How small cities can get ‘big city’ smart cities benefits

Most people, upon hearing the words “smart city” will think of some of the large-scale projects that have recently been announced from such cities as New York, Boston, Barcelona and Singapore. However, thinking that the smart city phenomenon only applies to large, urban communities would be a mistake.

For a community to be “smart”, it doesn’t need a complicated or expensive solution. It’s not only possible for small and medium-sized municipalities to become smart, it’s a lot easier than most people realize.

With fewer decision siloes, technical requirements and services, it’s much simpler to develop a smart city vision and gain internal consensus from key stakeholders. Using a phased approach, and scaling up as budgets and needs evolve, implementation can be completed quickly and economically allowing for some “quick wins” to drive a smart city plan forward.

A common mistake made by small and medium-sized municipalities that are considering becoming a smart city is the idea that it requires research, funding and deployment of a large, holistic city-wide platform with many components deployed at the same time. This can rob the community of very basic and useful functions right away.

Rather than focussing upon technology, by engaging citizens, it’s possible to provide a platform that allows them to quickly become more engaged and active in their community. This platform can demonstrate that service levels can change immediately, and that their participation can make a difference. Services can then be expanded as technology and needs advance.

MyTown, by RealTerm Energy, provides smaller municipalities with a product to support a staged, focussed and functional approach to smart city integration that’s intentionally affordable, so that no community needs to be left out of the future.