Top 5 Tips for Cities Undergoing Mass Urban Development
Cities are facing major disruption due to a growing population and changing needs of people in urban areas. In addition, cities are facing pressing issues – including major stress on the infrastructure and difficulties keeping up with overall demand of services.
What do urban leaders need to do to gain a better understanding of these needs and make real changes in the public sector, whilst experiencing digital disruption and transformation? It’s about more than finding the right technology solutions; we need to inspire, instil and implement transformation inside and out. Here are my top tips for success:
1) Try new models of collaboration: Most successful smart city programmes are built on a collaborative approach that cuts across technology specialists, academia, NGO’s and government. Going it alone is no longer an option. Look beyond the public sector for solutions, and engage your wider community partners.
2) Be prepared to share your challenges and learn from others: Be open to collaboration and experimentation with those partners once you’ve engaged them. Getting a different perspective on a problem can help with interpretation, identifying solutions and appropriate policy responses.
3) Engage your citizens to help with solution design: Put your people at the heart and centre of your city planning by identifying co-design and co-creation initiatives they can participate in and contribute to.
4) Create a culture of innovation: When looking for new ways to tackle legacy issues, it can be difficult to innovate, simply because you’ve been perfecting an existing model that has been operating successfully for some time. Pilots are a good place to start without taking unnecessary risks and help to encourage an innovative culture that avoids the incremental-change approach.
5) A new era of city leadership: Today’s city leaders need to inspire and empower their people to take sensible risks to overcome the most pressing of problems; start quickly, fail fast, iterating and learning along the way.