The term smart city has been more used over the past few years. Governments all over the world have been able to see the benefit of making its cities smarter with the use of technology. Local governments have been investing in technology in order to transform their cities. The use of technology enables governments to make their cities smarter, safer and more responsive to the needs of its citizens. The adoption of smart cities by local governments has brought along an evolution in the term and what it contains.

Smart City Evolution

When the term smart city was introduced, it was still vague for most people. Organizations and cities did not know exactly what to expect with this new concept. Over the past few years, the association to the concept of smart city have changed.

With the introduction came smart city 1.0. The smart city 1.0 was technology driven, local governments aimed to maximize the advantage of the use of technology. The use of technology here aimed to improve things such as viability, sustainability, and control. An example of a smart city 1.0 project, is the development of the Songdo Business District in Seoul. The city of Songdo was created from scratch and was built with the use of IoT in mind. The city is fully connected due to the use of different technologies.

The concept of smart city 2.0 functions a bit differently than the smart city 1.0. This concept is technology enabled, city-led. In this concepts local governments aimed to use technology to help to determine the future of their city. Therefore, local governments deployed the use of smart technologies as a tool to improve the quality of life. An example of project within the smart city 2.0 concept occurred in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Mayor of the Rio de Janeiro, went to seek for IBM expertise in order to create a sensor network that helped to mitigate the role of landslides in the hillside favelas.

Due to the rapid adoption of the smart city concept, the smart city model rapidly evolved. The most recent evolution in the smart city concept is the smart city 3.0. Smart city 3.0, looks at cities beyond being technology or city driven. This concept focuses on citizen co-creation. Therefore, the concept of smart city 3.0 looks at broader subjects such as social inclusion, democracy, enterprise creation and building social capital.

Building Smart City 3.0

As mentioned above, the smart city 3.0 concept focuses on being citizen-co driven. One of the positive factors involving the smart city 3.0, is that this concept is not just for cities in the developed world. The versatility of this concept makes it more attractive for cities around the world. This concept is currently also being used on the Latin American pioneer, Medellin.

The city of Medellin, implemented the smart city 3.0 to focus on urban regeneration from the bottom up. The local government of this city opted to engage with the citizens of the city’s most vulnerable neighborhoods. In fact, the local government engaged with these citizens during the implementation of some of the city’s transformative projects. These include projects such as the cable car, electric stair project and new technology-enabled schools and libraries. Furthermore, the local government also opted to extend this commitment to citizen innovators. Therefore, the city opted to support them in the development of the impressive innovation district Ruta N.

The district of Ruta N has been built with the main aim to attract and retain entrepreneurial talent. Furthermore, with the implementation of the smart city 3.0 Medellin has demonstrated that they are focussing on issues of equity and social inclusion. With the development of the smart city 3.0 concept, local governments are able to take many other factors into consideration. In fact, this concept helps local governments to focus more on their citizens and what is needed to improve their daily lives.

Conclusion

The evolution of the smart city concept has brought along many options for local governments. Local governments are now able to choose a type of smart city concept that suits the best to their city’s needs. Since we firstly heard the term of smart city, its use and interpretation has changed over time. Currently, when referring to the term of smart city it does not only involve the use of technologies. The term smart city, looks beyond only implementing the use of technology to help local governments measure and safe data about its citizens. Instead, with the evolution of the concept it helps to look at citizens needs.