Smart city is not just about smart technologies. When implementation is done strategically and reflects the specific city needs & priorities successful smart city is not just simply copying a random project from another city just because it is cool to be called a smart city. As you might guess the smart way to go about it, is to collect sufficient amount of relevant data with which governance of city affairs and quality of life in a city can be improved. We encourage you to go one step further and aim for citizen’s well-being as we believe the city can be successfully developed only in cooperation with their citizens. Citizens are the ones who give the city its daily pace. The core of the city of well-being is the quality of people’s lives and their living satisfaction in the city, which condition the success of the development of the city. Some of the elements of the city of well-being were elaborated at the 7th Ljubljana Forum where different city stakeholders participated actively. More information about the concept, industry solutions and project initiatives can be find at: (http://www.ljubljanaforum.org/2017/docs/7LF-summary-report-2017-1.pdf).
Promoting a better life for citizens is actually a core goal of any democratic government. Leaders are elected on the implied promise that they will improve people’s lives. For this reason, smart government collects data in order to make informed decisions when planning their future investments. However, there is one step before measuring and collecting data. That is defining key strengths and opportunities in a city. They are many common challenges that every city faces like mobility, water & waste management, energy supply, etc., but there are some drivers of well-being that are unique for each city. Therefore, measuring wellbeing, and understanding its determinants and how they interact, can help create a more holistic and informed policy-making approach. And this understandably doesn't happen over night. It is a learning curve that needs to include all stakeholders of a city. A great example of it is Santa Monica California that eastablished its own index of well-being by identifying and combining avaliable data sources as well as conducting an extensive survey, which was review by city leaders and experts. In addition, they are very active on social media and include the feedback from citizens in their analysis and hence decisions.
In sum, there are three steps a city should follow: define, measure, act. Nowadays it is important for cities to introduce new smart solutions to ensure higher quality of life. while preserving the city identity and involving citizens into their smart design. As a starting point when defining city goals people should be actively involved in co-creation process. Secondly all relevant city data should be structured and stored in a smart way in order to be available for good quality measurement.
City digital platform well integrated to sensors and other sources of data could provide an effective tool to support good quality measurement and visualization. With appropriate action configured as city projects, you will start to build a smarter, more sustainable and inclusive city. So start with the data that is already available to you, such as budgets, statistics, social media analysis, and logs of sensors, if you have some already. Add further sources over time. As long as you define reachable goals, involve your citizens and most of all manage your data well, you will be able to make data driven decisions with the aim to co-create better cities, the cities of well-being.