Simple ways to be smart

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  • 2020•02•24     Guimarães

    New project at UNU-EGOV

    A smart sustainable city (SSC) is “an innovative city that uses information and communication technologies (ICTs) and other means to improve quality of life, efficiency of urban operation and services, and competitiveness, while ensuring that it meets the needs of present and future generations with respect to economic, social and environmental aspects” (ITU, 2014).

    For many cities, this means investing in high-tech infrastructure and innovative systems that enable cities to take advantage of new technology developments. Many cities, especially medium to small cities and those in developing countries, find that their smart city ambitions compete with other priorities for resources and that the high-level skills required to implement smart city solutions are in short supply.

    Such cities can still be smarter than they are, with low-cost solutions that do not require extensive infrastructure or very high skill levels to implement. Using email more effectively, cloud storage solutions and other services, map services, using digital forms to replace paper, using social media effectively, and the use of simple mobile apps are potential simple, smart solutions. Such approaches to being smart can enable cities to improve the experience of the city for residents, businesses and visitors.

    This project will collect examples of such solutions, the city problems they address, the resources needed and the benefits that can be expected. The project’s outputs will point readers towards more detailed information and where to learn more about these solutions. Where possible, cases that have actually been implemented by small to mid-sized cities will be reported, with information about the results. Examples will be collected from academic and practitioner sources as well as from an open call to interested suppliers, developers, cities and other stakeholders who may have relevant examples to share.

    Please contact UNU-EGOV researcher Judy Backhouse at for more information. You can also download the U4SSC Call for Experts (see “related files” tab).