How to buy / sell smart cities

Worthwhile read by James Blackman.

Some of my observations / suggestions:
1) too much top-down: it doesn't focus (enough) on the end user / citizens who should play the central role in any smart city activity

2) page 4 'how to monetise the data from cities': cities do not own data they only store data that is owned by its citizens

3) page 5 'In Europe, most projects retain central government funding' and 'Governments typically offer subsidies, grants or tax breaks' Mr Citron hasn't looked at the Amsterdam Smart City model I am afraid, where governments in the Amsterdam Region invest instead of subsidise

4) page 10 who owns the data that goes through the 'smart light poles' ? Will US citizens be as enthusiastic when a foreign (for example Russian or Chinese) carrier would deploy the smart light poles in a city?

5) shift from this single silo approach (lighting) to a more holistic approach

6) regarding platform approach: Shouldn't all these developments be open source to prevent the vendor lock-in? There is no one size fits all platform nor in different parts in a city nor in different cities. One should choose little tailored made open platforms also from the perspective of a potential vendor lock-in

If you use the approaches mentioned in the article and local governments do nothing, platform companies will control the different smart cities chains from user to supply

Positives for local governments of these approaches are:
+ Developments will come naturally
+ best offer wins
+ government has little to do (one tender)

Negatives could be
- vendor lock-in
- Huge investment, high risk
- Market is still too uncertain  no room is left for failure and uncertainty
- Might loose control and steering as a local government


Frans-Anton Vermast's picture
Frans-Anton Vermast

This addition (in Dutch) is supporting somehow my suggestions:

Het heeft zin om kritisch te zijn’

Meer focus en meer impact staan boven aan het to-dolijstje voor 2019 van Dorien Zandbergen: sociaal ondernemer, wetenschappelijk onderzoeker aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam én zenleraar. Zandbergen deelt haar agenda voor 2019 in De Wereld in 2019.

Read more:

Ben Laarhoven's picture
Ben Laarhoven

We do have a "Smart City Portal", with best practice processes.
These processes are for free, in the case a city created it and there are processes from commercial partners.

In our vision, it's a better idea to start off with the invenarization of the processes and functionality you need and convert them into a software solution.