Ideas to Action: Page 4 of 16

Project plans – “blueprints” for the most important components of the smart city. Possibilities include master plans for land use and the built environment; for digital infrastructure (communications and computing resources); for data; for transportation; for business and commerce, and for city services. These plans are also helpful for creating visibility around smart city drivers.

Milestones – waypoints at which you measure progress, share lessons learned and discuss course corrections and strengthen commit-ment. For instance, Vancouver has annual implementation updates. (Click to view an overview of Vancouver’s 2011-2012 Implementation Update.) It also holds an annual Vancouver Cities Summit, a discussion platform for business and urban leaders to exchange ideas and best practices. And it issues periodic updates in various media to keep citizens informed and enthused (see Figure 14.4)

Your residents can be a valuable tool in the measurement process. Social media can help you reach out to them to see how technology adoption is progressing, further connecting government and people.

Metrics – key performance indicators that quantify success. Examples include carbon footprint, average commute time, percentage of citizens with broadband, energy efficiency achievements, water efficiency achievements, new businesses formed, patents filed, students graduated, doctors and hospital beds per capita, percentage of city services available online, etc. In some cases, it is possible to choose metrics that also let you calculate your return on investment.

Installing metrics early in your smart city efforts can ensure transparency and improve citizen buy-in. Vancouver’s action plan has a list of very specific targets. For instance, it seeks to double the number of green jobs from 2010 to 2020, and double the number of companies who have “greened” their operations. It seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 33% over 2007 levels. It has similar easy-to-measure targets for all 10 of its sub-components.