Congratulations Parramatta City Council for a thought provoking forum yesterday outlining your journey towards becoming a Smart City, and lessons from Smart Cities around the world.
Championed by Lord Mayor Garrard, Parramatta's vision is both bold and risky - we were all issued with dice to drive home that point! The centrepiece of the Smart City thinking will undoubtedly be the redevelopment/creation of Parramatta Square, which has the opportunity to be designed "smart" from the get-go. However, the context and clarity of the Smart City vision has also been set around existing services and improvement projects, so that "retro fitted" smart solutions will be complementary to the new thinking. Speakers included experts from Amsterdam and Chicago. These were my key learnings:
- See your city as an "Open Platform" - don't allow yourself to be locked into legacy, proprietary systems that impede innovation.
- Be Open, Transparent and Timely with access to data - people will come up with solutions from analysing the data that you will have never thought of.
- Genuinely involve the people of the city in design. Genuinely place the citizen in the centre of your thinking.
- Establish arms length governance that cover all stakeholders rather than give project to a specific "department" or "agency".
- Co-locate all key stakeholders in one team together, rather than pull them together in committees and sub-committees once a week.
And the result? A smart city should be more liveable, loveable and profitable!