Smart cities
Smart cities

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Smart cities

1.1 The smart city ecosystem

In the following video, you will learn to create a smart city ecosystem map for your own city.

Download this video clip.Video player: ou_futurelearn_smartcities_vid_1055.mp4
Skip transcript


Many organisations are involved in the development of smart cities. A helpful way to understand this is to map your city's smart city ecosystem. A smart city ecosystem map looks like a Venn diagram and shows organisations, their projects and where there are overlaps. First create a list of organisations who contribute to smart city activities in your city. Here is an example of who you might have on your list. We now use that list to create the smart city ecosystem map. The map is a model of the real world so start with what information you have. You can develop it and move things around as you discover more. It's a tool to get you started.
Now let's talk through a few of the organisations in the diagram and what types of initiatives go in their circle. So for example you might start with the government. This could include activities by both local and national government and might include a smart city strategy.
The community: this could be projects with citizens and community groups.
Universities: here you might have research and education projects. This circle might overlap with other types of organisations who do research in education as well.
SMEs: these are small and medium-sized enterprises who create smart city products and services and might be piloting them with the community.
And finally infrastructure: companies who own the water, energy and transport networks in your city and are working on smart projects. As you build up your smart city ecosystem map you will probably want to move items around and re-draw it.
End transcript
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

This is a model of the real world and so you start with whatever information you have. Find out how you can develop your map and add further categories for your city, such as large businesses. Move things around and start to explore the connections. This is a very simple tool to get you started. As you discover more, you’ll see that smart cities are very complex systems.


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, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 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 prospectus371