The concept of smart city is present in the agendas of the main stakeholders that gravitate around cities, municipalities, or in a broader way, of issues of the territory. This is true in both developed and developing countries. This concern comes from the added value of information technologies in the management of a city, as well as from the continuous deterioration of the quality of life in cities. On the one hand, the increase in urban population is unprecedented, with the UN estimating that the world’s urban population will increase from 52% to 80% by 2050. This increase is also driven by increases in pollution levels and congestion in cities. There is thus the challenge of improving the quality of life for urban citizens, also serving as an engine for economic performance, as well as enhancing the efficient use of resources, supporting environmental sustainability. Information technologies, allied to the human capital of a city, can be the means to realize this intelligence and to achieve the goals of making a city socially, economically and environmentally sustainable.
“Information technologies, allied to the human capital of a city, can be the means to realize this intelligence and to achieve the goals of making a city socially, economically and environmentally sustainable.”
A smart city can be defined as a multidisciplinary domain, which brings together several areas of intervention and skills to achieve development. These areas are, at their core, supported by information technologies, hence their intelligence endowment, but they must also have a strong orientation towards their governance, supported by civic participation, as well as being sources of economic development. Intelligent cities therefore need action plans that will enable them to monitor the implementation of initiatives, as well as to measure the expected benefits of each investment, and with that, there is an understanding that information technologies are not an end, but rather a means to attain intelligence.
“A smart city can be defined as a multidisciplinary domain, which brings together several areas of intervention and skills to achieve development.”
Each city is different, and has been “built” and developed based on different paradigms. In this sense, any development and evolution, thought for a city, must take into account this reality and which paradigm will want to achieve. To improve the quality of life of citizens, you must realize their needs, but also realize what the needs of a city are. It can focus on developments derived from information technologies, or evolve in a technology-driven, technology-driven society. It can also be a smart city from the point of view of a competitive and advanced industry that creates an urban ecosystem, or an environmentally advanced city that uses green technologies and is the pinnacle of environmental sustainability. It is up to decision-makers to think the path ahead and choose the best initiatives they should support, but always taking into account the desired evolution paradigm, that transformation is slow and necessary, and that information technologies are a valuable support.
“A city can thus focus on developments derived from information technologies, or have a development focused on the needs of a society, supported by technologies.”
To support this evolution, and to enable a monitoring, there are several tools and models that can be used. A tool, in the form of a model, that can respond to this need, to consider a paradigm of evolution, that defines and measures areas of action, and allows prescribing actions to achieve the desired evolution is the maturity models. A maturity model has as main objective to improve processes of an organization, making them efficient, from defined evolutionary paths. An organization evolves based on defined maturity levels, and cumulative, which are measured through indicators. It is also important in the field of cities to develop maturity models that define maturity paths that allow the adaptation and configuration of monitoring criteria to be applied to different cities and to consider a city in a holistic way.
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Pedro Torrinha | business developer @CCG
- Pedro Torrinha is a business developer at CCG, and is also a researcher at the ALGORITMI Center of the SEMAG group. He holds a degree in Economics from the Faculty of Economics of the University of Porto, with a Post-Graduation in Management from the Business School IESF. He is currently completing a Masters in Information Systems, with a dissertation in the domain of smart cities.