What this chapter won’t cover
Cities rely on a wide range of financial tools to pay for civic improvements – taxes, grants, bond issues, public-private partnerships and a host of emerging alternative funding mechanisms. Those tools are not covered in the Readiness Guide. In March 2014, the Council in collaboration with the Arizona State University Center for Urban Innovation published the Smart Cities Financing Guide. It
offers detailed analysis and case studies of 28 of the most promising financing tools available to help cities and regional governments pay for smart city projects. You can download the current version of the Guide at the Council website. Frequent updates are anticipated as new financing opportunities and best practices emerge.
Trends shaping financial management systems
Major trends are affecting cities and raising challenges that argue against doing business as usual. These trends make a smarter approach to financial and payment systems even more critical, both as an economic enabler but also as a source of cost savings. These trends include digitalization, ubiquity, convergence, transparency and personalization. Each one has benefits... and dangers too.
Digitalization. Smartphones and other digital devices are everywhere. But digitalization can go far beyond what we see today. For instance, where pay-by-weight waste collection is in place, a simple chip can automate payment. Likewise, many cities have mobile apps that enable residents to pay water bills or pay for parking spaces with a mobile phone. We will see even more of that in the future. But the digitalization trend also triggers challenges for cities, such as development of the required connectivity, interoperability and robust security.
Smart Cities Financing Guide. Download the Guide containing detailed analysis and case studies of 28 municipal finance tools at the Council’s website.