It has been proven that smart city success often stems from cross-departmental collaboration and strong partnerships with IoT or smart technology specialists, as well as funding partners. Although strategies are different in almost every smart city development, one thing that separates the good from the bad is co-operation.

Knowledge sharing

Sharing knowledge is crucial in smart cities, both at the implementation stage and for further growth. Right from the start of your journey to a smarter city, it is best practice to engage ideas and plans, not only through inter-council collaboration but throughout multiple departments to ensure all peers understand the route you are taking and the key drivers that will help you get there.

The concept of sharing shouldn’t stop there. Communicating ideas and objectives should also take place beyond internal council environments and into external businesses. This will help to achieve a greater awareness and open up further opportunities for collaboration with third-parties which you were perhaps previously unaware of.

Transparency is key

Approach your smart city project as you would like it to eventually behave. Data and information will be shared constantly once your smart architecture is up and running; this should be reflected in the way information about your project is shared. To optimise the potential of your smart city, your local government must be more open, sharing data not only between different departments but also with citizens and other city councils. But you must also have the resource, budget and authority to progress such partnerships.

By remaining transparent, your successes and pitfalls will be revealed; this could help other councils build their smart city business cases (just like you did) and avoid making the same mistakes. This means the smart city model will improve each time a project is completed, reducing costs and progressing into an effective example.   

External Partnerships

Communicating and understanding your strategy, objectives and plans, will help when engaging with external partners and requesting collaboration proposals, or inviting businesses to develop a smart city solution.  Using your strategy and business case will also help you when bidding for funding, as it will provide evidence that research and industry understanding has been gathered, instilling buyer confidence.

Lucy Zodion has many years’ experience in providing smart street lighting solutions for councils throughout the UK and has the ability to create bespoke systems that meet specific needs. We see great potential in the existing infrastructure of street lighting columns and their ability to host a number of smart solutions to enhance city services.

Find out more about the ‘Humble lamppost’ and its real potential, here.