Four Types of Smart City Projects

Analysis of 60 municipal smart city plans drawn from around the world has identified four different models:
* an essential services model,
* smart transportation model,
* broad-spectrum model, and
* a business ecosystem model.

The combinations of smart city projects that are most often deployed together, and thus to define “archetypes” or “models” in smart city development.

Here are the highlights of each type of smart city project.

Essential Services Model

Cities within the group Essential Services Model are characterized by their use of mobile networks in their emergency management programs and by their digital healthcare services. These cities, that may already have good communications infrastructures, prefer to put their money into a few well-chosen smart city programs. Examples include Tokyo and Copenhagen.

Smart Transportation Model

Smart Transportation Model cities encompass those that are densely populated and face problems with moving goods and people within the city. Cities in this group emphasize initiatives to control urban congestion — through smart public transportation, car sharing and/or self-driving cars — as well as the use of information and communication technologies. Singapore and Dubai are included in this group.

Broad Spectrum Model

Cities falling within the Broad Spectrum Model emphasize urban services, such as water, sewage and waste management, and seek technological solutions for pollution control. They are also characterized by a high level of civic participation. Examples include Barcelona, Vancouver and Bejing.

Business Ecosystem Model

The Business Ecosystem Model seeks to use the potential of information and communication technologies to jumpstart economic activity. It includes cities that emphasize digital skills training as a necessary accompaniment to create a trained workforce and aim to foster high-tech businesses. Amsterdam, Edinburgh and Cape Town are examples.

“Our findings can provide city planners with information on specific projects and templates implemented in the field by other planners,” said Jayakar. “Cities hoping to implement smart city plans may also consult the four models to identify cities that match their socio-economic circumstances the most closely to use as an aid in devising their own plans.”

18 thoughts on “Four Types of Smart City Projects”

  1. Lots of weird unexpected consequences. For example-Tesla has a truck coming. Whaat if you ordered it to drive around towing you sleeping eating etc in the camper? Keep it to slow roads-like neighborhoods where you can go 15mph say. thats 300 miles a day if it charges on superchargers for 2 hours. At what point is that cheaper then renting?

    Well rumors are that this one may be equipped with a million mile battery. So thats 7 years of driving 22 hours a day. So lets say $24 to charge it per day (thats about 200 KW of charge… and lets say you replace it every 7 years. And $3,000 a year for maintenance.

    Monthly costs of ownership of your mobile home? $1,780 I believe. Which in some areas is dirt cheap.

  2. Which would force cities to reduce parking fees in order to change the economic dynamic. Its a tradeoff between revenue and traffic then for them.

  3. Having said that, I literally encountered faeces on the ground going to work today.

    Produced by a pedestrian crossing the road no less.

  4. self-driving cars will actually making traffic worse in the long run… consider…if it costs $20 to park your car in NYC… why bother parking it? just instruct your car to keep driving around the block in circles until you are done for the day… its cheaper than paying 20 dollars to park…

  5. In that case why bother living in the city at all? Get a nice telecommuting home for under $30k in rural New Zealand or somewhere. (Assuming NZ has internet by then.)

  6. The “self-driving car” solution commuting from the burbs, which is already on the street (Waymo et al), would only work well if overall traffic can be thinned out. That will require a higher level of self-driving penetration and actual ride sharing(multi occupancy), which I don’t really care for.
    I’ve kept my eye on Waymo’s progress, I expect a subscription service where availability could be guaranteed for pickup times in the morning and end of work day would work for me. If they offer that I would make the switch, and that’s coming from someone who frequently abuses DialCar. I’m not price sensitive, but I expect self-driving cars will not be a viable solution for those that are for some time to come.
    If “self-driving car” makes for an easy commute from the burbs, that will also serve to make the burbs a more viable home base and thus increase demand. It will have a moderating effect on property, commercial centers & the inner burbs will cool down a bit and the outer burbs will warm up a bit. Overall a good thing, perhaps not for the outer burbs renters but for the majority.

    Perhaps, something like hyper loop could also expand the viable commuter radius to commercial centers from further afield, that would really cool things down-lots of winners & loosers.

  7. feces & needles on the sidewalks

    That’s not a matter of being in a city. That’s a matter of the population deliberately choosing to not have civilized levels of law enforcement.

    Meanwhile, I’m much, much more likely to encounter feces on the ground in a rural area. Not human though.

  8. Yah, ok. 
    But please read what I wrote as the anchor comment, herein.  
    Tech stands a significant chance of re-humanizing the burbs.
    GoatGuy ✓

  9. There’s something pretty dark about this topic, don’t you think?

    Cities are already like beehives: millions of workers variously commute from where they can afford to live, to the centers of commerce, industry, science and medicine, every day. We (I being part of this clan) spend a substantial fraction of our lives just getting to and from work and home.  

    Use our fantastic unicorn-horn wand, and bestow upon me a ‘self-driving car’ that costs less per ride than either my own put-put, or a cab; further wave the wand, and ensure that it and only its kin-cars can travel unimpeded by the unwashed masses to and from work and home. It sits out front, at precisely 7:33 AM, gets me to work by 8:15, picks me up at 6:05 PM, and gets me home ten minutes before 7.  

    Like a clock.  

    Further, it has all nature of WiFi streaming, a quartet of screens which respond to standardized gestures; I can talk to others freely or watch The Media; I can research things “for overtime” pay, or pleasure. Book Amazon orders, arrange baby-sitters, check the portfolio, and essentially ignore everything going past the portholes in the conveyor. 

    Is this a better life?

    It is tons better than the mind-numbing, ire-forming, life-expectancy reducing commute of today. So … dark or bright, just revolutionizing the commute, well … that’d be worth the ticket price.

    Just Saying,
    GoatGuy ✓

  10. Affordability is subject to supply and demand.
    The “Affordable Living Model” already exists, it’s called moving to areas where not many people want to live but have little choice.
    You and the Mrs. can pickup a 2k sqft fixer upper in Mississippi for <$20k.

  11. Smart city of future… sitting around at home telecommuting in your undies… no need for big box stores or traffic… drone delivery instead…

  12. Maybe it is time to create one more model:

    Affordable Living Model

    Seeing how the #1 reason to not move to a city is that they are generally quite unaffordable. That and feces & needles on the sidewalks.

  13. The REALLY smart plan for cities is to get the damn government out of the way and out of people’s pocketbooks. Real capitalism is the smart system.

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