Smart city framework designs and their stakeholders

A Smart city framework help you design smart and sustainable cities for all citizens. To get this done can be quite challenging. That is because so many stakeholders having different opinions. That is why I have written this blog to help explain some of the principles on how you can manage stakeholders opinions and get them to find a common grounds on developing smart city projects.

What is a smart city framework?

A smart city framework is a holistic policy document that states all the elements that are needed to build and construct a smart city. The framework states the key objectives (design) and the most important criteria that the infrastructure and technology need to comply to when it is being build. This type of framework is an strategic document that briefs all interested parties what kind of smart city the involved stakeholders have decided on what they want to build.

Strategic briefing of key objectives and materials needed to build your smart city

A smart city framework has some similarities with the design of a building. Before your start with the construction, you decided with your partners on the design principles you like and what type of materials you should use to construct it.

Synomien of an innovative interconnected framework of steal from the 19th century Eiffel Tower.
Source: Talus (2009)

Why is policy aligned so important for your smart city framework?

Organization manage their organisations based on business principles and policies for different decision making processes. Over time some process outcomes can deviate between different department. A smart city projects has a higher return of investment when they are useful for different departments. That is why alignment of policies is so important to make an effective smart city framework.

Challenges for stakeholders making smart city framework

Understanding stakeholder interests

Understanding your stakeholders, their business cases and how they run their processes, is most important to make your city a success. Don’t focus on any technological solution yet. Otherwise you might find all partners making the wrong business decisions.

Stakeholders all speaking a common language

All people involved in your smart project need to get to speak a common language,. The better all people speak a common language, the easier it will be to make sure that your smart city project to be successful. Therefore you need to get a good understanding of human behavior at all management levels in the organisation. And make sure that they all have the same understanding of what needs to be achieved a strategic and operational level.

Aligning different policies outcomes

My experience is that many policies outcomes interfere with each other. Sometimes i found that to outcomes could vary a lot when you ask different civil servants to interpret the policies. So when you want a make a smart city project you need to make sure that all policies, across all department follow the same procedures. Therefore a better aligned policy leads to more a more cost effective smart city framework.

Distribution of resources

Good smart city frameworks have distributed their resources well. The cost of your smart city program should be something like the graph below:

Each smart city framework should start using their resources on focusing on stakeholder management and policy analysis. The outcome should be to find all stakeholders to speak a common language that all understand. Thereafter you can start to test and implement technologies solutions. And as last you should look for the missing (data) infrastructure. Therefore focusing on each topic above, helps to make which concepts have the best return of investment. This gives you the control over the budget before you start to invest in unknown technology solutions.

Solutions for successful smart city frameworks

Keep on validating what your stakeholders want.

Designing a smart city framework starts by identify the main objectives with a road map. The best way to test your stakeholders objectives is by comparing their answers of time from earlier questionnaires, workshops, documents and responses to market consultations. Secondly you can updating the road map frequently to can check if your stakeholders prioritization of objectives has changed. Validating their objectives leads to more efficient decision and a reduction of your project costs.

Allowing stakeholders to change the smart city objectives

Due to the validating your program objectives will shift over time. Your stakeholders will have new ideas about how their objectives can be solved with new technological solutions. Therefore it a smart city framework should stay flexible for as long as possible. This way you can increase the return on your investment as your stakeholders will get new ideas about how different technologies could work for their city challenges.

Keep re-assessing your assumptions and objectives all the time

I would like to summarize that your frameworks objectives and priorities should be validated until all stakeholders have a through understand of the challenges and objectives at hand. With workshops, roadshows and questionnaire we can help them get new insights so that your stakeholders can sharpen their smart program objectives to shift.

Questionnaire Example

Our consultants make use of questionnaire which has been altered based on the PAS 181. The questionnaire helps to undercover some of the stakeholders underlying hidden agenda’s. When our consultants setup smart city workshops we let the stakeholders fill in the questionnaire anonymously. This way we can manage stakeholder engagement which helps to make your smart city projects to be a success.

Do the questionnaire yourself

We have selected some of our questions from our questionnaire. You can see and answer the questions yourself.

More Information

I hope that this blog has helped you with getting a better understanding of stakeholder management and policy analysis for making a smart city framework . In the coming month I will write more about smart technologies and infrastructure data.

However you could also get in touch with us by contacting us here