How to use this chapter (and the ones that follow)
The goal of the Readiness Guide is to help you make two key decisions: 1) where you want to end up and 2) where you should start.
This chapter and those that follow will help you with the first issue. They suggest the targets at which you should aim. Your only job is to review those targets and determine a) whether they apply to your city and b) how far along you are already.
When it comes to which ones apply, we are biased – we think every target in this Guide is essential to the long-term success of a smart city. Not to be overly dramatic, but you ignore these targets – especially the universal targets – at your own peril.
The universal targets are highlighted on the checklist you’ll see on the next page (and again at the end of the chapter). Each target is explained in detail on the pages that follow. When it comes to how far along you are, you can use the column at the far right of the checklist to record your estimate. You’ll use that estimate of progress in the final chapter, Ideas to Action, where you will set your priorities.
Knowing where you are strong and weak will help you choose where to point your smart city efforts first.
You don’t have to over-think the process. Nor do you have to become an expert in every target. When you have gone through all the chapters and completed the consolidated target list in the final chapter, you will be handing it to specialists to build detailed project plans. You can count on their expertise for the details.
A few large cities will hand their target list to in-house staff. But most cities will use outside experts. Either way, your job is to hand those experts your “wish list” – your prioritized target list. That list will tell them, in general terms, where you want to start and where you want to end up.
So don’t feel overwhelmed as you read through the targets. Your job is not to solve all of these issues. That’s where the experts come in. Your job is to know which issues need a solution and to decide which issues to tackle first.
If you have further questions about targets and checklists, reach out to the Smart Cities Council via the website or the contact information in the appendix.
And now, on to the universal targets. As you read through each one, jump to a checklist to record your assessment of your city’s progress. After completing this chapter and the ones that follow, use the summary checklist in the final chapter to combine your results into one document.