Trust is Key Driver for Smart Cities

Procurement and planning reform were important themes for the 2017 Toronto Smart Cities Summit

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  1. Speakers at the 2nd Annual Smart Cities Summit held at the Toronto Board of Trade described the economic, environmental and social drivers for smart cities investment. These all seem to be tied around the concept of trust in this era of reduced trust in institutions. It was an extensive understanding of trust that included:
  2. * trust of citizens to enable participation in selecting smart city priorities
  3. * trust in civil society and businesses by making government data open and accessible
  4. * trust in multiple levels of government to work together to build smart city infrastructure
  5. * trust in academic, non profit and business partnerships
  6. * trust in government to provide economic growth opportunities with a high quality of life
  7. * trust in government to protect privacy while providing security
  8. Toronto Mayor, John Tory, described the important of economic growth and quality of life.
  9. The Board of Trade released a report calling for collaborative action.
  10. Government procurement was an implicit and explicit theme. Smart cities are realized through innovation, agile, experimentation, and partnerships. But, public sector procurement policies and procedures inhibits these approaches. The subject of government procurement came up frequently during panel discussions. There were lively discussions at the procurement break out session.
  11. Planning was also a theme in most sessions. Smart cities is far more than the sum of technologies. Many observers described the problem of planning long-term infrastructure in the government environment of annual budgets. Municipal budgets are often legally obligated to balance preventing some longer term investments that will have significant returns. This "budget coherence" problem is an inhibitor to public investments.
  12. Drivers for smart cities adoption was discussed...
  13. ...where open data was an important consideration. Smart cities are participatory cities. Given the broad range of citizen values, open government can help prioritize initiatives that are important to people. And, the use of open data can provide the underlying facts to help prioritize.
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