Toward Smarter Communities
Becoming a “Smart City” is not about a specific technology, but rather about working smarter to meet the needs of the citizens who live in your community.
As the McKinsey Global Institute asks: “Imagine the communities of the future – will people navigate from place to place with ease, or will the streets be chaotic and gridlocked? Will communities be healthy and sustainable places to live, or will environmental problems spiral? Will communities be able to provide adequate housing, infrastructure, and services to keep up with the needs of surging populations?”
The journey to becoming a smarter community is about finding ways to make life better for the citizens who live there. The approach is based on each community’s authentic culture and heritage, where technology is used as an enabler for transformative change. Many communities are only beginning their journey whether the place is a town, city, county or metro area. It is often difficult to know where to begin, and although every community is different, the challenges faced by leaders are often quite similar. Toward Smarter Communities brings together leaders to learn, share and grow together for this very reason.
The Toward Smarter Communities initiative is based on a platform proven by Spark Growth in producing Smart Cities Innovation Accelerator Series with the Innovator’s Forum out of the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard (TECH). These include invitation-only workshops designed to spark creativity in defining and refining initial strategies, bringing best practices and learnings from around the “Smart” world to the government leadership arena. For key decision-makers, the accelerators are an opportunity to learn from and co-design “smarter community” strategy solutions with peers, build relationships, and understand best practices for digital innovation working alongside expert industry partners.
Spark Growth launched the Florida Toward Smarter Communities initiative in Tampa, Florida at the Synapse Innovation Summit in January 2019. This effort brings community leaders together regionally to collaborate and define solutions to their unique needs.
Toward Smarter Communities
Becoming a “Smart City” is not about a specific technology but rather about working smarter to meet the needs of the citizens who live in your community. In addition to convening specialty workshops for leaders across municipalities, Toward Smarter Communities provides a framework and processes for individuals and organizations to understand what being a “smarter community” means within their unique context.
An agile process develops collaborations while identifying optimal courses of action and existing assets that could align with your efforts. So we take an agile, data-driven approach to Smart Cities and Smarter Communities with projects such as our HaPData (Harnessing the Power of Data) 2020 collaboration.
With the wide breadth of possibilities in your Smart Cities projects – where should your community, city, or organization begin? Let us help you figure it out!