Smart cities
Smart cities

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

Smart cities

4.1 Core elements of a smart city

In this section of the course you will watch a video to find out answers to some questions about the core elements of a smart city.

Activity 2 Thinking about the core elements of a smart city

Allow about 15 minutes

Watch the video and answer the following questions:

  • What are the five core elements of developing a smart city project or programme introduced in the video?
  • Do you think anything is missing? If so, why do you think it is important?
Download this video clip.Video player: ou_futurelearn_smartcities_vid_1008.mp4
Skip transcript

Transcript

LORRAINE:
In approaching smart cities it's helpful to consider the following five elements which we'll be exploring throughout the course.
Citizens: smart cities are taking different approaches to engaging the people who live, work, play and create within them. We call these citizens. Some see citizens as consumers of smart city services, a top-down approach, driven by city government's need for greater efficiency and shaped by technology companies who supply the solutions. However there is now a shift towards citizens taking a central role in developing smart cities, a bottom-up approach. Smart city solutions should be based on citizens' needs and they should be accessible and easy to use. This can be done through co-creation with citizens. In practise engaging citizens is immensely challenging as trust is a big issue.
Infrastructure, technology and data: infrastructure enables our city systems to operate. For example roads, buildings and communication networks. Smart cities are exploring how they can future-proof infrastrucuture to deal with challenges such as climate change. Smart infrastructure contains smart technology that enables us to manage it in an integrated way. Sensors create a rich source of data that can increase our knowledge about city problems and help us plan solutions but this raises questions about data ownership. Privacy, security and ethics are also big issues smart cities need to address.
Innovation and enterprise: cities are centres of economic activity. A smart city can be thought of as a smart ecosystem of different organisations, activities and stakeholders who make it smart. Smart cities tap into what's known as the data economy which drives innovation and creates social and economic value. This has led to the emergence of open innovation including open data and city ideas platforms. You are exploring smart cities at a crucial moment in their evolution. We will be looking at how to finance smart cities and future business models.
Leadership and strategy: the issue of who leads our smart cities is crucial to their development. Effective leadership and inclusive decision-making that empowers city stakeholders is key to the success of smart cities. Collaboration is central to smart cities. This can be achieved through a variety of city-partnership models. We will be looking at the role of smart city strategies and standards and whether they are helpful.
Measurement and learning: smart cities need to be able to measure progress. We will be exploring how cities are using smart city metrics and indicators and how they measure city performance. Learning plays an important role in smart cities. Cities are seeing the value of open approaches where they share ideas and network with partners, citizens and other cities. We will look at education courses being developed for city leaders, citizens and start-ups.
End transcript
Copy this transcript to the clipboard
Print this transcript
 
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

Discussion

Hopefully you found this dicussion of the five core elements of a smart city useful. You should have noted that the five elements are:

  1. Citizens
  2. Infrastructure, technology and data
  3. Innovation and enterprise
  4. Leadership and strategy
  5. Measurement and learning.
SC_1

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus