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Smart City projects - How can digital urban development succeed?

4 min read

20 % less commuting time, 15 % fewer cases of illness, 40 % less crime - and on top of that, less air pollution. This is how a study by McKinsey Global Institute describes the quality of life in a Smart City.

Do you also want to achieve this in your municipality? We'll give you a brief overview of Smart Cities and show you how to get started with a successful practical example!

What is a Smart City?

A Smart City is an "intelligent" city. This means that modern information and communication technologies play a central role. Their use is intended to make the city more efficient, ecological and socially sustainable. And thus also improve the quality of life in the long term. The aim is therefore to create benefits for the people who live in the Smart City.

Smart City projects are not limited to the digitalisation of municipal administration. They also include areas such as transport and energy supply.

Why start Smart City projects in your municipality?

Working more efficiently and environmentally friendly with digital solutions means saving resources. This allows your municipality to operate more economically and also meet climate protection targets, for example.

At the same time, Smart City projects are about better networking the various municipal areas and promoting the internal exchange of data. This turns your municipality into a living organism that is able to continuously learn from current developments. The needs of citizens can thus be better and better met. This includes digital administrative services as well as efficient public transport.

In a Smart City project, one or more municipal areas can be digitalised. What is particularly exciting here is that synergies can be utilised by networking the individual sectors. Smart City projects therefore often generate additional added value.

Why Smart City projects?

Smart City projects are about making your municipality sustainably attractive for citizens, entrepreneurs and other stakeholders. This also strengthens the business location.

Which areas are changed in Smart City projects?

Smart City projects can start in these areas, among others:

  • Administration: Digitalisation in public offices and authorities simplifies work processes for employees and creates more transparency. Online services ensure easier access to the administration and greater citizen satisfaction.
  • Energy supply: Smart energy grids can be used to organise the energy supply in a decentralised and flexible manner. Your municipality can take innovative approaches. In Stockholm, for example, the waste heat from a data centre is fed into the district heating network.
  • Education: If pupils (also) learn digitally at an early age, they are well prepared for a smart future. If all children and young people use digital educational technology at school, pupils from socially disadvantaged or educationally disadvantaged backgrounds will be less likely to be left behind.
  • Mobility: Digital solutions can optimise the flow of traffic in your city. For shorter journey times, less congestion and lower emissions. A smart parking guidance system can also be integrated.
  • Water supply & waste water: For intelligent water management, data can be collected using sensors in the pipe and sewer system, for example. To detect leaks in good time or to optimise pumping plans for efficient water transport. Smart meters allow citizens to monitor their water consumption and possibly reduce it.
  • Buildings: Smart living technologies increase living comfort. At the same time, energy consumption in buildings can be reduced. Barrier-free/age-appropriate living is also becoming more possible thanks to forward-looking planning.
  • Security: For example, a smart early warning system can improve protection against extreme weather events and natural disasters. Intelligent street lighting can also increase the feeling of safety in public spaces.

How can digital tools advance Smart City projects?

Smart City projects assume that your city or municipality already has digital structures in place. In addition, Smart City projects are always data-driven. Collaboration tools such as Stackfield have therefore proven their worth many times over for municipal cooperation.

An all-in-One collaboration tool enables an intensive and clear exchange with various communication channels. Thanks to integrated data management, it makes all relevant information available to all participants at all times. In addition, all urban developers can work together on documents or graphics. When implementing Smart City projects, many local authorities often seek support from specialised companies, especially at the beginning. For this, you can also integrate external partners into a collaboration tool.

Practical example of Smart City projects in Germany: 5 for South Westphalia

As part of the model project "Smart Cities made in Germany", the municipalities of Arnsberg, Bad Berleburg, Mende, Olpe and Soest have joined forces to form the "Smart Cities: 5 for South Westphalia". The project was coordinated by the Südwestfalen Agentur.

The aim of the project consortium was to establish intermunicipal cooperation and to jointly develop and implement sustainable Smart City projects. The aim was to bring together the changing needs of citizens in terms of their living and working environment and rural areas. The municipalities also wanted to position themselves for the future in terms of the environment and the economy.

Matthias Barutowicz
Matthias Barutowicz - Project manager Smart City - Südwestfalen Agentur

Südwestfalen Agentur chose Stackfield to coordinate the Smart City project. In the customer story, project manager Matthias Barutowicz emphasises these benefits, among others:

  • Familiarisation with the tool was very straightforward thanks to intuitive operation.
  • Everyone involved was always able to quickly gain a comprehensive overview of all sub-projects. This also made it very easy to initiate synergies at a later stage.
  • Documents were stored in a single location. This broke down knowledge silos and released new innovation potential through swarm intelligence.
  • Also important in the municipal sector with high data protection requirements: Stackfield is GDPR-compliant and ISO 27001, 27017 and 27018 certified.

Conclusion: Smart City projects - when digitalisation arrives in reality

Increasing digitalisation is opening up completely new opportunities for urban development. Smart City projects show how the immense potential for innovation is being realised in many cities and municipalities in a surprisingly uncomplicated way.

Would your municipality also like to embark on a more liveable future with Smart City projects? With a collaboration tool like Stackfield, you can easily create the best conditions for targeted collaboration and successful project management.

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Cristian Mudure
About the Author:
Cristian Mudure is the Founder and CEO of Stackfield. He loves digital business models and spends his spare time on the tennis court.
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