Smart cities
Smart cities

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Smart cities

2 A rich picture on your city’s challenges

Now it’s time for you to have a go at drawing a rich picture.

Rich pictures are not intended as art. Drawing skills are strictly optional – stick figures and the like are just fine. The aim in creating one is to explore the main features of a situation in a free-form way. You draw the elements without trying to impose order or express relationships between them. They offer a way of observing complex situations without pre-judging challenges and possible solutions.

Activity 1 Creating a rich picture

Allow about 15 minutes

Draw a rich picture of the challenges your city (or a city you know well) faces over the next 10 years. Aim to include 10 to 15 components. Don’t rule any factors in or out at this stage – be as broad as you possibly can be. Don’t worry if it seems disorganised. Part of the point of a rich picture is that the act of sketching it out can bring up unexpected interactions. If this happens you might decide to ‘redraw’ your picture to explore these relationships.


The process of creating a rich picture should have helped you to explore the challenges your city faces. What were the three main challenges you identified for your city? Note these down in your Smart Cities Project Ideas Template (download this now in either Smart Cities Project Ideas Template PDF [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]   or Smart Cities Project Ideas Template.docx format if you haven’t done so already), as next week you’ll need to select a city problem that relates to one or more of these challenges.


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