenge, Smart Cities Council is embracing this outlook. And even if a community is not picked as a winner of the Readiness Challenge, they have access to the resources available, including the new Smart Cities Project Activator, which is an online tool to help plan, manage, and finance smart city projects. Also new this year, there is no longer a population limit, giving communities of any size access to the best practices and resources that are going to help them move things forward. And as Kevin reiterated, “While their challenges may be different, the idea of using technology and building relationships to deliver stronger results to the community, that’s the same regardless of what size that community is.” Remove obstacles Cities are often held back due to political challenges, cybersecurity worries, inertia, or uncertain ROI. Lay the IT groundwork Install the broadband, shared architecture, and scalable systems, as well as the processes and standards, needed to support smart initiatives. Keep pace with digital innovation Make sure you don’t fall behind on core technologies, like cloud, biometrics, and mobile apps, or emerging ones, such as AI, IoT, smart beacons, and chatbots. Make sure you are gathering, analyzing, and integrating a wide array of data and making it accessible to stakeholders. Don’t make cybersecurity an afterthought . Invest wisely Fully leverage data Benchmarked cities are allocating about 15% of their operating budgets and 17% of their capital budget to smart city programs. Most cities, especially smart city beginners, are not well prepared for cyberattacks. As cities become smarter, their risks multiply. Draw on digital ecosystems Cities can partner with technology providers and universities or outsource development and implementation. PENNONI | 9