We spoke to VX Fiber’s Head of Municipal Markets, Ian Taylor, and Dr Elizabeth Newman-Earl, Founder at e50k Consultancy, about how to approach building a smart city and why tangible results are so important
The theoretical benefits to incorporating ‘smart’ connectivity infrastructure within a municipality are well established, from enabling a wide range of new use cases to generating a wealth of data from which valuable insights can be derived.
But for VX Fiber, these grandiose goals can actually inhibit smart city development, obscuring the efficiencies and economic benefits that should be at the heart of these programs. Only once a data baseline has been established, can the benefits begin to be measured built upon.
“From our experience, the economic pressures and drivers are usually the ones that will see the success being driven out,” explain Taylor. “Local authorities are of course trying to grow their local economy […] so ultimately they’re looking to both save money but also ensure that the local economy is growing and growing well, because that will have a massive impact on the social and lived experience of the citizens.”
“Focus on the economic outcomes primarily, alongside hoping to drive social change and environmental outcomes along the way.”
When we talk about smart cities, too often the discussions are focussed on infrastructure, technology choices, and scale, rather than what really matters: meaningful results for those living and working in the municipalities themselves.
In this interview, Ian Taylor and Dr Elizabeth Newman-Earl discuss the strategy needed to create a successful smart city, including starting small, generating tangible results, and communicating these benefits effectively to the community.
To continue this discussion, Dr. Newman-Earl will be presenting with the VX Fiber Deutschland team at the Smart City Glasfaser Forum on the 5th December at Mainz Congress, Germany. As an exclusive pre-event forum at Connected Germany for municipality and city department attendees, the forum will discuss opportunities and challenges of building a sustainable smart city in Germany.
If you work for a city, municipality or municipal utility company in Germany, register for your free pass here – https://www.terrapinn.com/conference/connected-germany/Smart-City-Glasfaser-Forum-ENG.stm