Smart Cities take data from the status of city systems and use it to adjust various processes to optimize efficiency, reducing environmental impact by using less resources, and freeing up government funding for use on community and city projects. The infrattructure they provide impact residents with a plethora of benefits.
Smart city features all provide a greater resident experience, reduce community-wide carbon footprint, and provide more impactful opportunities for programs and partnerships with nonprofits to alleviate the symptoms of city-inefficiencies through traffic monitoring, cloud-based government systems like garbage disposal notifications, and renewable energy resource stations. Policies can also be implemented to increase the efficacy of these services by increasing resident involvement in these programs.
Increasing traffic flow has numerous benefits to the city, its residents, and the environment. With less congestion there follows reduced fuel costs and driver incidents, and the implementation of traffic monitoring solutions improves resource allocation and response time by government services.
Creating walkable cities reduce congestion, air pollution and resource depletion, boosts the local economy, promotes interaction and ensures security. This is not only good for the environment, but gives residents the opportunity to add more exercise to their daily regimen.
Filling out and submitting forms online, or through apps, reduces the need to go to government offices and increases resident productivity, as well as eliminating many of the energy and supply needs of those offices. It streamlines the process of integrating various data in their respective systems, optimizing government performance and experience.
Many development and retrofitting programs involved in the smart-adjustment create job opportunities. From the administration of new programs to the property development of buildings and public works, there are a variety of employment positions made available. Local charities can also partner with programs to increase efficacy!
How to Prepare a Program
We have prepared material that should give you an idea for how to start and run through a campaign. From writers community outreach letters, to lobbying local government, and all the fun stuff in between, The Tangency Foundation offers support in designing and implementing your campaign!
Step 1: Research
In order to better understand the environment under which smart city policies are implemented, and how these programs can impact the city, research smart city initiatives. There are global examples, and many local, national ones too. You can go online and look up recent programs in your area, or call up your local representative's office to see where they stand on the topic, what programs are already in place, which ones may need optimizing, or which programs may be able to partner up with charities to reduce financial strain and improve efficacy. Getting an idea for which services have been optimized, which types of nonprofits and charities have partnered up, and what kinds of initiatives neighborhoods and individuals can take on is a great way to prepare yourself for the next step, community outreach!
Step 2: Reaching Out to the community
Before you go about writing your congressperson, or even your mayor, you should reach out to your local community. Your family, friends, neighbors - all of them share a voice with the community, and engaging your fellow residents is how you'll get that voice heard. Prepare material highlighting the benefits smart cities with examples, and discuss the personal impacts that they will see as a result of city-wide redevelopment. Material can be letters, flyers, signs, cards, or even videos. Creating an online forum for supporters is a great way to foster innovation and find new ways to engage people. You can look to crowdfunding campaigns to help manage the costs of supplies. Educational events and advertisements provide a platform for engagement!
Step 3: Engaging Local Businesses
Reach out to local businesses and charities, and see if you can connect them to fulfill community services where government programs are lacking or absent. Many charities are eager to find help in connecting with businesses, and those local businesses are often looking for a way to positively impact their community. Commercial residents hold their own sway over city politics, and with smart city solutions that can improve not only the city's functioning but the businesses' own services, you may be pleasantly surprised at how many businesses will help you reach out to politicians. Maybe find a small restaurant and ask them if they would be willing to donate their excess food to the local soup kitchen rather than throw it away!
Step 4: Address your Representatives
Now with the voices of community members and commercial residents alike, it's time to write to your local government to ask them to consider implementing smart city initiatives, and hold public sessions to engage residents with plans. Reaching out to individual departments with ideas is a proactive measure that can help bypass the bureaucracy of government.
Step 5: Don't Stop
The most important part is following through. You'll likely face many obstacles on your path, but if you can keep your head up and maintain a flame in your endeavors, your actions will go above and beyond to impact your community!