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December 16, 2016

City administrators are realizing that citizen data, and its intelligent usage is becoming a critical aspect of effective city administration, almost as important to citizens welfare schemes as assured electricity supply and efficient public transport. However, most city administrations have to undergo a transformation to set up an infrastructure that enables them to analyze citizen data and put it to the best use and making their cities more democratic.

Smart cities offer the potential to wrap community growth, social and environmental responsibilities, and business and civic community efforts together to transform working and leisure worlds and to create better lives for all citizens. The principal driving force for successful smart city transformations is deep citizen engagement.

According to the Smart Cities Council, the basic components of a smart city are:

  • A Holistic View: Define the parameters of the smart city an entire city, a region, a cluster of towns and set goals that you wish to achieve accordingly.
  • Information and Communications Technology (ICT): Use technology to enhance city life and connect government to citizens and businesses. By being connected, residents will have a real time view of citizen services and governments will be able to better assess how the city is functioning.
  • Data Collection, Dissemination, and Analysis: Once the infrastructure is in place to gather data and assess conditions in the city, the data is communicated to different city departments, citizens and businesses to better understand whats happening, predict future conditions and preempt any unwanted scenarios.

Rio de Janeiro is a powerful example of a how a city is effectively using information and communications technology. Data is collected from 30 city departments on transportation, water, energy, weather, etc. City administrators get an overview of the present conditions in the city from the analyzed data, and can predict occurrences like flooding in order to act preemptively.

Collaboration between the political and civilian leadership city planners and citizens is key for the success of any smart city project. Given the revenue pressures, the political leadership may need to look for partnerships with private firms to jointly fund smart city programs.

The growing smart city industry sets a standard for sharing resources. Its a new day with possibilities that can unite us and move us into creating a better society.

To learn more about the growth drivers, transformation roadmap, designing and financing smart cities that make life better for all, check out A Blueprint for Smart Cities infographic below.

Download free ebook by Knowledge@Wharton and TCS Smart Cities: The Economic and Social Value of Building Intelligent Urban Spaces.

Senthil Gunasekaran is the Head of Mergers & Acquisitions for TCS Digital Software & Solutions Group. Prior to joining TCS, Senthil was with IBM in the Information Management Software Division with responsibility for Mergers and Acquisitions and Business Development. In this role, he identified, analyzed and executed acquisitions of both public and private firms and made critical contributions to due diligence and post-acquisition integration. He also developed a number of successful partnerships with other software vendors. Senthil holds an M.B.A from UC Berkeley, Haas School of Business and a Masters in Computer Engineering from Wright State University.


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